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!

A "Night Of The Living Dead" TV Related Inquiry

One of the things I have always wondered was when George A. Romero's 1968 classic NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD made it's New York TV debut. I first saw it on television in February of 1975 but I have to think it appeared on NY TV before that. I certainly have not stumbled upon a TV Guide ad for the film either. Does anyone know when NIGHT first aired on NY TV and on what channel at what time? Has anyone seen a TV Guide or newspaper TV section ad for the movie? Any information would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The "Missing" FRIGHT NIGHT TV Guide Ads.

I brought this topic up on the AV Maniacs forum but I thought it might also be interesting to the readers of this blog. It's regarding my favorite "monster movie" showcase program of all-time, FRIGHT NIGHT. As I'm sure you all recall, FRIGHT NIGHT aired on WOR-TV Channel 9. I won't get too deep into a discussion of FRIGHT NIGHT right now as I plan on doing a blog entry on it sometime this coming weekend. However, there is one aspect of it that has bothered me.

I don't ever recall seeing a TV Guide ad for FRIGHT NIGHT. I find that very unusual since it was one of channel 9's most popular movie showcases and because, of all the local indies at the time, IMHO, it was channel 9 who advertised in TV Guide the most. Yet, nothing for FRIGHT NIGHT. I collect old Guides as a hobby and have scoured through hundreds in my lifetime but never came across an ad for FRIGHT NIGHT. It has always struck me as odd that WOR never seemed to advertise it in the Guide, yet they advertised almost everything else extensively. Obviously I haven't looked through every Guide published from back in the day but I feel I have read a very good sample of them but, I still have never seen an ad. I'm leaving open the possibility that channel 9 may have advertised it in the TV listings section of the local papers but I have no way of knowing. Now, hop on over to DVD Drive-In and read the terrific article on FRIGHT NIGHT. As you do, notice all the ads in that article and tell me if anyone of them is an actual FRIGHT NIGHT ad. I think this is a very big mystery that might not ever be solved. In the end, I could be wrong but that's been my experience. Anyone else think this is strange? Has anyone seen an actual FRIGHT NIGHT TV Guide ad? Does anyone know if it was advertised in the local papers back then? Any information at all would be helpful and greatly appreciated.

WOR-TV Channel 9 - TV Guide Ads

The lost art of TV Guide movie advertising on full display from WOR-TV Channel 9. These ads are from 1970, 1971 and 1975. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Hollywood's Finest - WNEW-TV Channel 5

I make no bones about the fact that I do not know much about the history of HOLLYWOOD'S FINEST, which was a fairly long running late night movie showcase program on WNEW-TV channel 5. I really have no clue as to when it first started and when it finally ended. What I do know for sure was that I was a frequent late night viewer of the program and that it kept me company on many a late night back in the 1970's. As a matter of fact, it was on HOLLYWOOD'S FINEST that I first saw one of my favorite horror films of all time. More on that in a bit.

What I can say about this fairly well remembered movie showcase is that, depending on the year, it pretty much ran up to six nights a week. The exception being Sunday night when channel 5 would normally go off the air after DAVID SUSSKIND. Another thing was that, at times, it's title was a bit misleading as on many nights WNEW would air films of somewhat less quality then what the HOLLYWOOD'S FINEST title might indicate. Generally speaking, channel 5 was the king of local independent television in NY back in the day. It normally would battle WPIX for the top spot and more times then not, come out ahead. That being said, their post 11PM schedule would fluctuate quite a bit. If anything was constant, it was HOLLYWOOD'S FINEST though it also wouldn't be strange to see it missing from the schedule for periods of time. Still, it pretty much wrapped up 5's schedule for the night featuring an array of films that ran the gamut between top Hollywood fare to low budget, "B" entries. All in all, one of the many entertaining movie showcase programs we got to enjoy back in the day. If anyone has any additional information or can clear up any inaccuracies in this entry, by all means, feel free to chime in.

Oh yes, that all time favorite horror film I first saw on HOLLYWOOD'S FINEST was CARNIVAL OF SOULS back in the fall of 1975.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Channel 11 Film Festival TV Guide Ad

From June of 1972. Enjoy!

Channel 11 Film Festival - WPIX-TV Channel 11

To me, the Channel 11 Film Festival has always been a perplexing movie showcase program. Many people who I have conversed with and who were of viewing age during it's run seem split on it. What I mean is, half remember it very well while the other half cannot seem to recall it. I for one, remember it quite well as it's theme music has stayed in my memory to this day. As a matter of fact, when I was young, it's theme music creeped me out for whatever reason. However, it was one of those theme songs that you knew instantly.

