What did you watch this week in classic TV on DVD(or Blu)?

Jeff Flugel

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WB westerns galore this past week...

Lawman
2.2 "The Hunch"
2.3 "Shackled"
2.4 "The Exchange"
2.5 "The Last Man"
A nice range of stories here. Deputy Johnny McKay takes center stage in the tense "Shackled," while Henry Brandon ("Scar" in John Ford's The Searchers) turns in a terrific performance as the white blood brother to Chief Iron Cloud, who tries to sabotage his people's surrender to an Army general. Brandon is given some choice dialogue here, courtesy of scriptwriter Clair Huffaker, who was a real dab hand at westerns (aside from 18 Lawman episodes, she wrote scripts for Rawhide, The Rifleman, Bonanza, Colt .45, The Virginian, and the big-screen westerns The Comancheros, Rio Conchos and The War Wagon, among others. Quite a talented lady.) And Mike Road (voice of Race Bannon) shows up in "The Exchange," as Lily's sleazeball estranged husband, who uses their young son as leverage to force her to help him pull a bank job. Needless to say, glowering Marshal Dan Troop (John Russell) puts a stop to that sort of nonsense.

Cheyenne - 3.4 "Devil's Canyon"
A pretty average episode, this, but still an enjoyable enough meller, anchored by the ever-watchable man mountain Clint Walker. Cheyenne leads a group of fortune hunters deep into hostile Indian territory to find a treasure buried in a cave...but will he survive to collect his share? Takes a while to get started, but picks up once things hit the trail. With Joanna Barnes, Robert Foulk, Jack La Rue and Myron Healy.

The Lucy Show
4.9 "Lucy and the Sleeping Beauty"
4.24 "Lucy and Clint Walker"
Found these two very funny episodes on YouTube, with big ol' Clint Walker as a brawny construction foreman who romances Lucy. "Sleeping Beauty" has two very funny setpieces, one where Frank (Clint's character) takes Lucy on an impromptu picnic high up on some girders, and another where Frank, exhausted from working 48 hours straight, comes to Lucy's apartment to take her out to dinner, but ends falling asleep on top of her, pinning her to the sofa. Clint plays it straight, but shows some adept - if rarely displayed - comic chops. Lucy must have enjoyed working with him, because he returns for more shenanigans in "Lucy and Clint Walker," in which Lucy invites Frank to her company picnic, and stays up all night to knit him a massive red sweater for his birthday...only to find out that he hates the color red.



Gunsmoke - 16.6 & 16.7 "Snow Train, Parts 1 and 2"
John Hopper, Randall and others have given justifiably enthusiastic praise to this epic two-parter, shot on location in Black Hills, South Dakota. A party of Sioux warriors, led by Red Willow (X Brands, mostly known to me as Jock Mahoney's lethal pal Pahoo in Yancy Derirnger), stop the titular "snow train" upon which Matt, Doc and Festus are traveling and demand two passengers - who sold the tribe poisoned whiskey, resulting in several Indian deaths - be turned over to them, or else they will torch the train and kill everyone on board. The problem is, no one knows just who the guilty two are. Matt takes off across the snowy pass on a desperate gambit to reach a telegraph relay station 20 miles away, a trio of braves hard on his trail...while the various passengers bicker among themselves, eventually reduced to tossing two likely culprits to certain death to spare themselves...

Perhaps just a trifle padded out in the first half (you could tell that the producers were really excited to be out on location with a period-accurate train), but overall, this is engrossing stuff, nicely acted, beautifully photographed (with real snow!) and blessed with a fantastic musical score by John Parker. With Dana Elcar, Gene Evans, Ken Lynch, Clifton James, Tim Considine and Loretta Swit.

