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Your host: Billy Ingram

 

NEW SOUNDTRACK CD
Peter Greenwood at Jack Chertok Television tells us: "In case you don't know I'm wrapping up a first here, the first time the original soundtrack music for My Favorite Martian has ever been released. I found the master tapes from the Desilu sessions recorded at Glen Glen sound. This is the same music stage that played host to Star Trek and Mannix and most of the other Paramount shows of the sixties.

"Let me tell you the music is just mind blowing. Why? Because the transfer is so crisp and clean, you would think it's a re-recording. It's not, we just had pure luck with these 1st generation tapes. George Greeley approved all the cut, and to quote him, 'the music has never sounded this good, except when I stood at the podium conducting it.' It is going to be a limited edition of just 3000 CD's world wide, it should sell out fast."

That sounds really cool to me, something I'm definitely going to want to have. The music from Martian was particularly fine - and appropriately weird thanks to the use of a Theremin which was a crude, barely controllable synthesizer-type that was also heard on the first Lost in Space theme.

Come to think of it, I once owned the Mannix soundtrack (on 8 Track) and that was some great traveling music, Sammy.

Thursday, April 12, 2007 - 7:13am
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BETTER LATE THAN NEVER
Lee Iacocca, the guy who brought Chrysler back from the brink in the 1980s and starred in the company's TV commercials, was chums with Reagan and endorsed George Bush for President in 2000. Now he has this to say and I couldn't agree more:

Am I the only guy in this country who's fed up with what's happening? Where the hell is our outrage? We should be screaming bloody murder. We've got a gang of clueless bozos steering our ship of state right over a cliff, we've got corporate gangsters stealing us blind, and we can't even clean up after a hurricane much less build a hybrid car. But instead of getting mad, everyone sits around and nods their heads when the politicians say, "Stay the course"

Stay the course? You've got to be kidding. This is America, not the damned Titanic. I'll give you a sound bite: Throw the bums out!

You might think I'm getting senile, that I've gone off my rocker, and maybe I have. But someone has to speak up. I hardly recognize this country anymore. The President of the United States is given a free pass to ignore the Constitution, tap our phones, and lead us to war on a pack of lies. Congress responds to record deficits by passing a huge tax cut for the wealthy (thanks, but I don't need it). The most famous business leaders are not the innovators but the guys in handcuffs. While we're fiddling in Iraq, the Middle East is burning and nobody seems to know what to do. And the press is waving pom-poms instead of asking hard questions. That's not the promise of America my parents and yours traveled across the ocean for. I've had enough. How about you?

I'll go a step further. You can't call yourself a patriot if you're not outraged. Why are we in this mess? How did we end up with this crowd in Washington? Well, we voted for them or at least some of us did. But I'll tell you what we didn't do. We didn't agree to suspend the Constitution. We didn't agree to stop asking questions or demanding answers. Some of us are sick and tired of people who call free speech treason. Where I come from that's a dictatorship, not a democracy.

There's more here.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007 - 7:37am
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Jessica TandyBICENTENNIAL MINUTE
Remember the Bicentennial Minute? It aired each weeknight at the 9:00pm hour on CBS from 1974 until 1976; 60 seconds detailing a factoid from our nation's history 200 years ago from that date.

Each segment was narrated by a different star and they were sponsored by Shell (finally something good from an oil company). Every major star you can think of took part in the series. In this one, Oscar winner Jessica Tandy does the honors.

These spots are pretty rare, I was surprised no examples could be found on You Tube. If I get enough requests I'll load up the only other one I have with Bella Abzug - but I doubt she's as popular as Ms. Tandy. Thanks once again to A. J. McWhorter from Television Archives.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007 - 7:37am
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Steve Byrd writes: You have been writing up some great blogs lately, but if you don't mind, I'd like to respond to some of your items.

First, Gilda Radner plugged an all-new
SNL for December 13, 1975 [not '74], which led me to think that the episode you had the sound clip of may have been on November 22, 1975.

Also, Sugar Ray Robinson joined Art & Jack Linkletter on their 1970 TV show; Sugar Ray Leonard was but 13 years old back then, and was just about 6 years away from winning gold at the 1976 Olympics.

