Few things indicate that a TV show has broken through into pop culture at large like getting its own set of trading cards. Naturally, most of these programs don't really need or deserve a trading card set, but that's another topic altogether. While some shows -- particularly ones heavy on action or in the sci-fi/fantasy genres -- lend themselves to interesting cards, more often than not you just got a still photo of some cast member that says, "Remember that this was a person on our show? So do we." Regardless, let's look take a trip back to the days when you could find cards for almost any show imaginable, issued by giants of the field such as Topps, Donruss, and Fleer.
Many, many years ago, when television technology was still somewhat crude, stations used still images to promote upcoming shows or events. Often they used slides that were simply projected to the screen. Of course, the need for these slides is long past but they remain a fascinating reminder of a simpler TV age. And so I was thrilled to come across a series of them for sale on eBay recently. According to the seller of these slides, they were used by NBC affiliate WRC-TV Channel 4, and were shown thanks to a piece of technology called a film chain. The film chain allows a station to convert a slide into an electronic signal and project it to a TV camera for broadcast. I'm not certain of the dates on these, but I suspect many of them are from the 1950s and '60s. I know the 1960s are in...
A publicity still featuring William Shatner and Patricia Breslin, co-stars of the season two episode of The Twilight Zone entitled "Nick of Time." It originally aired on November 18, 1960 on CBS. Shatner returned to the show in season five for one of its most iconic episodes, "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet."
I was a little too young to have seen the Paul Lynde Halloween Special from 1976, but as a lifelong Kiss fan I knew of it. Here's a national newspaper ad that ABC ran for the special, which aired on October 29, 1976. Featured on the show were Tim Conway, Roz Kelly, Margaret Hamilton, Florence Henderson, Betty White, and of course the aforementioned Kiss.
Rather than share the entire prime time schedule as I've done before, I want to share this fantastic, large newspaper ad touting NBC's prime time television lineup from the evening of September 21, 1973. This is the ad as printed in The Cincinnati Enquirer. Click on the ad for a larger version, and then let's talk about this greatness. Remember that visiting any of the Amazon show title links below will help me in keeping this site running! OK, first things first. I had never seen that NBC 73 logo before and it is glorious. If anyone has a color specimen please let me know. Now let's look at that lineup: 7:00 To Tell the Truth 7:30 The New Dating Game 8:00 Sanford and Son 8:30 The Girl with Something Extra 9:00 Needles and Pins 9:30 The Brian Keith Show
Ricardo Montalbán (Mr. Roarke) and Hervé Villechaize (Tattoo) from Fantasy Island, airing on ABC from 1977-1984.
Here are the evening/prime time network TV listings for the Newburgh, NY market on Friday, July 3, 1970, as published by the The Evening News. As you might expect, the schedule was full of reruns on the eve of the July 4th holiday. Remember that visiting any of the Amazon show title links below will help me in keeping this site running! Channel 2 (CBS) 7:30 Get Smart - Smart and 99 mistaken for doctor and his nurse by hoodlums. (R) 8:00 He & She - Hollisters celebrate their sixth wedding anniversary by being remarried in gala fashion. (R) 8:30 Hogan's Heroes - Hogan and cronies staggered by urgent order from London. (R) 9:00 Ten Little Indians, Hugh O'Brian, Shirley Eaton (1964), suspense thriller Channel 4 (NBC) 7:30 The High Chaparral - Buck and Mano
Here are the evening and prime time network TV listings for the Pittsburgh, PA market on Monday, June 9, 1980, as published by the Beaver County Times. As you might expect, the schedule was full of reruns, with a scheduled baseball game being one of the few pieces of original programming. Remember that visiting any of the Amazon show title links below will help me in keeping this site running! Channel 2 (CBS) 8:00 WKRP in Cincinnati - Everyone at the station is convinced Johnny has gone mad when he claims God talked to him. (R) 8:30 Channel to Pittsburgh - Host Marlynn Singleton 9:00 M*A*S*H - A critically injured patient faces permanent paralysis or death unless he is operated on within 20 minutes at the poorly equipped 4077th. (R) 9:30 House Calls - Amos arrange
A production still from the short-lived sitcom Bosom Buddies: (l to r) Tom Hanks, Peter Scolari, and Wendie Jo Sperber. The show ran for 37 episodes over two seasons (1980-82) on ABC.