Bronco - 1.14 "Belles of Silver Flat"
Bronco (Ty Hardin) meets up with friendly but mysterious preacher (played by Pernell Roberts) who turns out to be more than he at first seems. Together they clean up the rough and tumble town of Silver Flat. As is often the case with these WB western series, there's a lot going on in this episode: we get Dave trying to build a church and forced to hold sermons in a gambling parlor, Bronco hired to ride shotgun to protect a large mining payroll, Chubby Johnson and Hank Worden as miners who try to force some newly-arrived saloon girls to marry them, a seemingly benign dentist (Vaughn Taylor) who's actually a criminal mastermind plotting the robbery of the aforementioned payroll - plus the revelation about preacher Dave's gunslinger backstory. A very entertaining and lively episode, which benefits from some welcome exterior filming and good chemistry between Hardin and Roberts. Also with Veda Ann Borg.




Maverick - 3.17 "Cruise of the Cynthia B"
Atmospheric riff on Agatha Christie's Ten Little Indians, as Bret (the wonderful James Garner) somewhat uncharacteristically gets swindled by an old Scottish sharpie into buying an old paddleboat, only to find out that he is one of seven other proud new "owners" of the dusty old barge - including Modesty Blaine (Mona Freeman), an old femme fatale Bret's tangled with before. Together, the owners hatch a scheme to take the boat down the Mississippi River to Memphis to collect and split a $20,000 fee...but then someone starts bumping them off, one by one. Maverick's actions frequently belie his constant refrain that he's a coward: he not only fights off a knife-wielding killer, but dives from the formidable height of the deck into the murky nighttime waters to rescue a woman who's been pushed overboard. This is a fun one, capped off by a nifty climactic cameo by brother Bart.



The Dakotas - 1.13 "Reformation at Big Nose Butte"
Jack Elam takes the lead in yet another gripping outing of this short-lived but gritty western, as reformed outlaw turned deputy marshal, J.D. Smith, is pulled back into the orbit of his old reprobate mentor, Volet (Telly Savalas, replete with a bushy grey beard, in an attempt to make him look a couple of decades older than Elam, who was actually two years his senior). Volet has just been released from prison, and is planning one last big score, which he expects J.D. to go along with. I tend to agree with those who think this show might just be Elam's finest hour...he's very, very good here. Savalas has fun with a showy part, despite being slightly miscast, and it's cool to see a pre-Star Trek DeForest Kelley show up as an old rival who hates J.D.'s guts. Also with Sue Randall and Hayden Roarke.

Sugarfoot - 2.11 "Return of the Canary Kid"
Since Warner Archive hasn't seen fit to put any of Colt. 45 out on DVD, I cheated a bit and chose this crossover episode that features a good ten minutes or so of Wayde Preston as Christopher Colt. Another idiosyncratic gem written and directed by Montgomery Pittman, this sequel features the return of Tom Brewster's outlaw doppleganger (a mere six episodes later in the season!) Tom agrees to pose as his ruthless "cousin" while the Canary Kid is cooling his heels in prison, in order to help stop the cattle rustling activities of the Kid's gang. Things go pretty smoothly until the real Canary Kid escapes from prison and turns up at the gang's camp. Even better than the first Canary Kid tale. Don "Red" Barry and Doye O'Dell provide amusing comic relief as the Kid's cheerfully homicidal compadres...and once again, mega-hot Saundra Edwards is on hand as the Kid's sultry, perpetually barefoot, cheroot-smoking girlfriend, Prudence, whose affections begin to sway towards the more gentlemanly Tom.


