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MEMORIAL DAY YOU TUBING
Game Show Bloopers foreign and domestic are always good for a laugh. By the way, Tattletales is coming to DVD soon but where's The Newlywed Game, I could watch that all day?

Speaking of The Newlywed Game, here's that outtake you've always heard about.

I mentioned Red Skelton yesterday so I went You Tubing for Red. Here's a skit with Red as Clem Kaddidlehoppers' and Carol Channing as his gal.

Finally, Red Skelton explains the significance and history behind the Pledge of Allegiance.

Monday, May 26, 2008 - 8:14am
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STUFF
The Invaders on DVDBarry Greenwood writes in response to the review of The Invaders in a previous post: "The Invaders wasn't a big ratings killer but it wasn't doing that badly either. A lot of people thought that the cancellation was more than a bit abrupt and I never heard a good explanation of it."

Poor ABC's fortunes were waning in 1967 as the Batman fad was starting to fizzle. The Invaders followed Combat mid-season in 1967, the last year for that series, and was preceded by Garrison's Guerrillas in the fall of '67. Garrison's Guerrillas flopped. And both seasons, The Invaders was up against The Red Skelton Show on CBS which was number 2 in the ratings in 1966-67.

Still, competition was light over at NBC - Occasional Wife and The Jerry Lewis Show were both DOA. Skelton went from number 2 to number 7 in the fall of '67 so that would indicate a decent showing for The Invaders, at least by ABC standards.

With only 2 shows in the top 20 in 1967, ABC may have felt it was better to start over than offer a third year of The Invaders. ABC's Tuesday nights got a big boost with The Mod Squad debuting in 1968 and Marcus Welby, MD in 1969. Welby went to number one the following year and started ABC's slow rise to the top in the 1970s.

Sunday, May 25, 2008 - 11:02pm
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1950's Saturday Morning ShowsHiya Kids - A '50s Saturday Morning

Shout! Factory has put together a wonderful compendium of seminal Saturday morning TV shows from the 1950s that is a jam packed treat any boomer will enjoy, it's time travel in a box.

The way the collection is arranged is to give you the feel of a 1950's Saturday morning lineup, with the shows meant for younger kids coming first on each disc. Most of this material is from before my time in front of the tube - but not by much.

Oddly, disc one opens with the most intelligent show of the bunch, Kukla, Fran & Ollie. In this episode, the Kuklapolitan Players delve into class structure in the USA, if you can believe it, responding to an article in a then current issue of Life magazine. This would have been way over the heads of preschoolers but episodes of Kukla, Fran & Ollie are rare and this one is a sparkling gem. I'm dreaming of a comprehensive Kukla, Fran & Ollie DVD release some day in the future.

Probably the most famous show of the bunch, Howdy Doody is followed by a very early episode of Lassie, a primetime show that turned up briefly on Saturdays.

Annie Oakley in 'Annie and the Bicycle Riders' with Gail Davis is pure western fun and comic strip hero Flash Gordon from 1954 rounds out the first disc with low tech, small budget excitement.

Highlights on disc two include Ding Dong School, one of network TV's very first educational programs for the wee ones. What a stark contrast with today's kiddie fare, Miss Frances teaches with a gentle and kind nature. No wonder she was an early TV icon. I don't think this show actually aired on Saturdays but it is a logical addition.

Time For Beany is a marvelously imaginative show, this is the puppet version that preceded the cartoon series with the sea sick sea serpent and his friends looking for a giant white gorilla on a mysterious island.

The Paul Winchell Show is a genuinely funny rarity with Jerry Mahoney and Knucklehead Smiff in a musical Christmas themed program. This is actually a primetime show that aired before NBC moved the program to Saturday mornings and comes complete with commercials.

Shot on location, The Roy Rogers Show was big time kid's entertainment in the 1950s that popped up in reruns on Saturday mornings in the early-1960s; here Roy and Trigger are kidnapped as Dale Evans, Bullet and Pat Brady ride to the rescue.

The intelligent but low budgeted syndicated series Captain Z-RO from 1954 offers up an amusing look into the future from a fifties' perspective. The picture quality is appalling but it looks like you're watching with rabbit ears reception, appropriate since that's how most kids experienced TV in the 1950s.

On disc three you'll find preschooler favorite The Rootie Kazootie Club and Winky Dink & You, the very first interactive video game, will thrill those who grew up with this unique program. Just remember not to draw on your TV screen. (This episode is the one you'll find sampled on TVparty.)

Super Circus with Claude Kirshner and the lovely Mary Hartline is another fondly remembered series as is Andy's Gang with Froggy the Gremlin ("Plunk your Magic Twanger, Froggy!"), a show that contains one of the weirdest stories with an unmistakably homoerotic undertone ("Get to your horse quickly or feel my lance pierce your throat!").

The Cisco Kid was TV's first color series and the picture quality here is only fair. It's followed by one of my favorites, Sky King, in an episode found on other DVD sets. Watching Sky King with his niece Penny patrolling the skies in the Songbird is one of my first TV memories and the show holds up very well, simple and charming.

Disc 4 opens with 2 fifteen minute episodes of Bomono's The Magic Clown another rarity from around 1950 that aired in some markets on Saturday mornings.

Kids and Company and Juvenile Jury are followed by The Pinky Lee Show, a manic musical journey with one of the most beloved and talented kid show hosts of all time. In this highly entertaining episode, Pinky becomes a detective while Sheena, Queen of the Jungle tries to overt a tribal war in the final installment in the DVD collection.

Some of these episodes have turned up on dollar store DVDs but they generally look a heck of a lot better in this collection. The picture and sound quality throughout is quite nice, especially considering the source material on some of these shows is less than desirable.

A true bargain at around $28.00 if you order online now.

Saturday, May 24, 2008 - 12:19pm
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THE INVADERS
The Invaders on DVDI'm thrilled that this memorial Day weekend I'll be enjoying The Invaders on DVD. I have fond memories of watching this show as a kid on The Bob Gordon Show, a local 4-6 hour Sunday afternoon rerun-fest with live drop ins by a genial fellow who introduced the various shows and created origami creatures from dollar bills.

A Quinn Martin (The Untouchables) production, The Invaders is an unusual sci-fi show with relatively little of the gimmickry or far out plotlines that you'll find in Star Trek, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, or Lost in Space, all of which were on the air when The Invaders debuted in January of 1967. The series operates at a much slower pace, more akin to The Fugitive blended with Invasion of the Body Snatchers. The aliens here mostly serve as a metaphor for societal paranoia over commies, a repressive government, or whatever you like.

It's a first rate program, with terrific guest stars and QM regular players who turn up in every pristinely directed episode. This production was part of the first wave of color TV shows so everything looks hyper realized, vibrant hues are juxtaposed with dark shadows and dramatic camera angles to lend an air of nightmarishness that perpetually hangs in the air.

That's what sets The Invaders apart from typical TV sci-fi, it wasn't until The X-Files came along a couple of decades later that this style of intense eeriness really caught on. Never a big ratings winner, The Invaders ran for two seasons, this DVD set contains all 15 episodes of the show's short first season (there were 26 Episodes during the second year).

The production shot a great deal on location lending an air of realism, it's just amazing to see these 1960's Southern California locales looking so retro-rific.

The great news for Invaders fans - this DVD collection is a Paul Brownstein production so you know right off the bat you're getting the best quality possible along with amazing extras. The picture and sound quality on these remastered prints are top flight, crystal clear.

Along with some nifty network promos, there are new introductions by Roy Thinners for every episode in addition to a fascinating interview with the star that is quite revealing with plenty of behind the scenes stories.

In addition, Brownstein has unearthed the original, unaired pilot, an extended version of the first episode, and there's a commentary track by the show's creator Larry Cohen on 'The Innocent' that is nearly worth the price of admission itself. Even the "Next - The Invaders - in color' tags are intact at the start of the shows.

All in all a great bargain and a wonderful opportunity to (re)acquaint yourself with a true TV classic.

