Friday, December 24, 2010
FROM KINESCOPE HD TO YOU AND YOUR FAMILY: WARM WISHES FOR A JOYOUS HOLIDAY SEASON- MERRY CHRISTMAS & HAPPY, HEALTHY 2011!!!!
PHOTO BY BRAD NAU
Here's a yuletide present for all who are kind enough to visit KINESCOPE HD.
It's the 1957, Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby Christmas Special, HAPPY HOLIDAYS FROM FRANK AND BING. The show was directed by Old Blue Eyes as a special edition of his ABC-TV variety series.The warm and relaxed half hour was filmed at the Hollywood studios of 20th Century Fox,and aired on December 20, 1957.
Set in a stylized vision of a mid-1950's Beverly Hills bachelor pad, Crosby and Sinatra, the two consummate crooners of their time, swing to Christmas favorites while sharing a flagon of egg nog or two.In a nod to Eisenhower-era convention among the idle-rich, Leon Lontoc appears as Frank's butler. Nelson Riddle and his Orchestra provided the musical support, while the hipster dialog was written by William Morrow.
The Chairman of The Board (as New York, Disc Jockey William B. William had christened Sinatra) decided to have the program filmed in color, with a prescient eye towards durable, future distribution.
But, at that time, the alphabet network had only monochrome, broadcast capability, so it was telecast in vivid Black & White.
The version posted below from the RETROSPECTAVIDEO YOU TUBE site, may actually be the colorized version of the special that commissioned by the Sinatra family in October of 2003.
The performers, however, like their musical selections, are timeless Enjoy!!!!
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Television viewers across America and around the globe have loved Lucy since CBS first introduced us to the henna-headed heroine of a thousand hare-brained schemes in the Fall of 1951.
The show was I LOVE LUCY and it was a true Templar for the multi-camera, situation comedies that endure ,even, to this day on network television.
You know the back story:
Insistent,impish and indefatigable Lucy Ricardo ( Lucille Ball ) craves the showbiz spotlight even more than her bandleader husband,Ricky ( Desi Arnaz ). In pursuit of fame and fortune Lucy enlists landlord/neighbor Ethel Mertz ( Vivian Vance ) as her co-conspirator in comic capers, while Ethel's husband, Fred Mertz ( William Frawley ) always has to help Ricky in cleaning up the rubble of Lucy's latest,laughable adventure.
In the Fall of 1957, Desi and Lucy's Desilu Productions had just purchased RKO Studios and rapidly became the largest producer of filmed comedy in television. The pressure on the pair was increasing. After 8 years of critical accolades and audience adoration, as ratings started to decline and as the real life marriage of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz became fraught with tension of Desi's drinking and womanizing,both the network and theArnaz's decided it was time to revamp the beloved series.
The solution was to do fewer episodes, but to extend them to a one hour format, studded with guest stars that Lucy would aggravate to comic extremes. The Ricardo's would move to the suburbs and the Mertze's would go with them.
On November 6th , 1957 @ 10pm Eastern time, THE LUCY-DESI COMEDY HOUR debuted to huge ratings, that pleased network executives and their new sponsor, The Ford Motor Company.
Producing just 13 episodes per season,the super-sized sitcom alternated with another Desilu production. It was a new anthology hour that Arnaz sold to CBS-TV for the Monday night, 10PM time slot, called WESTINGHOUSE PRESENTS THE DESILU PLAYHOUSE.
Desi Arnaz produced and hosted the stylish, expansive series, which was an incubator for Desilu produced pilots, that included THE UNTOUCHABLES ( sold as a series to ABC-TV, when CBS passed ) and an hour called THE TIME ELEMENT, which served as a test episode for the Tiffany network's iconic, sci-fi/fantasy series THE TWILIGHT ZONE.
Below, we have posted six clips from the XDESILU YOU TUBE site, which constitute one episode of THE LUCY-DESI COMEDY HOUR ( originally titled as A LUCILLE BALL-DESI ARNAZ COMEDY SPECIAL)that aired on December 1st , 1958.
It's brings together the rambunctious redhead with the voluble Danny Thomas and the cast of characters from his MAKE ROOM FOR DADDY series, in a vibrant example of early , prime-time, crossover programming. Enjoy!!!!
But,first, from the MISSLILLYBLUE YOU TUBE site, here's a word from their sponsor. See what happens when Lucy and Ricky visit their local Ford dealer and see the ne, 1957 Ford Retractable Top Convertible. Enjoy!!!!
And, now, LUCY MAKES ROOM FOR DANNY.Enjoy!!!!
Sunday, December 12, 2010
In the 1960's, Color television may not have always made comedy seem funnier, but it did provide a vibrant, vivid canvas for a multi-talented performer.
On November 5, 1962, NBC presented a comic symphony in red , as the funny, formdiable Danny Kaye and his special guest, a true American video icon , Lucille Ball, came together for an hour of henna-tinted television .
The DANNY KAYE SPECIAL, was directed at NBC's Burbank studios by Greg Garrison (who also guided network series for Milton Berle and Dean Martin) and was written by accomplished, variety veteran Ernest Chambers in concert with Kaye's collaborator in show business and in life, his wife, Sylvia Fine Kaye.
The special showcased the superlative comedic skills of two respected and beloved performers in their primacy.It also proved to be a precursor to the kinetic Kaye's CBS-TV variety series, which ran from 1963 to 1967 and which received many critical accolades and industry awards.
THE DANNY KAYE SPECIAL also won the acclaim of reviewers, along with Emmy nominations and Director's Guild of America recognition.