 
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Flashgear

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Fabulous stuff, Randall! I had no idea that Fess Parker ever starred in an Alfred Hitchcock Hour episode! Looks like quite a fun, blackly comic tale, too. Don't have any of those crisp-looking UK DVD sets like you, but luckily enough, this episode is available on Daily Motion in good quality...will be checking it out in more detail later.
Thanks, Jeff! I had no idea it was on Daily Motion, apparently derived from the DVDs and thus in better PQ then the sources on Uncle Earl's Classic TV Channel. I'm certainly glad to have the whole series, all 10 seasons in total, on my DVDs. Great to know fans can watch these readily via streaming. I think you're going to love this episode, and the great Bernard Herrmann's original score as well...
As a kid, I don't think my parents let me watch the show for fear some of its underlying themes would turn my soul into a morass of godless goo. Even more reason to now catch up on it.
Ha, ha, Russ, I believe you (and me) are beyond redemption. As I've said before, despite my Mother detesting Hitchcock (or perhaps pretending to), we never missed his weekly show in my household...she especially detested Hitchcock's frequently revisited theme of some put-upon and henpecked husband doing away with his shrewish wife in some fiendishly inventive way...I know it may sound funny, but we really did pray for the salvation of Hitchcock's immortal soul...It might be that our parish priest had our whole congregation doing so, ha, ha...
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Hitchcock doing the Gulliver thing in his intro to season one's A Tangled Web (Jan 25, 1963)...the episode guest starred Robert Redford, Zohra Lampert and Barry Morse...
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.and once again, mega-hot Saundra Edwards is on hand as the Kid's sultry, perpetually barefoot, cheroot-smoking girlfriend, Prudence
OMG, Saundra Edwards is one fine dish...I shall need to review her entire filmography. All of which is WB TV and feature films, as I have most of them, thank goodness. Great reviews as always in your choice television viewing, Jeff!
 

BobO'Link

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I don't know why, but I continually skip over AHP whenever it appears on MeTV. However, your review rekindles my interest in the series.
As a kid, I don't think my parents let me watch the show for fear some of its underlying themes would turn my soul into a morass of godless goo. Even more reason to now catch up on it.
I, too, wasn't allowed to watch AHP, mainly due to me not being "old enough." In spite of that I did manage to see a few episodes and the few I caught were more in the horror vein than I've seen watching S1. Oddly enough, our local library had several of the horror anthology books with Hitchcock's name on the cover. When I turned 8 I read those books (oddly enough, I never had restrictions on my reading materials and read all kinds of "age inapropriate" stuff with the librarian regularly calling my mom to ask only to be told "Yes, it's OK"). They were far more scary than what I'd seen on the show - and I still wasn't allowed to see the show.
 
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Bryan^H

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I watched a classic line up from Friday, October 5, 1979 (my favorite tv night/pairing of all time)
8:00-9:00
The Incredible Hulk --Brain Child--

I really love this episode. A girl genius that was abandoned by her mother at a young age looks to reconnect with her. Breaking away from her safe, and stable life at a prestigious institute, she befriends David Banner, and from there it turns to a sweet friendship of a lonely girl with the help of David who is more of a guardian angel in this episode. The acting is sublime, both the girl for her vulnerability, and sadness, and Bill Bixby for his overly warm, and empathetic approach to her dilemma. Grade-A
Screen caps are from the Blu-Ray, but the entire series is also available in HD on the NBC app for free.

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Montytc

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All in the Family - Season 4
Episode 5: Archie the Gambler

MASH - SEASON 2
Episode 5: Dr. Pierce, Mr. Hyde

Mary Tyler Moore - Season 4
Episode 5: Hi There Sportsfans

Bob Newhart Show - Season 2
Episode 5: Emily, In For Carol

I came across an article this week that made the case for the Saturday night lineup on CBS during the 1973-1974 season as being the best one in TV history, and I thought it would be interesting to watch these together. These episodes were all broadcast on October the 23rd, 1973. I wouldn't personally make the claim for this lineup as the best without doing a lot of research, but it was certainly a strong one with The Carol Burnett show following these at 10PM.
My favorites in order for these episode were: Mary Tyler Moore, All In the Family, Bob Newhart and MASH but that would change week to week I'm sure. I know that these are not some members favorite shows, but I thought it was fun to watch like this and recreate an actual night of TV. I think I'll poke around and see what other shows I can do this with.
 

