Friday, January 31, 2014

The Lone Ranger: The "Lost" 1933 Adventures

Earle Graser, radio's Lone Ranger
The origin of the December 17, 1937 radio broadcast of The Lone Ranger existing in recorded form is the result of an in-joke Fran Striker slipped into a Green Hornet radio broadcast. During the broadcast of January 13, 1938, The Green Hornet pays a late-night visit to the house of Judge Woodbury, known for being strict in his courtroom and in need of a little push to set a trap and expose a crooked attorney. The Green Hornet climbs through the window of the judge’s bedroom. As the announcer describes ...

ANNOUNCER: The slick black car of The Green Hornet with its super-powered motor was parked in the drive of Judge Woodbury’s home a few minutes later. The Judge was listening to The Lone Ranger, one of his favorite radio programs, half dozing in his chair. 

To accomplish this trick, Striker’s notes on the script suggested playing back a recording of The Lone Ranger. But to date, Trendle had never arranged to any of the Ranger broadcasts recorded. (One was recorded back in September of 1937 in New York, more than likely without Trendle's knowledge or permission.) The series had always been broadcast live on a coast-to-coast hookup. So the Ranger broadcast of December 17, 1937, was recorded solely for the purpose of this Green Hornet scene and was the spark that launched Trendle into the transcription business, leading to a transcription of every episode of The Lone Ranger beginning with the broadcast of January 17, 1938. Trendle obviously wanted to give it a "go" for that one recording before contractually committing to a regular recording scedule.

Pictorial image of the early Lone Ranger.
The earliest announcement came on Monday, January 10, 1938, when King-Trendle released a public statement that The Lone Ranger was riding cross country and not just the western plains. Coincident with the Republic Pictures movie serial in February, King-Trendle announced it would market transcriptions of the radio series for February 1 assignments. The strong growth of the series since it premiered four years previous showed promise and broke all records for mail response for WXYZ. Then heard over 27 stations, Trendle wanted to expand his empire with transcription discs and began advertising the series, claiming the discs would be available for broadcast starting February 15.

Sales were certainly impressive and profitable, leading to Trendle’s second transcribed series, Ann Worth, Housewife. (Many of the Green Hornet radio transcriptions were marked not just with an episode number, but the letter 'B'. It was originally assumed that 'B' meant the second series to be transcribed for Trendle, but is not the case.) By August 1938, King-Trendle Broadcasting was still feeding The Green Hornet live to Mutual stations and it was not transcribed. A business meeting in July 1938 discussed the possibility of expansion. Sponsor interest was growing in various sections of the country, giving them guide to how many transcriptions would need to be produced to meet the demand. Thus the reason why we have so many Green Hornet radio broadcasts in collector hands today.

Since recordings of pre-1938 Lone Ranger radio broadcasts are not going to surface in the coming decades (or centuries), I offer you a selection of episodes from the calendar year of 1933, along with plot summaries and assorted notes and trivia. Enjoy!

Adults, as well as children, listened to The Lone Ranger.

Episode #110  [TITLE NOT LISTED ON SCRIPT]
Broadcast October 12, 1933
Plot:
Sally Perkins, is truly a most attractive girl. Her father has always looked forward to the time when she would marry the son of his nearest friend, Ben Eastman. He has hoped for this uniting of two of the finest families in the west, and is not well pleased with the attention Sally gives the newcomer, Bert DeForest. Bert is an Easterner who knows nothing of cattle raising and ranching; only how to dress fancy and spend money. At the urging of the Lone Ranger, Tonto kidnaps the girl. Her father searches all night in vain for his daughter, but the Masked Man visits the saloon and suggests if they want the girl returned, they need to send Bert DeForest after her, suggesting he can buy her back. Scared, Bert is persuaded by the men in the saloon to visit the rendezvous, where Tonto strikes a bargain in exchange for the girl. But Ben would rather see her harmed than be harmed and when Ben proves his worth, the Lone Ranger steps in and explains the ruse. Upset, Sally orders Bert to leave and never come back… knowing who would prove their worth as a husband.

