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.