Bryan^H

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9:00-10:00
The Dukes of Hazard--The Rustlers--

More light hearted, breezy entertainment from the Duke Boys. This one involves a down on his luck farmer with a pretty daughter and a fast race horse. Word gets out that he is going to enter his horse in the annual race, and Boss Hogg starts scheming. Fun, and a bit of trivia the actress pictured married James Best (Roscoe) 6 years after filming this episode and they lived happily together until his death in 2015.
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Doug Wallen

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Cannon - The Complete Series
Blood Money (3.19) Peter Haskell, Perry King, Russell Johnson, John Milford, Diana Muldaur. A young doctor arrives at a prison to examine a prisoner. During the examination the prisoner reaches into the doctor's bag and removes a pistol. Cannon is hired to prove the doctor was an unwitting participant in the attempted jailbreak.

Death Of A Hunter (3.20) Edward Mulhare, Sharon Acker, Andy Romano, Lee de Broux, Bill Erwin. Malcolm Lawrence is killed at his African wildlife park by a lion that was supposedly tranquilized, and his wife hires Cannon to find out if he was murdered.

The Cure That Kills (3.21) Peter Strauss, Ramon Bieri, Richard X. Slattery. Cannon investigates the death of two women who were connected to a faith healer who preaches to his flock that modern medicine is the work of Satan. A young man with a brain tumor may be the next victim.

Nothing exceptional here except just some very well-acted stories that are such a great escape from today's madness.

The Rockford Files - The Complete Series - Bluray
Requiem For A Funny Box (4.6) Chuck McCann, Robert Quarry, Jason Evers, Meredith MacRae, Tom Atkins. A substandard comedian bugs his former partner and gathers blackmail material on a mobster's son. Surprising secret casually hinted at with Rockford's interrogation of the partner's wife.

Quickie Nirvana (4.7) Valerie Curtin, Kip Gilman, Quinn Redeker. Rockford ends up regretting allowing an eccentric hippie woman to use his address temporarily, when her ex-boss sends a pair of thugs to retrieve money he put in her care.

Irving The Examiner (4.8) Barbara Babcock, James Luisi, Paul Stewart, Irene Tsu. Directed by James Coburn. Rockford gives himself a headache trying to solve the connection between a 30 year old murder, a valuable missing painting and Nazi Germany.

Again, just another dose of 70's nostalgia - the best reason for having these shows is just to get lost in the good memories they evoke.

The Twilight Zone - Bluray
The Prime Mover (2.21) Buddy Ebsen, Dane Clark, Christine White. A perpetual loser finds his best friend with an amazing skill. They load up and take a trip to Vegas to exploit the "gift". I love the moral ending.

A Penny For Your Thoughts (2.16) Dick York, Cyril Delevanti, June Dayton, Dan Tobin, Hayden Rorke. A management level banker doesn't have the courage to be assertive until he accidentally develops the ability to read minds. Fun episode.

Twenty Two (2.17) Jonathan Harris, Arlene Martel, Barbara Nichols, Wesley Lau. One of the videotaped episodes. I like this one, atmospheric and creepy. "Room for one more, honey!"

The Odyssey Of Flight 33 (2.18) John Anderson, Sandy Kenyon, Paul Comi. Flight 33 picks up a tailwind and travels to some truly exotic destinations. I was first acquainted with this story through a paperback collection of adaptations by Rod Serling. When the show aired it was on past my bedtime as well as being something my Mom did not approve of. I was allowed to buy the written adaptations, go figure. Not sure when I first viewed this one, but it has long been a favorite.

A Nice Place To Visit (1.28) Sebastian Cabot, Larry Blyden. A minor gangster is shot by a policeman after pulling a robbery. He dies and wakes up in a land where his every wish is fulfilled. He wonders how he can possibly be in Heaven as he can not remember doing anything positive during his life. Episode is aided by having Sebastian Cabot dressed in all white, even having white hair. Nice twist, although if you are familiar with TZ, you can easily figure it out.

A Stop At Willoughby (1.30) James Daly, Howard Smith, Patricia Donahue, Jason Wingreen. "PUSH, PUSH, PUSH!!!" An ad executive just can't take the pressureo f his Mad Man job anymore. On his commute home, he visits and idyllic place called Willoughby, a charming turn of the century town.

