The Rerun Is Born: October 20, 1952

At the end of the 1951-52 television season, I Love Lucy had skyrocketed to the top of the ratings chart. In just its first season, 39 hilarious episodes were broadcast, each building on an audience that was breaking records. Like almost all other television shows, each broadcast was “watch it or miss it.” Even telefilms were […]

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Great TV Iconography, Dennis The Menace, 1966

In the 1950’s and 1960’s, much ado was made about the correlation between the ratings a politician attained on TV and there chances of winning the election, which is the background for this Dennis the Menace advertisement placed in trade papers about the arrival and success of this show in the national syndication market. However, […]

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Space: 1999, September 5, 1975

This syndicated offering packed a wallop against the television networks. Known for being the most expensive series of its day, Space: 1999 pre-dated the Star Wars era, but was a direct acknowledgement of the supersized success of the Star Trek series in syndication. After all three major networks declined the series, the producers took the syndication […]

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The Brady’s Grand Canyon Vacation, September 17 – October 1, 1971

The Brady Bunch occasional writer, Tam Spiva, perhaps was running out of ideas for the Brady Bunch by early season 3; as, most sitcoms begin travel arc episodes later in a series’ run. Nonetheless, no other sitcom before or after has created such a gigantic cultural touchstone regarding family vacationing as the Brady’s 1971 trip to the […]

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OPEN END: David Susskind and Nikita Khrushchev, October 9, 1960

David Susskind was the forerunner to Donahue, Geraldo, Bill O’Reilly, and Dick Cavett, but in truth, Susskind came across as a quasi-intellectual New Yorker more closely related to current day Bill Maher. His confrontational approach created a show in which anything could happen. Over the years, beginning in 1958, Susskind, a former actor, covered hot-button […]

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