Forty-five years ago, today, the Hallmark Hall of Fame television movie All Creatures Great and Small aired on NBC. Based on two novels by James Alfred Wight (pen name James Herriot), If Only They Could Talk (1970) and It Shouldn’t Happen To A Vet (1972), it was the first of a series of films and TV series based on his work. Directed by Claude Whatham and produced by David Susskind, it starred Simon Ward (as James Herriot), Anthony Hopkins, Lisa Harrow, Brian Stirner and Freddie Jones.
It is 1937 and newly qualified vet James Herriot travels to Yorkshire to apply for the post of assistant in Siegfried Farnon’s practice. He soon learns the facts of country life but, struggles to overcome the prejudices of the Darrowby locals who are skeptical of the novice vet’s ability. In between cases, Herriot courts pretty farmer’s daughter Helen Alderson and finally marries her.
From Turner Classic Movies:
A gentle, episodic account of author Herriot’s apprenticeship in the mid-1930s to an eccentric rural English veterinarian and his awkward courtship of a farmer’s daughter.
The story of a young veterinarian’s apprenticeship to a somewhat eccentric, older vet in the English countryside and the young man’s hesitating courtship of the daughter of a local farmer.
♦ Although born in Sunderland, England, James Herriot spent the first twenty-three years of his life in Glasgow, Scotland and never lost the accent, as can be heard in television interviews. Simon Ward however, plays him as a Londoner.
♦ Known to the cast and crew as “All Creatures Grunt and Smell”.
Fifty-five years ago, today, the TV Special An Hour With Robert Goulet, a variety show, aired on CBS. Directed by Clark Jones (The Carol Burnett Show) and written by Arthur Alsberg (Herbie, the Love Bug & No Deposit, No Return), guest stars were Leslie Caron, Peter Gennaro, Phil Silvers, Ed Sullivan, Terry-Thomas, Fredd Wayne and Earl Wilson.
There is very little written about this special, save a New York Times Article, written the next day (No writer credited):
ONE of the tiredest gimmicks of variety shows was coupled last night with a fresh idea on “The Robert Goulet Hour.” When the tenor turned his profile toward the sun on a southern California beach and a light wind ruffled his perfectly groomed hair as he sang “Lost in the Stars,” his program consciously aimed for the creative touch. Few singers are willing to compete with the Pacific Ocean.
But when Mr. Goulet was on the sound stage of C.B.S. Television City in Hollywood, he was engulfed in that shopworn gag of pretending to be rehearsing a musical special for TV. Leslie Caron joined him in “Call Me Irresponsible” and then said “no,” she simply would not sing on his show. Peter Gennaro demonstrated a possible dance step and Fredd Wynne [sic] agonized over material for Mr. Goulet and sketches for Miss Caron. Even the ad‐libs were planned.
Visiting the University of California at Los Angeles, Mr. Goulet and company held a press conference for tanned Tammys and Gidgets, who watched Terry‐Thomas mug shamelessly as a fine arty professor. The atypical students acted like graduates of the Hollywood Professional School.
When the script permitted Mr. Goulet to forget the script, his show had possibilities. Still, the evening’s honors must go to Miss Caron, who, impersbnating [sic] Marlene Dietrich as the Blue Angel, tackled a chair with the finesse of an Olympic champion.
IMDB states that it was filmed at the Wilshire Boulevard Brown Derby. The second video, below, appears to be from a Robert Goulet channel that was set up by his widow, Vera Novak. Written below the video:
Robert Goulet Live From Sahara Hotel In Las Vegas was filmed as part of “An Hour With Robert Goulet” TV special in 1964 and produced by our company Rogo Productions, Inc. This is a rare gem and wonderful historical footage of a remarkable entertainer showcasing live entertainment in Las Vegas during 1960s. In this clip, Robert sings a “Medley Of Old Songs” written by Jerry Bresler and Lyn Duddy, which was also recorded in 1963 on Columbia Records “Robert Goulet in Person“.
Twenty years ago, today, the science fiction series Harsh Realm debuted on Fox. Created and developed by Chris Carter (The X-Files & Millenium), it starred Scott Bairstow, D.B. Sweeney, Terry O’Quinn, Rachael Hayward, Max Martini, Samantha Mathis and Sarah-Jane Redmond with Cameron K. Smith as a Republican Guard Soldier (Smith had fourth billing but, much of his acting history is uncredited) and, Vinnie as Dexter the Dog (seventh billing in the cast list). Filmed in Vancouver, British Columbia, it was loosely based on the Harsh Realm comic book by James Hudnall and Andrew Paquette.
Tagline: Are you ready to play?