Evening Shade - The Complete Series
Hasta La Vista, Baby (2.21) Seth Green. Economics and a Board of Education review results in Herman losing his job. He takes the first job he applies for and finds himself working for one of his former students.

Cousin Readith (2.22) Wood receives a telegraph to say his cousin Readith, who bullied him as a child is returning to Evebing Shade. What Wood doesn't know is the cousin is coming home in an urn, Wood is responsible for disposing of the remains.

No Pain, No Gain (2.23) Don Meredith. Wood challenges a colleague to a bowling contest. Gearing up for the tournament, Wood throws out his back while relaxing with Ava. He bowls through the pain. The contest is televised.

The Perfect Birthday Party, Sort Of (2.24) The Newton's try to throw the perfect birthday party for Will.

Perry Mason - Seasons 7-9
TCoT Midnight Howler (9.16) Dan Travanty (Daniel J. Travanti), Lee Paterson, Myrna Fahey, Ian Wolfe, Alan Baxter. Perry is Burger's primary witness against his client, Holly Andrews, as he ran into her as she left the scene of the crime. Her ex-husband is out to destroy her friends and take their child from her plus the murder was heard on the radio.

TCoT Vanishing Victim (9.17) Lisa Gaye, Jeanne Cooper, George Wallace, Richard Erdman, Russell Arms, John Goddard. Miriam Fielding is charged with poisoning her husband when he is killed in a plane he was piloting. They had a rocky marriage and she suspects him of stealing money from his company. Perry suspects the murder may not be what it appears.

TCoT Golfer's Gambit (9.18) Carl Reindel, Nancy Kovack, Dennis Patrick, Harry Townes, Don Dubbins, Bartlett Robinson, Alan Reed, Jr. Jim Harrell is an aspiring pro at a golf club who must contend with the current pro, Chick Farley, who was kicked off the professional circuit for his behavior. Chick is killed with Jim's club after threatening Jim with blackmail.

TCoT Sausalito Sunrise (9.19) Francine York, Donald Murphy, Allan Melvin. This is a Steve Drumm episode. A cop discovers that an art dealer is selling the stolen painting Sausalito Sunrise. When the cop is found dead in the gallery, Perry defends the dealer and an employee. Paul poses as a truck driver to uncover the real fencing operation.

WKRP In Cincinnati - The Complete Series
God Talks To Johnny (2.13) Johnny wakes in the middle of the night and thinks he hears someone. He determines it is God speaking to him. His performance on the radio in the morning is changed because he is touched by God, and he wants to spread the word to everyone.

A Family Affair (2.14) Allison Argo, Don Pulford. During these politically correct times, this episode may come across as insensitive, I still found it funny. Andy's sister Carol is visiting and Andy sets her up on a blind date with Johnny. But when Carol visits the radio station, she meets Venus and they set up their own date. Andy does not approve, but then he has to prove his is not a racist.

Next up I am spending time with The Doctor. I have received the latest bluray of Tom Baker's season 3 (Season 14) and will probably devour this complete set quickly. I haven't seen these stories in a long time.
 

BobO'Link

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All in the Family - Season 4
Episode 5: Archie the Gambler

MASH - SEASON 2
Episode 5: Dr. Pierce, Mr. Hyde

Mary Tyler Moore - Season 4
Episode 5: Hi There Sportsfans

Bob Newhart Show - Season 2
Episode 5: Emily, In For Carol

I came across an article this week that made the case for the Saturday night lineup on CBS during the 1973-1974 season as being the best one in TV history, and I thought it would be interesting to watch these together. These episodes were all broadcast on October the 23rd, 1973. I wouldn't personally make the claim for this lineup as the best without doing a lot of research, but it was certainly a strong one with The Carol Burnett show following these at 10PM.
My favorites in order for these episode were: Mary Tyler Moore, All In the Family, Bob Newhart and MASH but that would change week to week I'm sure. I know that these are not some members favorite shows, but I thought it was fun to watch like this and recreate an actual night of TV. I think I'll poke around and see what other shows I can do this with.
It was a very strong night. Argument can also be made for NBC's Thursday lineup in the 1984/85, 1985/86, and half of the 1986/87 seasons with:

The Cosby Show
Family Ties
Cheers
Night Court
Hill Street Blues

NBC came very close a few more seasons with their Thursday lineup, most of which was strong for almost a decade, but never struck gold like those 2 1/2 seasons with solid shows the entire night. After those, there always seemed to be *one* series of the night that just didn't "hit" with the audience.
 