Truth be told, I do not know the specifics regarding the Film Festival, in terms of when it exactly started and when it ended. I do know that it was a WPIX staple throughout the 1970's and, arguably, one of it's most popular movie showcases at the time save for Chiller and maybe The Sunday Morning Movie which featured Abbott & Costello films. Almost exclusively housed in a 90 minute time slot, the Film Festival featured a wide variety of films from various genres. At certain times, you could see "high end" films like John Brahm's THE LODGER while other times you would come across minor "B" crime films like PORT OF NEW YORK. Certain weeks would give you a theme to look forward to. Mae West could strut in your living room for a full week or you could laugh to Italian comedies featuring Marcello Mastroianni. As a matter of fact, the Channel 11 Film Festival deserves kudos for featuring quite an array of "foreign" films during it's run. The movie showcase proved quite versatile for channel 11 as it appeared in various time periods throughout the years. Whenever 'PIX decided they needed to combat another stations movie with their own, in came the Film Festival. If they needed a boost in the early afternoon, the Film Festival was there to help. If they needed better late night programming, why not the Film Festival? It was a workhorse. You could see it at 11PM or 11:30PM or Midnight. You could also view it during late night after the late news wrap-up. Heck, you could even get your daytime fix at Noon or 12:30PM! You get the picture.

All in all a well remembered movie showcase, by this fan at least, that more then served it's purpose for Channel 11 over the years. BTW, the aforementioned 1944 film THE LODGER, was the first movie I recall seeing on the Film Festival. I also recall seeing 1948's NAKED CITY. What are your thoughts and memories of THE CHANNEL 11 FILM FESTIVAL? I'd love to read them!

Friday, June 19, 2009

1961 WCBS-TV Late Show Ad

Just thought I'd post this full page TV Guide ad for WCBS-TV's THE LATE SHOW as it's one of the oldest in my collection going back to 1961 which was a year before I was born. Note the start time.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

An "Unusual" Ad For The Late Show?

I don't want to say that the above ad is rare because, honestly, I just don't know. All I can say is that of the hundreds of vintage TV Guides I have looked through, I have not seen this type of ad except in one Guide I own. It certainly is different from other ads for WCBS-TV's THE LATE SHOW. This particular ad is from 8/25/69 but I can tell you that this type of ad appears in TV Guide for each night, Monday through Friday of that week touting a different film each night as you might guess. What is unusual to me about it is that it advertises a movie after that nights airing of THE MERV GRIFFIN show and not only shows THE LATE SHOW'S starting time as 1:10AM but actually refers to it as THE LATE SHOW and not THE LATE, LATE SHOW as it's starting time is around the time WCBS's second movie would start. I'm probably making too big a deal out of it and they probably advertised like this early on when MERV started but this is the only Guide I have seen this type of ad in. If anyone has any concrete information on this, please let me know.

1970 Saturday Night At The Movies TV Guide Ads

As promised, some TV Guide ads for NBC's Saturday Night At The Movies. These are all from 1970 and one includes the infamous TV Guide close-up. Enjoy.

NBC Saturday Night At The Movies - WNBC-TV Channel 4

I've always felt that NBC Saturday Night At The Movies was the best example of "appointment Television" that I could think of. Quite frankly, I've always thought that TV as a whole back in the day was "appointment television" but that this famous movie showcase was the standard bearer in that regard. More on that in a moment.

Briefly, Saturday Night At The Movies got it's start in 1961 and lasted until the conclusion of the 1978-79 season if what I have read is correct. The goal was to bring fairly recent theatrical films into the home and broadcast them in their entirety. No splitting into multiple parts. It was probably the first movie showcase to do that and was still one of the few doing it until it's end in 1979. For one night at least, the local news took a back seat to entertainment. Sure, some films would end at 11PM but many times, the local news got pushed back 10 minutes, 25 minutes, 40 minutes, whatever it took. The idea was to turn the living room into a theater and it worked. Saturday Night At The Movies was consistent enough in the ratings to warrant an 18 year run. An 18 year run that has given folks multiple memories and multiple good times. The fact that the idea was a good one and that it worked for so long speaks volumes about it's loyal audience considering the competition the movie showcase had from other networks. It wasn't easy going up against the powerhouse CBS line-up from the early-to-mid 70's. It held it's own against programs like ALL IN THE FAMILY, MASH, MARY TYLER MOORE, BOB NEWHART and CAROL BURNETT. It didn't get much easier later on towards the end of it's run when it had to go up against ABC's one-two punch of THE LOVE BOAT and FANTASY ISLAND. When all is said and done, it turned out to be a remarkable idea and one that ranks among NBC's finest ever.

