Friday, May 29, 2009

Online Pick of the Week (5/29): A Lesson in Wiping

The pick this week is from the BBC and is a lesson in something that practically every classic TV lover or videotape preserver would probably cringe at as soon as they see it. It’s a film that demonstrates how to erase a videotape, better known in the television industry as wiping. It’s why a big chunk of vintage television in the United States and abroad no longer exists.

Some of the stuff that’s gone today still amazes me. I’m not a sports fan, but the idea of the first ever Super Bowl being erased, and what’s more, knowing that it was covered by two networks, CBS and NBC, instead of the usual one… how could it be gone? The first ever Tonight Show. I know, I know, I know, videotapes were expensive then, storage space, blazĂ©, blazĂ©, blah, etc., etc., etc., but still… it’s a bit depressing to look at as a TV fan.

And of course being the game show and soap fan that I am, I hate that there are huge chunks of early years of Another World, As The World Turns, Guiding Light, and just to name a few game show wise, Woolery years of Wheel of Fortune, New York-era daytime Pyramid, and almost all of ABC Password which are apparently gone forever. But we’ve had some luck recently with a few original broadcasts of Woolery Wheel as well as High Rollers with Alex Trebek being found thanks to whoever was using a Betamax VCR those days. Props to Claire Labine and Paul Avila Mayer for saving over 95% of Ryan’s Hope. And soap fans who don’t already know will be joyed to find out that The Young and the Restless, Days of our Lives, and The Doctors all exist in their entireties. Now if SOAPnet will only air these shows… but I digress.

Though the British are much worse off as far as wiping goes… it seems practically most anything pre-1970 is deemed to be gone. It doesn’t surprise me to hear that staff personnel would hide some episodes of shows in their homes to make sure they exist.

One other thing to point out… I love what one of the comments on the page says. What irony; most old videotapes and films are gone yet this old film demonstrating the wiping process is still in existence.

A lesson in wiping… my online pick of the week!

GSN: A Schedule Change… Yet Again

Yet more changes for weekdays in daytime for GSN. All times eastern.


10:00 am Family Feud (1988-94 syndie, replaces Super Password)
11:00 am Super Password (1984-89 NBC, one hour; replaces Bingo America and Whammy!)

Now despite my issues with lack of variety on the schedule, considering the circumstances, these are actually changes I can get behind. The only question I have is why couldn’t these changes have been made two weeks ago? GSN has the rights to Combs Feud and Super Password, so it makes no sense to have Bingo America and Whammy! in these slots just for a mere two weeks. It’s not like they got an extra Sony show or two from the vault and it had to take time to acquire the rights. Please don’t tell me GSN’s going to start resembling the Hallmark Channel where schedule changes are made every 2 to 3 weeks.

ATWT: In-Between Storylines

Wednesday, May 27th:

Not much to say this time, well, since Luke and Noah haven’t been on that much in the past couple weeks.

I love how much of a brain they’ve seemed to have given Noah lately. Please keep it up, show.

As much as I can’t stand the Meg character and this whole baby drama with Paul (who’s now managed to turn into a complete cartoon), it is nice to see Luke and Noah interact with people outside their own orbit. It’s one of several things that makes soap operas great and I wish this show would take advantage of it more often.

One other random bit outside the Nuke spectrum… can someone please haul Parker Snyder off to the nearest Juvenile Detention Center? Now? I’d really appreciate it.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Stuff That’s Irritating Me

Just some good old-fashioned bitching and moaning with no real direction. Please excuse the randomness.

GSN last night during $100,000 Pyramid; randomly cutting an infomercial during the second half. Then five minutes later running the entire second half of that day‘s $25,000 Pyramid twice, skipping the first half entirely. This is one of many MAJOR technical malfunctions. They’ve explained themselves to be moving into new broadcast facilities. I’ve tried to be patient but it’s been over a week now. I’ve seen local stations transition better than this. I’ll admit I know nothing about running a control room and I don‘t expect perfection 100% of the time, but how long should it take to get used to new broadcasting equipment? Please get your act together, GSN.

SOAPnet with yet another new reality show… someone please tell me how the hell Southern Belles: Louisville has anything to do with soap operas at all, along with a good bit of the other series they‘ve acquired. I’d really like to know.

Then there’s Ugly Betty being moved to Fridays at 9. I can’t tell you how much I hate this. One reason being that it’ll be on the same time as Fox’s Dollhouse. And I just have the feeling, especially after that hiatus business last month, that the show probably won’t survive this move either. Why, ABC, why? Why fix something that isn’t broken?