JohnHopper

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A Stop At Willoughby (1.30) James Daly, Howard Smith, Patricia Donahue, Jason Wingreen. "PUSH, PUSH, PUSH!!!" An ad executive just can't take the pressureo f his Mad Man job anymore. On his commute home, he visits and idyllic place called Willoughby, a charming turn of the century town.
It's my personal masterpiece, amongst the very best of the whole show.
 

Rustifer

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It was a very strong night. Argument can also be made for NBC's Thursday lineup in the 1984/85, 1985/86, and half of the 1986/87 seasons with:

The Cosby Show
Family Ties
Cheers
Night Court
Hill Street Blues

NBC came very close a few more seasons with their Thursday lineup, most of which was strong for almost a decade, but never struck gold like those 2 1/2 seasons with solid shows the entire night. After those, there always seemed to be *one* series of the night that just didn't "hit" with the audience.
Great job of fact checking and recollection, Howie. How well I remember those line-ups and looked forward to those nights.
Isn't it strange that Saturday night became such a powerhouse of TV viewership when today it's generally a spot where shows go to die.
 

Montytc

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It was a very strong night. Argument can also be made for NBC's Thursday lineup in the 1984/85, 1985/86, and half of the 1986/87 seasons with:

The Cosby Show
Family Ties
Cheers
Night Court
Hill Street Blues

NBC came very close a few more seasons with their Thursday lineup, most of which was strong for almost a decade, but never struck gold like those 2 1/2 seasons with solid shows the entire night. After those, there always seemed to be *one* series of the night that just didn't "hit" with the audience.

That Thursday night NBC lineup is definitely very strong. I wouldn't argue with anyone who called it the best. Are there any other contenders?
 
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Montytc

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Great job of fact checking and recollection, Howie. How well I remember those line-ups and looked forward to those nights.
Isn't it strange that Saturday night became such a powerhouse of TV viewership when today it's generally a spot where shows go to die.
It is amazing how things have changed in the last 50 years. That Saturday night lineup was aimed at middle aged adults who were home on Saturday night and glued to the TV. My parents started the evening with Lawrence Welk and then watched that CBS lineup pausing only to make popcorn and use the restroom. (During commercials of course) Now it appears nobody is home on Saturday night and a test pattern is must see TV.
 

Rustifer

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It is amazing how things have changed in the last 50 years. That Saturday night lineup was aimed at middle aged adults who were home on Saturday night and glued to the TV. My parents started the evening with Lawrence Welk and then watched that CBS lineup pausing only to make popcorn and use the restroom. (During commercials of course) Now it appears nobody is home on Saturday night and a test pattern is must see TV.
One would think that during a pandemic with most people clinging close to home, usual night-out Saturday would see a resurgence in programming. But of course, hardly any new shows are being produced at the moment.

Speaking of which, it's beginning to look quite odd (at least to me) for commercials that were produced before the virus to feature hordes of unmasked people cavorting closely with one another in any number of activities.
Common response in our house-- "Can't do that now..."
 
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Rustifer

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Series Commentary
Checkmate
1960-1962

So here's my take on the inception of this series--not necessarily based on any facts I have on hand. CBS, after years of envying the slew of Warner Bros. private eye shows (77 Sunset Strip, Hawaiian Eye, Surfside 6), decided it would launch its own ensemble detective series Checkmate. It's 'twist' would feature characters whose company mission was to prevent crimes before they occurred, counter intuitive to detectives who generally investigate after the fact. It was a thin premise that gradually reverted to the more tried-and-true investigative format.

