Saturday, October 26, 2013

When TV Was Simpler

If you're interested enough to read this blog, maybe you'll understand why I enjoy acquiring a vintage TV Guide occasionally on eBay. It's fun to revisit those simpler days when there were only three or four TV channels to choose from in your city, they generally shut down broadcasting shortly after midnight, and they more than likely did a significant amount of local programming. I also enjoy seeing the original listings and ads for shows I've never seen, and likely never will.

Here are a few of the shows being offered Atlanta viewers in the January 21, 1961 edition. Dr. Hudson's Secret Journal, by then in daily reruns, was a syndicated medical drama produced from 1955 to 1957, while Westinghouse Playhouse, starring Nanette Fabray, was a short-lived NBC sitcom casting the star as a Broadway performer newly married to a widower (Wendell Corey). It would last only 13 weeks. Instead of "Don't Miss Them," maybe the slogan should have been, "Hurry Up and Watch!"

But here's the one that really caught my eye. It's a local kids' show that originated daily from a station in Chattanooga. "Fun & laughter for all"? I can believe that. "Cartoons and comedy films"? Makes sense. But "many nationally famous stars appearing in person"? Really? I wasn't around to see the show, so I can't swear to anything. If any of Alex and Elmer's little pals are reading this, 52 years later, drop us a note care of this blog and let us know exactly what (or who) we missed.

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