Harsh Realm is a virtual reality game created by the U.S. Army, programmed to minutely replicate the real world for training simulations. In the world of Harsh Realm, a small nuclear bomb is detonated in the program’s version of New York City, killing four million people and thrusting its participants into a post-apocalyptic disaster scenario. Lieutenant Tom Hobbes is unknowingly thrust into this world by his superiors with one mission: to kill “General” Omar Santiago. Along the way, he meets fellow soldiers sent into the game and alternate versions of people he knows in the real world (including Dexter, an alternate version of his real world dog). It is in this world that Hobbes must survive, defeat Santiago, save the real world and, somehow return to his real life and his fiancée, Sophie Green.
Lt. Hobbes, a young idealistic Marine who’s about to get married, is sent into a [virtual reality] war game simulation where he is to terminate a renegade General who has taken control of the program. [He] also learns that he is actually trapped in the game, along with numerous other soldiers previously sent to kill Santiago. Meanwhile, Hobbes real life fiancee investigates his disappearance with the help of a mysterious female ally with an agenda of her own.
♦ Notable director for one episode: Kim Manners (Supernatural)
♦ Notable writer for one episode: Frank Spotnitz (The X-Files)
♦ Notable composer for the series: Mark Snow (The X-Files & Starsky & Hutch)
♦ Gillian Anderson is the narrator of the Harsh Realm training video in the first episode.
♦ Thomas Hobbes is named for the philosopher Thomas Hobbes, who believed in predestination and that people are inherently selfish and power-hungry.
♦ Hobbes’ dog, Dexter, is named after the protagonist from the Harsh Realm comic book series upon which the show is loosely based.
♦ Many [have] wrongly speculated that [the] widely-publicized lawsuit brought about the series’ sudden cancellation. It was actually a struggle between Carter and Fox that got the series cancelled (after nine episodes).
♦ The term “harsh realm” originates from the grunge speak hoax of 1992 […]
♦ The theme music contains samples of speeches given by Benito Mussolini.
♦ Music from artists Prodigy, White Zombie (Rob Zombie) and Moby are featured in some episodes.
Sixty years ago, today, the sitcom The Betty Hutton Show debuted on CBS. Originally titled Goldie, it was sponsored by General Foods‘ Post Cereals and, produced by Desilu and Hutton Productions. Created by Stanley Roberts, it starred Betty Hutton, Dennis Joel (Olivieri), Peter Miles, Gigi Perreau, Gavin Muir, Tom Conway and Jean Carson.
Hutton stars as Goldie, a showgirl-turned-manicurist. One of Goldie’s regular customers is a millionaire, Mr. Strickland. After he suddenly dies, Goldie discovers that he has left everything he owns, including his $60 million fortune and his three children, to her.
A talkative manicurist inherits a legacy and the custody of three children from a rich Wall Street broker customer.
Betty Hutton’s Website
Episode One: Betty Crosses The Tracks
Fifty-five years ago, today, the action–adventure series Daniel Boone debuted on NBC. Produced by 20th Century Fox Television, it starred Fess Parker, Patricia Blair, Darby Hinton, Veronica Cartwright, Ed Ames & Dallas McKennon. Country singer Jimmy Dean was a guest star for fifteen episodes from 1968-1970 and NFL football player Rosie Greer had regular appearances from 1969-1970. The show’s first season was in black & white.
Daniel Boone was one of two significant historical figures played by Fess Parker. He previously appeared as Davy Crockett in a series of episodes of the Walt Disney anthology television series […]. Efforts had been made to secure the rights to Crockett from Walt Disney but, Disney refused to sell, so, the series wound up being about Boone instead. In contrast, Parker’s Boone was less of an explorer and more a family man than Parker’s Crockett. Parker as Crockett also generally wore a light beard, whereas his Boone was predominantly clean-shaven.
The series is set in the 1770s and 1780s, just before, during and after the American Revolution and, mostly centered on adventures in, and about, Boonesborough, Kentucky. Some aspects of the show were less than historically faithful, which, at one point, led the Kentucky legislature to condemn the inaccuracies. The series’ story line does not follow historical events. Instead, story lines run back and forth concerning historical events.
[Ed Ames] role as Mingo led to a famous tomahawk-throwing demonstration on The Tonight Show, that was rerun on anniversary clip shows for decades afterward, in which Ames threw a tomahawk at a target of a man and the hatchet landed between the cutout’s legs, much to host Johnny Carson‘s amusement.
♦ According to an interview with Veronica Cartwright, she left the series because the producers wanted to have her character of Jemima Boone involved in more mature situations, such as budding romantic relationships. Patricia Blair did not like this because it made her feel too old, so she threatened to leave the series if Cartwright was not let go from the series.