Episode #111  [TITLE NOT LISTED ON SCRIPT]
Broadcast October 14, 1933
Plot:
In the small mining community of Parmalee, wealthy Bill Turner is offered a financial opportunity involving six precious diamonds, each worth over $5,000. Galdberry wants to have the diamonds sold and hopes Turner will provide a means of resale. Late one night, after a lively party, the diamonds are stolen and Galdberry attempts to hold Turner accountable. The Lone Ranger and Tonto, aware that Galdberry is a con man, stole the diamonds in the hopes of revealing Galdberry is a crook. Tonto sets up the stage to make both parties believe he knows where the diamonds are, offering to return them to the man who pays him the most money. When the men agree to double-cross the Indian, at the insistence of Galdberry, by keeping the diamonds, turning the red skin over to the sheriff and forcing Turner to sell them later for money he already paid out, the Lone Ranger overhears their plans. During the transaction, Galdberry gives himself away and the Lone Ranger, accompanied with the sheriff, explain how the setup was created. Galdberry is ordered to leave town and never return.

Episode #112  [TITLE NOT LISTED ON SCRIPT]
Broadcast October 17, 1933
Plot:
Jim Rockwell, a gold prospector who believes sweat and hard work are the true riches to a man’s happiness, allows his cousin, Matt Manover, to help him with the latest claim. Matt’s father, Ike, believes the hard work might make a man out of the boy, who spends much of his day sleeping and most evenings gambling and drinking. The Lone Ranger and Tonto, observing how the boy isn’t much of a laborer, suspects foul play will come of Jim and hangs around long enough to observe Jim, moments after discovering a rich vein, create a rockslide from the soft shale along the hill, sealing Jim in the tunnel for good. Hoping to cut his cousin out of a share of the goldmine, Matt believes he got away with the crime until the Lone Ranger arrives and pulls Jim out of the tunnel. It seems the Masked Man had a tunnel of his own dug from the other side and was quickly able to rescue Jim. Racing on the great horse Silver, Jim arrives at the claim office in time to file the claim, and then steps aside as Matt walks in to make his claim and announce the death of his cousin -- unaware that his verbal claim is about to hang him.

Trivia, etc. Silver is referred to as “the Wonder Horse,” carrying a double load with both Jim and the Lone Ranger which “means nothing to those tremendous legs, and the ground flies beneath his silver shod hoofs.”

Episode #113  [TITLE NOT LISTED ON SCRIPT]
Broadcast October 19, 1933
Plot:
General Gonzales and his band of Mexican revolutionists orders Fisheye and Squint to prevent the delivery of cattle and horses from the Circle Box Ranch, just outside the town of Fariday, which was recently sold to the United States Army. Days later, Lem Peabody, owner of the Ranch, is unaware that the men in the cab of the engine are Fisheye and Squint, no longer employed by the railroad, and had killed the regular employees to take their place. Tonto, meanwhile, arranges for the sheriff to find the two dead bodies so the lawman will know about the murders. When the killers attempt to double cross Gonzales by stranding the cattle on a side track, the Lone Ranger assists Lem with getting the merchandise delivered in the hands of the United States Army by allowing the cars to move on their own accord, because they are on the down grade, and from there they will coast down hill to their destination. There is a wheel on the last car that will brake the cars to slow them down when they reach the turns. While Lem finishes the job that was almost foiled by the killers, the Lone Ranger takes charge of the two murderers at the point of his heavy guns and takes them to the sheriff.

Trivia, etc. According to the script notes, John Todd not only played the role of Tonto in this episode, but doubled for the role of Fisheye. The Federal Men were referred by the Lone Ranger as the United States Army in this episode, while Lem remarked that it was a new name for them.

Episode #114  [TITLE NOT LISTED ON SCRIPT]
Broadcast October 21, 1933
Plot:
Sheriff Bart Cummings of the small town of Showdown is on the lookout for Black Hoss Billy, who robbed at least three stagecoaches and shot each of the drivers. Known for riding a black horse, the sheriff mistakes innocent Ben Gridley for the killer. Gridley attempts to verify his identity, knowing the only person who can vouch is a half breed named Tonto whom he recently helped across the river. While Ben resided in jail for a short time that preceded the hanging of criminals in the early days, the Lone Ranger races back to Kansas to fetch proof that Black Hoss Billy was already hung for his crimes. Upon returning to Showdown in the nick of time, the Lone Ranger combats a stubborn sheriff that Ben, standing on top of the gallows, is innocent. The letter, Billy’s neckerchief and Tonto’s testimony finally serve as a reminder that one good turn deserves another.

