Monday, September 07, 2015
As hard as it is to believe, when the networks unveiled their fall shows it was a BIG DEAL. A real big deal. Remember “NBC WEEK”? When they rolled out their new fare they also offered full-color glossy yearbooks you could send away for. I must’ve had six. Now it’s “NBC WEAK.” CBS had a half hour “preview show” in which they would show snippets of their new shows. It got the highest rating of the week. During the summer you would watch daytime game shows just to see the promos. ABC usually got the jump on the other networks by premiering their new lineup first. THE JETSONS was water cooler stuff.
And of course, we had the Jerry Lewis Telethon. Almost 24 hours of the most saccharine, maudlin, cheesy glitz-filled entertainment/sales pitch hosted by the incomparable Jerry Lewis. At a moment's notice he could go from tears to cross-eyed clown. And always on hand was Tony Orlando, Norm Crosby, jugglers, and cabaret singers from the best Travelodge lounges in Henderson. By hour 19 Jerry usually went totally off the rails. All live. That, my friends, was MUST SEE TV.
But this year there's hope. There's a new Neil Patrick Harris live variety show on tap. Could this be the return of Jerry? And it's on NBC. Where can I send away for the yearbook?
By Ken Levine at 6:00 AM