Saturday, July 18, 2009

On Hiatus Until The Fall

While I entered into the blogging world with a lot of energy, enthusiasm and love regarding the topic of old-time NY Metro Area television, the reality is that I simply no longer have the time to update it on a regular basis. Add to that the fact that the energy of it all has also been sapped, I must announce that I will not be posting any new updates until at least the Fall.

This is mostly due to landing a new job shortly after I started the blog. Work simply takes up a lot of my time and energy leaving precious little of it available for updates. Further, I am a HUGE baseball fan and spend a lot of my free time watching games. My Daughter is also a baseball fanatic so we attend a lot of minor league games as well. Again, all of these activities leads to very little time and energy for the blog. I guess I could muddle through on the weekends but honestly, those two days off are very important and I'd rather spend them with family as opposed to sitting in front of a PC.

Is this the end of the blog? NO WAY!!

Once the fall comes I'll be in much better shape to post updates. I'll be firmly in the groove of the work week and more used to it and come the fall, baseball season will be over as well. Thus, I'll have more time and energy with which to devote myself enthusiastically to this blog. So, as I ask for your patience and understanding, please feel free to continue to read the interesting updates and comments already posted and also feel free to add more comments and start more discussions.

Figure around late September or early October for my triumphant return to regular blog posting. Until then, thanks again for your patience and understanding and thanks so much for reading and posting. Have a great rest of the summer and I'll see you in the fall!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Outside The NY Metro Area? Please Remember......

......your input and your memories are always welcome here! Even though this blog pays tribute to vintage television, movie showcases, etc. from the NY Metro Area, we also love to read information, thoughts and memories from folks who grew up outside the NY Metro Area and remember what it was like when TV was really something special. Are you from Chicago? Boston? LA? Anywhere else? Don't be shy! Chime in and join the celebration that is vintage TV we all remember and love!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

An Actual PSA Or Was I Imagining It?

Does anyone remember a very, very scary Public Service Announcement that used to run, usually late at night, on the plight of and the dangers of being a hemophiliac? The PSA was so frightening that when I was a kid, I'd get up and stand in front of the TV during commercials in case it came on I could quickly change the channel. I just didn't want to see it.

Anyway, what I remember is that it had a scary voiceover that began by saying "This is the house of the hemophiliac". We'd get these distorted, twisted hand-held camera shots of the house with zooming close-ups of things like scissors and a cat scratching at the camera because those things could make the hemophiliac bleed and possibly kill him. All the while as we are getting these crazy images, you'd hear some demonic child-like laughter in the background. I hated that PSA when I was a kid but would love to see it again to see what my reaction would be. Strangely, not many folks my age remember it though I have noticed a couple other folks posting on various message boards and such asking about it.

Does anyone around my age from the NY Metro Area remember it? I'm sure it wasn't exclusive to the NY Metro Area but have no way of knowing for sure. Maybe someone Knows of a site that has clips of old or vintage PSA's? I've tried YouTube and have had no luck. Any help would be appreciated because I'm beginning to think that maybe I imagined it. Thank you in advance.

The Arrival Of All Night Programming?

This is something I always wondered about because I don't have the answer so, hopefully someone can fill in the blanks.

When exactly did some of the NY Metro Area stations decide to go to all-night programming and was this a decision by some of the stations at the same time? What, if anything, was it in response to and was it a case of "follow the leader"?

The only thing I really have to go by is my collection of old TV Guides but there are too many blanks to come up with a definitive answer. I know that throughout probably the majority of the 1970's, NY area stations signed off the air at certain times. Some earlier then others. I know that WCBS-TV was the one station that stayed on the air the latest, sometimes signing off for a ridiculous 10 minutes before signing on again. Now, I fast forward to my TV Guides from 1981, I don't have any Guides from 1979 or 1980, and lo and behold some of the NY area stations are going 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Now, what I find most interesting is that the "some" involved two NY local independents. WOR-TV Channel 9 and WPIX-TV Channel 11. The reason I find it interesting is because it's two local indies leading the way as opposed to the local network affiliates. Now, by the time WOR and WPIX began going 24-7, the other stations were staying on later than before but still signing off for anywhere between a few minutes and a few hours each day. This is most interesting to me because I assume before long, everyone else followed suit. I guess this was also the beginning of 9 ALL NIGHT but I don't know for sure. Anyway, looking at the programming for 9 and 11, they certainly had enough to carry them 24-7. WOR threw movies by the bundle at it's viewer while WPIX ran some classic shows such as THE FBI, THE ROOKIES, TWILIGHT ZONE, etc..