♦ Israel Boone was one of seventy-two killed at the Battle of Blue Licks, one of the last battles of the Revolutionary War, on August 19, 1782. He was twenty-three. His father Daniel was there and saw his son killed. Coincidentally, Darby Hinton, who played Israel, was born on the 175th Anniversary of Israel’s death, August 19, 1957.
♦ [The] Boones [actually] had ten children […].
♦ Unlike Fess Parker [6’5″ 1/2], the real Daniel Boone was only about 5’8″.
I’m trying something different. We’ll see how it goes. ~Vic
Sixty-five years ago, today, the sitcom Dear Phoebe debuted on NBC. Created by Alex Gottlieb, it starred Peter Lawford, Marcia Henderson, Charles Lane and Joe Corey. The first episode to air, Bill Gets a Job, included a young Chuck Connors and The Christmas Show episode included Jesse White (Maytag Man). The show’s theme music was composed by George & Ira Gershwin.
Bill Hastings works for a daily newspaper in a large city. His duties include a lonely hearts column, where he advises everyone on their problems, as “Phoebe”, while trying to deal with his own.
Lawford stars as Bill Hastings, a former college professor who becomes the writer of the advice-to-the-lovelorn column at the fictitious Los Angeles Daily Star. Hastings writes under the pseudonym “Miss Phoebe Goodheart”. Marcia Henderson portrayed Mickey Riley, the female sportswriter at the newspaper and Hastings’s own romantic interest. Charles Lane, who later portrayed J. Homer Bedloe in the CBS series Petticoat Junction, played newspaper boss Mr. Fosdick. Joe Corey played Humphrey Humpsteader, a copy boy trying to become a reporter.
♦ Peter Lawford’s wife, Patricia Kennedy Lawford (sister of John F. Kennedy), made a cameo appearance in one episode.
♦ This series was sponsored by Campbell Soup Company in its original prime time run.
The Christmas Show
Forty-seven years ago, today, the second version of The Price Is Right debuted (the first one ran from 1956 to 1965 and was hosted by Bill Cullen). Created by Bob Stewart, Mark Goodson and Bill Todman and, orignally produced by Goodson-Todman Productions (1972-1984), it was hosted by Bob Barker until June 6, 2007. Drew Carey took over October 15, 2007.
The show revolves around contestants competing by identifying accurate pricing of merchandise to win cash and prizes. Contestants are selected from the studio audience when the announcer states the show’s famous catchphrase, “Come on down!” (Contestants’ Row) [F]our contestants are called […] to take a spot in the front row behind bidding podiums […]. [They] compete in a bidding round to determine which contestant will play the next pricing game (known as One Bid). After winning the One Bid, the contestant joins the host onstage for the opportunity to win additional prizes or cash by playing a pricing game. [The Showcase Showdown (spinning The Big Wheel) follows with a final winner selected at the end of the episode (The Showcase)]
Barker was accompanied by a series of announcers, beginning with Johnny Olson, followed by Rod Roddy and, then, Rich Fields. In April 2011, George Gray became the announcer. The show has used several models, most notably Anitra Ford, Janice Pennington, Dian Parkinson, Holly Hallstrom and Kathleen Bradley.
The Price Is Right has aired over 8,000 episodes since its debut and is one of the longest-running network series in United States television history. The show’s [48th] season [will] premiere on September [23, 2019.]
Twenty years ago, today, the HBO special Bigger & Blacker, a stand-up routine by comedian Chris Rock, premiered. It was recorded at the Apollo Theater in Harlem. The, now, defunct DreamWorks Records released a DVD on July 13.
In his third HBO stand-up special, Chris Rock brings his critically acclaimed brand of social commentary-themed humor to this 1999 stand-up comedy presentation. Also released as an album, Chris Rock: Bigger and Blacker features Rock on-stage extolling his razor-sharp wit and wisdom on such topics as gun control, President Clinton, homophobia, racism, black leaders and relationships.
Grammy Award (Best Comedy Album)
Sixty-five years ago, today, the CBS TV variety series Stage Show debuted. It was produced by Jackie Gleason Enterprises and hosted by Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey. Starting out as an hour-long, summertime replacement for The Jackie Gleason Show, it was returned in the Fall of 1955.
This is the show that introduced the world to Elvis Presley.
Dave Marsh, in his insightful musical biography Elvis, writes about the moment Elvis Presley burst upon the American scene via The Dorsey Brothers Stage Show on January 28, 1956. “In his first appearance on the Dorsey Brothers’ TV show, the young singer rocked the world”. Marsh described Elvis’ startling rendition of Heartbreak Hotel and concluded, “He owned the song and he owned the crowd”.
