Tag Archives: television historian

Remembering Rod Serling’s Night Gallery

Set in a shadowy museum of the outré, Night Gallery (NBC, 1970-1973) was a highly diverse anthology television series featuring tales in the fantasy, horror, and science fiction vein—all of which were introduced by a dark and disturbing collection of canvases unveiled by the museum’s “curator,” series host and creator Rod Serling (The Twilight Zone). The show blended thoughtful original dramas written by Serling himself with adaptations of classic genre material, including short stories by the likes of H.P. Lovecraft, Fritz Leiber, Conrad Aiken and Richard Matheson. The variety of material in Night Gallery brought with it a variety of tone, from the deadly serious to the tongue-in-cheek, stretching the television anthology concept to its very limits. Like The Twilight Zone, each segment of Night Gallery featured a dazzling array of guest stars from the worlds of film and television, as well as contributions from such promising young directors as John Badham and Steven Spielberg. Unlike Twilight Zone, the series was fraught with tension behind the scenes, including an ongoing conflict between creator Serling and producer Jack Laird over the direction of Night Gallery that would ultimately find Serling on the outside looking in.

Frankie and I paid tribute to Night Gallery along with Jim Benson, co-author of Rod Serling’s Night Gallery: An After-Hours Tour, a comprehensive look at this classic series that also serves as an abject reminder of how network television sometimes works. Jim was also a consultant on the upcoming Night Gallery: Season Two DVD package, which features commentary by Oscar nominated director Guillermo del Toro (Pan’s Labrynth). If you’re a fan of Rod Serling, but missed our conversation, we invite you to listen to our archive, which is now available on our archives page at www.tvconfidential.net.

 

Ed Robertson
Co-Host, TV CONFIDENTIAL
Every other Tuesday at
10:30pm ET, 7:30pm PT
Share-a-Vision Radio, KSAV.org
www.tvconfidential.net
blog.tvconfidential.net

Also available as a podcast via iTunes

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Tribute to Barry Morse: archive now available online

In case you missed it, our tribute to Barry Morse is now available at TalkingTelevision.org. This is the program that was originally scheduled for April 27, but which had to be postponed at the last minute due to transmission difficulties. Joining Dave White and me are Barry’s son, actor/director Hayward Morse, who co-starred with his father in such productions as Bernard and Bosie; Anthony Wynn and Robert Wood, who collaborated with Barry on many projects, including his memoir, Remember with Advantages, and the 2007 radio production Rogues and Vagabonds; and longtime DGA member Bob Rubin, who worked with Barry on The Fugitive, The Invaders and other shows for QM Productions.

Ed Robertson
Pop Culture Critic and Television Historian
Co-Host, Talking Television with Dave White
www.edrobertson.com
www.doctorrerun.com
www.talkingtelevision.org

 

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Bill Bixby’s “The Magician”: A modern-day Count of Monte Cristo

Time has been kind to The Magician (NBC, 1973-1974), the offbeat action drama starring Bill Bixby as Anthony Blake, a modern-day Count of Monte Cristo who, after clearly his name after years of imprisonment on a false espionage charge, uses his vast wealth and resources to help other victims of injustice. Unlike most television crime stoppers, Blake didn’t carry a gun – in fact, he abhorred violence, relying instead on his skills as a magician as his only arsenal against evil.

Despite its intriguing premise, not to mention the star power of leading man Bill Bixby, the series was a marginal success at best – if indeed a series whose network run lasted but 21 episodes can be construed a success. And yet, The Magician has lived on since its cancellation, finding new audiences in overseas syndication and on U.S. cable television, while sparking a renewed interest in the performance of magic over the past 30 years. In that respect, despite its limited number of episodes, The Magician continues to have the kind of far-reaching impact that few television shows ever achieve.

We paid tribute to The Magician earlier this week on Talking Television with Dave White, from its uneven network run in 1973 to its ongoing legacy today – a legacy that, as our guest J. Kingston Pierce noted on the program, no doubt received a boost in 1994 when it became permanently part of the X Files mythology). We also announced the URL for the online petition asking Paramount Studios to formally release The Magician in DVD; if you wish to sign that petition, you can do so by clicking here.

Our tribute to The Magician was the second of two programs honoring the career of Bill Bixby; the first program originally aired on Tuesday, April 15, and featured J. Kingston Pierce, as well as actor/musician Brandon Cruz, Bixby’s co-star on The Courtship of Eddie’s Father, and Renee Tufo, who is leading a campaign to win posthumous induction for Bixby in the Television Academy Hall of Fame. If you would like to see Bixby inducted in the TV Hall of Fame, there’s a petition for that as well, which you can sign by clicking here.

Ed Robertson
Pop Culture Critic and Television Historian
Co-Host, Talking Television with Dave White
Share-a-Vision Radio, KSAV.org
www.edrobertson.com
www.doctorrerun.com
www.talkingtelevision.org

 

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Filed under Contributor Authors, Entries by Ed Robertson, Events, Literature, Nonficition

Tribute to Barry Morse: TODAY on Share-a-Vision Radio

Talking Television with Dave White celebrates the life and career of Barry Morse on a special live edition airing today, Sunday, April 27, beginning at 2pm ET, 11am PT on the Share-a-Vision Radio Select Channel. I will co-host the program, along with Dave White; our guests will include stage and TV actress Jacqueline Scott, Barry’s co-star on The Fugitive; veteran DGA member Bob Rubin, who worked with Barry on The Fugitive, The Invaders and other shows for QM Productions; Anthony Wynn and Robert Wood, who collaborated with Barry on many projects, including his memoir, Remember with Advantages, and the 2007 radio production Rogues and Vagabonds; and Barry’s son, actor/director Hayward Morse, who co-starred with his father in such productions as Bernard and Bosie, the acclaimed play based on the unlikely friendship between playwright George Bernard Shaw and poet Lord Alfred “Bosie” Douglas.


Though best known to American audiences for his roles on The Fugitive and Space: 1999, Barry was an incredibly versatile performer whose vast body of work covered everything from Shakespeare and Shaw to Gore Vidal and A.R. Gurney, to his own critically acclaimed one-man show, Merely Players. If you’ve enjoyed his work in stage, film and television, we invite you to join our conversation by logging on to the special KSAV Select Channel stream, located at http://stream.ksav.org5555/live, beginning at
2pm ET, 11am PT. Listeners in the United States can phone in by calling (800) 407-KSAV (5728). Listeners from any part of the world can email us at talk@ksav.org.

 

Ed Robertson
Pop Culture Critic and Television Historian
Author,
The Fugitive Recaptured and other books on television
Co-Host, Talking Television with Dave White
Share-a-Vision Radio, KSAV.org
www.edrobertson.com
www.doctorrerun.com
www.talkingtelevision.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Premiering April 22 on Starz: The Pixar Story

A new documentary, The Pixar Story, takes viewers behind the scenes of Pixar Animation Studios, the computer animation giant that forever changed animated feature films, while also making an indelible mark on modern workplace culture.

The Pixar Story premieres Tuesday, Apr. 22 at 10pm ET and PT on the Starz premium channel. To read more about this 90-minute film, click below:
http://thewavemag.com/pagegen.php?pagename=article&articleid=26624

Ed Robertson
Pop Culture Critic and Entertainment Journalist
www.edrobertson.com
www.doctorrerun.com
www.talkingtelevision.org

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