Trivia, etc. Broadcast during the times when certain phrases and stereotypes were depicted without any sense of “political correctness,” this episode expressed one such example. Ben Gridley, in the opening scene, refers to his black horse by name -- “Nigger.” Yet, in the same scene, Ben offers Tonto a ride across the river on his horse. Tonto is reluctant at first, even reminding Ben that most white men hesitate assisting a half breed, but Ben shows no reluctance. 

Ranger:    I’ve just been finishing a little business with Black Horse Billy.
Tonto:    Um.  Gitum?
Ranger:    He wont be around here any more Tonto.
Tonto:    Killum?
Ranger:    No, I can’t shoot a man in cold blood Tonto, but I did manage to get him across the state line where the men in Kansas were waiting for him with lynching ropes.
Tonto:    Humph!  Better you shootum!
Ranger:    (LAUGH)  You bloodthirsty old fellow…

More Trivia, etc. The Lone Ranger laughing? Yes, this happened for the first 170 or so radio scripts. That aspect of the Masked Man gradually faded away but is very obvious is Gaylord DuBois' novel, The Lone Ranger, the first of 18 Grossett & Dunlap novels published from the 1930s to the 1960s.

Ben Gridley was also a negro in this episode, who expresses joy when he is served chicken as his last meal before hanging. John Todd not only played the role of Tonto, but doubled for the role of “Whitey.” According to script notes, the Earl Graser also doubled for a voice in the crowd sequence.

Episode #115  [TITLE NOT LISTED ON SCRIPT]
Broadcast October 24, 1933
Plot:
Sally Simms is without the prettiest girl in Osage, especially those of Dale Martin, deputy sheriff at the town of Forks.  Shortly after the shooting in which both the Sheriff and his murderer were killed by fast bullets, Dale Martin accepts the position -- with a price. Now known for a fast draw, Dale must defend his quick draw against those like Injun’ Joe and Lightin’ Harris, against the protests of Sally. The Lone Ranger takes a hand and kidnaps Dale, only to teach him that a good sheriff can stop a fight without a firing a shot. Late one evening, Lightnin’ Harris arrives at the Silver Dollar Saloon and provokes a fight with Sally’s father. Dale removes a shotgun and order Lightnin’ to surrender his firearms as according to the law that hasn’t been enforced. Realizing he is cornered, Lightnin’ leaves town, never to return again. Sally cries for joy -- her future husband will be the kind of sheriff she wants him to be.

Trivia, etc. John Todd not only plays the role of Tonto in this episode, but doubles for Smoky Snyder in the opening scene.

Episode #116  [TITLE NOT LISTED ON SCRIPT]
Broadcast October 26, 1933
Plot:
Silas Withersby was found shot to death with a gun owned by Steve Thatcher, who now resides in Sheriff Tenebre’s jail in the town of Shelby. Sid Fields, an Easterner from Ohio, fell victim to the chaos of the night before and is also accused of the crime. The Lone Ranger knows time is against him when a lynch mob is bent on hanging a man and determined to do it, before morning when the highly respected Texas Rangers arrive to help the Sheriff guard his prisoners. Single handed, the Lone Ranger holds up thirty odd men in the saloon to inspect their cash, hoping to find someone with a bankroll damaged by a bullet that passed through Withersby. Tonto, meanwhile, unlocks the jail and helps disguise the prisoners as Texas Ranger, even arming them with loaded guns to fool the approaching mob. When the mob breaks, believing Steve was a Texas Ranger, the Lone Ranger arrives to clear Steve and Sid’s good name and brings Rusty Redpath, the real murderer, into the office to verify the money found on his possession -- with burn marks from the fatal bullet that killed Withersby.

