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Off Topic: Favorite Classic TV Shows?

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Finally, a complete package of WKRP IN CINCINNATI is about to be released on DVD.  Most, if not all of the original music background is being included. The " royalty rights" of the music segments (regardless of how brief they were) has always been an issue. It has always seemed ridiculous to me, playing a brief segment of a Pink Floyd song (or whatever else) is like getting a free promotion for the music. The owners of said music should be grateful that the music was chosen for the show, instead the greed of expecting some royalty payment takes priority.  So however the issue has been resolved, I am glad the shows will now be released. WKRP has always been one of my all time favorite shows.  Hopefully the episodes will be completely unedited and some bonus footage will be included.  

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  • 2 weeks later...

The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd starring Blair Brown was one of my favorite shows.  Over the 5 years or so it featured Victor Garber, Wesley Snipes, David Strathairn, Lewis Black, William Converse-Roberts, Gina Gershon, Barnard Hughes, Richard Lawson, John Glover, Nathan Lane, and Samuel Jackson.  It hasn't been released on dvd, apparently due to problems with music rights. I'm holding tight to my old VHS tapes.


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  • 1 year later...

In order by age:

I Love Lucy (50s)

Gilligan's Island (60s)

The Brady Bunch (60s-70s)

Happy Days (70s-80s)

Cheers (80s-90s)

Murder She Wrote (80s-90s)

The Cosby Show (80s-90s)

Who's the Boss (80s-90s)

MacGyver (80s-90s)

Married with Children (80s-90s)

Roseanne (80s-90s)

Saved By the Bell (80s-90s)

Family Matters (80s-90s)

Beverly Hills, 90210 (90s-00)

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (90s)

Home Improvement (90s)

Melrose Place (90s)

Frasier (90s-00s)

Friends (90s-00s)

Everybody Loves Raymond (90s-00s)

The Kind of Queens (90s-00s)

Reba (00s)

The Big Bang Theory (00s-10s)

Last Man Standing (10s-)

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A #1 = The Honeymooners


Monty Python

Twilight Zone

Perry Mason


Two and a Half Men


The Big Bang Theory (because I love hearing my wife laugh)

The Beverly Hillbillies


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In no particular order:


The Honeymooners


Perry Mason

Have Gun Will Travel

The Avengers (episodes starring Patrick Macnee and Diana Rigg)

The Defenders

Murder, She Wrote

Agatha Christie's Poirot (David Suchet)

Agatha Christie's Miss Marple (Joan Hickson & Julia McKenzie)


Law & Order

Law & Order, Criminal Intent

I Love Lucy

The Prisoner

Secret Agent (Danger Man in UK)

Prime Suspect (Helen Mirren original)

Downton Abbey

Upstairs, Downstairs (original)

I, Claudius


All In The Family


Sanford & Son

MI-5 ("Spooks")

Life On Mars

Doc Martin


Inspector Morse & Inspector Lewis

The Twilight Zone (B&W original 1/2 hr, episodes series)

Star Trek

Scott & Bailey

The Judy Garland Show

I Married Joan


New Tricks


Inspector George Gently and Judge John Deed (both starring Martin Shaw)

Foyle's War

Elizabeth R & The Six Wives of Henry VIII

House of Cards (Ian Richardson)

Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries

The Vicar of Dibley

The Fall And Rise of Reginald Perrin

Doctor Who (episodes starring Christopher Eccleston Dr.# 9 & David Tennant Dr. #10)

Last Tango In Halifax

The Rockford Files

The Waltons

Inspector Lynley Mysteries

Keeping Up Appearances

Call The Midwife



Midsomer Murders (John Nettles episodes)


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There's a new classic TV show channel:  Grit.  It features action series and films.  Many are or have been shown on other stations (Laramie) but they start out the mornings with Sgt. Preston of the Mounties-minus the infamous Quaker Oats add with the blonde in the bathing suit eating a bowl-and my all-time favorite Western series, Zane Grey Theater.