My guess has always been that this was in response to some fledgling 24-7 cable nets as more and more folks became wired but I don't know for sure. It's a topic that fascinates me but I'd sure like to have some concrete answers so please feel free to chime in.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Some Blog Downtime

Apologies for not posting any new blog entries for nearly a week. I started a new job this week so in addition to taking up some of my time, it absolutely exhausted me! Anyway, the three day 4th of July Holiday weekend is upon us so I hope to add a couple of new entries before Monday. Thanks for your patience and thanks for reading. Happy 4th of July!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Fright Night - WOR-TV Channel 9

FRIGHT NIGHT is probably one of the most remembered and most loved movie showcase programs from the NY Metro area of all-time. I have yet to come across anyone of viewing age at the time who does not remember it. It holds a special place in many peoples lives and for very good reason. Simply put, it was one of the most unique and versatile movie showcase programs of it's era as well as offering the widest variety of films of any "monster movie" showcase at the time. All you really need to know about this wonderful showcase can be found in Jim Arena's wonderful article on FRIGHT NIGHT over at DVD Drive-In.

About the only thing Mr. Arena fails to mention concerns one of the foremost voices of FRIGHT NIGHT, Ted Maille. Other than that, it's a terrific article. So, there is really not too much I can add to it other than just throwing out some random information and sharing personal memories. So, here goes.

First off, of the "big three" monster movie showcases in the NY area, CREATURE FEATURES, CHILLER and FRIGHT NIGHT, it is by far that FRIGHT NIGHT is my favorite. I adored both CF and CHILLER, but FN was more to my tastes and offered the widest variety of horror films you could ever hope for. As a matter of fact, by the mid to late 70's, FN was really a drive-in theater or midnight horror theater right in your own living room. Briefly, FN ran on WOR-TV Channel 9 from 1973 to 1987. Much of the credit for it's programming goes to Lawrence Casey who was the stations programming manager at the time. As mentioned in Mr. Arena's article, the types of movies appearing on FN ran the gamut from old Universal horrors to Mexican horrors to Euro-Horrors to flicks fresh from the Drive-In circuit. When FN first aired, it concentrated on the old Universal films before gradually shifting to more "notorious" fare. How it was done is anybodies guess but there were times when these more violent films aired with little or no cuts at all. FN's time slot shifted at various times from 12 Midnight to it's most popular 1AM slot right after wrestling to later on 1:30AM but for 15 years, it was a steady, welcome friend and a fixture of WOR's Saturday late night programming. Sure, it was "rested" at various times for other programming but most times, our adventurous friend was there. The list of movies I saw for the first time on FN could fill a book. BLOOD AND LACE, DON'T LOOK IN THE BASEMENT, SHRIEK OF THE MUTILATED, CHILDREN SHOULDN'T PLAY WITH DEAD THINGS, GRAVE OF THE VAMPIRE, DEATHDREAM and on and on it could go. It was also a place I could re-visit Euro horror films I had previously seen such as DEEP RED or BEYOND THE DOOR. Simply put this was a wonderful, memorable movie showcase from my youth. One that I hold near and dear and one that gave me a good case of the creeps on a weekly basis. It's probably the one showcase I miss the most and it's the one showcase I think of most when I yearn for this type of programming these days.

So, what are your thoughts and memories of FRIGHT NIGHT. I'd love to read them.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Representing The Early 80's

The first entry from the 1980's! Here are some examples of TV Guide movie advertising from April 13, 1981. Enjoy!