Trivia, etc. Beginning with this episode, the program opens with the Lone Ranger encouraging his horse Silver with the call of “Hi Yo Silver!” after the opening narrator delivers his prologue, remarking that the speedy white horse and his rider just rode past. The speed at which Silver muscles is described by deputy Jim Fowler when he tells the sheriff, “Yuh caint hit a feller travelin’ like that Sheriff. Gosh, he’s goin’ faster’n the bullets is…”

Episode #117  [TITLE NOT LISTED ON SCRIPT]
Broadcast October 28, 1933
Plot:
Sheriff Snead of Carson City leads a posse to catch Pete Lorenzo, a notorious outlaw who just killed honest Jim Fawcett and made off with a pile of new paper money from Washington. A witness named Andy Daiglish witnessed the crime and identified Lorenzo to the sheriff. The posse catches up to a man who claims his name is Pete Atwill, even though he fit’s the description given by Daiglish. Too late in the day to return to town, the sheriff orders the posse to make camp for the night while their prisoner remains tied until they can decide what to do with him. After dark, Pete attempts to make a break for it. The posse catches up to him and a struggle ends with the sheriff being shot through the heart. The posse prepares for a hanging until the Lone Ranger interferes, and points out that Pete had a gun loaded with blanks… supplied by Daiglish. After comparison to the bullets in Daiglish’s gun and the stolen money found on his possession, the posse discovers they had the wrong person and seeks justice against the true murderer while the Lone Ranger rides away.

Trivia, etc. It is referenced in this episode that Tonto rides a jackass. Obviously he later graduated to a pint horse named "White Feller," later renamed "Scout."

Episode #118  [TITLE NOT LISTED ON SCRIPT]
Broadcast October 31, 1933
Plot:
Bob Ryder has masqueraded as a masked bandit who robs from the rich and, on occasion, giving to the needy. His wife Betty is unaware of her husband’s activities, believing he spends his afternoons panning for gold. The Lone Ranger plays detective and quickly discovers the identity of the notorious bandit. The Lone Ranger and Tonto trail him to a cabin and taking custody of the goods, escorts him back to Virginia City. Along the way, Bob pleads his sad sob story of being swindled -- twice -- and his newborn son being the primary reason why he turned to theft. Riding along a treacherous mountain side, Tonto’s horse loses its footing and Bob, without hesitation, plunges his horse front on Tonto’s, saving the life of the Indian, but taking the life of Bob as he plunges to his death. Realizing Bob could have had his chance to escape, but instead chose to do the right thing, the Lone Ranger brings in the body for identification and tells the story of how an Indian was masquerading as the masked bandit. Tonto is arrested for the crime but before a lynch mob can seek justice, the Lone Ranger arrives to free Tonto and ride out of the territory, content knowing Bob’s good name will not be tarnished. As the Lone Ranger remarked, “I didn’t know whether to bring him in, or let him go.  I’m glad I didn’t have to decide.”

Trivia, etc. Beginning with this episode, the series began the opening catch-phrase: “A fiery horse with speed of light, a cloud of dust, a hearty laugh!”

Friday, January 24, 2014

Batman Television Series Archival Scans

Over a year ago I posted scans of archival materials related to the BATMAN television series. Looking over the blog statistics, I was shocked to discover that it was among the top three most viewed blog posts I ever wrote. So I assume Bat fans would like to read a whole bunch more. Here you go!

By the way, over the past year I received many requests from people asking me to scan copies of other archival documents related to the TV series, for projects of their own. Anyone considering sending me a similar request be warned: While I filled as many of those requests as I could, I recently donated all of the archival materials to a friend who loves the BATMAN television series and I no longer have them. (2014 is the year of "cleaning house" and this helps clear away shelf space in the basement.) I did scan every piece of paper in the collection, all 3,000 plus sheets of paper, and a digital copy is now preserved on CD-Rom. (Just because I gave them away doesn't mean I don't have them -- they are just in a different format).

By the way, a friend of mine who helps out with staffing at the Mid-Atlantic Nostalgia Convention told me his plans of creating a website devoted to the BATMAN television series. I gave him the scans via CD-Rom and he added hundreds more of his own. That site is now available for viewing. An estimated 800 plus scans are posted on the site. So after you are done reading these, if you want to read more, visit his site at http://www.batmantelevisionseries.com

(Click on the photos to enlarge.)

