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Online Pick of the Week: Bridget Loves Bernie (5/22)

My selection this week is another oldie but goodie; the classic short-lived sitcom Bridget Loves Bernie, that ran on CBS from 1972-73, which starred a young Meredith Baxter and her soon to be but eventually ex-husband David Birney.

This is one of those romantic comedy series that I’ve really started to like after seeing several episodes of it. It deals with the relationship of Bernie Steinberg (Birney) who is Jewish and Catholic Bridget Fitzgerald (Baxter). They’re in love, but their family is not too keen on the idea at all. But even with that, in the end, they work it out, no matter what situation arises. Also, look out for a pre-Three’s Company Audra Lindley and pre-Charlie’s Angels David Doyle, who both co-star.

Today, a show with a couple like this would not be much of an issue at all. But I was a bit saddened to find out that despite the fact that the show was a ratings success, it was canceled anyway because of viewer hate mail. It is one of the highest rated shows ever to be canceled.

It’s a real shame that a show with such potential got axed way too early because of people's bigotry.

The pilot episode of Bridget Loves Bernie, my online pick of the week!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Online Pick of the Week: What’s My Line? (5/15)

This week’s selection arises from of my withdrawal sufferings from the recent Goodson-Todman losses on GSN; a clip of the late George Carlin as a mystery guest on the classic panel series What’s My Line?.

The mystery guest segment is one of my favorite parts of this show. So many great celebrities over the years, not only on the original version, but the syndicated one as well. Dick Clark, Barbara Walters, James Earl Jones, Aretha Franklin, Dick Cavett, Rodney Dangerfield… I could go on and on.

While the original version was a huge success and I loved the chemistry of panelists Bennett Cerf, Arlene Francis, Dorothy Kilgallen and moderator John Charles Daly as much as the next fan, I do think the syndicated version is a bit under appreciated. I thought the contestants giving demonstrations of their occupations was a really nice touch, and it helped lead to some really interesting moments; like Vidal Sassoon showing off his talents, or the panelists participating in a pancake turning contest. And I really enjoy seeing panelists like Soupy Sales, Nipsey Russell, Bert Convy, Anita Gillette, and of course, Arlene Francis.

The late comedian George Carlin appearing on What’s My Line? in 1968, my online pick of the week!

ATWT: Noah Mayer Kicks Ass

Monday, May 11th:


Excuse me while I fawn over Noah Mayer for a minute. Totally loved how Noah managed to save the day, as well as Luke and Damian, with the gun. I think if there’s one thing to learn after watching this episode, it’s that we should never mess with Noah Mayer. And he was as cool as a cucumber throughout it as well. What an interesting angle to add to the guy. And to Mr. Fredo: you’re supposed to be some tough thug, and you bring a PIPE? Um, okay.

Holden… lather, rinse, repeat. My opinion is basically the same with this guy as it was the last several entries regarding this show. And Luke even tried to explain that he did stay at the docks even though Damian told him to go away and he’s still as self-righteous as ever. His heart is in the right place, but, geez…

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

GSN: Game Show Awards Drama

As much as I was looking forward to the awards ceremony, and as much as I think this genre has been well past due for a ceremony which prides the excellence of it, and also, as much as it probably would have been fun to review… after reading this, my excitement regarding the big night has drained somewhat significantly.

I’ll admit, it took me a while to realize who Bob Barker really is off-camera, even after realizing that there was bad blood behind the scenes of Price. But I would really like to know that with this, who can seriously look the other way and see Bob as the victim in all of this? Who can seriously have his back? What happened was nothing but classic off-camera Bob that we’ve known about for years. He doesn’t get what he wants, and instead of sucking it up and dealing with it like an adult, to get back at the other person, he stops short of stamping his feet so he can get his way in the end. And it’s ridiculous.

Honestly, I’d have called his bluff, and if he didn’t show up at the awards ceremony, too bad for him. I can’t believe Betty got screwed out of a personal appearance so they could cater to him. There is NO reason why Betty could not be there in person. None.

Betty is a true legend. As for Bob Barker, you may have had a long career in television, but you have nowhere near the amount of class that she has.

