Television Obscurities Keeping Obscure TV From Fading Away Forever Fri, 29 Aug 2014 12:31:23 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Coming in September to Television Obscurities Fri, 29 Aug 2014 12:00:35 +0000 Continue Reading →]]> September is the biggest month of the year for network television, when new shows premiere and old favorites return. Next month will be a big one for Television Obscurities as well. September 2014 marks the 50th anniversary of the start of the 1964-1965 season and to commemorate I’m launching my most ambitious project to date. I’m calling it “A Year in TV Guide” and it will be a journey through the 1964-1965 television season through the pages of TV Guide.

Every Friday I’ll be examining an issue of TV Guide from the 1964-1965 season, starting with the 1964 Fall Preview. Things kick off on September 19th but I’ll be posting more information about “A Year in TV Guide” before then.

September 2014 also marks the 40th anniversary of the start of the 1974-1975 season, which I’ve written about on a number of occasions. I’ll be publishing a three part special feature on the 1974 development season covering all of the pilots under consideration by the networks for that season.

In addition, you can look forward to an essay reflecting on the tenth anniversary of Fall 2004 focusing on obscurities that premiered during the 2004-2005 TV season. Plus, the long-in-the-works revision to my article on the history of the fall preview special will finally be published. I also have a “Fall Preview Week” planned for the Video Vault, with a fall preview from the 1960s or 1970s posted each morning. And of course there will be a new Spotlight published next month, plus the usual columns at the blog.

So stayed tuned to Television Obscurities. It’s going to be a busy September.

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NBC Cancels Planned Emerald City Limited Series Thu, 28 Aug 2014 11:30:03 +0000 Emerald City has been cancelled. Continue Reading →]]> Just two months after FOX cancelled its event series Hieroglyph after filming the pilot episode, NBC last week announced it had dropped its own limited series Emerald City, a modern retelling of L. Frank Baum’s Land of Oz books. It was picked up straight-to-series in January with a 10 episode order, to premiere during the 2014-2015 season alongside other event series like Heroes Reborn and Aquarius. Unlike Hieroglyph, it had yet to be cast and no episodes had been completed, only the pilot script and a few others.

According to Deadline Hollywood, creative differences between the network and executive producer Josh Friedman led NBC to drop the project but Universal Television plans on trying to find a new home for it somewhere else.

Here’s NBC’s official description of Emerald City:

Desperate for clues that will lead to the identity of her biological mother, a young woman breaks into a sinister underground facility somewhere in the Midwest. Unable to complete her mission and surrounded by security, our feisty heroine steals a K9 police dog and drives away into the night… and headlong into the path of a raging tornado. In the blink of an eye, she is transported to another world, one far removed from our own – a mystical land of competing kingdoms, lethal warriors, dark magic and a bloody battle for supremacy. This is the fabled Land of Oz in a way you’ve never seen before, where wicked witches don’t stay dead for long and 20-year-old Dorothy Gale becomes a headstrong warrior who holds the fate of kingdoms in her hands. You’re not in Kansas anymore, and this is not your Grandmother’s Oz.

This actually isn’t the first potential TV show based on Oz that NBC passed on in recent memory. Back in 2010, production company Dark Toy Entertainment had a comedy also called Emerald City in development for NBC, set in New York City. It went nowhere.

(Thanks to Bob for passing this along.)

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Could New Licensing Deal Lead to More Short-Lived Shows on Diginets? Thu, 28 Aug 2014 00:45:17 +0000 Continue Reading →]]> Digital networks, or diginets as they’re increasingly referred to in the media, that specialize in classic television may soon be able to afford to purchase short-lived TV shows. The New York Times reported on Monday that a new agreement has been reached between the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers and three Hollywood guilds: the Directors Guild of America, the Writers Guild of America, and the recently combined Screen Actors Guild/American Federation of Television and Radio Artists regarding residual fees paid for TV shows licensed to cable or

Under the new agreement, residuals will be paid on a percentage basis. According to the article, the previous fixed-fee licensing structure reportedly made it too expensive for cable channels or diginets to acquire even recent programs, let alone ones decades old. However, all of shows mentioned in the article — Gilligan’s Island, The Love Boat, Charlie’s Angels and The Flying Nun — are currently airing on one of the classic TV diginets, so they obviously weren’t too expensive to license.

The article directly references short-lived shows, calling them “broken shows, or series that are canceled after a few dozen episodes,” suggesting that under the new agreement they will be much more affordable. It’s too soon to say what impact this will have on diginets like Me-TV, Cozi TV or Antenna TV. TV Land once aired a wide variety of short-lived and less popular TV shows from the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. Perhaps

Earlier today, Antenna TV announced that it will be adding 11 new shows to its schedule in 2015, including popular favorites like Mork & Mindy and Leave It To Beaver, as well as Dear John, Evening Shade and Small Wonder. Could some or all of them have been licensed under the new deal?