The first clip posted, below,from OLDTVHISTORY YOU TUBE site is an excerpt of sketch about a shy couple on a date at a Japanese restaurant. This video comes from the NBC 50th Anniversary show which aired in 1976 and starts with narration from Johnny Carson. Enjoy!!!!
Danny Kaye and Lucille Ball 1962
As a bonus, here is a longer excerpt of the same sketch from the HUILIFOJ YOU TUBE site, but recorded as a Black and White kinescope. Enjoy!!!!
Danny Kaye and Lucille Ball in B & W
As a second bonus, here is an updated , re-envisioning of the "dining on a date" sketch, now set in a French restaurant, that comes from the HUILIFOJ YOU TUBE site and appears to have aired as a part of Kaye's CBS-TV series. Enjoy!!!!
Danny Kaye and Lucille Ball in COLOR on CBS-TV
Friday, December 3, 2010
Now,from the secret files of KINESCOPE HD comes a story so powerful, dangerous and daring that it has been kept under a clandestine...er...eh...ah... What? Too much local news hype?
Okay, the story posted below didn't really change the world.It's just one of the funniest moments you'll ever see on a LIVE newscast.
I know. I was there and fortunate to have served as executive producer of CHANNEL 13 EYEWITNESS NEWS.
But, before we go back to the videotape...
It was the first night of Hanukkah,1979,and high atop Baltimore's Television Hill, in the WJZ-TV studios, producers wanted to do a LIVE talkback with a Rabbi and his family to explain the significance and history of this ancient Hebrew celebration.
Rabbi Bradley Bleefeld of the Baltimore Hebrew Congregation agreed to explain the story behind the traditional lighting of the menorah , accompanied by his wife and two sons, while the comely Talmudic tableau was to be captured ,LIVE, by EYEWITNESS NEWS camera person Carol Kummer and technician Carmine Lisciandrello.
In the studio, legendary, Baltimore Anchorman Jerry Turner was paired with the fast and funny newsman,Richard Sher, on this infamous night. Producer Nanette Wilson was in the control room, navigating through EYEWITNESS NEWS AT 6pm, which was Maryland's most watched news program.It was a relatively quite news day...until...
Well ... keep an eye on the little guy on the right side of the frame and enjoy!!!!
Thursday, November 25, 2010
We hope you are enjoying the warmth of family and the comfort of food on this Thanksgiving Holiday.
Here is a fast and funny flashback to one of the best episodes produced for the wacky and wonderous CBS series, WKRP IN CINCINNATI. Think of it as sitcom sorbet between full courses of parades and football.
From the MRSTEPHENRGILMAN YOU TUBE site is the WKRP Turkey Drop episode , scoped down to just thirty seconds. Best wishes for the holiday season, and enjoy!!!!!:)
Sunday, November 21, 2010
In the 1950's and 1960's, America's hottest comedy club was your parent's living room.
No cover charge. No drink minimum, Just the greatest array of comic talent that you could fit with the confines of a 21 inch television screen.
All for free.
YOu just had to turn your dial ( TV's once had dials for channel tuning) to your hometown, CBS Television station at 8pm Eastern time(7pm Central) on any Sunday night.
That was the time for television viewers to participate in a true American ritual and a show business institution , THE ED SULLIVAN SHOW.
First entitled THE TOAST OF THE TOWN when it debuted in 1948, it was one of the nascent Tiffany Network's first and finest offerings.The name of the weekly, video variety show was changed in 1955, to honor the clunky and constrained host.
The show was performed "LIVE" from CBS-TV's STUDIO 50, which was re-named THE ED SULLIVAN THEATER IN 1966.
Today, that facility is home to THE LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN.
Sullivan, while an awkward personality on camera, had an innate ability to successfully combine video and vaudeville. A native New Yorker,he was a teen aged boxer and an acclaimed Broadway columnist, before stepping in front of the primitive cameras and under the scalding lights required to produce the earliest network broadcasts.
Smart and facile, his acute awareness of social trends and his surgically sharp, journalistic instincts help to drive the stellar roster of guests. Sullivan, along with producers Marlo Lewis and Bob Precht, delivered the most diverse programs on the tube. On any given Sunday, recording artists, night club comics, plate spinners, opera stars, poets and puppets would share the sprawling stage of CBS Studio 50 on Broadway.There were no barriers of gender, color, race, ethnicity or religion. Talent was the only ticket to center stage.THE ED SULLIVAN SHOW defined variety in video.
While the earliest TV stars were comedians, and the actors who portrayed cops or cowboys, Sullivan defied definition as a performer. America embraced the stoic star as a family member.
Sponsored for many years by The Ford Motor Company's Lincoln/Mercury Division, Sullivan ( aka The Great Stone Face)was a welcome presence on Sunday nights for 23 television seasons.His program was still drawing large, household audiences in 1971, when his show, like THE RED SKELTON HOUR and THE JACKIE GLEASON SHOW, were cancelled, as CBS and advertisers sought to cultivate younger, more urban demographics.
So many careers were launched, sustained or revived on THE ED SULLIVAN SHOW. The Beatles are ,actually, a small, albeit incandescent, part of the show's history. Like NBC's TONIGHT SHOW, Sullivan's weekly revue was a crucible for comedy. One appearance could launch a career.
Here from THE ED SULLIVAN SHOW YOU TUBE site, are six classic comic peformances from the mid-1960's through the early 1970's, when the program was in its primacy.Enjoy!!!!
