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upperco

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About upperco

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  1. Found a discrepancy in commonly accepted I LOVE LUCY airdate information and wanted to see if anyone here could shed some light on the matter. Older episode guides -- like Bart Andrews' and Geoffrey Mark Fidelman's -- list the second season episodes "Redecorating" and "Ricky Loses His Voice" as having been originally broadcast on November 17th and November 24th, 1952, respectively. Presumably the rebroadcast of "The Fur Coat" then aired on December 1st. According to the DVDs, the Blu-rays, and now, most internet sources, "The Fur Coat" was rebroadcast on November 17th and the new episodes then followed on November 24th and December 1st. Newspaper listings favor the older guides' information. As we know, those publications aren't always accurate, but three weeks in a row of incorrect printed episode loglines seems hard to buy. What's the real story here -- why did our understanding of when these episodes were first broadcast change? (Does this having something to do with discrepancies in local markets?) And, ultimately, which airdate information is most correct?
  2. The New Dick Van Dyke Show was at #36 (17.8) for the period counting September 10, 1973 through January 13, 1974. It was at #31 (19.4) for the period counting January 14 through March 24, 1974. And in Variety's final season average, counting premiere to April 21, the show was at #40 (18.2). Also, for reference, Lucy's previous lead-out, The Doris Day Show, was axed at #37, with an 18.6. I say that to note that Van Dyke's numbers behind Lucy weren't the improvement CBS wanted and it would have been on the bubble regardless of whether Lucy was renewed. The show-curdling departures of Hope Lange and Carl Reiner, Van Dyke's announced alcoholism, and Lucy's decision to leave (thus giving Van Dyke's show no companion) likely just made the choice easy for Silverman and Wood. Incidentally, I've seen the entire run of The New Dick Van Dyke Show. I personally don't think the final year's premise shift was rejuvenating, yet the quality basically stayed the same. I think The Lucy Show is an apt comparison, for while the scripting was never on par with the star's earlier series, it did give him some memorable chances to clown, which were worth the figurative price of admission and deserve to be seen more often today.
  3. Here's Lucy was not in the Top 20 in the spring (it was #21), but yes, it had beaten both ABC's and NBC's movies (by 1.2 and 3.2 points, respectively). Incidentally, it had lost to both ABC's football and NBC's movies in the fall (by 2.1 and 0.9 points, respectively). The New Dick Van Dyke Show also improved in the spring -- 19.4 vs. 17.8 -- but it was still lower rated than ABC's movie. By that time, both Reiner and Lange refused to return, and with Van Dyke announcing that he was an alcoholic, CBS was ready to wash its hands of a show whose average barely made the Top 40 at season's end, and (likely) only did so because it was next to Lucy. And to answer your other question, there were 72 shows listed for the fall's list, 63 for the winter/spring's, and 81 in the final annual average. Also, Variety's conclusive "Season Average" from May 1974 differs slightly from the common Top 30 that's been published and posted ad infinitum. Variety's list specifically includes premiere weeks and goes until April 21st. Marsh and Brooks' tome only vaguely cites September to April. According to Variety, NFL Football came in at #18 with a rating of 21.3. Here's Lucy and ABC's spring movie tied at #26 with a 19.8. And NBC's movie was at #31 with a 19.0. According to Marsh and Brooks (what you're citing), NFL was at #19 with a 21.2, ABC's movie was at #26 with a 20.2, and Lucy was at #29 with a 20.0.
  4. Variety. Ratings for Here's Lucy for the "1st half season" (Sept. 10 - Jan. 13) averaged 19.2. Ratings for the "second season" (Jan. 14 - Mar. 24) averaged 21.3. (Remember, of course, that Lucy was up against Monday Night Football in the fall, and only movies in the winter/spring.)
  5. Ball proved every season that she was open to negotiation, and while it's been reported that she almost bowed out in October '72, she seemed willing to stick around again when interviewed by the LA Times in November '73 ("if people still want me -- if CBS still wants me"). I won't speculate on what happened between then and February '74*, but I will say that the trades never contradicted the two commonly accepted facts: that she wanted to leave and that CBS executives would miss having her on a weekly series. However, the extent to which both parties exhibited those claims privately during negotiations -- and I believe there were negotiations, for the announcement didn't come until the end of February (not since the mid-era Lucy Show days had Ball's fate remained uncertain that late in the season), a month after production wrapped -- is unknown and may indeed have been contradictory. As is always the case, I think there were a number of factors that probably influenced what happened -- the ratings being just one. (Incidentally, the numbers had fallen, but the network never expressed any public concern -- which means the show was likely still profitable -- and the press considered it, while still in the Top 30, in good shape.) The upcoming release of Mame (which looked to be a success and could have opened the door to different projects for Ball) Lucie Arnaz's desire to move on (she booked Seesaw in December '73, two months before the official announcement of the series' end) CBS' success in the fall of '73 -- there were only three midseason replacements (and no room to move good shows that deserved a second chance) The problems with the likely-to-be-axed The New Dick Van Dyke Show (cancelling it would mean that Lucy didn't have a great companion on Mondays; Wood/Silverman would NOT have put Maude or Rhoda next to Lucy -- those were different types of shows and were held to different standards; that's part of the problem Van Dyke faced) Conversely, some external things that could have indeed prolonged negotiations in February... The relaxation of the Prime Time Access Rule, as the networks suddenly got an extra hour on Sundays, even if they didn't have the pilots for it (this was later postponed) The fact that the show's numbers were improving by nearly two ratings points in the period between January and March (so, February) The problems with the divorcing Sonny & Cher, who were likely to not return (meaning that CBS would be losing another hit show) And, as with the above, the problems with The New Dick Van Dyke Show, which instead of reducing the need to keep Lucy, may have done the opposite: increased CBS' desire to hold onto her *Okay, I will... Ball probably did her annual hemming and hawing -- this time more tired and ready to go than ever, but still hoping the network would negotiate like usual. Unfortunately, the brass didn't appear to fight as hard to keep her as they had before (like in October '72) and recognizing that maybe she wasn't as valuable to them as she once was, Ball decided to walk away from the weekly series and just commit to specials (which, in November '73, she said wasn't of interest to her, but I digress....) The_Los_Angeles_Times_Mon__Nov_5__1973_.jp2
  6. Rose Marie weighs in on Harvey Weinstein