Amazing, also, that you dug out clips from a 1972 local newscast from NBC-4 New York, whose team was very well known, particularly beyond the New York area. Jim Hartz would go on to host NBC's Today show from spring 1974 [after Frank McGee died] until the fall of 1976 [when he was replaced by Tom Brokaw at the same time Jane Pauley replaced Barbara Walters when the latter left for ABC]. Dr. Frank Field, of course, was a longtime Channel 4 weatherman until leaving in 1982, and has since appeared on at least three other New York City TV stations. Gene Shalit, of course, is an old favorite from Today, and sports anchor Tim Ryan, back then, also appeared on NBC as host of an NFL post-game show and also did play-by-play of NHL hockey.

It should be of interest that back in the early '70s, NBC's news department also supervised local news on their network-owned stations [o&o's], such as WNBC, as well as NBC Sports [whose end credits back then read "A sports production of NBC News"], which may have explained much of the local-to-network crossover back then. By later in the '70s, I would guess, NBC turned local news over to their o&o's, while NBC Sports separated from the news department.

The stuff in your blog is getting more interesting by the day. I kind of wonder what you'll come up with next.


Thanks for the corrections, Steve - what a bonehead I am confusing Robinson for Leonard. Doh! Thanks to Steve and Richard Tolleson for the heads up.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007 - 6:40am
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Angel Face on DVDBEST COMMENTARY TRACK EVER?
A couple of months ago, Vanity Fair published a cool article on Film Noir. That got my curiosity piqued and I've been Netflixing noir movies ever since.

One I dropped into the player recently was Angel Face starring genre icon Robert Mitchum. Great movie! As I'm wont to do, right after I watch a fab film I flip to the commentary track and view it all over again. I was surprised to find this DVD has one of the best commentary tracks I've heard anywhere. It's narrated by Eddie Muller and full of fascinating stories about Howard Hughes, director Otto Preminger and stars Mitchum and Jean Simmons.

Muller wrote three books considered definitive on Film Noir and apparently carries the nickname "The Czar of Noir." He also wrote that new book on Tab Hunter I've been wanting to read.

A great mix of behind the scenes stories, filmmaking tips and personal asides.

Monday, April 9, 2007 - 7:45am
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LIFE WITH LINKLETTER
This is something new I added to the site recently. It's a program I remembered fondly as a kid for no other reason than it happened to be on when we had a snow day away from school in the winter of 1970, it was an updated version of a show I liked as a tyke.

Art Linkletter hosted the very popular CBS afternoon talk show House Party from 1952 until the fall of 1969. On December 29th, 1969 NBC launched Life With Linkletter pairing Art with his son Jack, who had hosted Hootenanny a few years earlier on ABC. This new show (airing 1:30-2:00pm) was more high tech and up to date than stodgy House Party had been, with an emphasis on politics and world events along with the expected celebrity interviews.

In this sample, Art and Jack welcomed guests Herb Klein, communications director for the Nixon administration and boxing champion Sugar Ray Leonard. (Art Linkletter was a Nixon friend and insider.)

In this clip, Herb Klein remarks about one of the first things Nixon did upon taking office - it has to do with television.

Sugar Ray Robinson tells Art how he ran through millions of dollars and was now broke.

The end of the episode.

Life With Linkletter never caught on and was cancelled in the fall of 1970. Despite a run of 18 years on network daytime TV, Art Linkletter never had another TV series, in part due to his fervent, heart-breaking anti-drug crusade following his daughter's death. In October of 1969 Art's daughter Diane Linkletter (who was featured on the last season of the previous series when it was re-titled The Art Linkletter Show) made headlines when she committed suicide by jumping to her death during an acid trip.

Thanks to A.J. for the video!

Saturday, April 7, 2007 - 9:35am
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TAPED OFF THE TV
I've been neglecting my blogging duties lately to prepare some new TVparty features. In the meantime, in true television fashion, here are some blog reruns - some previous entries you might have missed, all audio files made from holding a tape recorder up to the TV set back in the day.