Friday, January 17, 2014

Recent Archival Discoveries

The calendar year of 2013 brought us a large number of discoveries; each giving us a reason to cheer. Three archives housing transcription discs were opened for collectors of old-time radio braodcasts. Of the estimated 2,000 recordings, about 220 were formerly classified as "lost" recordings and not available in collector hands for decades. Among them: The Witch's Tale, The Mysterious Traveler, all the missing second season episodes of The Big Show, a few The Lone Ranger, Mr. I.A. Moto, A Date with Judy, and Hop Harrigan among others. Details regarding their release cannot be made available yet but in 2014, do not be surprised if a number of these recordings become available either commercially or as round robin sales among collectors. (Please do not e-mail me asking for details. The only answer you will get is "see my blog post." When details are available, I will post them on my blog. (Hopefully that will curb the numerous e-mails I get every week.)) It just goes to show you that after all these decades, "lost" recordings are still bound to be found.

Doctor Who combats a robot Yeti.

Speaking of "lost" recordings… Doctor Who fans will be able to buy nine early episodes of the series not seen since they were screened in the 1960s, after tapes of the lost adventures were discovered in Nigeria. Regarded as the most significant haul of missing Doctor Who episodes for three decades, they feature Patrick Troughton, the second actor to play the itinerant Time Lord in the long running sci-fi show. The recovered material includes four episodes of a six-parter, The Web of Fear, a "quintessential" Doctor Who story in which the Time Lord battles robot Yetis spreading a poisonous fungus on the London Underground. Since one episode existed prior, that means only episode three is still missing. It also features the first appearance of Nicholas Courtney as Brigadier Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart, a popular recurring character on the series and its spin-off The Sarah Jane AdventuresAlso included were five episodes that now complete the six-part 1967 Doctor Who story, The Enemy of the World, also starring Patrick Troughton. The BBC's commercial arm, BBC Worldwide, made the episodes available on Apple's iTunes store for sale in advance, but the DVD releases (England gets first dibs) are slated for 2014.

Patrick Troughton in an episode of "The Web of Fear."

There have been rumors that other episodes, including the final episode with William Hartnell (the first Doctor), was among the find but whether or not this is true remains improbable at the moment. Reason is because too many people began reporting the details of the archival find and exaggerations began hitting the internet faster than they could be corrected. The Troughton episodes above were confirmed by the BBC so for now, that's all we have to report. But thankfully we have something to look forward to on DVD in 2014.

The notorious Clara Bow painting that was not.

Days before Thanksgiving, Bonhams in New York auctioned off a rare Clara Bow painting… an often-rumored painting of the actress in the nude. Okay, maybe we are not surprised that the "It" girl posed in the nude. But the history of the painting may be of amusement. According to the auction house, in 1929, "stage and screen actor Bela Lugosi was touring the United States appearing in the play Dracula, soon to be optioned by Universal for a film adaptation. One of the audience members at a Los Angeles performance was the silent film star Clara Bow. Sound films had recently taken hold in Hollywood and Bow was anxious about whether her thick Brooklyn accent would appeal to audiences. Having read in the press that Lugosi spoke his lines phonetically without knowing English, Bow was determined to find out more about the Hungarian actor. Bow biographer David Stenn describes their meeting: "Clara sat transfixed through Dracula, and when the final curtain fell, she made a beeline for Lugosi's dressing room. 'How d'ya know your lines?' she immediately asked him. Lugosi, who still spoke no English, gesticulated that he learned from cues by other actors. Without further ado, Clara invited him home'" (Stenn, Clara Bow: Runnin' Wild, NY: 1988, p. 140)."

Their relationship was brief but apparently had a lasting impact on Lugosi as he commissioned a fellow Hungarian, artist Geza Kende, to paint this portrait of Bow. It has been verified that this painting did in fact hang in the living room of Bela Lugosi's house. But it is not believed that Bow posed for the painting herself, and Bow historian David Stenn states she never posed nude. In short, this painting is not of Clara Bow. She could have been the inspiration and it remains possible that Lugosi commissioned a portrait in her likeness. The companion painting, a portrait by Kende of Lugosi himself, sold at Heritage Auctions in 2004 for $86,250. The beautiful Clara Bow painting has on occasion been debated whether or not it really was Clara Bow -- even though the most knowledgable historians says it is not so. The buyer has only the auction house catalog to go by and this reminds me of the old adage that if you are going to spend a lot of money buying something, do your research first.

