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* Classic TV Blog *
Your host: Billy Ingram

ROBERT GOULET
Kevin Butler writes, Robert Goulet had an extra tv credit to his resume. He was one of the hosts/performers of the CBC TV network version of Howdy Doody back in the 1950's.He appeared on the show not as "Buffalo Bob" but as (are you Ready for this?!) "Timber Tom". I don't know if "Timber Tom" was a Royal Canadian Mountie or a lumberjack.

Buffalo Bob Smith recalled, "playing golf at Wingfoot few years ago and I saw Bob Goulet playing a few par lanes away. So I shouted, 'Fore Timber Tom' and he said, 'Got to be Buffalo Bob.' He wanted to kill me!" Buffalo Bob told this story to the late Merv Griffin on his nationally syndicated talk/variety show.

Buffalo Bob was in Hollywood finishing his guest appearance on Happy Days and he manipulated "Howdy" on Mr. Griffin's show. It was the first and only time that he both manipulated and voiced "Howdy" on TV.

Thurday,November 1, 2007 - 8:09am
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THIS 'N' THAT
Upcoming guests for THE JAMES RANA SHOW: November 4th at 8am on 89.1fm WFDU and on-line at www.wfdu.fm - Emmy winning mime: Robert Shields (SHIELDS & YARNELL), as well as a tribute to the Chia Pet.

William Brown writes about the tone you hear when you hit the TVparty homepage: "I wanted to mention a few things about the tones (or "beeps") heard on TV and radio over the years. First, NBC's "beep" sounded like it was 730 - 732 Hz, and lasted about :00.425 sec. (425 ms) in duration; this was based on a very brief snippet of said tone on an aircheck from Washington, DC's NBC O&O WRC-TV from May 10, 1970 (signaling the start of that evening's edition of The Frank McGee Report), checking the wave against the 59.94 Hz "hum."

"It also appears to be a mix of sine, triangle and sawtooth. In addition, for many years KYW Radio in Philadelphia - up to 1965 an NBC affiliate, now that city's all-news radio station - used this "beep" for many years, in that specific frequency range, into the 1990's every half hour at :00:00 and :30:00. (Today, that station's time tone is set at 787 Hz.) As for the CBS "bong," it sounded like 433 Hz modulated by an 866 Hz tone. (Which I found out by recording a recent stream of WCBS Newsradio 880 just before the hourly network newscast.) I also saw a videotape of an ABC News broadcast of a speech by President John F. Kennedy circa 1962, where the audio tone used to start the network feed was a merged combination of 162.5 and 882 Hz, lasting about :00.42 sec. Hope this is of help in figuring all this out."

The Simpsons' Treehouse of Horror XVIII airs Sunday - here's what you'll see: The frightfest begins in "Mr. and Mrs. Simpson" as Homer and Marge leave for what appears to be an ordinary day. But Homer is living a double life as a secret agent, and he is assigned to eliminate Kent Brockman. When a mysterious woman blocks Homer’s shot and tries to kill Brockman herself, Homer finds that his competition "hits" a little too close to home. In "E.T. Go Home," Bart and Lisa come to the aid of Kodos the space alien, who’s hiding from the government. Kodos asks them to help him obtain a long list of devices so he can reconnect with his home planet, but his intentions prove to be anything but friendly. In the final Halloween scare, "Heck House," Bart, Lisa and their friends spend Halloween night pulling pranks on unsuspecting people in Springfield. But when they go too far, Flanders decides he’s going to spook them straight. Transforming the church into the "Heck House," Flanders is filled with supernatural power and subjects the children to his wrath of seven deadly sins in the "Treehouse of Horror XVIII" episode of THE SIMPSONS airing Sunday, Nov. 4 (8:00-8:30 PM ET/PT) on FOX.

If you haven't seen Dexter you're missing one of the best (and creepiest) TV dramas of all time. In Sunday's episode, Dexter discovered that a comic book store owner has created a comic book about the Dexter murders -- transforming Dexter into The Dark Defender. An in-show fanfic, basically.  Here’s the video for the series.

DARK DEFENDER part 1

Fanfic?!? We learned a new word today in the Romper Room!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007 - 8:29am
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NEW DVD COLLECTION I WISH I OWNED
Angel on DVDYou may have noticed we're running a contest in which one lucky person will with this fantastic new DVD collection - Angel Collector's Set a 30 disc release with every episode of the show and tons of bonus features. You can enter here. It goes on sale tomorrow but you can get it online at a hefty discount here.