One of the best theme songs of the sixties (of all time, really) came from a show that only lasted a half-season - The Pruitts Of Southampton starring Phyllis Diller. It was written by the immortal Vic Mizzy, who also wrote the themes for The Addams Family, Green Acres, Mr. Terrific and so many other classics. Michael Thom recently sent us this tune - he taped it off of the TV with a reel-to-reel recorder in 1966 and it's a joy. Think we'll ever see this one on DVD? Not likely - yet this show, Camp Runamuck, Hank and other one season wonders from the golden age are the programs I really want to see again.

Another sound clip: the late, great Pat Paulsen running for President again in 1975. This is one of his comedy routines from that election cycle where he skewers the primary candidates on both sides.

Here's another sound clip I recorded from the television during the mid-seventies with one of my favorite comedians, George Burns.

Also from those tapes - Gilda Radner announcing a two week hiatus for SNL on 10-30-74.

Saturday, April 7, 2007 - 8:43am
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BE A HERO
Help support the National Epilepsy Foundation by bidding on exclusive artwork that was featured in NBC's Heroes!

Click here to go to the auction: nbc.com/Heroes/auction/.

You saw it in Heroes. Now you can own it yourself. Imagine a signed limited edition print of Hiro and the T-Rex hanging in your very own home—and the original drawing that inspired it from artist Tim Sale.

Over 2.7 Million Americans are living with epilepsy everyday. The Epilepsy Foundation works to ensure that people with seizures can participate in all life experiences.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007 - 11:43am
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NBC FOLLIES
As promised,this is another video clip from an original broadcast over WNBC channel 4 in New York City. It's the end of a show called NBC Follies and it leads into the 11:00 o'clock news with commercials between. The stars you'll see include Sammy Davis Jr., Andy Griffith, John Davidson and Connie Stevens.

In the Tropicana Orange Juice spot you'll notice NYC's beloved kid show host and voice over artist Sandy Becker. And see how much better the WNBC tag looks over the previous year.

Here's the weird part. All the TV history books state that NBC Follies ran from September 1973 until December 1973 - but in this commercial break, Valentine's Day is mentioned as coming soon. What gives? A.J. from Television Archives has tagged the date at 2 - 8 - 1973. Maybe it was a pilot episode or a special.

Quicktime Download / Real Player

Wednesday, April 4, 2007 - 9:07am
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NEW VIDEO CLIPS ON TVPARTY
In our look back at the 1972-73 season, I've added a few video clips you might find interesting. They were provided by A.J. at television archives. This is the go-to-guy for lost and rare TV footage, he has one of the most impressive archives of vintage broadcasts anywhere. When stars or producers (or just plain folks) are looking for the rarest video, they turn to A.J.

Check back over the next few days for more.

A few minutes of commercial breaks and the start of the 11 o'clock news on channel 4, WNBC in New York City, September 21, 1972.
Quicktime Download / Real Player

Johnny Cash was selling Amaco gasoline in 1972.
Quicktime Download / Real Player

Tuesday, April 3, 2007 - 11:47am
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ROUTE 66 ON STEROIDS
What do you get when you combine Lost, The Amazing Race and Prison Break into one show? Drive, where the rubber meets the rogues.

You've probably seen the teasers for the show if you've watched Fox lately - and the ratings suggest you have! You're asking yourself- will the series be any good? It certainly aims to please.

The series follows a group of disparate individuals caught up in a cross country race because their lives - or the lives of a loved one - are at stake. Or they're just greedy for the multi-million dollar prize.

Drive is a little bit Lost because the group competing against each other are forced to be together by mysterious circumstances, Prison Break because one of the characters is fresh out of the can with absentee father issues, and The Amazing Race because it's a high octane competition (albeit scripted) across the nation's byways.

Where the producers going with this one is anybody's guess but if you like car chases, tire squealing smash ups and messy personal relationships, you'll love Drive - where you can expect motor madness galore, week after week. It's boy meets girl for metal on metal action, a kinetic soap opera for NASCAR fans with a familiar cast that includes Alex Tully (Firefly), Kristin Lehman (Prison Break) and Michael Hyatt (The Wire) among others. The series is created, written and produced by Tim Minear (Angel, Firefly) and Ben Queen.