Why was it "appointment television"? Well, because it just was. Saturday Night At The Movies was a weekly event. It was something to look forward to every week at 9PM. It was something the family could do together. It was, after all, Saturday night so the kids could stay up late. Mom, Dad and the kids could slip into their PJ's, pop some corn, pour some soft drinks and have a fun family night. But, it wasn't just for parents and kids. Adults could also partake. Friends gathering together at someones house on a Saturday night, pouring some cocktails, heating up the hors d'oeuvre's and enjoying a film. Pretty much something for everyone. As I mentioned in an earlier entry, the very first movie I remember seeing on Saturday Night At The Movies was THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING, THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING. It aired on Saturday, June 24, 1972 and I'll never forget it. I'm sure many others have fond memories of this classic movie showcase. If so, please post them because I'd love to hear about them. BTW, I'll post some TV Guide ads a bit later on.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

WCBS-TV Late Show Ad

For some reason, even though this is not a horror film, I find this ad a bit spooky. From 5/6/72.

WNBC-TV Sunday Film Festival Ad

A very underrated NY area movie showcase. This ad is from 8/24/69.

Pinpointing The Exact Date

Ever try to remember exactly when you saw something on TV for the first time? Have you ever tried hard to figure out when it was that you caught such and such movie and how old you were? It can certainly be frustrating but it also can be done with a little effort a little research and a little help.

With the help of some pretty vivid memories and a decent collection of old TV Guides, so far, I have been lucky enough to pinpoint the exact day and date of three movies I remember seeing for the first time when I was young. It wasn't easy. Thankfully, I have some great memories of my surroundings on those nights, who I was with and other circumstances that helped me in getting an approximate year for each. I also have vivid memories of other programs and movies that aired the same night. So, with my collection of old Guides those memories really helped. But, there was still the research to be done. I won't go into the details on all three films but I will on one of them to give you an idea. First, here are the three films I remember and the day and date I saw them for the first time as well as how old I was.

NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD - Saturday, February 22, 1975. 12 years, 9 months.
CARNIVAL OF SOULS - Saturday, November 22, 1975. 13 years, 6 months.
THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING, THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING - Saturday, June 24, 1972. 10 years, 1 month.

Notice the common thread here? Each was on a Saturday night. School year or summer vacation, Saturday night was the night you stayed up late in those days. If you are curious as to what channel I saw each on, here goes:

NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD - WABC-TV Channel 7 on THE 11:30 MOVIE or THE SATURDAY NIGHT MOVIE or whatever it was officially called back then.



So, how did I pinpoint the dates? OK, I'll use NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD as an example. I remembered that it took place while I was living in Matawan, NJ. I lived in Matawan for 4 years so it narrowed the years down to between 1972 and 1976. I also remembered it took place while I was living in the one-family ranch house my parents bought so that narrowed it down a bit more to between 1973 and 1976. I remembered that I saw it while sleeping over a certain friends house. A friend I hadn't become really friendly with until about a year after we bought the house. So, that narrowed it down further to between 1974 and 1976. I remembered it was a Saturday night so that helped too. Now, here are the two keys. I remembered that night two distinct movies were also aired. HORRORS OF THE BLACK MUSEUM on channel 11's CHILLER at Midnight and THE COLOSSUS OF NEW YORK at 5AM on channel 2. I remembered those facts because we argued over whether to watch NIGHT at 11:30 or wait a half-hour and watch BLACK MUSEUM at Midnight. I also clearly remembered COLOSSUS airing at 5AM because it was our goal to stay up all night and be able to watch it. OK, so I'm really narrowing it down. The next step came to me by remembering a feature over at DVD Drive-In. There, they had many cool articles on NY TV Monster Memories as well as complete listings throughout the broadcast history of showcases like CHILLER, etc. So, it popped into my head to look at the complete listings for CHILLER to see when BLACK MUSEUM aired at Midnight. Now, BLACK MUSEUM appeared many times on Chiller but only twice at Midnight. August 12, 1972 and February 22, 1975. Well, it couldn't have been in 1972 because I would have been too young, I had just moved to Matawan and I hadn't met that particular friend yet. So, unless my memories are totally off-base, it had to be February 22, 1975 which would actually fit the time frame I remembered. So, how to prove it beyond a shadow of a doubt? Only one way really. Find an old TV Guide from that week, see if NIGHT aired on channel 7 that Saturday night, see if BLACK MUSEUM aired that same night at Midnight and see if COLOSSUS aired at 5AM on that same night. So, the hard part began. I scoured E-Bay for ages hoping to come across someone who was selling an old NY area TV Guide from the week of 2/22/75. It wasn't easy. Quite a bit of time passed with loads of frustration thrown in for good measure. There were tons of NY Area Guides for sale but none from that particular week. At a certain point, I vowed to find it and didn't care what I would have to pay for it. Finally, one day as I was doing my usual E-Bay scan I came across someone selling that elusive Guide for a very fair "Buy It Now" price. I jumped at it. Sealed the deal and waited anxiously for that Guide to arrive. I have to tell you, the anticipation was pretty intense. Finally, it arrived. I immediately opened it to Saturday night. Honestly, I was a little nervous hoping all this research wasn't for nothing. But, it wasn't. There it was in black and white. February 22, 1975. 11:30 PM channel 7 - NIGHT. 12AM Channel 11 - BLACK MUSEUM. And the clincher, 5AM Channel 2 - COLOSSUS. Success!! I nailed down the exact date! I have to say that I was quite relieved and more than a little proud of myself. It was definitely worth it. So basically, I applied the same principles to finding the dates of the other two movies I listed.