Sometimes when you see a show you loved now the bloom is gone but not here.  It's just as good today.  In fact, I appreciate it more now.  Besides established and award-winning stars there are more future stars and much-loved character actors than you can name.  Most of them were staples of the various 4-Star Western series. Some non-acting folks like Art and Jack Linkletter-talk and game show hosts of that era-and those who did not usually do Westerns like Jack Lemmon also appeared; I saw Marlo Thomas make her acting debut with father Danny when the show first aired.  The stories are often not your average Western tales and Dick Powell's commentary is informative and usually amusing.  


His legacy as one of the great pioneer TV producers lived on after him.  A Texan named Aaron Spelling wrote many of the scripts and obviously learned some of the ropes of being a TV mogul there. 


There's also Laff  which is all comedy from the 80's to the 00's. 


Get TV is running a lot of Universal 80's shows during the day some I've not seen since they were first on. 


What's scaring me is that proposed merger of TW/Bright House and Charter.   I don't know how much of this would change and I watch these cable vintage stations more than the current network ones.  I guess I'd best enjoy the riches while I can. 

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Agatha Christie's Poirot (David Suchet)

Agatha Christie's Miss Marple (Joan Hickson)

Downton Abbey

Upstairs, Downstairs (sequel)


Doc Martin

Inspector Lewis( and Sergeant Hathaway)

Foyle's War

The Vicar of Dibley

Last Tango In Halifax

Keeping Up Appearances

Midsomer Murders (John Nettles episodes)




Marsha--- thank you for this great list life edited for my own purposes. I've been collecting these DVDs from the above shows for about 10 years. It's just about my only viewing right now.Midsomer Murders has been at n the top of my list for the last 2 years.


*John Nettles is the actor that we all want to hear quoting Shakespeare at a crime scene.*


I would only make a few additions--


New Tricks-- I think I inadvertently erased it-- but only with Amanda Redman

The last Detective

Jeremy Brett as Sherlock Holmes

Vicious starring Ian & Derek

Banks aka Banksy

Mr Selfridge

As time goes by(Judi Dench)


On MHZ I watch a lot of Scandinavian Mysteries that I cannot pronounce,

but I can give you the Romance language ones that are great--


Montalbano-- Luca Zingaretti

Spiral Engrenages-- Grégory Fitoussi

Maigret-- Bruno Cremer


I would invite everyone to watch MHz and see what the world has to offer in terms of mysteries.

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One of the classic Westerns from the 50's which I never saw, Tombstone Territory, is now on GetTV  Saturday afternoons.  After watching 4 episodes it is turning into one of the few disappointments I've encountered from this time. 


First, they are trying to have it both ways.  It claims to have its stories from the records of the town newspaper and narration makes it sound true but also has that disclaimer about the characters and stories being fictional and any resemblance, ect.  Stories of the Century did the same thing and for me that's a turnoff.  The production values, especially filming and editing, are also poor which is surprising for a ZIV show.  


Pat Conway is okay looking but no actor; he's too wooden even for the "stiff upper lip" lawman he plays here.  The other star, Richard Eastman, doesn't really do that much so I can't judge.  The best cast member so far is Robert Foulk  as "Curly Bill Brocious" who's less an outlaw here and more an ally to the sheriff.  There are some old-time Western character actors popping in but most are unknown.  I've been told Michael Landon and Diane Brewster did a couple which I'll watch for. 


In short, I can't understand why this series is considered a classic.   


9/4  Okay, I'm relenting a bit.  I kept watching and the show and its stars improved with age.  While I still have a beef with the true-yet-false angle the later stories are better and Conway seemed to get more comfortable on screen.  There are a lot of familiar faces turning up as well.       

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I watched much of the Peter Gunn marathon on Decades.    That TV show has the best jazz music of any show I have ever seen.    Just the best.  I'm not talking about the Peter Gunn theme song which was OK,  but the background music in each episode as well as showing small combos playing in bars and clubs the detective would visit.     Henry Mancini was responsible for this.


BUT,  Craig Stevens as Gunn was rather flat and wooden.      I like the plots,  the settings and guest stars (often classic secondary film stars),   and of course that music.    