Drive premieres Saturday, April 15th at 8:00pm on Fox.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007 - 8:17am
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THE BRONX BUNNY
The Starz network has a caustic new show that's pretty funny called The Bronx Bunny, it debuts April 18th at 11:45 (11:45?!?). It's a chat show hosted by a couple of repulsive puppet characters that I kinda liked.

The show hits its highest notes when it focuses on the guest stars and there's an impressive list of fringe-dwelling celebrities signed on - George Takei, Robin Leach, Wee Man, and Dustin Diamond all turn up in the first episodes. (By the way, Robin Leach once famously said that he wouldn't back out of his driveway for less than $500,000. Doubt he got that for doing THIS show!)

Any insult delivered by someone in that Bronx accent gets me every time, one of my best friends is from the Bronx and all we do is fight. I think once these guys hit their stride, this could become a must see program. The first episode opens with Howie Mandel in the hot seat and I found myself laughing quite a bit. Mandel's always best off the cuff and relaxed as he is here.

The Bronx Bunny has real promise, you should check it out.

From the press release: The Bronx Bunny Show features the most unlikely hosts who aren't afraid to ask the questions Leno, Letterman and Oprah certainly never would!! This hilarious, wild and woolly talk show stars two foul-mouthed furry animals – Bronx Bunny, the star-struck title character, and his cranky sidekick Teddy T, the politically incorrect panda. The duo, who recently moved from the Bronx, invites celebrity guests into their crummy East Los Angeles TV studio/apartment where they run a low-rent uncensored public access show, asking "the questions" you wouldn't hear asked on typical interview shows.

Monday, April 2, 2007 - 8:03am
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SUNDAY YOU TUBING
So they send me to that proverbial deserted island. I can only take with me episodes of one TV series. What would it be? The answer is an easy one for me - Fernwood 2night.

Fernwood 2night was a take-off on talk shows starring Martin Mull and Fred Willard from producer Norman Lear, the summer replacement series for Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman. MHMH was a five night a week comedic soap opera, and it was pretty good. My friends and I were hooked on it back in the day. But Fernwood 2night was a revelation, the funniest TV show I'd ever seen. Boy was I disappointed when Mary Hartman returned in the fall, especially since the series began to lose its way that year.

I eagerly anticipated the next summer in hopes that Fernwood 2night might return and it did, as America 2night, a slight upgrade to allow for big name guest stars. America 2night was just as hilarious as the original.

Here's most of one show with two regulars - Bill Kirchenbauer as Tony Roletti, Fernwood's lousy lounge singer...

and Kenneth Mars as William W. D. "Bud" Prize, Fernwood's unofficial ambassador at large.

Guest star Tom Waites appeared on two episodes of Fernwood 2night and sang 'The Piano's Been Drinking'.

Sunday, April 1, 2007 - 8:53pm
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PARADISE LOST
I just watched an episode of Paradise City and it got me thinking. If you haven't seen it, the series takes place in Las Vegas - but the underlying problem with Vegas is that it isn't the city it pretends to be. The Vegas of lore, the city as I knew it, died almost two decades ago, replaced by a empty, glittering disco ball.

You can only imagine the type of people drawn to live in such a vacuous bauble. Empty bauble heads, that's who. And they're all on display in this reality show that taps the psyche of a group of preposterous bimbos and menbos starving for attention, gleefully bending reality for the ever present cameras.

Like any great work of art, this program brings begs many questions.
Why in the world would anyone make Vegas their destination to 'make it big'? Vegas is the butt end of show business, just slightly higher in the food chain than performing on cruise ships.

And what gives with the 'what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas' slogan? What could possibly happen? They pulled the prostitutes off the streets, ran the mob out and completely Disney-fied the place. What's the worst some fellow from the midwest is going to do - lose a few bucks and knock back a few drinks? Shocking! (Come to think of it, they may have pulled the prostitutes from the corners but the guys and gals on this show are whores in the truest sense of the word. So maybe I'm wrong.)

The cast's not-so-quiet desperation to attain fame and power is overwhelmingly disturbing. Are we supposed to pretend that these pathetic, psychologically scarred dimwits and the folks around them don't know all of this is being filmed for a television show and that's the only reason anyone gives a shit about them?

