8 Years of Television Obscurities

I launched Television Obscurities over eight years ago in June of 2003 (after an earlier attempt, best forgotten, had faltered). It was originally hosted by Tripod but I moved it to its own domain in January of 2004. Eight years is a long time in the land of television. Most of the new programs that premiere each fall don’t return for a second season, let alone last for eight years. Many don’t even last a full season. In June of 2003, the television landscape was quite a bit different than it is today. Keep reading to see what’s changed.

Television Obscurities launched just weeks after the 2002-2003 television season came to a close, with CSI, Joe Millionaire, American Idol and Survivor among the highest-rated programs on the air. Some of the more short-lived programs that season included Bram & Alice (CBS; 9 episodes, 5 unaired), MDs (ABC; 8 episodes, 4 unaired), Black Sash (The WB; 8 episodes, 2 unaired), Queens Supreme (CBS; 13 episodes, 10 unaired), Mister Sterling (CBS; 10 episodes, 1 unaired) and Veritas: The Quest (ABC; 13 episodes, 9 unaired).

In June of 2003, both UPN and The WB were still broadcast networks and conversely The CW and MyNetworkTV were not. ION Television was still known as PAX TV. The digital transition was six years off. Netflix was exclusively a DVD rental company. Hulu didn’t exist; neither did YouTube, Facebook or Twitter. Unaired episodes of canceled programs weren’t routinely offered online. (By my recollection, it was during the 2006-2007 season that the networks started putting unaired episodes online, for shows like Kidnapped on NBC, The Nine on ABC and Vanished on FOX.) And TV Land was still primarily focused on “classic” television, not more recent sitcoms, original programming and reality shows.

When Television Obscurities launched, only the following five articles were available:

Today, by my count, there are 80 articles, 19 exhibits, and more than six hours of video spread throughout the post.

I tried a few times over the years to set up a message board for Television Obscurities, but they never took off. When I implemented WordPress in November of 2008, visitors were able to leave comments on articles and posts. There have been more than 2,400 comments since then (not to mention more than 480,000 spam comments between March of 2010 and today). I’ve probably received at least 1,000 e-mails over the past eight years, from people trying to identify television programs, made-for-TV movies, miniseries and specials. I wish I could say I helped every single one of them but there are some vague memories even I can’t do much with.

I’d like to thank everyone who has contributed to Television Obscurities over the past eight years. I’m proud of the work I’ve done and I’m glad there are so many people who enjoy reading about obscure/forgotten television.

1 Comment

  • Bill DesRochers says:

    Welcome back. I have always enjoyed your insights on the evolution of TV programming. a lot different articles that I have enjoyed over the past few years. With many cable networks having developed their own series, it seems the networks rely heavily on the reality or talent search programming. Classics from the 50’s and 60’s won’t ever be remade as they were as society has changed so much. For some good insights on TV from that era, read Dick Van Dyke’s new autobiography. Great read.

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