RICHARD PRYOR - 1966
JOAN RIVERS - 1967
RODNEY DANGERFIELD 1970
GEORGE CARLIN 1966
THE SMOTHERS BROTHERS 1966
HENNY YOUNGMAN 1966
Sunday, November 14, 2010
Dean Martin famously joked once that this is Frank Sinatra's world and we all just live in it.
But,if you examine the so-called Rat Pack , the show-biz confederation comprised of Sinatra, Martin, Sammy Davis Jr.,Peter Lawford and Joey Bishop, through a nostalgic prism,one thing comes into focus: Dino was the very apotheosis of cool.Not icy and biting , but offering a refreshing brace.Like a heavy tumbler of scotch on the rocks after a round of golf on a torrid Palm Springs afternoon.
On stage, Dino was impeccably tailored. had classic good looks, a pleasant voice, a deep reservoir of humor and mischief in his eyes.
In the clip posted ,below, from the SERGIUNEGHINA YOU TUBE site, you'll see an excerpt from a classic Dean Martin performance. He radiates confidence and suavity, while singing, joking and kibitzing with an off-stage Sinatra.
This segment comes from THE FRANK SINATRA SPECTACULAR, a black and white, benefit variety show that was staged on June 20, 1965 at the Kiel Opera House in St.Louis.
The show was was a closed circuit telecast beamed to theaters across the nation, where proceeds from the tickets that patrons purchased, went to Dismas House, a half-way house for former convicts in St. Louis.
On this night, Martin (who was just months from the debut of his hit NBC variety series) shared the stage with Sinatra, Davis and, ironically, Johnny Carson acted as host, substituting for his regular TONIGHT SHOW,back-up,Joey Bishop.Enjoy!!!!!
Sunday, November 7, 2010
Every day, in Living Color, Dolby Sound and High Definition Video, the fiber of this nation is tested by partisan politics, as the unending multi-media news cycle puts all of us on the front lines of the acrid debate.
Relax. KINESCOPE HD is not going all ideological on you.
We just want to take a moment to flashback on a more gentile, if not truly innocent, time in the American political process and a landmark night in network television news.
November 8th marks fifty years since the debonair, young, US Senator from Massachusetts, John F. Kennedy,was elected President of the United States. A Democrat, he defeated the incumbent Vice President ,Republican Richard M. Nixon.
The adversaries made history facing off in the first televised debates in American History.While the content of their discourse is still being debated five decades later, most agree that it was a vital, virtuoso performance by Mr. Kennedy that propelled him to the American presidency.
JFK was as much a cultural phenomenon as a political option. He was handsome, charming, liberal and a Roman Catholic. Kennedy was the prodigal son in a family that was all but American royalty.His wife , Jackie was elegant, smart and socially engaged, while raising their toddler son, John-John and young daughter, Caroline.
Mrs. Kennedy was an aspirational figure for so many young women of the time. The personable Kennedy was positioned by many pundits and show business luminaries as the perfect figure to lead America into the 1960's, a decade laced with nuclear threat, social upheaval and sexual liberation, that offered more danger than optimism.
The dashing young president's personal involvements with the likes of Marilyn Monroe and Judith Campbell Exner would not be made public until years after his death.There are still questions centering on the role that organized crime may have played in getting him elected.
Cut down by an assassin's bullet in Dallas,Texas, on November 22, 1963, his short but electrifying time in office is still referred to by many as Camelot, in reflection of the mythical kingdom in which all who lived enjoyed a full, rich life.
On Election Night 1960, American television viewers and radio listeners turned to NBC NEWS in extraordinary numbers. From an elevated anchor position in the vast and versatile Studio 8H, Chet Huntley and David Brinkley anchored comprehensive coverage that was agile and contemporary in execution, while breezy and affable in tone.
It was one of the first times that television technology was commensurate with the scope of the story it captured, taking viewers across the nation.NBC turned to its corporate parent for the use of an RCA 501 computer to perform the high speed tabulations required to project key races.
As Tuesday night morphed into Wednesday morning, the TODAY SHOW team of Dave Garroway, Jack Lescoulie and Frank Blair joined Huntley and Brinkley to say that the network's morning show was deferring to election coverage and would join viewers when the all of the ballots were finally tallied.
The vote count in California ( Nixon's home state) was so slow that it would be after 7:00AM Eastern Time before NBC NEWS could project a Kennedy victory. NBC's News Division was back throughout the broadcast day to cover Mr.Kennedy's upbeat acceptance speech and Mr. Nixon's bitter concession.
Huntley and Brinkley dominated network news ratings during most of the 1960's, even in the face of relentless competition from CBS's redoubtable and respected Walter Cronkite. On election night and in every other major story of the decade, from War in Viet Nam to Man on the Moon, the pair was ably supported by Peacock Network stalwarts, John Chancellor, Frank McGee, Sander Vanocur, Merrill Mueller, Nancy Dickerson, Herb Kaplow, Ray Scherer, Peter Hackes and so many more.
Here from the David Von Pein 1 YOU TUBE site are nine, extraordinary excerpts of NBC NEWS coverage from Election Night 1960. Enjoy!!!!
Friday, October 29, 2010
From pulsating percussion to blasting brass, there are few television soundtracks that offer the instant recognition or evoke the kind of exuberant, viewer response as the vibrant theme for HAWAII FIVE-O.You might think that an attractive,agile cast, on-screen chemistry, taut scripts, vivid video and lush locations would be enough to bring most viewers to their televisions. You might consider that the proven premise of daring cops taking down brazen villains in a tropical paradise might be sufficient.
Not without that song.
The original series debuted on CBS-TV in the fall of 1968, and the dynamic, complex title sequence, designed by director Reza S. Badiyi, was heralded by a high voltage, high velocity musical score, written by the respected film and television composer and arranger, Morton Stevens.