Are we supposed to laugh at, feel sorry for, or identify with these people? Who would want to 'party' in those pathetic shopping mall nightclubs that these wannabes frequent?

The whole affair is like eavesdropping on the women's restroom at Applebees. But that's the beauty of reality TV, isn't it?

Paradise City airs Sunday nights on the E! network.

Friday, March 30, 2007 - 2:29pm
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LINKAGE
A recent study by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that 50% of advertising on television shows for children under 12 is for food.

Rosie O'Donnell (not a big fan) has stated on The View that the collapse of the Twin Towers looks like it was done with explosives. If she thinks she's been slimed before, the talking bobble heads will really go after her now. I have to say, however, after looking at the 'evidence' it looks like that could be the case. The whole official storyline of 9/11 stinks to high heaven and I haven't even seen Michael Moore's movie.

Did you see where this guy in Britain turned his flat into a Star Trek Enterprise replica? He did a great job - but good luck selling it!

Friday, March 30, 2007 - 8:21am
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THE GHOST BUSTERS
There is a new DVD collection that brings together the 15 episodes of this 1975 Saturday morning classic starring F-Troop's Forrest Tucker and Larry Storch along with some nice extras like interviews with producer Lou Scheimer and the guy who played the ape, Bob Burns. Burns' interview is especially fun given that he sort of fell into the role.

This one is for the kids or for those who want to reconnect with their Saturdays past. Every aspect of this DVD set is well done, the picture and sound are remarkable. I can't imagine fans of the show being disappointed in any way.

I hadn't seen The Ghost Busters before this and it's easy to watch. One amazing thing about this show are the guest stars. For instance, Joe E. Ross (Car 54, Where Are You?) is on hand in what looks like his costume and character from It's About Time. He's always a joy to watch. Huntz Hall (The Bowery Boys) pops up in a couple of episodes; so does Carl Ballantine (McHale's Navy), Bernie Koppell and Marty Ingels among others.

The episodes were all directed by Norman Abbott who directed hundreds of classic sitcoms like The Munsters and Laverne & Shirley. I had the pleasure of working with the guy once - he was a joy and his enthusiasm was reflected in his work.

The show's scripts are also included as well as network bumpers and the first episode of The Ghost Busters cartoon series from 1986.

By the way, this show preceded the movie of almost the same name, leading to some major lawsuits in the mid-1980s and two unrelated Ghost Busters Saturday morning cartoons. There's a timeline that explains the confusion here.

You can pre-order The Ghost Busters now on Amazon, the release date is April 17th.

Friday, March 30, 2007 - 6:19am
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SITCOM HOUSES
TVparty-er Walter writes: Hiya, Came across your website while doing some research, and was really drawn in by your article about the real-life houses of sitcom families. Apparently, no-one has been able to find the original Addams Family house from the 60's. Well, there's a good reason... it was demolished.

The house seen in the opening credits was indeed a matte painting, but only the surrounding grounds and the third story. The first and second floors were from a real house in California. And, I seem to recall that it was actually located on Adams Blvd (only one "D").

The actual house exterior was only photographed once. The exterior shots were filmed for the pilot. However, they were re-used many times throughout the run of the series. All the other exterior shots of the hosue were done on a soundstage. Sometimes, if you look carefully, you can see the difference in the filming in the same episode, but you have to look quick!<G>

Adams Family house

classic TV show bookI am attaching a small screenshot of the real house exterior from the series. Some of this information can be verified in the book "The Addams Chronicles". Funnily enough, I believe you can actually see the original house without the added matte elements if you are lucky enough to own the Addams Family original VHS releases from the 90's. It's my understanding that the house shown on the cover is the actual house.

Another reader on your site mentioned the Piru Mansion as being used as the Addams house exterior. While I can't speak for any of the other Addams TV series or later films, I do know that it was NOT the original 60's TV house.

Finally, the sharp-eyed authority you mention in your article who says they saw the Addams house in the film Willard was absolutely right... and wrong.<G> The house they are referring to is actually a very familar sight, and has been used in many films and TV shows, including the aformentioned ratty thriller. However, it's not the original '60's house. The house that they are referring to was used in the TV reunion special called Halloween with the New Addams Family. This was the color Halloween TV special that brought back the surviving members of the original TV cast.