From the press release: Faith will be restored and souls will be saved when the vampire cursed with a human soul returns to fight demons on the dark side in the "Angel" Collector's Set DVD arriving October 30, 2007 from Fox Home Entertainment. For the first time ever, all five seasons of the hit supernatural drama will be packaged together in a 30-disc special collector's box uniquely designed for the ultimate fan. The collection features all 110 episodes, a personally signed letter to fans from creator Joss Whedon and a collectible companion booklet. The sci-fi action-thriller, created by Joss Whedon as a "spin-off" to the international cult sensation "Buffy The Vampire Slayer," became a wildly successful series among critics and fans alike. Nominated for a total of twenty-two Saturn" Awards during its entire run, the show garnered the win for Best Network Series (2004), as well as two Best Actor wins for David Boreanaz ("Bones") who stars as the mysterious and tortured Angel. The series also stars Saturn Award winners for Best Supporting Actor and Actress James Marsters ("Buffy The Vampire Slayer") as Vampire Spike and Amy Acker ("Alias"), as Winifred, the beautiful scientist and detective who has become a trusted member of Angel's team. The series also stars Alexis Denisof ("Buffy The Vampire Slayer") as demon hunter Wesley Wyndam-Price, J. August Richards ("Conviction") as the street savvy vampire turned take-no-prisoner lawyer and Andy Hallett (Geppetto's Secret) as the witty and charismatic karaoke-singing demon Lome.

Sounds like the perfect way to spend Halloween, huh? Here are some video clips you can download from Angel:

Clip #1 - Are You Now or Have You Ever Been?
Windows Media / Real Player

Clip #2 - Conviction
Windows Media / Real Player

Clip #3 - Electrocute a Demon
Windows Media / Real Player

Monday, October 29, 2007 - 10:43am
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FeepMAIL
I took a couple of days off from blogging due to deadlines. And I'm still way behind! Still, I wanted to share some mail with you.

Joseph E. Bresnan asks about an old TV that has him stumped: "I recall a TV show that ran in the 1960's and I cannot find information on it anywhere. I do not know if it was only shown locally (I am in the Philadelphia market). It was called Of Lands and Seas and it was nothing more than people showing their home movies from far flung locations, like Fiji. Do you have any info on such a show?

"Also, there was a kid show at about the same time that I barely recalled, but it was a family of rabbits that were puppets and we would follow them down some steps to their rabbit den. Any idea?
"

Anyone know the answers?

Also, just in time for Halloween come some new images of FEEP, a popular horror show host puppet character from Boston. We get a LOT of mail about this oddball character who appeared on Fantasmic Features. Bob Deveau tells us, "My friend Bob Polio spent an entire day searching the microfilm archives of the Boston Herald and came up with these great images."

See and read more about Feep here.

Bob also did a re-creation of the Fantasmic Features opening since no footage is known to exist.

Sunday, October 28, 2007 - 9:41am
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Top 30 TV Ratings - Total Viewers:
CSI,
Dancing With the Stars - Monday,
American League Championship Baseball Series, Game 7,
Desperate Housewives,
Grey's Anatomy,
NCIS,
Dancing With the Stars - Tuesday,
CSI: Miami,
Criminal Minds,
Samantha Who?,
Survivor: China,
CSI: NY,
Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,
American League Championship Baseball Series, Game 7 Pre-Game,
Sunday Night Football,
American League Championship Baseball Series, Game 5,
The OT,
Law & Order: SVU,
Deal or No Deal - Wednesday,
American League Championship Baseball Series, Game 5,
The Unit,
Private Practice,
Cold Case,
Brothers & Sisters,
Heroes,
60 Minutes,
Shark,
Rules of Engagement

FOX has has renewed Back To You for the rest of the season despite weak ratings. In development at FOX - Prison Break: Cherry Hill, set at a women's prison involving a new character to be introduced later this season on Prison Break.

Sci Fi Channel has renewed Stargate Atlantis for a fifth season.

Thursday, October 25, 2007 - 9:41am
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Price is Right with Drew CareyTPIR - AGAIN
It won't be announced officially until tomorrow but The Price Is Right is launching a new site with loads of special features.