(COMPOSER MORTON STEVENS)
When FIVE-O's flinty Steve McGarrett and his cadre of island crime fighters first began busting bad guys, a rock group called The Ventures had a top 40 hit with a guitar powered cover of the show's supersonic theme.
Twice, since HAWAII FIVE-O ended it's original run in 1980, the Tiffany Network has tried to revive and relaunch the franchise.But, no matter how plot lines, producers or players changed ,in both instances, CBS-TV, and loyal fans insisted that Steven's iconic theme song be retained and respected.
( THE NEW CAST OF HAWAII FIVE-O)
This fall, when a new cast and crew hit the beach in Honolulu, the familiar and welcome theme was being reworked and updated on a music recording stage in Burbank.
Here from the WATCHHAWAIIFIVEO YOU TUBE site is a backstage look at that scoring session, mixed with video from the 2010 reboot of the CBS series.Enjoy!!!!!
As a bonus, here, from THEFUSIONCOMICS YOU TUBE site, is HAWAII FIVE-O's Co-Executive Producer, Alex Kurtzman,talking about the musical score at COMIC CON 2010, and presenting the above music video.Enjoy!!!!
Thursday, October 21, 2010
At the dawn of the 1960's, while NBC's Chet Huntley and David Brinkley were doing mortal, broadcast battle with CBS-TV's Walter Cronkite, struggling ABC NEWS was fielding a troika of rotating news anchors,on multiple daily newscasts, including veteran correspondents Bill Lawrence, Al Mann and Ron Cochran.
In 1961, the youth oriented, alphabet network even added the mature presence of John Cameron Swayze,former anchor of NBC's Camel News Caravan, one of the mediums earliest national newscasts, and future pitchman for Timex watches.
Traditionally viewed as half a network , because it had fewer affiliates and fewer hit shows than the Peacock or Tiffany networks, ABC also had the smallest news division with the fewest employees and the least available resources.In 1960, the patriarch of the company,Leonard Goldenson, made a modest investment in the news division, which, in turn, mounted four daily, national newscasts and fortified it's promotion.
It would take years of experimentation, effort and the manifold talents of journalistic televisionary Roone Arledge, before ABC NEWS became America's leading broadcast news organization in the late 1980's.That positon has long since been surrendered to NBC NEWS.
Here, from the ROGERSHARPARCHIVES YOU TUBE site, is a bombastic blurb exolling the virtues of ABC NEWS.Enjoy!!!!!!
Saturday, October 9, 2010
It's hard to imagine how many words have been written and spoken about comic-virtuoso and video icon, Milton Berle, since that warm, June night in 1948 , when the former vaudeville star stepped through the curtain ,under the scorching lights of studio 6-B and into the homes of those fortunate few who could afford home receivers to become Mr. Television.
There was only one Uncle Milty.
You know the legend: That his Tuesday night NBC-TV show, THE TEXACO STAR THEATER, often had 80 to 90 per cent of all available viewers watching. That during his commercials,big city water departments could see changes in pressure as all of those viewers flushed their toilets and got back to see what Berle would do next. He was the first verifiable television star, predating video victories by Lucy, Gleason,Godfrey and ,even, Howdy Doody.
He was the king of television from 1948 to 1953.
As the competition grew, ratings diminished and as his style of slapstick comedy wore thin, Texaco cancelled its sponsorship. Buick sped in to underwrite Uncle Milty in a one hour, weekly, musical/comedy review on NBC, airing Tuesday at 8pm.But,after 3 seasons, THE BUICK-BERLE SHOW came to an abrupt stop in 1955.The Peacock Network had Berle under a 30 year , exclusive contract, so it installed him in a more traditional variety show in 1956,that lasted only one season.
But, there was a Kraft Recipe for TV success , waiting in the wings at NBC in Burbank.Here it is:Take one part Ham (Uncle Milty) and America's biggest Cheese factory(Kraft Foods).Next, add guest stars, topical monologues,contemporary music and bake under hot studio lights.
What they got was the two seasons of THE KRAFT MUSIC HALL STARRING MILTON BERLE that aired in 1958 and 1959 on NBC-TV. In the end, Berle couldn't find a new audience for his more mature style of humor. He was cancelled and Kraft, in turn, began a long association with another NBC luminary, Perry Como.
Berle next did a bowling show for NBC. It lasted only one year.
Here , below, are three clips that are derived from the high octane,high jinks that Milton Berle delivered every time the red light went on.Enjoy!!!!!
Saturday, October 2, 2010
What do B.A. BARRACUS, JIM ROCKFORD & TONY BARRETTA have in common, besides their tireless devotion to take down the bad guys,each week, in 57minutes and 28 seconds or less?
These chimerical crime fighters , and dozens more TV tough guys, were created and developed by prolific, protean television writer/producer Stephen J. Cannell.The facile and formidable Cannell died in his Pasadena home on October 1st, at age 69,as a result of complications from melanoma.
A video visionary who had the unique ability to cultivate the human and vaunerable side of the characters he crafted , Cannell created, wrote and produced THE A-TEAM,WISEGUY,THE GREATEST AMERICAN HERO,RIPTIDE, HUNTER, 21JUMP STREET, THE COMMISH, SILK STALKINGS,BARETTA and even won an EMMY AWARD for his work THE ROCKFORD FILES. He was a guiding force in the production of the recent A-TEAM movie.He got his start writing on UNIVERSAL's stable of classic caper shows like, Robert Wagner's stylish,ABC-TV spy series, IT TAKES A THIEF.