After 17 months of personal appearances all over the south […], Elvis […] made his first appearance […]. Those shows were broadcast, live, from the CBS Studios in New York City. Young Elvis The Pelvis’ first appearance […] was followed by 5 others throughout the next 2 months until the 24 of March, 1956.
Bobby Darin also made his television debut on this show in March of 1956 singing Rock Island Line. The June Taylor Dancers were regular guests & performers and, Jack Carter became the permanent host in the show’s final season. Up against the The Perry Como Show on NBC, ratings began to decline. The final show was aired September 18, 1956, two months before the death of Tommy Dorsey. Jimmy passed in June of the following year.
Update: Less than 24 hours after I posted this, YouTube snatched down the video. If they continue, YouTube won’t have any videos left to watch. So, that being said, I am leaving the original link and adding what I can find. ~Vic
Fifty years ago, today, Cass Elliot of the The Mamas & The Papas appeared in the TV special The Mama Cass TV Show. Directed by Sid Smith, it was an hour-long musical variety show co-produced by Chuck Barris. Guest stars were Barbara Bain, Martin Landau, Buddy Hackett, Joni Mitchell, John Sebastian, Mary Travers and, Elliot’s group, The Mamas & The Papas.
[This was] a one-shot pilot episode for a TV series that was never picked up. In 1968, Mama Cass had launched her solo career and was hoping to move into television. This one-hour program only aired once on ABC-TV and was never shown, again. The show features Mama Cass Elliot with special guest stars, John Sebastian (The Lovin’ Spoonful), Joni Mitchell, Mary Travers (Peter, Paul and Mary), Buddy Hackett, Martin Landau and Barbara Bain (husband & wife, both from Mission: Impossible and later, Space: 1999).
Mama Cass: Dream A Little Dream Of Me, “River Of Life,” I Can Dream, Can’t I, Dancing In The Street.
Mama Cass with Joni Mitchell: Both Sides, Now.
Mary Travers: And When I Die.
Mama Cass with Joni Mitchell and Mary Travers: I Shall Be Released.
John Sebastian: She’s A Lady.
Mama Cass with John Sebastian: Darlin’ Companion.
There are also comedy sketches with Buddy Hackett (who is dressed very groovy mod!), Martin Landau and Barbara Bain.
Forty-one years ago, today, the Garfield Comic Strip debuted. Created by cartoonist Jim Davis, it chronicles the daily life and adventures of Garfield, a large orange (or ginger) Tabby cat, his human Jonathan Q. ‘Jon’ Arbuckle and, Odie, the dog, originally owned by Jon’s friend and roommate, Lyman. Davis named the cat after his grandfather, Jon Arbuckle came from a 1950s coffee commercial and Odie was based on a car dealership commercial written by Davis, which featured Odie the Village Idiot. Set in Muncie, Indiana (Jim Davis’s home), the strip showcases Garfield’s laziness, sarcastic humor, love of lasagna & coffee and, his dislike of Mondays.
In 2002, it became the most syndicated comic strip, reaching 263 million readers, worldwide. From 1978 to 1983, Garfield looked more like this picture but, went through some changes and became more cartoonish-looking from 1984, forward. Lyman was written out in 1982. Other notable characters are Dr. Liz Wilson (Garfield’s vet), Arlene (a pink stray cat), Pooky (Garfield’s teddy), Nermal (a grey Tabby kitten that Garfield is jealous of) and Jon’s family members.
I bought his first book from 1978 and I still have it. It is a little worn but, it is in good condition. ~Vic
Thirty years ago, today, the sitcom Doctor Doctor debuted on CBS. Starring Matt Frewer (Max Headroom), Julius Carry, Beau Gravitte, Maureen Mueller and Tony Carreiro, it ran for three seasons with the very last episode never airing.
From TV Tropes:
[The show] features Matt Frewer as [Dr. Mike Stratford] who belongs to the practice Northeast Medical Partners with three other doctors in Providence, Rhode Island. Most of the comedy surrounds [his] zany antics, tempered by his obvious commitment to his profession and his patients. Though at first serving as “straight men” for Frewer’s manic style of comic acting, the other characters gained more depth as the series progressed, sometimes focusing on issues such as AIDS, breast cancer and homophobia.
The focal point of the series is Mike Stratford, a semi-psychotic doctor who has a passion for healing, anybody. Besides being a doctor, Mike has written a couple of books and is a daily feature on Wake Up Providence…, a local morning TV show. Other major characters include: Richard, Mike’s gay brother and an assistant English professor; Dierdre, a doctor whose looking for the right man and once slept with Mike; Grant, a doctor whose only looking to keep his image perfect; Abe, a doctor whose married with a son and a perfect family life; Faye, a nurse who likes crossword puzzles and kinky things.
Doctor Doctor Opening Theme