    I saw the film's first screening back in August. You'll want to see it for the home movie footage alone. And, yes, TOP BANANA is highlighted!
  7. Our Miss Brooks on ME TV

    Yes, she appears in more extant radio episodes than those produced for television, but remember that the radio show ran for eight years, while the TV show ran -- under the Madison format -- for three. Regarding whether or not the character was more prominently featured on the radio series, the absence of several whole years (save an episode or two) makes comparing her seasonal appearance rates difficult. But if the trend from the early (almost intact) seasons was maintained, we'd conclude that Ms. Enright appeared a few more times per radio year than she did in the TV iteration (i.e. four episodes as opposed to two). So I'd estimate that the character was a slightly larger presence on radio than she was on television.
  8. Our Miss Brooks on ME TV

    There are indeed episodes with both Morgan and Fax ahead. Morgan was out during a portion of the second year recovering from a stroke. The best episodes are already behind the series as its third TV season approaches, but the previously skipped Thanksgiving offering this week is great, as is Monday's "Second Hand First Aid" -- due in large part to another appearance by Mary Jane Croft as Ms. Daisy Enright.
  9. Our Miss Brooks on ME TV

    I wasn't based in L.A. when I visited the UCLA Archives -- I've done so twice now -- but I am currently a resident of the city. I've also been to the Paley Center quite a few times and am friendly with some of the staff members. Both have extensive libraries, but so little available for actual viewing. In the case of UCLA, it's open to the public, but you can only view material that has been transferred to DVD or, in some cases, VHS, and you have to let them know in advance what you want to screen (and give some indication of when). They also generally require information about the research you are hoping to conduct, but I told them that I was both a student and a blogger and that seemed to be enough. Truthfully, they drag their feet about transferring items and only do so if you're actively working on a specific project (like a book or documentary, etc.), but I sweet-talked them into burning an episode of my beloved ​He & She -- the only one of the 26 that's not in that currently circulating set -- to a DVD-r. (Now anyone can ask and see the episode!) It was a compromise of sorts because when I was planning my first visit, I'd requested many items that weren't readily available. Also, I just checked their online database and they have 16mm prints of those two non-circulating and unsyndicatable episodes of Our Miss Brooks. So there's no doubt that these episodes do exist and are accessible to CBS.
  10. Our Miss Brooks on ME TV