He was was often referred in the media to as a TV Mogul, but always preferred to be known as a writer, first. The son of a successful businessman, Cannell overcame dyslexia to launch and manage one of the medium's most successful production companies.
In 2008, he told an interviewer that he still wrote on an IBM Selectric Typewriter, because his dyslexia was so pronounced, that his many misspelled words rendered his computer's "spell check" feature useless.
Stephen J. Cannell leaves a legacy of dignity, decency and a portfolio of engaging, entertaining television shows, novels and films.It is an impressive achievement.
Here is an excerpt from his recent interview with THE ARCHIVE OF AMERICAN TELEVISION, posted on YOU TUBE. Here , he offers sage advice for aspiring writers.
Cannell explains the origins of his company's distinctive logo.
Here is the final iteration of that logo, from 1999.
Monday, September 27, 2010
As the American automotive industry moves into high gear, introducing new, Fall 2010 models, here is a monochrome flashback to the early 1950's. That's when carmakers like Dodge, Oldsmobile, Ford,Chevy,DeSoto and Buick sponsored major network, television programs and perfected the not-so-subtle arts of talent endorsement and product placement.
Here, from autumn of 1953 and from the AUTOMOBILE HISTORY USA YOU TUBE site, is a vintage video clip of THE BUICK/BERLE SHOW. The lavish variety program was a Tuesday night tradition on NBC-TV that starred Uncle Milty, AKA television pioneer and master comedian, Milton Berle.
General Motors Buick division was the sole sponsor and the commercials featured, the star, guest stars, dramatic portrayals, music jingles, vast sets, and of course, a mammoth ,new Buick. This excerpt extols the virtues of buying a six passenger sedan from the woman's point of view. The Buick musical signature is provided by Mr. Television himself, with an assist from guest star Peter Lawford. Enjoy!!!!!
Here is a bonus commercial featuring Buick spokesperson and TODAY SHOW announcer, Jack Lescoulie, with the history behind the panoramic windshield of the 1955 Buick Special.Enjoy!!!!!
Here are the openiong credits to the BUICK/BERLE SHOW on NBC-TV. As you'll see, subtle was neither Berle's nor Buick's strong suit.Enjoy!!!!!
Saturday, September 18, 2010
In the fall of 1977, Prime Time dominance was ABC-TV's to loose.
From it's inception in 1953 until the 1976 television season, the so-called alphabet network was a perennial loser in ratings and reputation.
The joke was "How do you end the Viet Nam War? Put it on ABC and it will be cancelled in 13 weeks!"
It enjoyed sporadic hits over the intervening years, that ranged from OZZIE & HARRIET TO THE ODD COUPLE, THE LONE RANGER TO MAVERICK, GENERAL HOSPITAL TO MARCUS WELBY M.D., and 77 SUNSET STRIP to BURKE'S LAW. BATMAN, THE FLINTSTONES,AMERICAN BANDSTAND, THE WIDE WORLD OF SPORTS AND MONDAY NIGHT NFL FOOTBALL also brought viewers and value, to what critics derided as "half a network," but never the throw weight to grow a successful schedule.
That changed in the Bicentennial year, when ABC established itself as a kinetic, diverse, sexy, smart, channel choice.Bolstered by strong local stations, it defeated NBC and CBS to win the largest nighttime audience in network television.
The network's evening schedule boasted heavy duty hits, like CHARLIE'S ANGELS(jiggle tv), HAPPY DAYS(family tv)and WELCOME BACK, KOTTER (sweathog tv).Network executives also produced evocative, energetic, upbeat promotion that helped them reach the pinnacle of Prime Time.They knew that engaging a similar strategy would be the only way to preserve that position.
With their dignity, jobs and millions of dollars, on the line, ABC-TV's promotion department placed a very volatile bet on a 1976, top 40 hit from a band called Orleans to carry the networks corporate flag into broadcast battle.
The creative result was striking television that helped ABC-TV stay in first place for the 1977 television season.
So, as the American broadcast networks launch their new Fall schedules, this week, please watch the clip posted below from the DANF62465 YOU TUBE site, and enjoy a classic promo that moved the audience and rocked the television industry. Enjoy!!!!!!
Monday, September 13, 2010
Just a brief post to remind ourselves of early television's innovative spirit.
In December of 1951, when CBS-TV debuted the legendary journalist and commentator, Edward R. Murrow, in one of the young medium's first magazine shows, SEE IT NOW, the production team decided to show viewers something that no human had ever seen before.
It should be no surprise, that along with the venerable producer of the program, Fred W, Friendly, who would later ascend to the presidency of the Tiffany network's news division, the director was video visionary, Don Hewitt, who would go to devise the protocols by which newscasts are produced and directed on television to this day ,and ,later,to create 60 MINUTES.
Watch this short excerpt from the EDUDKOWSKI YOU TUBE site and witness how the nascent medium sought to bring the world into a viewer's living room.Enjoy!!!!!
Saturday, September 11, 2010
As is often the case in life, from the angry and acrid events that unfolded on 9/11/01, came one of the most honorable and significant moments in television news.The nation was served. There is no higher compliment to offer journalists thrown into a blinding whirlwind of personal angst and professional obligation.
They did their jobs.
Friday, September 3, 2010
Not the kind of complex, digital diversions we enjoy , today, over six decades later.No Nintendo system was required and it was not powered by PlayStation. Especially, since they had not yet been invented.
This was a sophisticated parlor game, featuring erudite panelists, and an eclectic array of guests, that was played out on the CBS Television Network, first in glorious B&W and then in vivid color, for over 17 years.
