Saturday, July 22, 2017

Old Time Radio: What's My Line? (1952)

Yep, you read that subject line right. What's My Line? also aired on radio for a time in the early 50's.

However, it wasn't for very long. NBC Radio had the show for a few months in 1952, and, then, it moved over to CBS Radio, where it finished its run in the summer of 1953. ABC News reporter John Daly continued as host, and the format was almost exactly the same as the CBS TV version, which, in hindsight, made the mystery guest portion a bit more challenging, since the "challengers" couldn't sign in.

Let's scope out a CBS Radio episode.

I wouldn't mind having this collected on CD.

Rating: A.

Forgotten TV: What's The Law? (1960's)

This next item may look like something from the Goodson-Todman factory, but it isn't, although announcer Chet Gould did work for G-T on What's My Line? during its syndicated run.

What's The Law? is an unsold pilot from independent producer Jerry Hammer and Official Films which was produced sometime between 1967-70. It's a "Forgotten TV" entry simply because there's little or no record of it, other than the video we're presenting today. Cerebral comedian Henry Morgan (ex-I've Got a Secret) is the host, and the panel follows the familiar G-T formula of two men (Barry Nelson & Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. in this case) and two women (Joan Rivers and a pre-Alice Linda Lavin, who was appearing on Broadway at the time, a few years before landing a temporary gig on Barney Miller).

Real court cases, mostly small claims cases, are discussed. Poster Ira Gallen left about 10 minutes-plus of dead air on the back end of this video.

Not the average game show by any stretch, although I think Goodson-Todman would've known what to do with it. The public just wasn't ready for something like this.

Rating: B-.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Classic TV: Daktari (1966)

Ivan Tors' Daktari was spun off from the 1965 movie, "Clarence, The Cross-Eyed Lion", marking the 2nd series to come from one of Tors' theatrical films (Flipper was the other). Daktari bowed on CBS in January 1966 as a mid-season replacement, and, in addition to Clarence, Judy the chimp and human co-stars Marshall Thompson & Cheryl Miller continued from the movie.

Daktari continues the story of widowed doctor Marsh Tracy (Thompson) and his daughter, Paula (Miller), and their work in the Wameri animal preserve in Africa. Not everyone appreciated the Tracys' work, as there was a collection of generic poachers, smugglers, and disgruntled farmers causing all sorts of problems. I don't remember seeing this in primetime, but rather, in syndicated reruns after the series ended. In all, Daktari lasted four seasons (January 1966-December 1968) across three calendar years.

After the first three seasons, Yale Summers left the series, replaced by Ross Hagen. In addition, Erin Moran, better known from her later work on Happy Days, landed her first series role when she joined the cast in the truncated final season. Post-Daktari, Hari Rhodes moved on to The Protectors, a 1-season component of The Bold Ones, and later appeared in one of the "Planet of the Apes" movies.

Let's take a look at the intro and closing. The video quality isn't exactly perfect,  but.....!

If memory serves me correctly, "Clarence" would be included as part of the SFM Holiday Network package of movies in the 70's, but hasn't been seen all that much since. Then again, no network that I know of is running Daktari these days, but should, just for fun.

Rating: A-.

Now you can watch high school football on your computer.....

Spectrum Cable has announced its lineup for the High School Football Game of the Week, which returns September 1. There are, however, some changes from past years.

For one, there will be a pre-game show in the studio, anchored by Spectrum News' sports director Marisa Jacques, who also anchors their Sports Night report on weeknights. Also, there won't be just one game on the docket each week. If you go to, you'll be able to choose from three additional games that will stream live online.

For Troy High alumni such as ye scribe, there will be three opportunities to see the defending Class AA State champs during the regular season. The first two will be online options, starting with the September 15 road game at LaSalle, and then the Homecoming game the following week vs. Bethlehem. Two weeks later, coach Bob Burns' Flying Horses travel to Latham for a rematch of the Class AA title game vs. Shaker. That will be shown on Spectrum Cable channels 1, 9, & 200 (Spectrum discontinued the regional sports channel a while back). Due to the pre-game show, kickoff is being pushed back to 7:15 pm (ET). Troy beat Shaker twice last year en route to the state title, so the Blue Bison will be looking for payback. The later start will enable fans extra time to make it to the game in time for kickoff.