Monday, May 11, 2009

ATWT: Make Room For Daddy

May 5th:

It’s nice having these regular little bits in between major storyline parts. The only two serious problems I have are the following. First, it would have been really nice to have seen Luke and Noah around New York alone a bit more. Secondly, it made no sense whatsoever for Luke to be suspicious of Damian for no good reason like he was here. At this point, Luke is supposed to be willing to trust him more. There was no need for that, honestly.

Thursday, May 7th:

Tsk, tsk, tsk. Looks like Damian might be up to something after all. Too bad. And I know I am not the only one who’d like to see either Luke or Noah either in sailor outfits or them participating in a dude ranch in Montana.

It’s real nice having Lucinda be involved. Keep it up, please, show.

Friday, May 8th:

Okay, as much as I love Holden and Lucinda to death, I’m sure this won’t be the end. Even if they see that Damian was actually behind the doings of something right (even if it was by smuggling illegally), they’ll still find something new to hate him for.

The character interaction is great. I may not be a fan of all the characters, but it’s nice seeing Luke and Noah’s storyline tie in with some of the others. This is something that really does not happen often enough when it comes to this show.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Online Pick of the Week: Hollywood Showdown (5/7)

This week I’m sort of tooting my own horn if you can call it that with this week’s selection. It is a clip which comes from my own video library.

Hollywood Showdown has always been one of my favorite modern game shows. As I’ve mentioned before, I am an avid lover of pop-culture being used as an element in this genre. However, with several shows, the quality is left much to be desired. For instance, I’ve always found Pax’s On the Cover to come off as way too cheesy. I did not enjoy the round with the fake magazine covers. It was just way too corny. Mark L. Walberg was great though as the host. A few years later, I thought I was going to enjoy one of GSN’s latest answers to pop-culture… Starface. And while I actually thought Danny Bonaduce did a rather decent job as a host, in the end I thought this wound up becoming way too sleazy. And when it started being sponsored by the National Enquirer… that’s when I knew that it was it for me with that.

But Hollywood Showdown was one of those shows that I thought was executed really well. I love the questions. There’s also the Jackpot!-esque vibe it brings with the Box Office element (Sande Stewart, son of Bob Stewart we can obviously thank for that). And what’s more… Todd Newton. Unlike on Whammy!, Todd I think is really at his finest here. At a reasonable volume, not too loud or too obnoxious. He has the perfect amount of energy, and interacts with the contestants very well. Which in the end leads me to wonder… if we must keep Mr. Newton on the GSN airwaves… can’t we bring this show back? I doubt we’d see new episodes, but I’d take reruns of this show any day over the billionth cycle of Whammy!.

The clip features a contestant at the bonus “Box Office” round. It’s my online pick of the week for May 7th!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

GSN: More Schedule Changes

There are apparently more schedule changes coming starting May 18th:


10:30 am $25,000 Pyramid (CBS 1982-88, replaces Family Feud (Combs syndie, 1998-94))
11:00 am Bingo America (replaces Let’s Make A Deal (syndie 1971-77))
11:30 am Whammy! (GSN, 2002-03, replaces $25,000 Pyramid (CBS 1982-88))

These seem to contradict with some of the ones that are taking place in June.

I love The $25,000 Pyramid… it’s one of the things acquired lately on GSN along with $100,000 Pyramid, original Password, and Hollywood Squares that I enjoy. The show following Super Password at 10 doesn’t sound bad. But it is so typical that they pull the version of Feud that’s airing the least out of all of them. I mean we can’t sacrifice ONE lousy Karn airing? Not one? Why can’t they show this version from start to finish? And boo to Let’s Make a Deal leaving earlier than intended; at least on weekdays. Bingo America taking its place? Blah. Whammy! is now scheduled to move to 11:30 am. Oh joy. Now I REALLY can’t wait to find the remote and turn it to Price.

This is looking more and more like Dark Period 3.0...

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Online Pick of the Week: Entertainment Tonight (5/1)

The clip chosen this week shows one of my true guilty pleasures of being online. I have so much fun looking for vintage TV shows, openings, closings, promos, etc. It is from September 14, 1981, and it features the closing of an World News Tonight broadcast and towards the end, the opening of the very first episode of Entertainment Tonight. This was of course before Mary Hart joined the program.

I was watching some of the episodes of the show this week for tidbits about Bea Arthur’s recent passing. One of the reasons why I’m so turned off of the show these days is because of how tabloid-ish the show has become. It’s just been way too much more about the celebrities’ personal lives and in the recent past they’ve been stretching things way too far (i.e. Anna Nicole Smith‘s death/paternity drama), which eventually led to me hardly watching the show at all.