Friday, May 23, 2008 - 11:09am
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TV Stuff
Paul Sonski writes in response the the Sitcom Houses article, specifically the state of the Clampett home from The Beverly Hillbillies: "Based on the following www.maps.google.com (Bel Air, CA) aerial photo, I believe the house is still there.

Beverly Hillbillies House 

"I used to drive by the house and gates in the '80s. They soon put up a stucco wall across the gate side of the property hiding the gates, and they may have created a new drive way behind and along the wall with access to the gate from the north."

Indeed the house is still there - but was gutted and re-designed in the 1980s. Thanks, Paul!

This weekend GSN will air six hours of ‘Match Game’ starring the servicemen and women of America’s Armed Forces. From the press release:
GSN pays homage to “America’s finest” this Memorial Day weekend with a multi-platform tribute to our servicemen and women, featuring online charity tournaments, GSN LIVEä surprise moments, including a very special delivery for our troops in Iraq, and a six-hour “Match Game” Memorial Day Marathon. Kicking off GSN’s Memorial Day weekend, GSN LIVE fulfills their motto “We Live To Give" as host Heidi Bohay delivers prize packages for the troops in Iraq at a local US Army Recruiting Center Friday, May 23 from Noon to 3PM E/11AM to 2PM C. And tune in Monday, May 26 from Noon to 3PM E/11AM to 2PM C during the network’s “Match Game” Memorial Day Marathon for a GSN LIVE Memorial Day surprise moment and a very special in-studio appearance by former US Army paratrooper and 1976, five-time “Match Game” winner Rick Bursky. Beginning Monday at 9AM E/8AM C, all 12 episodes of GSN’s “Match Game” Memorial Day Marathon will feature contestants from America’s Armed Forces, including the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps. Hosted by veteran game show icon Gene Rayburn, the six-hour tribute will star celebrity panelists Joyce Bulifant, Bill Cullen, Richard Dawson, Fred Grandy, Jack Klugman, Dick Martin, Charles Nelson Reilly, Brett Somers and Jimmy Walker, among others.

Thursday, May 22, 2008 - 7:38am
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OF INTEREST
Mark Evanier will be on Fresh Air today talking about his awesome book on Jack Kirby. I say awesome, I've only breezed through a copy at the store but, boy, does it look fabulous. The interview will be available online after 3:00pm EST.

Was Sonny Bono Murdered? An FBI agent has come forward with the allegation that Cher's ex was assassinated because he was going to expose a crime ring. The article is long on allegations but short on details.

Sal Gomez alerts us to a great event going on this weekend if you're in Southern California (and if you aren't, why aren't you?):
"This Sunday night, May 25th marks our 2nd SoCalDIMS Summer Tailgate
Party of 2008. This month we will be at the beautiful Mission Tiki
Drive-In in Montclair California. There will be live bands performing
under the snack bar patio with vendors from a group called Lil'
Punkers. You can add to your fun by taking part in our online
scavenger hunt trivia challenge. Just log on here and scroll down to play.

""If you can guess the answer right away, Great! If you're stumped, then hunt around the website for clues that may help you solve the question.

"So remember, it's a drive-in and it's also a tailgate party. Bring
your favorite goodies and refreshments or hit the delicious snack
bar. Don't forget your lawn chairs because there's nothing cooler
than sitting outside the car on a warm summer night watching a movie
under the stars."

Does that sound like fun or what?

RDF USA today announced an exclusive global content deal with MySpace that will bring webisodes of the popular British format, Banzai, exclusively to MySpaceTV (http://www.myspacetv.com) for 30 days before additional U.S. only internet distribution.

Banzai is a comedic and highly stylized faux Japanese game show that involves betting on bizarre and off-the-wall contests. Celebrity guests on the series have included Angelina Jolie, Kelsey Grammar, Jennifer Love Hewitt, and Bill Murray. Banzai first aired as a half hour program on channel E4 in the UK, and was later repeated on E4's parent channel, Channel 4. In the US, the series has aired on Fox Broadcasting Network, USA, Comedy Central, and G4.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008 - 8:08am
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THE ACADEMY - LASD CLASS 368
The Academy on Fox RealityReturning for a second season, The Academy is a riveting look at the various types of people who believe they have what it takes to join one of the top law enforcement organizations in the country, patrolling some of the meanest streets in this hemisphere.