The team consisted of Anthony George as head honcho Don Corey, the always affable Doug McClure as Don's assistant Jed Sills and larger-than-life Sebastian Cabot as Dr. Carl Hyatt, a big shot Criminology professor and consultant. Surprisingly, eye-popping Joan O'Brien was originally considered for McClure's role but CBS eventually decided it was too far awry to have a sexy female detective handling such rough work. This was pre-Emma Peel era.

Unlike the Warner Bros. properties that would feature one of its ensemble stars per episode, Checkmate endeavored to squish all three main characters into each show. To clog the plots even further, a long line of established stars (Ann Baxter, Cyd Charisse, Joseph Cotton, Charles Laughton, Dorothy Malone, Mickey Rooney, Tony Randall, et al) would be paraded through the series as if to lend heavy-handed legitimacy to the program.

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Dr. Hyatt rarely traveled without his human bookends; She was supposed to play McClure's role; The boys practice their eHarmony shots

One of Checkmate's notable aspects featured opening credits of an optical graphic resembling cream swirling through a pool of coffee--accompanied by a John Williams score. As a kid, I remember this opening being the talk of the town. Rad, man. Psychedelic.
The setting was San Francisco (read: Desilu Studios on Cahuenga Blvd. in Hollywood) with Don Corey's swank apartment in Nob Hill as the base of operations. Exterior shots of the city were usually stock, with most of the action being filmed on stage sets or back lots. Much like the WB properties in that era, it was just too logistically and budget-prohibitive to transport actors and film crews to actual locations.

As an avid TV detective fan in that era, I quickly glommed onto Checkmate and soon saluted Doug McClure as my favorite character. The show originally aired on Saturday evenings, eventually moving to Wednesdays and thoroughly creamed in the ratings by the Perry Como Show. Two years and 71 episodes later, CBS trashed it like milk gone bad and shuffled in The Beverly Hillbillies as a replacement. I was heartbroken by the loss, although Donna Douglas as Ellie May Clampett created a whole new attraction (read: fantasy) for me. Way cuter than Sebastian Cabot.
 
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bmasters9

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The setting was San Francisco (read: Desilu Studios on Cahuenga Blvd. in Hollywood)
Just like that of The Untouchables on ABC from 1959-63 (Desilu Studios Cahuenga Blvd. representing Chicago of the Prohibition era).

BTW, it would be twelve years from Checkmate's debut (and ten years from the end of it) before a certain Malden/Douglas/Hatch crime drama would start to actually be made in San Francisco for ABC by the late, great Quinn Martin (and named for that area, too: The Streets of San Francisco).
 
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MatthewA

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All in the Family - Season 4
Episode 5: Archie the Gambler

MASH - SEASON 2
Episode 5: Dr. Pierce, Mr. Hyde

Mary Tyler Moore - Season 4
Episode 5: Hi There Sportsfans

Bob Newhart Show - Season 2
Episode 5: Emily, In For Carol

I came across an article this week that made the case for the Saturday night lineup on CBS during the 1973-1974 season as being the best one in TV history, and I thought it would be interesting to watch these together. These episodes were all broadcast on October the 23rd, 1973. I wouldn't personally make the claim for this lineup as the best without doing a lot of research, but it was certainly a strong one with The Carol Burnett show following these at 10PM.
My favorites in order for these episode were: Mary Tyler Moore, All In the Family, Bob Newhart and MASH but that would change week to week I'm sure. I know that these are not some members favorite shows, but I thought it was fun to watch like this and recreate an actual night of TV. I think I'll poke around and see what other shows I can do this with.
One thing I recently noticed about NBC's 1980s comeback period is that it resembled CBS's 1970s schedule a lot in who was starring in the shows then: Bea Arthur, Betty White, Rue McClanahan, Sherman Hemsley, Carroll O'Connor, Marla Gibbs, Cloris Leachman, Meredith Baxter, and, of course, even earlier than that with Andy Griffith. Even the replacement of Valerie Harper with Sandy Duncan calls back to Sandy having had two CBS shows in the previous decade. And when it became the 1990s, they gave a short-lived show to Carol Burnett.
 

