Coming to Television Obscurities in 2014

The new year is now a week old and that means it’s time to reveal my plans for 2014. I spent the first half of last year revising most of the articles here at Television Obscurities and had hoped to spend the second half of the year working on a variety of projects. But I got a little bit behind and then in September the site was hacked and it took months to get back on track. Before I knew it, the year was all but over.

For 2014 I’ve got an ambitious slate of articles and spotlights scheduled as well as a renewed focus on TV’s Lost & Found. But don’t worry, the blog hasn’t been forgotten.

Quarterly Articles

I have four in-depth articles planned for 2014, one every three months. I’ll do my best to keep to this quarterly publishing schedule. Here’s a look at the articles:

Articles Planned for 2014

March 2014 – Kyle MacDonnell: Television’s Forgotten Star
June 2014 – The Man Who Rigged the Ratings
September 2014 – Wheels and Umbrellas: Unusual TV Formats
December 2014 – “Mary Kay and Johnny”

Some of the titles may change and ultimately the schedule may be rearranged in places, but these are the four articles you can look forward to this year.

Monthly Spotlights

I’m also planning to publish at least one spotlight a month throughout 2014. To date, most spotlights have focused on an obscure shows, with a few examining unsold pilots. I’m going to expand the spotlight concept to also include television specials and shows that never even made it to the pilot stage.

I haven’t finalized the spotlight schedule yet, but here’s a list of some of the topics in contention:

Potential Spotlight Topics for 2014

Obscure Shows

All-Star Golf (1957-1963)
Ruthie on the Telephone (1949) [Published in January 2014]
Sierra (1974) [Published in April 2014]
Struck by Lightning (1979) [Published in June 2014]
Storefront Lawyers / Men at Law (1970-1971) [Published in February 2014]
Fashion Discoveries on Television (1941) [Published in March 2014]
Thrills and Chills Everywhere (1941-1946?)
Turnabout (1979)
The Tammy Grimes Show (1966)
Hank (1965-1966)
Meet Corliss Archer (CBS version, 1951-1952)
Channing (1963-1964)
Hawkins Falls, Population 6200 (prime time version, 1950)

Unsold Pilots

The Karen Valentine Show (1973) [Published in May 2014]
Men Against Evil (1966)

Never Produced Shows

The Quest (1964)

Specials

“The World of…” Specials (NBC; 1961-1963)
“The American Idea” Specials (ABC; 1973-1976?) [Published in July 2014]

You’re sure to see spotlights on some of these topics this year, the first of which will be coming in just a few weeks. There may be other shows I decide to write about and it’s entirely possible I’ll manage to complete more than one a month. We’ll have to wait and see.

Increased Focus on TV’s Lost & Found

One area here at Television Obscurities that I’ve been neglecting for far too long is TV’s Lost & Found. I hope to change that in 2014. I’ll be revising all of the status guides and hopefully completing status guides for the remainder of Kraft Television Theatre. I’m also working on an overview of surviving pre-1948 television program (including audio) as well as a list of recovered programs over the past few decades.

No More Weekly Blog Schedule

I’ve decided to bite the bullet and stop trying to keep to a weekly schedule at the Television Obscurities blog. I’d rather spend my time on more substantial projects for the website. That doesn’t mean the blog will be abandoned. Instead, my plan is to revive some of the weekly blog features as curated collections.

For example, from 2009-2010 I regularly answered questions about various television-related things in a Q & A feature. I’ve been collecting additional questions and will be posting week-long collections a few times this year. The same goes for the Video Vault, where I’ll be posting week-long collections of videos along the lines of November’s Local Connecticut Commercials Month, only shorter.

Plus, monthly columns The Month in Home Media and Bookshelf will continue. And I’ve got ideas for a number of Special Reports, including one focusing on a development season from the 1960s from start to finishing, examining which possible shows made to the pilot stage and which of those were ultimately picked up by a network.

3 Comments

  • David says:

    Happy New Year! Thank for for this update. It looks like 2014 will be a great year here! I am especially looking forward to the article about Kyle MacDonnell. I discovered her last year via some YouTube videos. She was quite famous for a relatively short period, but then seemed to be totally forgotten.

    I never heard of “Ruthie on the Telephone” before reading this post. I did a quick Internet search. It was a very interesting concept. I hope you write about it.

    A spotlight on “The Tammy Grimes Show” also gets my vote. It was a notorious failure. Only four episodes aired at a time when even the biggest bombs lasted 13 weeks.

    • Robert says:

      I agree that Ruthie on the Telephone is an interesting concept. My one concern is finding much information on it. We’ll have to see what I can dig up.

  • Joe Wehberg says:

    This is the first time I have commented on you wonderful website I too share your love for early and obscure TV. I started manyy years ago collecting them in the 16mm format. I look forward to seeing an article on CHANNING. This was a fine show that lasted but a single season, but was none the less a very good drama with a great cast (Jason Evers, Henry Jones) and many great guest stars and soon to be big stars.

    Channing like “Cimarron City, Wide Country and Frontier Circus” were one year series that were put up against time tested and sometimes iconic popular shows. Just because a series lasted one season does not make it a loser.

    In 1961 FCC Chairman Newton K. Minow called television “A vast wasteland” I wonder what he would think about TV today?

    I have found that some of the very best series were produced between 1958 and 1963 many of them single season efforts. I am glad to see some of these series finally becoming available on DVD.

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