On that Sunday night in 1950, WHAT'S MY LINE debuted and the show went on to become a durable, family-viewing fixture on the Tiffany Network for years. The premise of the game required that a panel of celebrities be tasked with quizzing a guest until they could determine that person's profession.
WHAT'S MY LINE? was hosted by noted journalist, and ABC News anchorman, John Daly. After much trial and error, the core panel stabilized with effervescent actress and broadcaster Arlene Francis, acerbic columnist Dorothy Kilgallen and urbane publisher Bennet Cerf, plus a rotating guest panelist. They appeared on 876,LIVE episodes.
(CAST: FRANCIS, CERF, KILGALLEN, DALY)
The final network episode aired LIVE from New York City on Sunday September 3, 1967.A new version of the venerable game show went into national syndication from 1967 to 1975.This version was firsty hosted by newsman Wally Bruner and then actor Larry Blyden.Comedian Soupy Sales was a regular on that version.
WHAT'S MY LINE? , was created by game show titans,Mark Goodson and Bill Todman. It shaped the modern television game show and it was one of Goodson/Todman's earliest television productions.They appeared to thank the audience on the final CBS episode.
(the cast as viewed by the legendary artist, Al Hirschfeld)
The long running show always respected the audience and radiated intelligence.Plus,with host and panelists clad in evening gowns and black tie attire, WHAT'S MY LINE? had an air of 1950's , New York elegance.
Here, are two clips that show excerpts of the very first edition of WHAT'S MY LINE?on CBS-TV and the very last on the network.They come from the WHEELBRAINand 8498653YOU TUBE sites.Enjoy!!!!
February 2, 1950
Sept. 3, 1967
Thursday, August 26, 2010
HAPPY DAYS AND NOSTALGIC NIGHTS - BARBARA STREISAND ON THE GARRY MOORE SHOW - CBS-TV - CIRCA 5/29/62
Garry Moore was television's quintessential quiet man.Even if his sportcoats were loud.
An affable, courtly video visitor to the homes of the baby boom generation, the Baltimore native, born Garrison Morfit, was known more for the company he kept, rather than showcasing his own talents.
Like Carson, Benny ,Douglas and Griffin, Garry Moore turned the spotlight on his guests and cast, knowing viewers would always recall that THE GARRY MOORE SHOW was really entertaining.
Carol Burnett was a regular on THE GARRY MOORE SHOW , his Tuesday night, variety series.
Major stars of stage, screen, radio, records and TV appeared on his daily,daytime, talk program, which was simulcast on the CBS RADIO NETWORK.
And Moore's hosting chores on the hit quiz show, I'VE GOT A SECRET put him in public proximity of presidents,pundits,actors,athletes and real people.
The comedian's accomplished writing staff included Woody Allen, Neil Simon and Vin Bogert. He was a very funny, versatile, unobtrusive performer who made the best of the material.
Moore was a household name in the 1950's and 1960's and a human profit center for the CBS television network, where his programs generated large audience and major revenues.Like so many of early television's star performers, who worked on LIVE shows, he faded in the public memory because his efforts were not preserved or repeated.
His CBS-TV variety show originally aired LIVE from The Ed Sullivan Theater, now home to LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN. It was subsequently produced on videotape, as his show had to share production facilities with other large-scale,variety efforts starring Jackie Gleason and the aforementioned Ed Sullivan.
On May 29, 1962, the Tiffany Network aired the 32nd episode of the series 4th season.Moore ended that series, each week, with a nostalgic, musical segment called THAT WONDERFUL YEAR.
In the clip posted ,below,from THE STREISAND TRIBUTE YOU TUBE site, a vivacious, young Barbara Streisand sings HAPPY DAYS ARE HERE, AGAIN. Enjoy!!!!!
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
There is nothing sketchy about the video work of Brooklyn-Born, artist and illustrator R.O. Blechman. In fact, his animated efforts paint a vibrant portrait of American television sensibilities in the mid-1960's.
The author of an acclaimed graphic novel, entitled the JUGGLER OF OUR LADY, the cartoonist's black, animated line drawings, displayed over white backgrounds were , both, sharp and well defined, while almost ethereal. They brought an essential hipness to his storytelling.
Blechman's evocative holiday spot, commissioned by CBS-TV in 1966 essays the warmth of the holiday season in just,sixty captivating seconds. His Clio award winning debate between a long-suffering man and his acerbic, acidic stomach for Alka Seltzer was a triumph of advertsing as art.
Posted Below , from the DICKENSCAROLLERS & THE SMASH9GRAB YOU TUBE sites, are both of those extraordinary spots. Enjoy!!!!!
ALKA SELTZER - 1967
SEASON'S GREETINGS FROM CBS - 1966
Saturday, July 31, 2010
Seven decades before digital media could bring a viral video world-wide recognition in a matter of minutes, a gentle, affable comic genius and violin virtuoso became one of history's first ,global ,multi-platform superstars.
He did it the old fashioned way: by plying his many talents with tenacity, consistency and commitment.
Jack Benny achieved success in vaudeville, films, nightclubs, radio, television and on Broadway. His talents were internationally acclaimed. But,his work didn't travel the world on the information super highway.
His reputation was formed and re-enforced by acetate discs of radio shows, newspaper accounts of live performances and reels of Hollywood celluloid that were shipped around the planet by snail mail.By LIVE, shortwave broadcasts of his radio shows beamed to American Troops stationed around the world.By Television appearances on Britain's BBC, Italy's Rai and Canada's CBC.
As a performer with masterful timing, meticulous editing skills and the ability to fire -off high velocity, high quality ad-lib's, Jack Benny worked without A Net and did it, long before we learned of THE NET.
Born Benny Kubelsky, the son of a Waukeegan, Illinois saloon keeper,on February 18, 1894, the beloved icon spent years, laboriously crafting his comic persona. On stage he was a vain, skinflint, who fancied himself a master violinist and an irresistible ladies man. His character usually failed on all counts.
In films, on radio and on television, the surrogate Benny was surrounded by laughable lunatics who always provoked and aggravated him to titanic comic proportions. Announcer Don Wilson, Radio Girlfriend(& Real-World Wife) Mary Livingstone,comic sidekick Eddie" Rochester" Anderson and singer Dennis Day provided the nutty nucleus of the first situation comedy.Their characters provided the challenges from which rich comedy was mined,in every episode.
Benny once described his character as a cheap schnook. But In real life , appearing as himself on the concert stage with legends of classical music like Issac Stern and Itzhak Perlman, Benny was a true violin prodigy.
Thanks to longtime writers Sam Perrin,George Balzer,Milt Josefsberg & John Tackaberry , with producer/directors Ralph Levy and Fred de Cordova, the artistic integrity of Benny's parsimonious personage was scrupulously maintained on the radio and television versions of THE JACK BENNY PROGRAM ( he liked that word, and disdained NBC and CBS branding his seriesTHE JACK BENNY SHOW).
Like his contemporaries, Bob Hope and Bing Crosby, Benny made a successful transition from network radio to network television, and like them,refused to do a weekly video show. He felt it was more of an event to appear every month or every two weeks, as opposed to showing up every seven days.
In demand, right to the day of his death, December 26, 1974, Jack Benny was still doing occasional comedy specials for NBC-TV and was set to star in the film version of Neil Simon's THE SUNSHINE BOYS.He was replaced by his longtime friend, George Burns.
Posted below , from the AATRAGON & MARILYN FAN YOU TUBE sites,are two of Benny's best television performances from his landmark, CBS-TV program, in the early 1950's.
His 1953 outing with Marilyn Monroe shows him as a seagoing romeo, who tries to find snug harbor with the star of GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES. The 1955 face-off with friend Groucho Marx shows how far cheapskate comic will go ( and will drag fellow contestant Irene Tedrow) to win the jackpot on YOU BET YOUR LIFE. Enjoy!!!!!
Jack Benny VS Groucho - April 3, 1955
CBS-TV - LIVE FROM TELEVISION CITY
Jack Benny Meets Marilyn Monroe - Sept.13,1953
CBS-TV - LIVE FROM TELEVISION CITY
Saturday, July 24, 2010
FROM HOLLYWOOD!!! THE HEART OF THE ENTERTAINMENT WORLD!!! THE HOLLYWOOD PALACE!!!!
That emphatic greeting, voiced first by announcer Dick Tufeld and , later, by the legendary Ernie Anderson, heralded the biggest and most successful , weekly variety show that ABC-TV ever mounted: THE HOLLYWOOD PALACE.
Like so many things in network television, it was born of desperate need.
In the Fall of 1963, ABC-TV signed comic icon Jerry Lewis , fresh from incredible success guest hosting on NBC-TV's TONIGHT SHOW. He was hired to star in a LIVE, 2 hour, Saturday night variety show, telecast in B&W from the refurbished Hollywood Playhouse Theater in Los Angeles. THE JERRY LEWIS SHOW was one of the most anticipated offerings of the 1963-64 television season.The program was kinetic in pace and lavish in production. It was almost instantly rejected by the audience and was cancelled after three months.
So,if you are, as ABC-TV was in late 1963, America's third placed television network,left with a gaping hole in Saturday prime time and a multi-million dollar investment in a vacant theater, what do you do?
You'd fill one of those open hours, and your renovated stage space, with a weekly variety show, designed to showcase the greatest and most eclectic array of talent in show business, hosted by a globally recognized superstar, each week.
That's just what ABC-TV opted to do, creating THE HOLLYWOOD PALACE.From January 4, 1964, until the curtain came down on February 7, 1970, producers Bill Harbach and Nick Vanoff delivered a polished, wholesome, engaging, video-variety series with a kaleidoscopic array of performing talent and a glittering assemblage of guest hosts.
The Harbach/Vanoff team, which had worked with the innovative, inventive Steve Allen, decided to showcase unique talent in a traditional vaudeville format, They would amass rock & roll groups, opera singers , aerialists (often videotaped in the parking lot), stand-up comedians, comic sketches, and impressive production numbers, and sometimes, did it in a single episode.
The weekly guest host set the tone for the show.
Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Bing Crosby , Elizabeth Montgomery and Fred Astaire were among those who made appearances as performer/hosts. The Rolling Stones made their American TV debut on the show, as did a young Raquel Welch, who served as a"billboard girl" on the show. The show helped to solidify Saturday-night viewing for ABC-TV, along with THE LAWRENCE WELK SHOW and THE KING FAMILY.
Judy Garland hosted hosted THE HOLLYWOOD PALACE in 1965 and,again, in 1966. Much has been written about her being a tortured soul with a superlative talent. Her second and final hosting stint was on May 7, 1966 with guest stars including her former MGM colleague Van Johnson, comedian Jack Carter and rocker Johnny Rivers singing his hit theme to CBS-TV's SECRET AGENT.
This appearance was about two years after her vaunted, Emmy-nominated, Sunday night, CBS-TV, variety series was cancelled, after one season opposite NBC-TV's ratings powerhouse, BONANZA. It has been reported that she was humiliated by the cancellation. This show was one of many television appearances that helped her regain her place in the pantheon of show business and popular culture.