Thomas Edison's Frankenstein from 1910?

Speaking of doing your research… a 35mm nitrate master of Thomas Edison's Frankenstein went up on eBay in December with a starting bid of $100. The seller, Interfilmartentertainment, had a feedback rating of 21 at the time the auction went up online. Their description of the item stated: "Up for bid is an original 35mm nitrate motion picture print from Thomas Edison's "FRANKENSTEIN" - there is a version currently on DVD but this print far exceeds the running time on this original archival film print which is an amazing 32 minutes of undiscovered rare lost footage.  This is a unique opportunity to own an authentic uncut original version of this lost vintage classic. The copyright status of this film is in the Public Domain.  The print is basically in acceptable if not good condition.  Remarkably, there are no sprocket holes torn.  There is no fading but given the age of this vintage print, it is considerably much better than the current releases on DVD.  SERIOUS BIDDERS ONLY. I am looking for a qualified and verified buyer whom is willing to go as high as $15,000.00.  Otherwise I am not interested in counter offers unless it is a fair offer.  Payment is by PAYPAL ONLY.  FREE SHIPPING!"

While they do sell 35mm reels, the Edison film was a bit questionable for a number of reasons. No one knew of a 32 minute version and a screen capture of the film short, posted alongside a can of film (pictured above) was a screen capture of a recent DVD release and that was a reconstruction of a title/dialogue card, not from the original film. Needless to say, the auction ended early and no bids were placed. So was there really a 35mm master of Thomas Edison's Frankenstein from 1910? Film historians found many reasons to question the auction but if a real print did exist, the lucky buyer probably got their money's worth. Time will tell.


The Rocky and Bullwinkle Statue

If you are like me, a fan of the Rocky and Bullwinkle Show, you are probably already marked your calendars for the theatrical release date of Mr. Peabody and Sherman, the 2014 animated motion-picture from Dreamworks. Steven Spielberg's production company purchased the rights to the series and plan to make a number of movies based on the animated characters. If you want to check out the movie trailer, CLICK HERE.

Allan Duffin brought this to my attention. Just recently the Moose and Squirrel moved to a new location -- the statue, that is -- and this news fact almost went under the radar.

On the afternoon of September 24, 1961, Los Angeles County Sheriff Peter Pitchess presided with actress Jayne Mansfield over the unveiling of a 15-foot-tall fiberglass statue of cartoon characters Rocket J. ("Rocky") Squirrel and Bullwinkle J. Moose in front of Hollywood Hounds, creator Jay Ward's production offices, 8218 Sunset Strip. If there was any sign of success to Rocky and his Friends (later re-titled Bullwinkle Show and again as The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle), the iconic statue verified that status for anyone driving along the Strip.

At the time, the publicity stunt, "heralding the debut of The Bullwinkle Show" on NBC, drew '5,000 milling, screaming, caterwauling celebrants,'" the Los Angeles Times quotes a TV Guide report at the time. The iconic statue drew mentions in the guidebooks known as Roadside America, where it was referred to as "beautifully tasteless and wonderfully weird."

During the ceremony, Jay Ward had obtained permits to have all but one lane of Sunset Boulevard blocked off and mischievously posted a sign to motorists that said: "Don't complain or we'll block this lane too." The invitees received "pairs of tickets to widely separated seats to accommodate Hollywood couples who weren't on speaking terms," according to author Keith Scott in his wonderful book (and highly recommended) The Moose That Roared: The Story of Jay Ward, Bill Scott, a Flying Squirrel, and a Talking Moose.

The Las Vegas Hotel across the street.
Alert partiers might have noticed that it was a parody of an ad on the other side of Sunset hawking a Las Vegas hotel — a statue of a bikini-clad showgirl holding a cowboy hat in the same manner that Bullwinkle was holding Rocky. Ward even had his statue move on a rotating base like the cowgirl did. The toon duo wore the same colors as she. Bullwinkle and Rocky recently celebrated their 50th Anniversary and for five decades the statue sat in front of Hollywood Hounds, which offered grooming and day care for dogs (but not for moose or squirrels). Hollywood Hounds no longer exists and the building is presently occupied by Posh Pet Care. 