mark-edk

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After spending two seasons in Frisco with 'The Californians' I was still in a Western mood so decided to watch a show I had enjoyed as a kid: Bat Masterson. Halfway into the second season I must say the production value is quite superior to 'Californians', there's a lot more outdoor and location filming, and Gene Barry has more screen presence than Adam Kennedy or Richard Coogan. A few of the stories are a little silly but Bat and his lady friends keep things interesting. Nice to see Willard Waterman in roles other than Gildersleeve. I noticed Harry Essex wrote some of the episodes; besides one of the Black Lagoon movies I know the name from that five-part '77 Sunset Strip' miniseries.

I spotted two up and comers in one episode: a young Jeremy Slate, and an engaging June Blair two years before she would become Mrs David Nelson. A few years after this episode she would guest on The Aquanauts, Slate's very short-lived SCUBA-themed series.

The opening credits for this show are something else. They run for more than 30 seconds just to show two cards: 'Bat Masterson' and 'Starring Gene Barry'. Barry's card is on screen for almost 12 seconds. That's something you rarely see on 21st century broadcast tv.

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Rustifer

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Episode Commentary
The Waltons
"The Moonshiner" (S7E4)

This was one of the more iconic series of the 1970's--Earl Hamner's Baptist paean to the sappy sentimentality in living on the side of a mountain somewhere in the Blue Ridge backwoods of Virginia during and post-Great Depression. I admit that some of the episodes were well written enough for even my cynical self to buy into its heart-tugging themes surrounding the Walton family.

In this 7th season episode, Grandpa Walton (Will Geer) had left the building and was taking his eternal soil sleep somewhere deep in the mountain. His goofily homey wisdom is missed, especially by middle Walton son Jason (Jon Walmsley). To help alleviate his boredom, he decides to work overtime in rehabilitating the soul of family relative old Boone Walton (Morgan Woodward, the creepy Boss Godfrey in Cool Hand Luke). Jason convinces the judge to release Boone from his moonshine offenses and remand him into the boy's custody. Jason soon learns the crusty old geezer is against everything that resembles progress, of which there was very little to be found on Walton's Mountain anyway. Olivia (Michael Learned) is far from overjoyed at Boone moving into the family residence for a spell. As far as she's concerned, booze is the scourge of mankind--even though the rest of the family would kill for a healthy round or two of mojitos.

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Enjoying a laugh-filled episode of Amon 'n Andy: Grandma discusses mole removal with John-Boy; Little Erin, once off the mountain

Meantime, while now adult John-boy (Richard Thomas) is off in the big city practicing yellow journalism, Ex-fiance Daisy (Deirdre Lenihan) shows up on the mountain on her way to NYC, stopping by just to say 'hi' as far as I can tell. Lucky her, she gets to listen to Boone's ramblings about the good ol' days on the Blue Ridge. It's obvious the show's producers felt that Boone could be a reasonable graybeard replacement for Grandpa. And maybe cop a chance to get into Grandma's knickers. But Boone is more interested in building a still on the mountain and setting up some competition to the Baldwin Sisters' Papa's Recipe. Jason is obviously losing grip on his responsibility of reigning in the old coot.

Additionally thrown in are a whole bunch of yawn-inspiring side stories of the Walton kids that showcase their incredible upbringing and sense of responsibility. There's no tawdriness allowed in this family other than some occasional in-breeding. After all, the family that lays together, stays together. Focusing in on Jason, he introduces Boone to the Baldwin Sisters just in the nick of time. Apparently the spinsters have lost the recipe to Papa's Recipe. Boone decides it's nothing more than adding a few pine cones and a shovelful of raccoon poop to restore the recipe's heartiness, thus saving the day. You might say that's progress. As typical of each episode, a happy hoo-rah ending is achieved, accompanied by some highly annoying harmonica music.

As if nine seasons weren't enough, the show spun six subsequent reunion episodes over the next 15 years--if only to showcase the cast members' weight gain over those years.
 

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