Sure, this all probably sounds a little silly or extreme to some folks but I have to say, it turned out to be a lot of fun. I actually felt like a detective and truthfully, it was very satisfying. So, what about you guys? Know the exact dates of any movies you remember seeing as a kid? Let me know.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

1/10/70 LATE SHOW TV Guide Ad

As promised, an example of THE LATE SHOW advertising in TV Guide. Here we have a full page ad for the film APPOINTMENT WITH DANGER making it's "New York TV Debut" on THE LATE SHOW from 1/10/70.

The Late Show - WCBS-TV Channel 2

Though I was too young to remember the famous "Syncopated Clock" opening for THE LATE SHOW on New York's WCBS-TV Channel 2, the opening posted above is the one I remember and that resonates most with me. So, to that end, let's kick off what this blog is really about by remembering the first of many vintage movie showcase programs from the NY Metro Area, THE LATE SHOW.

WCBS-TV's LATE SHOW was a long running, very popular movie showcase program. Though it's exact start date is unknown to me, I would assume it started sometime back in the early-to-mid 1950's as Gleason and Carney talk about it on an episode of THE HONEYMOONERS. By the mid-70's it was one of the country's longest running movie showcase programs. Though I don't have access to exact numbers, from what I have read and heard, it was a ratings winner for Channel 2 and more than held it's own against Johnny Carson. That being said, in August of 1969, CBS had it's affiliates shelve their late night programming, ie, channel 2 it's LATE SHOW, in order to air The Merv Griffin Show which CBS hoped could compete with Carson and steal some of his late night thunder. That didn't work out so well. Griffin was dumped in early 1972 and WCBS went back to it's old reliable LATE SHOW movies. The fact was, those late night movies did quite well in the ratings, better then Griffin did so it has to be looked on as a failed experiement.

As a matter of fact, ratings for those late night films did so well for WCBS, as well as other stations, that many theatrical films were purchased with the sole intention of debuting them on THE LATE SHOW. Now, think about that for just a minute. Normally one would think that if a TV station is going to plunk down big bucks to acquire a major theatrical film for TV broadcast that they would debut it when the audience and advertising dollars were generally at it's peak, ie, prime time. But ratings were so good for late night movies that WCBS-TV, and others, would shell out the big money for theatrical films and debut them on THE LATE SHOW at 11:30PM!! That fact continues to blow my mind to this day. Not only are you debuting the film at 11:30PM but also up against Carson!! And, it worked!! Plus, stations spared no expense at advertising the films in TV Guide, many times taking out full page ads and making it known that such and such film was making it's "NY TV Debut" or "World TV Debut". I'll post such a full page ad later.

Personally speaking, I loved THE LATE SHOW. The opening, as posted here, was very well done I thought. Pretty cool animation for the time with a breezey opening theme that really set the tone. One of the things that really made THE LATE SHOW worth staying up for was it's unrivaled variety. Comedies, dramas, westerns, horrors, science fiction, you name it and it played on THE LATE SHOW. As the later 70's came upon us, sometimes you would get a theme week. For example, I clearly remember a full week of Jerry Lewis films. When all is said and done, THE LATE SHOW may be the finest movie showcase program in history. It is remembered and it is revered and it worked hard to obtain that status. Some films I clearly remember seeing on THE LATE SHOW include: 23 PACES TO BAKER STREET, WALK EAST ON BEACON, DR. TERRORS HOUSE OF HORRORS, APPOINTMENT WITH DANGER, THE WORLD IN HIS ARMS, SATURDAY'S HERO, BATTLE HYMM and many more. It has given me a huge, wonderful vault of memories and I hope it has for you also. Let me know what your memories are of THE LATE SHOW because I'd love to read about them.

