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TV Book Tie-Ins
by Cary O'Dell / / / / / /PART TWO : / GO TO PART ONE

Tom Corbett Book

TOM CORBETT: A TRIP TO THE MOON by Marcia Martin, Pictures by Frank Vaughn (1953)

Based upon the TV show “Tom Corbett, Space Cadet” that aired from 1950-1955, this slim, colorfully illustrated children’s book was published by Wonder Books of New York, a division of Grosset and Dunlap, in 1953. In the book, our hero Tom Corbett takes two children, Johnny and Janie, suits them up for space travel, and then takes them to the moon for their very own walk on the lunar surface.


Tom Corbett BookIRONSIDE: THE PICTURE FRAME FRAME-UP by William Johnston, Illustrations by Larry Frederick (1969)

Another Whitman book. Though confined to a wheelchair, Chief of Detectives Robert T. Ironside can still solve crimes with the help of his trusty associates, fellow police officers Ed Brown and Eve Whitfield.

THIS GIRL FOR HIRE by G.G. Fickling (1965)

Tom Corbett BookWhile for many TV tie-ins their stories and novels had to be created out of whole cloth once a TV series became successful, some series were based on books to begin with allowing for an odd form of after-the-fact synergy.

G.G. Fickling (the nom de plume of married authors Forest and Gloria Fickling) began publishing their “Honey West” novels in 1957. When the Anne Francis-starring series came to TV in 1965, the paperbacks suddenly got a new lease on life.

Though the books differed from the series in a few ways (there was no Sam Bolt or Aunt Meg in the books for example), in the end, nine of the 11 novels published by the Ficklings up until the debut of the TV series would be re-issued with photos of Anne Francis decorating the cover.

Tom Corbett BookDR. KILDARE: THE HEART HAS AN ANSWER by William Johnston (1963)

The dreamy doctor played by Richard Chamberlin comes to life in this novel based upon the hit NBC medical series, itself based on the MGM movies of the late 1930s and early 1940s.

In this book, Dr. Kildare has to help a girl named Margaret recover from the death of her twin brother Henry.

Note that the author of this book is William Johnston, an often called-upon writer for the TV tie-in. He would also write books based on the TV series “The Munsters,” “The Brady Bunch,” “Room 222,” “Get Smart,” “Gilligan’s Island,” “Happy Days,” “The Flying Nun,” “Room 222” and “The Monkees,” among others.

 

leave it to beaver BookLEAVE IT TO BEAVER by Beverly Cleary (1960)

Today, Beverly Cleary is best known as the author of the children’s classic “The Mouse and the Motorcycle” as well as the “Ramona” and “Henry Huggins” series. But in 1960, she also created this work, a tie-in with the then successful sitcom “Leave It to Beaver.” It contains six original stories featuring the Beav, brother Wally and Mr. and Mrs. Cleaver.

ROOM 222: A LITTLE GRASS ON THE SIDE by William Johnston (1971)

Room 222 BookThe focus of this novel based upon the high school-set comedy-drama is spelled out not so coyly in its title. In this fifth original novel based upon the show, dedicated teacher Pete Dixon tries to help a boy dominated by his father and ends up discovering a local pot pusher!

Tom Corbett Book

BATMAN VS. 3 VILLIAMS OF DOOM by Winston Lyon (1966)

Holy Paperback Book!

Having of course begun his life on the printed comic page, it was not surprising that the 1960’s Adam West incarnation of the Caped Crusader would return to print form. As the title of this work suggests, this Signet novel has Batman facing off against the Penguin, the Joker and Catwoman. Each of the three super villains is competing for the TOMMY, the crime world’s top award. To win it, all one of them has to do is take down Gotham City’s hero as well as Boy Wonder Robin. Who will win and, more importantly, will Batman lose?!

 

Tom Corbett BookMASH GOES TO LAS VEGAS by Richard Hooker and William E. Butterworth (1976)

The legendary TV series was based upon the movie of the same name which itself was inspired by an original book by Richard Hooker. After his first installment’s success, 12 other “MASH” novels followed, many of them ghostwritten by William E. Butterworth.

A distinctly grown-up TV series, so too is this novel which has the original gang (Hawkeye, Trapper, Hot Lips, etc.) gathering in Sin City for Radar’s nuptials. Father Mulcahy will be officiating, of course.


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