    I don't actually think it's 100% accurate either. 127 episodes of the series have circulated among collectors (and were indeed uploaded to YouTube for a time), one of them being "Public Property On Parade," which is currently unavailable for syndication and allegedly un-remastered. A friend told me this was due to music licensing issues, but in the 22-mintue version out there, there's nothing that would indicate this to be true. (In general, I don't think this series ever had a lot of music that would need clearing.) The other two excluded episodes are "The Bakery" and "Blood, Sweat, And Laughs," both of which, unlike "Public Property," have probably been out of syndication for decades -- and maybe this is due to music. (Incidentally, for those who either saw the series on YouTube or have that bootleg set, this new package includes "The Dream," a memorable third season installment that has remained elusive for collectors; I screened it at the UCLA Archives a few years ago, and it'll be good to see the outing in rotation.) Now, it's also possible that those three episodes are currently unavailable due to a lack of quality sources. I've gotten conflicting reports as to whether these new syndication offerings come from 16mm or 35mm prints (evidence points to 16mm, but they LOOK 35 -- I'm no expert though), and the syndication bible specifically lists them as being Syndication 4x3 HD as opposed to Network 4x3 HD; I've been told this was intentional and that full-length ready-for-home-release versions weren't made because Me-TV was "footing the bill" for the transfers -- otherwise CBS wouldn't have even considered it. Essentially, their only interest in ​Our Miss Brooks (right now, anyway) is giving Me-TV something to play that looks fairly good, not preserving the entire series for posterity and/or using it outside of this current deal. I wonder if tjw might know what the real story is...
  11. Our Miss Brooks on ME TV

    Music, I believe (but don't quote me). I've been told that CBS only chose to remaster what they could put into syndication, as that's their only consideration with regard to ​Our Miss Brooks at this time.
  12. Our Miss Brooks on ME TV

    Unfortunately, CBS only remastered the 127 episodes in the syndication package (of 130 total), so they're certainly not considering a DVD release right now. But the prints readied for Me-TV are better than the stuff that's been circulating for years, so it's still cause for celebration.
  13. My favorite arrangement is probably the closing credits for the original run of The Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Show, but I'm mad about the closing credits from the original I Love Lucy broadcasts as featured on the Blu-Ray releases -- the drum beats are so present and distinct.
  14. The Official LUCY ON BLU-RAY Thread!

    I think the appeal of the Blu-Rays is being able to see the episodes as they were originally broadcast. I actually don't care about the elevated picture quality or any additional special features (delightful though they may be), for I would buy these episodes on any format -- Blu-Ray, DVD, VHS -- if it meant the chance to have them all as initially presented.
  15. Most Egregious Emmy Slights

    I also agree that I Love Lucy was probably at its peak in 1955, but so was The Phil Silvers Show, the writing for which was always highly praised. Also, I Love Lucy had won twice in that category already, so it's likely there was some desire to give other shows due credit. (As for The Phil Silvers Show winning twice more after that, I think it speaks mostly to a lack of comedic competition in the latter half of the decade.) I actually think it's more surprising that Make Room For Daddy, always a second-tier entity in my opinion, won the year prior over shows much more meritorious, like ​I Love Lucy, The George Burns And Gracie Allen Show, and even Mister Peepers, which had just married off its title character in what was then a Must-See-TV moment. As for snubs, the lack of appropriate categories for the 1965 ceremony probably screwed Elizabeth Montgomery from ever being properly acknowledged for her work on Bewitched, but I think her next best chance of winning was in '67, and we know how that turned out. (I personally think Ball deserved the award in '63 over Shirley Booth -- but probably not in '67 or '68, the latter of which could have very nicely gone to Marlo Thomas after a solid season of work on That Girl or to my beloved He & She's Paula Prentiss, which would have acted as a nice reinforcement of how stupid CBS was to cancel the show before even attempting to help it find an audience.) Also I never understood why Hope Lange won for both seasons of The Ghost And Mrs. Muir. Seriously, she's charming, but outstanding? I suppose it's another matter of competition -- all the most deserving (Ball, Thomas, Montgomery) were not in their primes. In the '70s, on the other hand, there was no shortage of talent. One major show that that was totally lost in the shuffle was The Bob Newhart Show, with a scant two nominations for its fifth season (after the show had passed its prime, in my opinion). There were so many good comedies at the time, but it still deserved more shine -- for writing, for Newhart, and, most importantly, for Pleshette. Speaking of '70s actresses, Ruth Gordon should not have been able to win as Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy for a guest shot on Taxi in 1979; that award should have belonged to Soap's Katherine Helmond, who was nominated all four years on the show but never won (losing to Jean Stapleton, Gordon, Cathryn Damon, and Isabel Sanford -- the latter two of whom I do believe were deserving at the time). And one more: I think Bea Arthur should have won for the first season of The Golden Girls over Betty White, whose character took the longest to get defined but benefited from scoring a pair of big juicy episodes that managed to be the year's best. Oh, well, at least they all won eventually...
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