I have to admit, I intended to watch a few episodes just to see if Drew Carey would be effective as host and now I'm hooked! I find myself with a big grin on my face throughout the whole thing. I know, I'm really sophisticated, huh?

In all fairness, the simple pleasures of daytime TV watching are few and far between. Carey is rapidly making the role his own, I can't imagine a better host for the program. His understandable initial awkwardness is fading fast and he wisely doesn't take things too seriously. He's clearly having a great time and it's infectious. Read my full review here.

Price is Right with Drew CareyAnyway, the new site is here (priceisright.com/community) where you can access, among other things, videos, classic moments, model interviews, and Drew Carey's video Blog. This site is loads of fun with lots of behind the scenes video.

I've got to go, The Price Is Right is on!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007 - 11:01am
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BOO!
Bones
has a super Halloween episode coming Tuesday, October 30th (Halloween Eve) at 8:00pm ET that has Brennan and Booth confronting the mystery surrounding a couple of mummies found at a spooky maze and a haunted dungeon. Where did they come from? Lots of graveyard humor and more than a few chills are on hand to keep you guessing to the end.

Bones has one of the strongest and quirkiest casts on TV, it's the main reason the show works so well. That and the hilarious tongue in cheek approach to the drama - wait until you see the forensic detectives in their Halloween costumes, leading to Dr. Brennan to ask the relevant question, "Who's stronger Wonder Woman or Catwoman?"

Devotees of the series will be well pleased, this is quickly becoming one of my new favorites. If you haven't watched Bones previously, this is a terrific introduction episode.

Here's a preview:

Meanwhile, The Simpsons' Treehouse of Horror XVIII will air on Sunday, November 4th at 8:00pm ET. I haven't seen it but has there ever been a bad Treehouse? Look for the requisite Wally Wood-like aliens and bizarro transformations, I'm guessing.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007 - 10:04am
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TV STATIONS THINK YOU'RE STUPID
Well, anyone who watches local (or national) news probably knows that already.

I remember a few years ago, an elderly woman made an angry phone call to her local news station. A tornado hit her home and, because the station was tracking the storm neighborhood by neighborhood on their super-fantasmical Doppler radar, she actually believed the station directed the twister into her home.

That's understandable because news organizations want you to believe, on some level, that they can control the weather. Like much of the Southeast, we're experiencing a drought and I just heard the morning anchor say to the weather guy that, "there's a lot of pressure on you to come up with some rain." Now just how in the hell is he supposed to do that? That's just one example, I've noticed they do it all the time. You can probably find them doing it on tonight's news in your town.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007 - 7:50am
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DON'T SAY YOU WEREN'T WARNED!
How low can television go? That's apparently the premise behind Comedy Central's new show, Kenny Vs Spenny. (This show is a Canadian import, actually in its fourth season.)

Watch (or better yet don't watch) as two life long friends try to out do each other in competitions like 'Who can blow the biggest fart,' 'Who can stay naked the longest,' 'First guy who gets a boner loses,' or 'Who do gay guys like more.'

If you've dreamed of a show that features two not-that-attractive guys in their boxer briefs engaging in a fart competition, then by all means don't miss the premiere episode. The highlight of the show is when one of the guys shit himself. I shit you not. You can almost smell the fumes coming off the screen.

This program is truly disgusting, gross, and beyond tasteless - besides being perfectly awful and criminally insulting to one's intelligence. I could easily picture some innocent viewer vomiting violently while watching the first episode. I wanted to toss out my TV set after viewing this grotesque abomination.

The second episode - ' Who can eat more meat' - is sure to send vegans rushing for the exits. It's just as disgusting as the first show - unless, of course, you enjoy seeing people wolfing down meat products with food hanging out of their mouths and subsequently throwing up.

The dumbing down of American society continues unabated. Thanks a lot Comedy Central (and Canada). It's inconceivable to me that a show like this got pitched much less produced.

South Park creators Matt Stone & Trey Parker have joined the production as executive producers so look for more insanity in the upcoming episodes. I have a lot of respect for their work so perhaps they can make something of this horror show.

Monday, October 22, 2007 - 7:33am
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YIKES!
Tomorrow I'm going to tell you about the most disgusting, horrible, wretched new TV show I've ever seen.

Sunday, October 21, 2007 - 2:55pm
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BABY DAPHNE
One of the most requested shows on TVparty is Baby Daphne (also known as Daphne's Cartoon Castle), a Los Angeles kiddie show that also got some limited syndication play. Now there's video from the show online thanks to the performer Patricia Blake's granddaughter. You can access the videos here.

Sunday, October 21, 2007 - 8:54am
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NEW DISNEY & ANIMATION BLOG
Don't miss Jim Fanning's Blog
Tugley Wood for some wonderful articles on Disney related subjects - like Beagle Boys comics and the Night on Bald Mountain sequence from Fantasia.

Sunday, October 21, 2007 - 7:44am
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ROMPER ROOM 1953
Dr. Craig M. Berg send us this wonderful footage of his visit to Romper Room in 1953, shot with an 8mm camera. This was the first year for the show and the hostess here is the original Romper Room teacher, Miss Nancy (Claster).

Dr. Berg writes, "February 1953 was the beginning of Romper Room's forty year run. 'Miss Nancy' was the much adored teacher. Her stage name was 'Nancy Rogers' but she was actually Nancy Claster, married to the show's producer, Bert Claster.

"In December of '53, at the age of four, I was one of the children on the show, for the standard two week stint. But Miss Nancy asked my mom to have me extend for an additional two weeks, and we did.

"Nancy Rogers (Claster), America's predecessor to Fred Rogers of 'Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood,' was a GODDESS to me and probably millions of other children! She radiated goodness, beauty and light. And when, as you see at the end of the film, she asks me if I would like to give her a hug, well, I took maximum advantage of the opportunity!

"For my
Romper Room show-and-tell I brought in a scale model of a house that was built my the construction firm my dad worked for. As a result, the TV station, Baltimore's WBAL, was swamped with inquiries about the house. It sold within a week (but no commission for me, darn it).

"Rest in peace, Miss Nancy."

Anyone wishing to licence this footage can contact this web site and I'll pass along the contact info.

Saturday, October 20, 2007 - 1:22pm
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RATINGS NEWS
Private Practice
on ABC and The Big Bang Theory on CBS have been renewed for the remainder of the season. CBS also renewed The Unit for the full season.

Meanwhile, FOX is demonstrating little confidence in New Amsterdam, a show that was originally scheduled for fall but was pushed back to mid-season. The net has reduced the number of episodes ordered from 13 to 7. Smart move, the show is a real dog - read my review here.

Viva Laughlin on FOX and Big Shots on ABC are looking like losers as well.

Friday, October 19, 2007 - 11:32am
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R.I.P. JOEY BISHOP
Mitchell Hadley writes: "What with Joey Bishop passing away yesterday, I thought it would be appropriate to note his passing at our blog, which I did. I don't think my piece is anything out of the ordinary - there are probably others who could do a much finer appreciation of the man and his work. However, in reading through some of my old TV Guides, I did come across a story from 1968 that I thought you might be interested in, a bit about his talk show that casts a different light on the conventional wisdom that The Joey Bishop Show was a failed challenger to Carson from the very beginning.

"As the TVG author put it, 'Six months after that shaky start, Bishop was seriously challenging Carson both in the battle for ratings and late-night advertisers' dollars.' I went on to offer some other bits from that piece, which certainly gives us a different viewpoint than we usually get on Bishop's show (which, sadly, I am old enough to remember!)

"Anyway, I thought that might give some of your readers a slightly different perspective from what the history books say. Perhaps some of them might also know why this optimistic outlook on Bishop's show never came to pass - did Carson put on the pressure? Did Bishop's ratings just fade? Did ABC decide to dump the rural audience in the same way that CBS had done with Green Acres?"

Oh, Carson put on the pressure all right - anyone booked on Bishop's show would find themselves persona non grata at the Tonight Show - unless they were a huge star, and in that case they would be temporarily sidelined or had to promise not to appear on the Bishop show for some period of time after a Tonight Show appearance.

Friday, October 19, 2007 - 9:00am
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RATINGS
More bad news for the new fall shows. Bionic Woman is bleeding viewers by the week, meanwhile Back To You, Kid Nation and Gossip Girl are pretty much DOA. Life isn't doing so hot either.

One of my favorites, Kitchen Nightmares, has been renewed by FOX who announced that Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chrinicles will air beginning January 14th.

Thursday, October 18, 2007 - 11:30am
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