When I first saw the commercials for Fox Reality's returning series The Academy: LASD Class #368, I wondered - are we now going to select police officers in a manner similar to Top Chef? Some of my friends thought that was a keen idea but the thought of Fox News watching Americans selecting Rambos and Paul Kerseys to wear a badge I found a bit troubling.

Thankfully, it hasn't come to that yet (it won't be long, trust me) but what The Academy does offer is a stark look behind the scenes in law enforcement as the instructors break down recruits and reconstruct those who survive the process into proper Los Angeles Sheriff Department deputies.

Like any 'reality' program there are glaring contrivances and heightened drama aplenty, this show is cast like a TV drama on both on the recruit and instructor levels but that doesn't lessen the impact or make the results any less devastating (or embarrassing) for those participating.

The Academy on Fox RealityTo give the production added dramatic continuity there are individuals that flunked out on the first season returning for another try in addition to several recruits who never should have made it through the front door in the first place, again to boost the humiliation factor that is essential in 'reality TV.'

I found the first hour a bit empty but Fox Reality is offering a two episode premiere that promises to be more fulfilling.The Academy: LASD Class #368 debuts on Fox Reality Saturday, May 24th at 9:00pm ET.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008 - 8:38am
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RANDOM STUFF
Mike Ransom from Tulsa TV Memories responds to some previous posts:
"I thought you might be interested in this item. I'm pretty sure there will be a podcast of the interview available within a week, too. (Via email 5/18/2008) Larry Ward at Clear Channel in Youngstown, Ohio said:

Michael Parks has graciously consented to do a live interview with me on the "2 Wheel Power Hour" motorcycle show. The shows airs Monday, May 19 at 6 pm Eastern Standard Time on 570 WKBN. Fans can access the web site and listen to the interview live through our streaming. The web site is 570WKBN.com.
Once the page opens, look at the top of the page for the icon that says "click here to listen live" and that's all there is to it. Just follow the instructions. It will take about 30 seconds for the audio to come up once you have connected, so please be patient.
I've had a wonderful time chatting with Michael today, he's a very nice guy, enjoyable to speak to.

"The Brady Bunch house (possibly not the one used in the pilot) was constructed for the show. Here's a news clipping about it from the 1969 Tulsa Tribune.

"I had a big argument with a co-worker about what proved to be a variation of the "Monty Hall problem". I lost, and I was a math major!

"Wikipedia notes that Monty himself was well aware of the solution:
"The Parade column and its response received considerable attention in the press, including a front page story in the New York Times (Tierney 1991) in which Monty Hall himself was interviewed. He appeared to understand the problem quite well, giving the reporter a demo with car keys and explaining how actual game play on
Let's Make a Deal differed from the rules of the puzzle."

The Invaders TV Show on DVD"I, too, remember The Invaders as an excellent series and am looking forward to its release this month. I once bought an episode on VHS from a Trek Expo vendor. When I got it home, closer examination revealed that it must have been in a flood; it didn't work at all.

"You might be interested in taking a look at John Graves' site. He was Manager of Film Programs at NBC from the mid-1960s through 1970, thus including Bonanza, I Dream of Jeannie, Ironside, The Man from Uncle, Then Came Bronson, The Debbie Reynolds Show, The Monkees. I recount a bit of the phone conversation I had with him on this odd, non-TV-related page on my site."

Monday, May 19, 2008 - 7:48am
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FUNNY
If you've seen the Bill O'Reilly Inside Edition meltdown, now watch it from the producer's perspective.

Saturday, May 17, 2008 - 1:32pm
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FLIGHT
Have you experience Flight of the Concords yet? It is the trippiest show of all time and the miracle is - the music is incredible in that 1970's pseudo-funk way. Here's a good sample, one of my favorite tunes, 'If You're Into It':

The first season of the HBO series is on DVD and there's also an LP on Sub Pop Records. An LP?!?