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I watched much of the Peter Gunn marathon on Decades. That TV show has the best jazz music of any show I have ever seen. Just the best. I'm not talking about the Peter Gunn theme song which was OK, but the background music in each episode as well as showing small combos playing in bars and clubs the detective would visit. Henry Mancini was responsible for this.


BUT, the Craig Stevens as Gunn was rather flat and wooden. I like the plots, the settings and guest stars (often classic secondary film stars), and of course that music.



I don't play the piano much anymore, but there's one song that I always like to play called Dreamsville-- it's the romantic mood song that Mancini wrote for Pete's rendevouz with Edie.


No matter where I play it, I always get attention.


Another song from the Peter Gunn score that I like is Fallout-- that's the opening tune for the TV show. That's the great Pete Candoli on the trumpet and the equally great Shelly Manne is handling the drums for the Peter Gunn music. It's a great score.

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My favorite tv shows are in no particular order

Gillian's island

Little House on the Prairie

The Waltons

Green Acres

Mr Ed

Leave it to Beaver

Happy Days

Laverne and Shirley

Dark Shadows


Knots Landing

The Bob Newhart Show


Mary Tyler Moore

Magnum PI



Beverly Hills 90210

The Munsters

Dobie Gillis

Hill Street Blues

Twin Peaks

Picket Fences

and a few others, all of the pre 1965 shows were watched on Nick at Nite when it showed "classic" (well more classic than what they show now).

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Some of my favorite classic TV shows are:

*The Addams Family

*The Munsters

*The Bob Newhart Show

*You Bet Your Life

*The Red Skelton Show

*Laverne and Shirley 

*The Dean Martin Variety Show

*The Dean Martin Celebrity Roast

*The Carol Burnett Show

*I Dream of Jeannie 


*The Dick van Dyke Show


*Mama's Family 

* M*A*S*H

*The Young Ones

*Golden Girls 

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​1. Bewitched


​2. The Addams Family


​3. The Munsters


​4. The Monkees


​5. Twilight Zone


​6. Night Gallery


​7. Flinstones


​8. Get Smart


​9. Mod Squad


​10. Brady Bunch


​11. Lost in Space


​12. All in the Family


13. Good Times


14. A Family Affair (RIP Anissa Jones 1976)


15. Welcome Back, Kotter


16. Original Star Trek (66-69)


17. Beverley Hillbillies


18. Petticoat Junction


19. Chico and the Man (RIP Freddie Prinze 1977)


20. Monty Python's Flying Circus


21. Soap


22. The Avengers


23. Room 222


24. Dark Shadows


25. Leave It to Beaver

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Thanks to CoziTV  I'm been watching the final season or two of The Lone Ranger which were made about 1955-57, the same time as the two feature films and, like them, in color.  What's I'm finding amazing is that three of the five I've seen deal with bigotry and discrimination against minorities; Mexicans, "Indians" and-today- Chinese.  Clayton Moore, as TLR, gave a powerful denunciation of it that had me cheering.  I grew up with this show but didn't remember all of this.  Also despite the show's law-and-order premise it also recognized in this episode that ex-cons who "go straight" should be treated like everyone else unless they go back to the outlaw life; TLR and Tonto actually apologize to a man they once captured who's now honest when they discover they've misjudged him by thinking him guilty of a crime he didn't commit. 


The lessons of these shows must have stayed with me long after I'd forgotten them.  Considering how popular it was in it's day and how kids looked up to these two characters it's more than just a "kid Western".  I'm hoping they start the series over again when these are done so I get another crack at the 1949-1955 episodes.  Bless all you vintage TV channels.   

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I thought about putting this on the I Just Watched.... thread  in the General Discussions forum but that's mostly for movies and this is strictly TV.


Cozi is running Quantum Leap in the early morning weekdays and late evening on weekends in sequence-or was until last Saturday.  That's the rub.


Midway during the series' run was an episode where Sam leaps into a young Southern white man in the 60's who's just joined the ****.  He's repulsed by this and tries to change the bigotry of the people around him but is nearly lynched along with a Black man he's helping.  It's powerful for both the story and performance of guest Dirk Blocker who proves he inherited more than just "Pa" Dan's looks. 