Our High School Fridays feature returns September 1 as well, as Troy will open at home vs. Columbia, one of just three home games in the regular season.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Celebrity Rock: The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins (1967)

Earlier today, over at Saturday Morning Archives, we took a look at the short-lived summer music series, Malibu U., from 1967. This time, however, we've got a real spacey treat for you.

Everyone knows that Leonard Nimoy (Star Trek) recorded an album, as did co-star William Shatner. Nimoy appeared on Malibu U. to serve up the whimsical "Ballad of Bilbo Baggins". Scope!

Well, we should've known "Mr. Spock" could carry a tune, unlike "Captain Kirk", whose lack of emoting on record is the stuff of legend. Hmmm, seems I'd now be interested in Nimoy's take on the Byrds' "Mr. Tambourine Man"........

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

What Might've Been: Riptide (1984)

In the 80's, Stephen J. Cannell was churning out action shows, one right after the other, for both ABC & NBC, including The A-Team and Hunter for NBC and Hardcastle & McCormick, Tenspeed & Brown Shoe, & The Greatest American Hero for ABC.

As 1984 began, Cannell added another notch on his belt at NBC with Riptide, about a pair of Army buds (Perry King, Joe Penny) who start a detective agency after mustering out of the military. Aided by a computer whiz (Thom Bray) whom they met while in the Army, the sleuths, operating out of the titular houseboat, took on the bad guys for 3 seasons total (1984-6).

Could it have gone longer? Maybe, but halfway through the 3rd season, NBC moved the show from Tuesdays to Fridays. At that time, they parodied ABC's Moonlighting, which conceivably could've been a jump the shark point. NBC's mistake was moving it off Tuesdays, where it had stablemate A-Team as a lead-in. After Riptide was cancelled, NBC doubled down on the stupidity by moving A-Team for Fridays for its final season.

Chuck Collins supplies the intro:

Currently, reruns are airing on Get TV (check listings).

Rating: B.

Baseball's silly season has begun

With baseball's trade deadline now less than 2 weeks away, teams are making deals either to enhance their chances for the post-season, or, if you're, say for example, the Chicago White Sox, building for the future.

Last week, the ChiSox sent pitcher Jose Quintana across town to the World Champion Cubs, and paid immediate dividends in his first start. Tuesday, the White Sox made another deal, sending closer David Robertson back to the Yankees, along with relief pitcher Tommy Kahnle and infielder Todd Frazier, for Tyler Clippard and some minor leaguers. Thus, Clippard ends his 3rd tour of duty in New York (2 with the Yanks, 1 with the Mets), while Robertson begins his 2nd go-round with the Yankees. Kahnle was, as memory serves, drafted by the Yankees, then shipped to Colorado a ways back, so he too comes home.

In a way, the trade is also a homecoming for Frazier, the 2015 Home Run Derby champ. As a youth, the New Jersey native led his team to a Little League World Series title. A 3rd baseman by trade, Frazier will likely move to 1st base, with Chase Headley the starter at 3rd, while the Yanks wait for Greg Bird to finally be healthy enough to play.

Kahnle, like Colorado's Jeff Hoffman, has local ties as he's a graduate of Shaker High in Latham.

That should kill the online rumors that had the Yankees eyeing the Mets' Lucas Duda, but that doesn't mean that the Mets won't still shop Duda, as it's more likely that they won't make the post-season this year. The usual wags are suggesting that veterans like Curtis Granderson, Addison Reed, and Jay Bruce, all in their walk years, could be moved. Bear in mind, too, that the Mets acquired Bruce at the deadline last year. To trade away the veteran leaders, however, would send a sign to the fan base that the Mets are giving up on the season. A lot can still happen in the final 2 1/2 months of the season to overcome the injury plague that keeps haunting the Amazin's. Just sayin'.

Meanwhile, former Tri-City Valleycat J. D. Martinez, who became a big star in Detroit, was sent to Arizona for some prospects. Why Houston gave up on Martinez, I'll never know, but now he's got a new sandbox to play in, now that he's in the National League, joining infielders Paul Goldschmidt & Jake Lamb to create a potent middle of the order that could reignite the Diamondbacks' offense in the stretch run as they attempt to chase down the Dodgers.