11 Years of Television Obscurities

Today marks the 11th anniversary of the launch of the current version of the Television Obscurities website. Last year, to commemorate the milestone 10th anniversary, I wrote an in-depth history of the website, which you can find here and here. The Television Obscurities blog isn’t nearly as old, having debuted in November 2008.

If the website were a television show, it would be in pretty good company. Among the shows that ran for 11 years are M*A*S*H, Kraft Television Theatre, You Bet Your Life, the original NBC Jeopardy!, The Carol Burnett Show and The Jeffersons.

Out of curiosity, how long have people been visiting Television Obscurities? Does anyone remember when it started in 2003?

A Year of Ups and Downs

Last September, only three months after celebrating 10 years online, Television Obscurities was hacked. It took a long time to recover and get back on track. I joined Twitter so I could send out updates during and after the hack. I’m now closing in on 100 Twitter followers, which is remarkable considering I don’t really do a good job using Twitter to converse with people.

Around the same time, I launched two monthly columns at the Television Obscurities blog: Bookshelf and The Month in Home Media, which are published on the first and second Thursdays of every month, respectively.

In November, I kicked off Local Connecticut Commercials Month, an initiative that saw a new local commercial broadcast in Connecticut during 1986 posted each day. It was an interesting experiment but wasn’t very popular with readers.

November also saw the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President Kennedy, an event about as far from obscure as you can get. I tried to find some unusual angles to discuss, including a four-part special feature examining the network prime time programming pre-empted for coverage of the assassination, its aftermath and JFK’s funeral.

In January of this year, I revealed an ambitious slate of quarterly articles and monthly spotlights. Although the spotlights have been going up as planned, I’m far behind on the first of the four planned articles for 2014 and there’s no way I’ll be able to get all four written by the end of the year.

In The Works

I hope to have the second part of my article on Kyle MacDonnell finished within the next two weeks, which will leave the article about half done. Once I finish that article I do still plan to try to get another written before the year is out. I haven’t settled on the topic yet. This month’s spotlight will probably cover the short-lived 1979 CBS sitcom Struck by Lightning.

As always, I have a lot of projects in the works and many more on the drawing board but very little free time. I’d like to revise a number of spotlights and there are still one or two articles that haven’t been revised in years.

This September will mark the 40th anniversary of the start of the 1974-1975 television season, which for some reason I’ve grown quite fond of over the years. I’ll be publishing a special feature about the network pilots produced for Fall 1974 that weren’t picked up.

Changes to the Blog

You may have noticed some minor changes to the Television Obscurities blog, specifically the sidebar. I’ve finally removed the lengthy “Site Archives” that went back to 2008, which was all but useless. I’ve replaced it with a list of categories that hopefully will make it easier for readers to find posts they’re interested in. I’m finishing up some other behind-the-scenes alterations that should help make the blog more accessible. I’ll be posting an update when everything is set.

It took me years to get used to the idea of having a blog rather than just a website and with more than 1,400 posts going back six years, I want it to be as simple to navigate as possible.


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