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New Spotlight: Men Against Evil (Unsold Pilot) Wed, 27 Aug 2014 11:00:46 +0000 "Men Against Evil" from 1966, an unsold ABC pilot for a twice-weekly serialized drama. It eventually became The Felony Squad. Continue Reading →]]> I first wrote about ABC’s proposed pilot “Men Against Evil” back in November 2010, when I discussed briefly how it turned into The Felony Squad, which ran for 73 episodes from 1966 to 1969. At the time, I didn’t have a lot of details about the pilot. An actor who had a role in the pilot was kind enough to leave a few comments and Stephen Bowie was able to chime in with some details from The Felony Squad executive Walter Grauman. I remained interested in learning more and over the past year dug up a bit more background.

For this month’s Spotlight I decided to revisit the pilot, which personally I consider completely separate from The Felony Squad given the many changes made before the series hit the air. So rather than call it an unaired pilot, I’m classifying it as an unsold pilot. UCLA’s Film & Television Archive has a copy of “Men Against Evil” in its collection but all I’ve seen are the last five minutes, in which actor Dennis Cole presents “just a few scenes from future episodes,” a tantalizing look at the twice-weekly serial that never was.

The pilot was announced in November 1965 and the original plan was for its to air twice a week just like Peyton Place, with the focus on the family lives of police officers but the serial aspect was soon dropped. At ABC’s March 26th, 1966 affiliates meeting in Chicago the day before the opening of that year’s NAB convention, the network presented a preview of its 1966-1967 schedule (hosted by Batman and Robin) that didn’t include any footage from Men Against Evil. The concept was revamped and retitled a number of times before The Felony Squad eventually hit the air in September.

Read the full Spotlight here.

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2014-2015 Fall Preview Specials Mon, 25 Aug 2014 12:15:16 +0000 Continue Reading →]]> The 66th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards air live tonight on NBC and while the awards will be looking back at last season’s shows, there’s sure to be a lot of interest in what’s coming up this fall on NBC. The 2014-2015 TV season kicks off Monday, September 22nd and that means it’s time for fall preview specials. So far, I’ve only found information on the CBS and NBC specials, nothing on ABC, FOX or The CW.

As always, check your local listings.

ABC – “Thank God It’s Thursday on ABC”

No word yet about a full fall preview from the Alphabet network but it will be releasing an affiliates special called “Thank God It’s Thursday on ABC” focusing on its Thursday line-up consisting of Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, and How to Get Away from Murder, all from producer Shonda Rhimes who will host the special.

CBS – “CBS Fall Preview”

Jim Nantz of CBS Sports will host this half-hour special that airs nationally on Monday, September 1st from 8:30-9PM. Affiliates will have the option of repeating it through September 21st. It will also be available on demand and online. A full press release can be found here.

NBC – “The 2014 NBC Primetime Preview Show”

Hosted by Casey Wilson and Ken Marino from NBC’s new sitcom Marry Me, this half-hour affiliate special started airing on on Saturday (August 23rd) and will be shown through October 19th. It will not be airing nationally on NBC. More information can be found here.

If anyone knows what ABC, FOX and The CW are planning, hit the comments.

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Antenna TV’s Fall 2014 Schedule Sun, 24 Aug 2014 16:02:10 +0000 Continue Reading →]]> August 27th, 2014 Update:

It’s new fall schedule may underwhelm but Antenna TV has just announced it will be adding 15 shows to its lineup in 2015: Newhart, The Jeffersons, Mork & Mindy, One Day at a Time, Family Ties, Evening Shade, Leave it to Beaver, Doogie Howser, MD, Mr. Belvedere, Dear John, and and Small Wonder.

Original Post:

Unlike Me-TV, classic television digital specialty network Antenna TV apparently hasn’t done much to get the word out about its new fall schedule, which debuts Monday, September 1st. Last week Me-TV launched a splashy web page about its Fall 2014 lineup. So far, it looks like Antenna TV has just posted a PDF of its schedule to its Facebook page and website.

Antenna TV isn’t adding any new shows next month, unless you count its Saturday educational/information programming. A number of shows are being shuffled around. Hazel will be leaving the schedule while more recent sitcoms The Nanny and Married with Children will be returning after almost a year’s absence. To be fair, I don’t watch a lot of Antenna TV so I can’t say whether there has been any on-air promotion.

Take a look at the new schedule and hit the comments with your thoughts.

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