A few months ago, in July, the statue was carried away by crane. Locals took photographs and thanks to Facebook, word spread about the iconic statue making an unannounced move. No one knew what had happened to the statue until Vintage Los Angeles received an explanation from Brian Watson of Posh Pet Care: "[It had] a severe crack in the statue that was too expensive for the landlord to repair."

So where did the statue move to? You can thank the head honchos at Dreamworks Entertainment, David Geffen and Steven Spielberg who recently bought the rights to Rocky & Bullwinkle and arranged for the statue to undergo restoration before becoming a permanent fixture at Dreamworks.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Assorted TV Guide News Blurbs

While browsing through back issues of TV Guide, I came across a number of news blurbs that provide interesting insight to television programs that never happened, trivia about shows that did happen... well, you get the idea.

November 16, 1957
A ghost story series, One Step Beyond, is in preparation at Screen Gems with Boris Karloff, one of Hollywood's kindlier ghosts, penciled in as the ghost-host.

Note: Not produced at Screen Gems and with John Newland as host, not Karloff. 

February 22, 1958
Jack Webb as plans for six hour-long documentary TV films on science and space, to be financed and sponsored by an oil company.

Note: I don't think this ever happened.

August 15, 1959
Rock Hudson wants to do three specials this year and is waiting for producers to submit properties.

Note: No such specials were ever produced or telecast.

January 17, 1959
Moon Flight, new semi-documentary series about man's exploration of space, has gone into production, with Bill Lundigan as star. The producer spent over $100,000 in preliminary research and has built a full-sized replica of a space ship for background.

June 13, 1959
Ziv's new Space (formerly Moonshot) series for CBS has a Government okay to use Cape Canaveral for background and location filming. Film shooting, that is, not moon shooting.

Note on above two: The series was titled Men Into Space.

Men Into Space TV series

August 8, 1959
Besides televising the Miss America Pageant from Atlantic City September 12, CBS for the first time will also televise the Miss America Parade September 8. Newsman Doug Edwards and marilyn Van Derbur, the 1958 Miss America, will narrate.

March 18, 1961
CBS is still planning an hour-long version of Playhouse 90 for the fall.
Note: The show was never an hour long but I guess if that happened they would have re-titled it Playhouse 60?

January 24, 1959
Ricky Nelson planning a trip to Spain this summer to study bullfighting, in which he became interested while co-starring in a new movie with John Wayne. Ricky will play in a bullfighting sequence on the Ozzie and Harriet show before his trip.

December ??, 1958
Screen Gems has a show called Behind Closed Doors which it cannot sell because it is so powerful. The stories are declassified information from the files of the U.S. Government. One story is said to concern an alleged Russian bombing mission headed for the U.S. until it was suddenly recalled just as the group neared Canada. A soap manufacturer viewed the test film, said: "It's great, but how can I interrupt such stories to tell people to buy soap?"

August 25, 1962
A new jungle adventure series for syndication, Tongaloa, is now being produced by CBS Films near Acapulco, Mexico. A tame lion named Claude, born and raised in Hollywood, was imported for the series. He escaped from his cage one night, wandered into the jungle, returned the next day, suffered a heart attack and died. The attending veterinarian said Claude simply could not adjust himself to jungle living.

Note: No such TV series met fruition.

Robert Stack as Elliot Ness on The Untouchables

also August 25, 1962
An episode of The Untouchables titled "The Fabulous Floyd Gibbons" is being planned by Robert Stack's production company and writer Mort Lewis for a subsequent series.

Note: No such series was ever produced.

November 22, 1958
Kathy Nolan's wardrobe for this season's The Real McCoys runs to $11.46. Old clothes bought from old-clothes dealers and her "new" shoes cost 21 cents -- with tax.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year!

The way I look at it, if Sports Illustrated can have their own swimsuit issue, we can have one of our own to ring in the New Year!

Debbie Reynolds

Jayne Mansfield

Dorothy Sebastian

Marilyn Maxwell