Friday, May 16, 2008 - 9:18am
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FOX 2008-2009 PRIMETIME FALL SCHEDULE
Monday
8:00 PM: The Sarah Connor Chronicles
9:00 PM: Prison Break
Tuesday
8:00 PM: House
9:00 PM: FRINGE (new)
Wednesday
8:00 PM: Bones
9:00 PM: Til Death
9:30 PM: DO NOT DISTURB (new)
Thursday
8:00 PM: The Moment Of Truth
9:00 PM: Kitchen Nightmares
Friday
8:00 PM: Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader?
9:00 PM: Don't Forget The Lyrics!
Saturday
8:00 PM: Cops
8:30 PM: Cops
9:00 PM: America's Most Wanted
Sunday
7:00 PM: The OT
8:00 PM: The Simpsons
8:30 PM: King Of The Hill
9:00 PM: Family Guy
9:30 PM: American Dad

Thursday, May 15, 2008 - 12:45pm
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ABC FALL SCHEDULE
MONDAY
8 PM: Dancing With The Stars
(Mid-Season -- UNTITLED TYRA BANKS/
ASHTON KUTCHER PROJECT - new)
9 PM: Samantha Who?
10 PM: Boston Legal
(Mid-Season -- The Bachelor)
TUESDAY
8 PM: OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS contest show (new)
9 PM: Dancing with the Stars
(Mid-Season -- SCRUBS moved from NBC)
(Mid-Season -- THE GOODE FAMILY - new)
10 PM: Eli Stone
WEDNESDAY
8 PM: Pushing Daisies
9 PM: Private Practice
10 PM: Dirty Sexy Money
THURSDAY
8 PM: Ugly Betty
9 PM: Grey's Anatomy
10 PM: LIFE ON MARS (new)
FRIDAY
8 PM: Wife Swap
9 PM: Supernanny
10 PM: 20/20
SATURDAY
College Football
SUNDAY
7 PM: America’s Funniest Home Videos
8 PM: Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
9 PM: Desperate Housewives
10 PM: Brothers & Sisters

Wednesday, May 14, 2008 - 2:32pm
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CBS FALL SCHEDULE
MONDAY
8:00 p.m. The Big Bang Theory
8:30 p.m. How I Met Your Mother
9:00 p.m. Two and a Half Men
9:30-10:00 p.m. Worst Week [New]
10:00-11:00 p.m. CSI: Miami
TUESDAY
8:00-9:00 p.m. NCIS
9:00-10:00 p.m. The Mentalist [New]
10:00-11:00 p.m. Without a Trace
WEDNESDAY
8:00- 8:30 p.m. The New Adventures of Old Christine
8:30 9:00 p.m. Project Gary [New]
9:00-10:00 p.m. Criminal Minds
10:00-11:00 p.m. CSI: NY
THURSDAY
8:00-9:00 p.m. Survivor
9:00-10:00 p.m. CSI
10:00-11:00 p.m. Eleventh Hour [New]
FRIDAY
8:00-9:00 p.m. Ghost Whisperer
9:00-10:00 p.m. The Ex-List [New]
10:00-11:00 p.m. Numb3rs
SATURDAY
8:00-9:00 p.m. Crimetime Saturday
9:00-10:00 p.m. Crimetime Saturday
10:00-11:00 p.m. 48 Hours: Mystery
SUNDAY
7:00-8:00 p.m. 60 Minutes
8:00-9:00 p.m. The Amazing Race
9:00-10:00 p.m. Cold Case
10:00-11:00 p.m. The Unit

Wednesday, May 14, 2008 - 2:27pm
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THIS 'N' THAT
Are you one of the kazillion people who went to a party or bar to watch the last episode of Seinfeld? That was 10 years ago today.

This sounds like fun, I missed it this program first time around. From the press release: Director John Waters has become an icon of independent film with ground-breaking works like Pink Flamingos and Hairspray, so it’s no surprise that this foray into television would push the envelope in both content and taste. On July 1st, BCI, a Navarre Corporation Company, will release ‘Til Death Do Us Part, the series that lets Waters run amok with a campy marriage of madcap melodrama and macabre humor. This beautifully packaged 3-disc box set contains all 13 episodes (plus a bouquet of never-before-seen bonus footage of Waters at work) and will be available at the SRP of $29.98.