Monday, June 15, 2009

1975 Full Page 4:30 Movie Ad From TV Guide

The lost art of TV Guide movie advertising. Looks like it was a great week on THE 4:30 MOVIE. Hope this brings back memories.

Vintage TV Guide Horror Movie Summaries And The Great Night Of The Living Dead "Dramatization" Debate

Just wanted to say that the only forum I belong to is over at

It's an excellent place to discuss movies, TV, music, etc...

I'm posting a link to a particular thread topic you guys might enjoy. It contains some great old TV Guide horror movie summaries and some TV Guide movie ad pictures. And, as an added bonus, if you click to page 3, you will read an interesting discussion on WABC-TV's use of the "dramatization" tag during it's airings of George A. Romero's 1968 classic NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD. Makes for a good read so enjoy.

A Salute To Vinatge NY Metro Area Television

Another little video I put together to salute the great old TV stations we used to watch back in the day in the NY Metro Area. Hope you enjoy it and feel free to post comments.

WABC-TV 4:30 Movie Metro Area Re-creation

I made this attempt at trying to re-create what it was like to watch the old 4:30 Movie on WABC-TV Channel 7 in New York. Hope you enjoy it and let me know what you think.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

How Lucky Were We?

I think a lot of us who fall into my age group, I'm 47, kind of took it for granted regarding the kind of programming we were lucky to have as kids. I scroll through the vast wasteland of 200+ channel TV of today and most times, I can't find anything I want to watch. As mentioned in my introductory post, back in the day we had seven channels and everything was on. So, we took it for granted. It was TV so we just watched and enjoyed. Of course, we could not predict back then what television would become in the next 30+ years so it sort of let's us off the hook.

One of my hobbies is collecting old TV Guides from the NY Metro area. I have quite a few that range in year from 1961 to 1981 with the majority being from the 1970's which happens to be the decade I remember most and the decade that had the most impact on me. When I look at those old Guides, aside from smiling a lot, I marvel at what TV had to offer. Excellent prime time shows. Great made-for-tv movies. Terrific theatrical films making their TV debuts. Sports. News. Wonderful cartoons. Fantastic old movies and superb off-network reruns. All cramped into seven measly channels. I marvel at it to be quite honest.

Since this blog will mostly be about the films that appeared on TV back then, do you realize or even remember that on any given Saturday night you could see a ton of great movies that all started after 11:00PM!! If you liked movies back in the day or liked staying up late or was an insomniac, you had a field day. Dramas, Westerns, Musicals, Horror, Science Fiction, you name it and those seven channels had it. Sometimes you would get a "slow" Saturday night and only stumble upon 7 or 8 films but many times you would get a Saturday night of your dreams and find 11 or 12 movies!! It really blows my mind when I look back at it. Perhaps saying we took it for granted is incorrect but one thing I know is right......we were very lucky for what we had back in the day.

Welcome To Old Time TV!

Just a quick welcome to everyone who has found this blog. I started it because of my love for old time TV and my dislike for what passes as television today.

When it comes to TV, I'm a product of my time. Quickly, I grew up in the 60's and 70's living in the NY Metro area and my love for TV was immediate and has stayed with me to this day. Seven channels and everything was on! WCBS-TV Channel 2, WNBC-TV Channel 4, WNEW-TV Channel 5, WABC-TV Channel 7, WOR-TV Channel 9, WPIX-TV Channel 11 and WNET-TV Channel 13.

More to the point of this blog is my love and adoration of the movies that appeared on the above mentioned channels and the movie showcases that presented them. Remember THE LATE SHOW on channel 2? THE 4:30 MOVIE on channel 7? FRIGHT NIGHT on channel 9? Well, you get the picture. Those days may be gone and it's a shame but they are not forgotten. That is what this blog will celebrate. As time goes on, I'll post about various movie showcase programs from that era and the movies I saw on them and remember to this day. Hopefully, as I learn the ropes, I'll post some videos and pictures as the days pass. I hope everyone who remembers will comment and although this blog celebrates stations from the NY Metro area, I'll always welcome those folks who have similar memories from whatever part of the country you are from. Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy.