DAVID BIANCULLI

Founder / Editor

ERIC GOULD

Associate Editor

LINDA DONOVAN

Assistant Editor

Contributors

ALEX STRACHAN

MIKE HUGHES

KIM AKASS

MONIQUE NAZARETH

ROGER CATLIN

GARY EDGERTON

TOM BRINKMOELLER

GERALD JORDAN

NOEL HOLSTON

 
 
 
 
 
Cheers to the Content Creators
March 31, 2021  | By Mike Hughes  | 121 comments
 

By now, way too many TV memories are taking up space in my mind.

They leave little room for anything else, except movie plots and Cubs' batting averages. But one vivid memory is basic – a show in which a man simply played records.

More about that in a moment.

This is my final TV Worth Watching piece before the site quits adding new items. I hope you'll continue to read about TV on websites (mine can be found here, by the way) and in books (one of my favorites is Dangerously Funny, David Bianculli's history of The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour). Also, keep watching TV; Ken Burns' Hemingway, coming up next month on PBS, is the best show this season.

And yes, there were times when TV wasn't nearly that good. Let's go back to Clintonville, Wisconsin:

I was seated in front of the TV set (a safe distance, of course, because you just couldn't be sure about those rays). So were my parents, grandparents, and sister; we were watching the man play records.

He would show us a record, tell us what it was and then play it. Sometimes, we would see the record playing; sometimes, we would see the man seeing the record playing. We kept watching.

Why? Well… Because this was television. And it was actually happening, live, and in black-and-white.

Even in its early years, TV did have some splendid fragments.

I Love Lucy began in 1951, with moments of sight-gag splendor.

Ed Sullivan started in 1948, eventually helping those of us who would never have a chance to see Broadway or the Beatles.

Edward R. Murrow dissected Joe McCarthy in 1954 and did Harvest of Shame in '60. A colleague says 1956 – the Golden Age of live drama – was TV's finest year.

But these were the exceptions.

In the year that Lucy debuted, prime time also had Film Filler, Music in Velvet, The Dell O'Dell Show, Georgetown University Forum, and Johns Hopkins Science Review. Still, people watched.

And away from prime time, the non-network times were iffy. There was no Oprah, no Phil (Donahue or McGraw), no Judge Whoever. Green Bay's WBAY gave us Captain Hal and that guy playing records.

Network TV spurted quickly. It had its first comedy Golden Age with the convergence of two independent producers at CBS – Grant Tinker, whose Mary Tyler Moore Show debuted in 1970, and Norman Lear, whose All in the Family began just four months later. By '74, those two men had seven shows in Nielsen's top 11.

I was lucky enough to start catching the Television Critics Association's Hollywood tours just as another spurt was coming. That was 1982, and Tinker had been put in charge of NBC. The network already had his superb Hill Street Blues; now it was adding his St. Elsewhere and his attitude.

Tinker told his programming chief (Brandon Tartikoff) to use the same approach he used at his own company: Get the best producers; then get out of their way.

Many of the first new shows were superb – Cheers, Family Ties, Remington Steele, and St. Elsewhere. When Cosby and Golden Girls arrived in '84 and '85, NBC was soaring.

Tinker left in 1986, with NBC at the top.

Tartikoff left in '91, when it had leveled off, but had planted the one big step for the future.

Seinfeld was once a four-episode summer show with mild prospects. It would go on to be the best comedy ever. It propelled the second Golden Age of comedy, which soon had Friends, Frasier, Mad About You, Third Rock, and Will & Grace (all on NBC), plus Fox's The Simpsons and CBS's Everybody Loves Raymond.

That comedy surge burned out. The last great comedy was The Big Bang Theory, from Chuck Lorre; the most recent really good one is Bob (Hearts) Abishola, also from Lorre.

But something bigger has arrived. It's the second Golden Age of drama – or, as Bianculli has dubbed it, the Platinum Age.

Cable shows found themselves with few rules about content, length, or number of episodes. They didn't even have to worry about mass audiences. They responded with idiosyncratic brilliance – Sopranos, Mad Men, Breaking Bad, and Fargo; then streamers joined and broke up the male dominance, with The Crown and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.

They were following the Tinker formula: Hire the best people and get out of the way.

That works across any format. One of the best broadcast dramas was The West Wing, by Aaron Sorkin. One of the best cable dramas was The Newsroom, by Aaron Sorkin. One of the best movies is The Trial of the Chicago 7, by Aaron Sorkin.

Talented people (Sorkin or Burns or Lorre or such), if left alone, give us just what we need – TV worth watching.

 
 
 
 
 
Leave a Comment: (No HTML, 1000 chars max)
 
 Name (required)
 
 Email (required) (will not be published)
 
YCPFO
Type in the verification word shown on the image.
 
 
 Page: 1 of 7  | Go to page: 
121 Comments
 
 
neal-fun is an incredible website that offers a variety of interactive and educational experiences. It's perfect for anyone looking to learn something new or just have fun exploring different concepts through engaging visualizations.
Jun 11, 2024   |  Reply
 
 
Candy Clicker is typically available on multiple platforms, including web browsers and mobile devices. The game is often free to play, with optional in-game purchases for cosmetic items or gameplay boosts.
Jun 6, 2024   |  Reply
 
 
Nice post! This is a very nice blog that I will definitively come back to more times this year! Thanks for informative post.
 