“We are pleased to present this twisted TV show to our audience, not just because it features an original talent like John Waters, but also because it’s a unique series that many missed the first time it aired,” said Cliff MacMillan, BCI’s Director of Brand Management and Acquisitions. “We know fans of Waters will love it, but so will anyone with an interest in the offbeat.”

John Waters is the host of this wickedly amusing anthology series about what happens after the honeymoon. Known to the viewer simply as “the Groom Reaper,” Waters leads us through slyly sinful stories of vindictive and vicious husbands and wives with each cautionary tale ending in one spouse pushing up the daisies - always to the delight of our naughty narrator.

Just how big a star is Oprah? She just cancelled her own primetime series, Oprah's Big Give. Ratings weren't as high as she would have liked.

Meanwhile, Kelsey Grammer is taken aback by his series cancellation.
"They have let it go," Grammer told The Associated Press. "We were told all this time we were in good shape and we were coming back."

Producers are hoping to move Back To You to another network like CBS but with high up front costs (the two star's salaries) and modest ratings it seems unlikely. Still, Grammer is especially proud of the episode that airs tonight so you may want to check it out.

Elizabeth Boggs writes: "I just LOVE your site! I noticed something you, somehow, didn't mention.

"On the last page of the SitCom house locator, did you notice something that I did? The old Sky King ranch house in the photo taken in the late 1950's was the one and the same house used on the Brady Bunch pilot when Mike married Carol.

Sky King

"The "four men" were living "all together" and were "all alone" in THAT house. After Mike made Carol his misses, they made the San Fernando residence their digs, abandoning that poor, ole' white rambler for the more spacious abode made immemorial by that famous "Bunch."

"Did you notice that? I SURE did; in fact, I did an about face! Keep up the GREAT work and Happy Viewing! They sure DON'T make TV the way they used to..."

You can say that again. I wonder what specifically made that particular house, out in the middle of nowhere, attractive for location shooting? Was the owner in the business? You can read all about Sky King and see what the home looks like today here.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008 - 9:53am
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I STILL DON'T GET IT
Are you aware of the Monty Hall Problem? This video explains this counterintuitive mathematical paradox behind choosing door number 1, 2 or 3.

Seems like overthinking to me. As I see it, your chances are really 50/50 - you either guessed right or wrong.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008 - 9:23am
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GOULARDI
Ed Golick (and many others) wrote in with a reply to yesterday's post: "The monster movie host that Marianne recalls is The Ghoul, played by Ron Sweed. His show originated from Cleveland and in 1971 was syndicated by Kaiser Broadcasting to it's stations in Detroit, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Boston.

"The character was originally called Ghoulardi, created in 1962 by Ernie Anderson, who later became ABC's staff announcer (The Loooove Boat). In 1970 Anderson gave Sweed permission to revive the character as "The Ghoul."

"Sweed has been off and on TV in Cleveland since the '70s, and has a big fan base in Detroit, where he makes personal appearances at video stores and comic book conventions. Since 2007 he has broadcasting a paid subscription show on the internet. His official website is theghoul.com.

"The Ghoul really isn't my cup of tea, but kudos to Sweed for playing the character for 38 years."

Tuesday, May 13, 2008 - 6:28am
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'TVParty.com, a TV history website... its links to Amazon.com help sell TV DVDs."
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'An ingenious tribute that elevates the TV past to artlike proportions. Site guru Billy Ingram has compiled features both over-the-top and museum worthy, blissful nostalgia for those born in the '40s or the '80s. A+
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'Every decade expresses its kooky collective unconscious on the tube, celebrated affectionately at Billy Ingram's TVparty. Ingram provides a hilarious glimpse into the American pop psyche.'
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Diver Dan TV show on DVD The Invaders TV Show on DVD Soupy Sales Show on DVD Honey West on DVD 1950's Saturday Morning Shows Lancelot Link Secret Chimp on DVD Tennessee Tuxedo on DVD
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