Thursday, March 29, 2007 - 12:59pm
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DAYTIME TV OBSCURA
Very funny appearance by Andy Griffith on a local show from Cleveland, Ohio, the Hoolihan & Big Chuck program on WJKW Channel 8 circa 1970 (I'm guessing). If I'm right, he was out supporting his unsuccessful comeback drama Headmaster on CBS. It's not hard to see in this example just how much daytime TV has changed, TV was almost all local back then.

Highlights of a kinescope of a rare, 1967 episode of The Hollywood Squares, pre- Paul Lynde.

"The stories" were always on in the kitchen when I was growing up. Here are a few minutes from a 1962 episode of Search For Tomorrow, a CBS soap opera that ran for three decades. The music really takes you back. Like most soap operas of the day, they had an organist on the set playing live; in fact, for the soaps, it was all live TV back in the 1960s.

Thursday, March 29, 2007 - 7:45pm
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FROM THE MAILBAG
Robin Kizis asks for your help: "Hi, I was hoping you could help me. I vaguely remember a children's show in the (I want to say mid) 60's that was very similar to The Magic Garden. I was almost positive it was called 'A Pocket Full of Fun' and I thought it ran on PBS. According to PBS, they have no record of this show. It was hosted by two women and I vaguely remember a trunk in the show where they would pull out an item and do something with it (i.e. play pretend or crafts). Does this sound even remotely familiar to you or could I have just imagined this? Please advise?"

Wednesday, March 28, 2007 - 1:12pm
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MUST HEAR TV
Eric at Just My Show has a new program up: "This time I talked with Tom Wopat from "The Dukes of Hazzard" and Alan Spencer, creator of "Sledge Hammer." The Alan Spencer interview is pretty long, but in addition to Sledge, he had a lot of fun things to say about TV in general, including some great stories about his old friend Andy Kaufman." It should be well worth anyone's time to listen in.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007 - 12:39pm
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NEW TV BLOG
Speaking of destinations, Tom Gilbert's Timeless TV Blog is something new for classic TV lovers. Check it out; I see he has a plug for TVparty! up so I guess we're sharing the cathode love all around!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007 - 12:36pm
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WE COULD BE HEROES JUST FOR ONE DAY
A bunch of my friends are hooked on Heroes and I'm looking forward to the DVD release. (Again, I never watch TV in primetime, I will only watch a weekly series on DVD.) If you're a fan of Heroes, you might be interested in this: What will happen next on NBC's Heroes?

You tell us! NBC.com is hosting its Heroes Theory video contest. You can enter here, for a chance to have your submission air on NBC!

Submit your answers to the questions such as:
Who would be best dad for Claire: Mr. Bennet or Nathan?
Or, Who ultimately wins control? Niki or Jessica?
Or many others that you can find on the site, which are all related to upcoming episodes!

Please follow these below guidelines:
Be sure to tell us which question you are answering.
Be sure to tell us your name and where you are from.
Answers to questions should be no longer than 60 seconds – no rambling!
Speak directly to camera, and frame yourself from the chest up.
We need to hear you and see you for your video to be considered for broadcast – quality counts, no mumbling!


HERE'S A VIDEO MESSAGE FROM HEROES
PRODUCERS TIM KRING AND JEPH LOEB:
Quicktime Format / Windows Media Format

Wednesday, March 28, 2007 - 12:19pm
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I HEART LILY
This is the most amazing video you'll see all week - Lily Tomlin raises the ire of director David O. Russell on the set of I Heart Huckabees. This is NOT an acting scene, he really does call Lily the "C" word (there is a lot of harsh language here).

I really did enjoy this movie, tho.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007 - 1:16pm
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Alex Toth Book
TVparty's Billy Ingram and James Counts produced a new book that animation and comic book fans will want to own - 'Dear John: The Alex Toth Doodle Book.'

It's a bit different - a collection of correspondence and sketches from the reclusive master artist Alex Toth's last 25 years.

Click here for more info about the book. There are very few copies left and I haven't heard any serious talk of a second printing; it was released only through comic book stores in August of 2006.

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