Bookshelf: TV Tie-Ins, 2nd Edition

TV Tie-Ins (2nd Edition)
By Kurt Peer
First Published in 1999
Published by TV Books
364 Pages

This wonderful resource, officially titled TV Tie-Ins: A Bibliography of American TV Tie-In Paperbacks was first published in 1997 in both hardcover and paperback. A second edition was released in 1999 but has been out of print for some time now. I bought my copy of the second edition several years ago when one of the large bookstore chains (I think it was Barnes & Noble) had a large pile of them near the front door at very low price, something like $5 instead of the $24.95 cover price. I had never heard of the book before but it was a must buy the moment I saw it. It has been an invaluable source of information ever since.

TV Tie-Ins begins with an introduction to the TV tie-in and its history, with information about authors, publishers, novelizations, multiple printings and more. It then explains how the book works; there’s a master list, an index by author, an index by publisher, an actors pictured list, an episodes novelized list and an index of television programs with TV tie-ins. The master list, which makes up the bulk of the book, is organized alphabetically by television program. Each entry gives the start and end dates of the program and the network it aired on and then lists the TV tie-ins published, with title, author, publisher, book number, copyright date, printing and issue date. Additional information for certain books includes cover price, whether or not it is a Whitman or a novelization and a list of actors pictured on the cover.

TV Tie-Ins

TV Tie-Ins Front Cover – Copyright TV Books

All this may sound a bit overwhelming but believe me when I saw it is easy to flip through the master list looking for a specific television program. Here’s the entry for The New People:

September 22, 1969 – January 12, 1970; ABC

The New People: They Came From the Sea; by Alex Steele [William Johnston]; Tempo 05308; c 1969 (1st); $.75 [FC Photo: David Moses, Jill Jaress, Dennis Olivieri, Peter Ratray, Tiffany Bolling, Zooey Hall]

          A planeload of youths crash-lands on a deserted island and the survivors start a hip society in this short-lived show. The question posed by the above TV tie-in: “Can the new people create a better society than the one they left behind?”

You get the title and author — by the way, I had forgotten that Alex Steele was a pen name for William Johnston — the publisher and the book number, the copyright date and price, a list of the actors pictured on the front cover and a very brief overview of the series. Certain programs are given a few paragraphs rather than just a few sentences. The overview of The Prisoner, for example, includes a lengthy quotation about the author of one of the three tie-in novels written for the series.

The author index is a lot of fun, especially the entry for William Johnston, which includes an astounding 64 novels, plus another two under the pseudonym Ed Garth and one under the aforementioned pseudonym Alex Steele. The publisher index is a bit less helpful in my opinion. The list of actors pictured is a bit misleading; it doesn’t include a list of all the novels a certain actor appears on. It only states that George Peppard, for instance, appeared on the cover of novels tied-into The A-Team, Banacek and Doctor’s Hospital as Col. John “Hannibal” Smith, Thomas Banacek and Dr. Jake Goodwin, respectively.

TV Tie-Ins

TV Tie-Ins Back Cover – Copyright TV Books

The list of episodes novelized is helpful for those interested in novelizations. Who knew that six episodes of All in the Family were novelized? Unfortunately, only the episode titles and air dates are listed, not the novelizations themselves. Those are only found in the master list. Finally, there’s a simple list of television programs for which tie-ins were published, in alphabetical order, followed by a page about grading the condition of tie-in novels, an overall index and a bibliography. In the middle of the book is an eight-page section that consists of black-and-white photographs of tie-in novels, much like the cover.

I’ve found myself referring to TV Tie-Ins countless times over the years. It is a valuable addition to any television library and a must have for collectors of TV tie-ins.

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One Reply to “Bookshelf: TV Tie-Ins, 2nd Edition”

  1. Since William Johnston had an “exclusive contract” to write original novels based on TV shows for Tempo/Grosset & Dunlap, he occasionally used an alias so that eagle-eyed readers wouldn’t think he wrote ALL of their adaptations.

    I know that Beverly Cleary, who wrote the famous “Henry Huggins” and “Ramona” children’s book series, also adapted several “LEAVE IT TO BEAVER” scripts for at least two paperback novels. Al C. Ward adapted some “GUNSMOKE” scripts for at least one paperback tie-in. There was an original novel based on “THE ADDAMS FAMILY”. In fact, MCA was SO certain CBS was going to buy their series that was intended to star Telly Savalas as a high-priced (and unorthodox) attorney in 1981, they published, through their paperback publishing division, a novelization based on the two-hour pilot film that was supposed to sell the idea, “HELLINGER’S LAW”. The joke was certainly on them, as the network passed on it! That novel is QUITE rare to find….I enjoyed reading a 1981 novelization based on the pilot episode of the short-lived series, “MR. MERLIN”.

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