 
Nice post! This is a very nice blog that I will definitively come back to more times this year! Thanks for informative post.
 
 
https://myassignment.live/assignment-help-melbourne.html
Need top-quality assignment help in Melbourne? MyAssignment.Live offers expert assistance tailored to meet your academic requirements. Our team of experienced writers provides support across various subjects, ensuring your assignments are well-researched, accurately referenced, and delivered on time. Whether you’re tackling essays, reports, or complex projects, we guarantee high-quality work that adheres to your institution's standards. With 24/7 customer support and a commitment to excellence, MyAssignment.Live is your trusted partner for assignment help in Melbourne. Achieve academic success with our professional services.
Jun 5, 2024   |  Reply
 
 
James Williamson
Need top-quality assignment help in Melbourne? MyAssignment.Live offers expert assistance tailored to meet your academic requirements. Our team of experienced writers provides support across various subjects, ensuring your assignments are well-researched, accurately referenced, and delivered on time. Whether you’re tackling essays, reports, or complex projects, we guarantee high-quality work that adheres to your institution's standards. With 24/7 customer support and a commitment to excellence, MyAssignment.Live is your trusted partner for assignment help in Melbourne. Achieve academic success with our professional services.

https://myassignment.live/assignment-help-melbourne.html
Jun 5, 2024   |  Reply
 
 
The full version of Geometry Dash unlocks new realms of artistic expression. From visual aesthetics to musical innovation, players unlock the full spectrum of the game's artistic offerings.
Jun 3, 2024   |  Reply
 
 
Professional wildlife removal services in Brampton are equipped to handle these situations safely and effectively. Trained technicians employ humane methods to remove unwanted wildlife from homes and businesses, ensuring the animals are relocated to suitable habitats without harm. This approach not only addresses immediate concerns but also contributes to the conservation of local wildlife populations.
May 29, 2024   |  Reply
 
 
Professional wildlife removal services in Brampton are equipped to handle these situations safely and effectively. Trained technicians employ humane methods to remove unwanted wildlife from homes and businesses, ensuring the animals are relocated to suitable habitats without harm. This approach not only addresses immediate concerns but also contributes to the conservation of local wildlife populations.
May 29, 2024   |  Reply
 
 
I just couldn't leave your website before telling you that I truly enjoyed the top quality info you present to your visitors? Will be back again frequently to check up on new posts.
May 27, 2024   |  Reply
 
 
This is such a great resource that you are providing and you give it away for free. I love seeing blog that understand the value. Im glad to have found this post as its such an interesting one! I am always on the lookout for quality posts and articles so i suppose im lucky to have found this! I hope you will be adding more in the future...
May 22, 2024   |  Reply
 
 
This is a great article thanks for sharing this informative information. I will visit your blog regularly for some latest post. I will visit your blog regularly for Some latest post.
May 21, 2024   |  Reply
 
 
https://myassignment.live/case-study/
Our case study writing service providers excel in crafting descriptive case studies that provide a detailed account of a particular subject, event, or phenomenon. With meticulous attention to detail, we offer comprehensive analyses that paint a vivid picture and provide valuable insights into various topics.
May 20, 2024   |  Reply
 
 
James Williamson
Quality and reliability go hand in hand at MyAssignment.live. No matter how complicated the assignment is, we never compromise the quality. This helps us establish a sense of reliability among students in and around Melbourne. Here’s how we ensure quality and reliability in our online assignment writing services.

Visit: https://myassignment.live/assignment-help-melbourne.html
May 20, 2024   |  Reply
 
 
Yes i am totally agreed with this article and i just want say that this article is very nice and very informative article.I will make sure to be reading your blog more. You made a good point but I can't help but wonder, what about the other side? !!!!!!THANKS!!!!!!
May 19, 2024   |  Reply
 
 
Your blog has been a trusted companion on my journey of knowledge acquisition. This post is no exception, delivering a wealth of information and insights. Your posts always leave me with a sense of enlightenment and a deeper understanding of the subject. Keep up the excellent work!
May 14, 2024   |  Reply
 
 
The depth of research evident in your posts is commendable. It shows your dedication to providing accurate and reliable information.
May 12, 2024   |  Reply
 
 
I have read a few of the articles on your website now, and I really like your style of blogging. I added it to my favorites blog site list and will be checking back soon. Please check out my site as well and let me know what you think.
May 8, 2024   |  Reply
 
 
Cheers to all the content creators who have shaped the landscape of television over the years! It's amazing to reflect on the evolution of TV from simple moments like watching a man play records to the complex and captivating dramas and comedies we enjoy today. Here's to the past, present, and future of television, filled with memorable characters, innovative storytelling, and remarkable talent.
May 3, 2024   |  Reply
 
 
if you want a dissertation writing services so you just visit our website. we are the best team to complete your project.
May 2, 2024   |  Reply
 
 
 
 Page: 1 of 7  | Go to page: