Archive for February, 2015

All in the Mafia Family

Saturday, February 28th, 2015

RemingtonIn 1985, ABC debuted Our Family Honor.  Ultimately short-lived, it lasted half of the 1985-86 television season.  Our Family Honor presented the classic format of two families battling each other, with star-crossed lovers from each family complicating matters; like Dallas, a story line inspired by Romeo & Juliet pervaded Our Family Honor.

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The Big Three

Friday, February 27th, 2015

RemingtonIn the 1980s, America’s three television networks changed hands.

ABC to Capital Cities.  NBC to General Electric.  CBS to Loews.

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Lucy Meets the Duke

Thursday, February 26th, 2015

RemingtonWhen I Love Lucy utilized Hollywood as its setting, movie stars provided verisimilitude.  Lucy Ricardo, starstruck, attempted to meet them, often with hilarious results.  Guest stars included William Holden, Van Johnson, Richard Widmark, and Harpo Marx.  But Lucy’s encounter with John Wayne presents, arguably, the first instance of cross-marketing on television.

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The Gentleman Giant

Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

RemingtonLeader.  Visionary.  Gentleman.

Leonard Goldenson.  The founder of ABC.

In the early years of television, NBC and CBS had dominance, prestige, and history.

ABC had Leonard Goldenson.

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Barry Williams, Greg Brady, and 4222 Clinton Way

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

RemingtonGrowing Up Brady, by Barry Williams with Chris Kreski, exposed life behind the scenes of The Brady Bunch; it was, for Baby Boomers who saw the show’s original broadcast and Generation Xers who feasted on reruns, a fascinating, revealing, and titillating look at one of television’s most famous shows.

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Bacon Popularity Sizzles

Monday, February 23rd, 2015

“Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” is a game that can be played anytime and anywhere by anybody.  It is, indeed, light enjoyment perfect for holiday conversation around the dinner table during dessert.  The game’s purpose is to connect an actor or an actress to Kevin Bacon in six steps or less, using movies as the connectors.

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Attorney, Cop, President

Friday, February 20th, 2015

Jimmy Smits was a cornerstone on prime time television in the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s.

In the 1980s, Smits played Victor Sifuentes on L.A. Law, working in the Public Defender’s office before Michael Kuzak recruits him to the private sector, specifically, the law firm McKenzie Brackman Chaney & Kuzak.  Initially, Victor handles the firm’s pro bono cases and other matters burdening the firm’s workload; he soon tackles other litigation.

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Battle Scars of the Mind

Thursday, February 19th, 2015

On M*A*S*H, surgeons at Mobile Army Surgical Hospital 4077th bandaged limbs, tended to wounds, and operated on soldiers torn apart by grenades, bullets, and shrapnel during the Korean War.  Beyond the physical wounds, though, were mental injuries.  To treat them, the 4077th called in their secret weapon.  Dr. Sidney Freedman, played by Allan Arbus.

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Doctors in the Windy City

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

Chicago has been the setting for two television shows set in emergency rooms.  ER and E/R.

Both had multi-racial casts, unique characters arriving for medical attention, and humor as a defense mechanism to guard against emotional pain of working in a trauma situation.

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You’ve Gotta Be A Football Hero

Tuesday, February 17th, 2015

In 1964, Brian Piccolo was the top college football rusher in the country.  His success capped a terrific college football career at Wake Forest.  Surprisingly, his credentials did not impress any NFL team during the draft.  Fourteen teams.  Twenty rounds.  No draft pick.  Ultimately, Chicago Bears owner George Halas signed Piccolo as a free agent.  Piccolo soon discovered that he had cancer, specifically, embryonal cell carcinoma; he died in 1970 at the age of 26.

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