Here from the DENTEL2 YOU TUBE site are four clips that comprise her 1966 episode of THE HOLLYWOOD PALACE and a fifth clip with rehearsal footage. Enjoy!!!!!
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Do you read KINESCOPE HD?
Is this the first time you've found the page or do you check in more frequently?
Would you take a moment, please , to comment on this post, and just let me know if you find the blog to be fun, interesting and informative?
We've been blogging about vintage video and classic television for about 19 months and since there are so few comments, even when we record a significant number of pageviews, that we, simply, want to know what you think of our site.
Thanks for your time and attention!
Saturday, July 17, 2010
WHAT WERE NIXON AND KRUSHCHEV COOKING UP IN THE KITCHEN?- RARE VIDEO OF DIPLOMATIC DEBATE ON THE FLY - AMPEX COLOR TAPE - CIRCA 7/24/1959
Television has a limitless capacity for capturing the spontaneous and significant moments in life and delivering them to our living room screens.
It changed they way we receive and consume news and , over the decades, it has changed the substance, style and form of the news, itself.
Television and journalism were,seemingly, made for each other.
From the first flickering,B & W , LIVE scenes of the 1948 Presidential nominating conventions, to the grainy, filmed images of American solders fighting in Korea, to Edward R. Murrow's daring display of technological wizardry , that allowed his viewers the opportunity to be the first people in human history to share a LIVE, simultaneous view of the Atlantic & Pacific Oceans , television , the news and the viewing audience were bonded at the molecular level.
On July 24th, 1959, an RCA COLOR television camera and an early AMPEX COLOR VIDEOTAPE RECORDER were in the right place at the right time, when two cold-warriors committed an act of global news. The right place turned out to be The American National Exhibition in Moscow's Sokolniki Park.
This event was a ground-breaking American trade show, extolling the virtures of capitalism and it's technological advancements , that was held in the heart of the communism's homeland The commercial cornucopia sheltered from the scorching Moscow sun under a glittering, gold geodesic dome.
As they toured the RCA WHIRLPOOL, "Miracle Kitchen," a $250,000 monument to the advantages of a more mechanized life for MOM in the post-Sputnik, push-button era, American Vice President Richard M. Nixon,and Soviet Premiere Nikita Khrushchev faced-off in what has come to be known as the KITCHEN DEBATES.
Through interpreters,and in a most informal, almost affable atmosphere, they engaged each other on the visions and values of their competing ideologies. Today, we would expect that kind of confrontation , with true global impact, to be captured on camera.
Not the case in 1959.
But,as it has often been the case, in recent years , tape was rolling on this day.
AMPEX COLOR VIDEO TAPE was rolling on the Odd Couple of International Commerce. That tape, once thought to be lost or decayed beyond all recognition, has been restored, in its full, polychromatic glory by AMPEX.This,as we are about observe the 51st anniversary of the spontaneous, diplomatic throw-down.
Here, below, are two clips from the AMPEX DATA SYSTEMS YOU TUBE site, that comprise the historic events of , what some refer to as, The Summit over the sink. Enjoy!!!!!
BONUS - AN INTERVIEW WITH JACK MASSEY, ORGANIZER OF THE 1959 AMERICAN EXHIBITION
Monday, July 12, 2010
In the Fall of 1959, long before Capt. James Tiberius Kirk piloted the Starship Enterprise from the sound stages of the Paramount Pictures lot to exotic planets , where no man had gone before, and long after Captain Video took his Video Rangers on primitive voyages through paper mache galaxies, in a DuMont-Designed rocketship, CBS-TV launched a thoughtful,pragmatic, drama about the human factor in exploring the universe,called MEN INTO SPACE.
The 30 minute, B&W series , which took almost a blue collar view of space exploration,was rooted in science-lab fact, not space-opera fiction. No atomic monsters, no ray-guns,and no alien life forms were seen. The action is placed just ten minutes into the future. Observers of MEN INTO SPACE say the story lines had clues indicating that the first moon landing, in the the show's universe, happened in the mid-1970's.
The consistently engaging show starred film actor and Chrysler spokesman,William Lundigan, as an everyman astronaut,named Col. Edward McCauley and Joyce Taylor as his dutiful wife Mary. As for the Angie Dickenson connection, the sylphen siren, who WASabout to co-star with Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack in the 1960 version of Ocean's Eleven was cast as Col. McCauley's wife in the pilot film for MEN INTO SPACE. She was replaced by wholesome Ms.Taylor for the run of the series.
MEN INTO SPACE, was produced by Louis J, Rachmill,who enlisted the advice of several distinguished scientists from the military and industry, to add authenticity to the series. The program's special effects and star-scapes were meticulous in their execution.With a robust score by composer David Rose, the show was sold to the Tiffany Network by one of the supreme companies in TV syndication, ZIV Productions, which also mounted HIGHWAY PATROL,SEA HUNT, and BAT MASTERSON .
The short-lived program blasted-off at 8:30pm EDT on Wednesday night, September 30 1959, opposite the benign ADVENTURES OF OZZIE AND HARRIET on ABC-TV and the energetic, original PRICE IS RIGHT hosted by Bill Cullen on NBC-TV.
Despite America's all-consuming, fascination with Project Mercury's plan to put the first American into orbit, the serious and austere MEN INTO SPACE crash landed, having been canceled after one year in space and on the air.
Here, posted below, are 3 clips from the VERBUSEN YOU TUBE site, which comprise the debut episode of CBS-TV's MEN INTO SPACE.Enjoy!!!!!