Showing posts with label CBS. Show all posts
Showing posts with label CBS. Show all posts

Jun 7, 2011

Hopalong Cassidy

June 5 is the anniversary of the birth of William Boyd, born in 1895. Boyd is known to movie-goers and TV audiences throughout the world as Hopalong Cassidy. During his heyday, millions of fans would turn out to see him in personal appearances. He first played the role of the cowboy hero in the 1935 movie, Hop-a-long Cassidy. The character came from 28 western novels written by Clarence Mulford.

He was one of the few 'good guys' who wore black. In those days most of the good guys wore anything but black and the bad guys wore black. The picture below shows him in character with Dennis Weaver (as Chester B. Goode) James Arness (as Matt Dillon) from Gunsmoke. Weaver passed away in 2006 and Arness passed away last week, June 3, 2011. Arness' brother was Peter Graves from Mission Impossible fame.

Gunsmoke was just beginning as Boyd was retiring and he turned his whole production company over to CBS for that show, so his entire crew would not be put out of work.

Boyd was Hopalong Cassidy in 66 films through 1948 and then he starred as Hopalong in the successful TV series in the 1950s. For over twenty years, children and adults both loved the adventures of Hopalong Cassidy, his horse Topper, and his sidekick played by George ‘Gabby’ Hayes. He ranks up there with Gene Autry and Roy Rogers who made the successful transition from movie westerns to the 'new' television. Back then westerns dominated TV as much as crime shows do now.

Couldn't resist tossing this one in with my brothers and me in my Christmas Hoppy outfit.

Sep 17, 2010

Hogan's Heros

September 17, 1965 - CBS television premieres Hogan's Heroes, the first and perhaps only sitcom based in a German prisoner-of-war camp. It ran until 1971, but reruns are still seen on many TV channels.

Jul 6, 2010

Internet TV and Hulu

I have written about this before. Seems like internet TV is inevitable. Now it looks closer than ever.

Last month, the same week Hulu announced a paid plan, news surfaced that it is talking with CBS, Viacom, and Time Warner TV divisions to add their shows. Free Hulu already includes “Fox, NBC Universal, ABC, ABC Family, Biography, Lionsgate, Endemol, MGM, MTV Networks, National Geographic, Digital Rights Group, Paramount, PBS, Sony Pictures Television, Warner Bros. etc.

If paid Hulu (suggested $10 per month) works, the networks will have proof that they can circumvent cable and satellite companies and have the profit go directly in their pockets.

Bad news for the greedy cable companies. However, this will not happen overnight and the cable box is still easier for the uninitiated. I love competition.

Hmmm, think I found a new use for my old PC. You don't need a PC with much memory or fast speed, it all comes directly from the net. Just add a short cable from the PC to TV and all is well. An extra bonus is that you can do email or Facebook if a commercial shows up. As a bonus,YouTube looks great on a big screen.

Oct 8, 2009

Captain Kangaroo

It was the longest-running children’s program in the history of commercial network television. It ran from 1955 to 1992, first on CBS, then PBS.

Bob Keeshan, better known as Captain Kangaroo, died at 76 in 2004. He started his career as Clarabelle the Clown on the Howdy Doody show. He then created the low-keyed children's host that shows television need not be a wasteland. It was entertaining and educational, and ran for over 30 years.

Keeshan taught his young viewers two "magic phrases": please and thank you. Captain Kangaroo provided a safe place for children to start their day in a warm television Treasure House where bears danced, clocks read poems, and rabbits apologized for stealing carrots.

From the day the Captain made his debut on CBS in 1955, Keeshan took a different approach. There was no audience of screaming kids clamoring for prizes, no attempt to produce a kiddie version of vaudeville. Instead, there was just Keeshan, made up to look like everyone's ideal grandfather, interacting with a few TV friends: Mr. Green Jeans (the late Hugh Brannum), Grandfather Clock, Bunny Rabbit, and Mr. Moose.

The format changed over the years, but simplicity was always the watchword. The Captain would introduce a Tom Terrific cartoon or read a story. Mr. Moose would tell a joke as Ping-Pong balls dropped from the ceiling. Mr. Green Jeans would bring in a baby animal.

Rather than feed off children's nervous energy, as shows do today, Keeshan calmed his audience. He asked kids to slow down, sit for a moment and listen to a story. The effort earned him many awards and many more fans, even though he made no attempt to appeal to adults or older children.

The Captain was even mentioned in a song by the Statler Brothers a few years ago, "Counting Flowers on the Wall."

CBS dumped Kangaroo in 1984 to make more room for a morning news show that could compete with NBC's Today. Captain Kangaroo moved to PBS for a while and then disappeared.

Don't forget to say please and thank you, because I share all this stuff with you.