According to the preview scene of the previous episode it should have been broadcast last weekend but was not nor is it scheduled to be during the next two weeks.  I don't know if this was Cozi's decision or Universal chose to leave it out of the syndication package but either way it was cowardly censorship.  Have racial relations gone so downhill that one or the other fears that what was watchable 25 years ago no longer is?  They did show the one where Sam is an elderly Black man in a similar place in the 50's so I don't get this. 


I don't know if they just had writers familiar with history or a top-notch team of researchers but this show really captured the moods of the various eras Sam found himself in, especially the 50's-60's South where I grew up.  I recommend it as a way to teach history to kids who find that subject boring but think si-fi is cool-or I did.  Maybe this can be a lesson in itself. 

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I learned an interesting bit of information from the 50s Western, The Californians, this morning.


When Dragnet began in the early 50s Jack Webb's Sgt. Friday introduced himself with "My name's Friday, I'm a cop".  He changed it to "I carry a badge" because many police officers felt the word was derogatory.


In The Californians, a Scots immigrant tells Marshall Wayne that "cop" comes from her country and it's really initials for "Constable on patrol".  Whatever their name, they're not too popular back there and must enter a home by a side rather than main entrance; she's stunned when he's admitted through the front door here.  I guess "old world" attitudes cake and stayed with the newcomers.  


"Better education through television?"


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I used to keep a list of all these titles handy, but inexplicable today, I can't find it. So, I will gamely try to rattle off as many as possible (just going off my shirt-cuff)

  1. 'The Fugitive' with David Janssen (#1 favorite all-time TV show).
  2. 'It Takes a Thief' (Robert Wagner and Fred Astaire)
  3. Police Squad!
  4. Mission Impossible (original)
  5. The Honeymooners
  6. The Ernie Kovacs Show
  7. The Rockford Files
  8. Kung Fu
  9. Monty Python's Flying Circus

The rest in no order:

  • All in the Family
  • Barney Miller
  • NBC Mystery Movie: Columbo, MacMillan & Wife, McCloud
  • Taxi
  • MASH
  • Chase!
  • Candid Camera
  • WKRP in Cincinnatti
  • Hill Street Blues
  • Cheers
  • The Steve Allen Show
  • Steve Allen's 'Meeting of the Minds'
  • Stingray
  • Magnum, PI
  • Simon & Simon
  • The Rat Patrol
  • Combat!
  • Police Story
  • Twilight Zone
  • The Outer Limits
  • Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea
  • Land of the Giants
  • Benny Hill
  • Three Stooges
  • Little Rascals
  • Hanna Barbera
  • Tom & Jerry
  • Warner Bros Cartoons
  • The Munsters
  • My Favorite Martian
  • Beverly Hillbillies
  • Adams Family
  • Andy Griffith Show
  • Laugh-in
  • Dick van Dyke Show
  • Mary Tyler Moore
  • Saturday Night Live ('Belushi yrs' only)
  • Dragnet, Adam-12, Emergency!
  • The Rifleman
  • High Chaparral
  • Wanted: Dead or Alive
  • Rawhide
  • The Gong Show
  • Johnny Carson
  • David Letterman
  • Captain Scarlet vs the Mysterons
  • Star Trek (original)
  • Space Giants
  • Lost in Space
  • Johnny Socko and His Flying Robot
  • Speed Racer
  • Three's Company
  • Johnny Quest
  • Black Sheep Squadron
  • Ultra-Man
  • Policewoman
  • The Blue Knight
  • Wild, Wild, West
  • Harry O
  • Hawaii 5-0
  • I Spy
  • The Man from UNCLE
  • Danger UXB
  • Sea Hunt


  • Austin City Limits
  • MacGuyver
  • Who's Line is it Anyway?
  • Cheap Seats
  • Good Eats
  • MXC
  • Cops
  • Iron Chef
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Question: is it true that ABC initiated the television programming year's "second season" (aka, 'summer programming') only in 1966 after the success of 'Get Smart' had them scrambling for ratings? Did the big three networks only air re-runs in summer prior to that? Heard this recently and it seems staggering to reflect on.

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