But I have to give Entertainment Tonight some credit this week… they’ve done a pretty decent job in handling Bea Arthur’s death. Speaking with Rue McClanahan and Betty White over the phone, showing clips of Golden Girls bloopers and a rehearsal from one of the earlier episodes, airing some of a couple of her older interviews, and on Friday interviewing her TV daughter from Maude, Adrienne Barbeau. Now while I obviously hate for a death to occur, it makes me wish that the show would handle things more like this all the time. Make it more like it used to be… more about entertainment and less about celebrities’ personal lives and gossip.

The opening to the series premiere of Entertainment Tonight… my online clip of the week!

Friday, May 1, 2009

GSN's June Schedule

New GSN schedule change, starting June 1st:

Changes listed only:
11:00 AM Whammy! (GSN 2002-03, replaces Let's Make a Deal, (1971-77 syndie))
4:00 PM Pyramid (2002-04 syndie, replaces Weakest Link (2002-03, syndie))
7:00 pm Deal or No Deal (NBC, replaces Lingo (GSN 2002-07) and Pyramid (2002-04 syndie))

2:00 AM 1 vs. 100 (replaces Dog Eat Dog)
8:00 PM 20 Questions
9:30 PM The Money List
3:00 PM 20 Questions (replaces Family Feud (Karn))
5:00 PM The Money List (replaces Who Wants to be a Millionaire? (ABC 1999-2002))

I’m really not surprised that Deal or No Deal is coming to GSN. If you’ve read a couple previous entries about the nighttime show… you'll see that I’m not too excited about this news. However, t might be interesting to see repeats of the very early episodes… I loved it so much before it became a circus. I love that 1 vs. 100 is coming though. It was one of my favorite recent prime time game shows and I wish that NBC never canceled it.

Whammy replacing Let’s Make A Deal… sorry, but that just blows. How many more times are they going to run that into the ground? Couldn’t they have picked another Sony show from the vault? And I was really hoping they’d air the 1984 version at least one more time. And I love Pyramid to death, but there is no need for me to watch the show in the morning if it’ll just be on again in the overnight. Congratulations, GSN, you’ve really made it easy for this viewer to choose between you and The Price is Right on CBS at 11 am.

I’m looking forward to The Money List. I hope it’s not as over dramatic as its original format, The Rich List was. But then again, GSN is not Fox, so I think we’ll be alright. Curious about 20 Questions too… hopefully there’ll be positive news about that sometime.

ATWT: Free at Last

Monday, April 27th:

Inconsistencies aside (you mean to tell me, show, that NO ONE AT ALL heard Alison in the closet shouting for help except Casey), this was a pretty enjoyable day. Again, Luke and Noah show how in love they are very well, even in a life and death situation.

More wishy-washy Alison. Enough of this. Please, writers, I beg of you.

One other thing. Zoe trying to get some from Luke… ugh, that kiss... I can’t think of anything else to describe this except to say OH, MY GOD! MY EYES! MY BEAUTIFUL BROWN EYES! EWW! MAKE IT STOP! NOW! I know I’m using a lot of caps, but OH MY DEAR GOD IN HEAVEN that kiss was absolutely REVOLTING. Even the Brian kisses were more enjoyable than this! I guess it’s not a real Jean Passanante storyline without attempted rape thrown in at least once. *rolls eyes*

Tuesday, April 28th:

I always think that logic and consistency should play a vital role in soap story telling (and quite honestly, it should be important in telling any story). But today, I don’t even care how little sense Noah stopping Zoe with his legs made. It made the disgustingness that was Zoe macking on Luke stop. And wow, Margo, you’ll just believe anyone won’t you? How can you believe Z-squared after all the evidence that supports the contrary? Stuff like this is why people in Oakdale take the law into their own hands.

I’m glad this grudge between Holden and Damian seems to be coming to a close, well for now anyway. If Lily now and even Luke can forgive Damian, it’s time to move on. Earlier on he sounded way too optimistic about Damian possibly being locked up.

All in all, this storyline was far more enjoyable than some of the previous ones, but in the end… it seemed somewhat rushed. But there were really great elements, one of which that both Luke and Noah had similar screen time.

Thursday, April 30th:

I spoke too soon. Please move on Holden, I beg of you. Now. Luke is an adult; he can make his own decisions.

Great seeing Lucinda again. The more of her the better.