Nostalgic Rumblings
The Ramblings of an Old Man




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3/12/2009


2009 Cincinnati OTR Convention Moved!

Filed under: Old-Time Radio, Television — Charlie Summers @ 12:48 pm

Received info from Bob Burchett that the hotel scheduled to hold this year’s Cincinnati Old-Time Radio and Nostalgia Convention closed it’s doors! Poor Bob only found out last Sunday, yet managed to scramble to find a new home for the con. (Bob is officially the man-of-the-hour as far as I’m concerned…I can only imagine what the last few days have been like for the guy!)

At any rate, complete information is included in this updated flier - download it ASAP for all the info, and send Tweets, Facebook updates, and anything else you can think of to get the word out!

icon for podpress  Ebook: Download

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2/17/2009


Janeane Garofalo and Mary Lynn Rajskub Complement and Compete on ‘24′

Filed under: Television — Charlie Summers @ 12:13 am

From the New York Times: Janeane Garofalo and Mary Lynn Rajskub Complement and Compete on ‘24’

It is seriously time for me to lighten up a little bit on the blog posts, so this from my current-favorite television series. From the article: “It is a rivalry meant to leaven the often-grim, high-pressure thriller with humor. And it’s an inside joke for Ms. Rajskub and Ms. Garofalo, longtime pals whose careers often intersect.”

My favorite, though, was seeing Ms. Rajskub become pregnant between 3:59pm and 4:00 pm. That event sure didn’t occur in real time…

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2/14/2009


Secret Service Agent Returns to Fox’s “24″

Filed under: Television — Charlie Summers @ 5:42 pm

From the Associated Press via Yahoo: Secret Service Agent Returns to Fox’s “24″

Secret Service Agent Aaron Pierce returns Monday night…played by veteran character actor Glenn Morshower, Pierce also happens to be the only other character besides Bauer to have appeared in all seven seasons of the show.

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2/5/2009


Rabbit ears get reprieve with digital TV delay

Filed under: Television, News — Charlie Summers @ 10:54 am

From CNN: Rabbit ears get reprieve with digital TV delay

The government raked in $20 billion dollars re-selling the spectrum, so they d*mned well should pay for the mess they’ve created unnecessarily. Whether or not you have cable or satellite, you will eventually be affected by this, and so you should order your $40 converted box coupons.

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1/29/2009


Delay of analog TV’s death hits House snag

Filed under: Television, News — Charlie Summers @ 1:15 pm

From CNN: Delay of analog TV’s death hits House snag

Contact your Representative and demand they vote to delay the end of analog signals, and support bills to provide more money for digital converters.

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1/18/2009


British and Canadian Television Goes Round and Round…

Filed under: Television — Charlie Summers @ 4:19 pm

Like some of the characters, I seem to be stuck in something of a time loop when it comes to characters in various British and American television programs. Let me try to explain…

I have recently completed watching the original (and far superior to its American knock-off) Life on Mars, starring John Simm as Sam Tyler and Philip Glenister as Gene Hunt. Glenister is currently starring as Rupert Galvin in the series Demons, something like a male Buffy the Vampire Slayer with teen angst and monsters (Galvin is an American, and while I’m sure the Brits don’t notice anything amis, Glenister’s American accent can sometimes be a little painful on the ear to those of us for whom it isn’t an accent), which recently aired an episode with guest star Grace Vance as Ally Dunelm, a child used by an evil force to kidnap other children. The young Ms. Vance was instantly recognized from her recurring role as Alex Drake’s daughter Molly in the sequel to the afore-mentioned Life on Mars I am currently watching, Ashes to Ashes (astute readers will recognize the series’ titles as David Bowie songs), which also stars Glenister as Hunt this time set in the 1980’s (can’t wait to see the hash American TV will make of this one!). The protagonist of Ashes to Ashes, Alex Drake, is portrayed by Keeley Hawes - this wide-eyed beauty looked so familiar but I couldn’t place her, until last evening when I realized she also starred as Dr. Julia Ogden in the 2004-2005 original Canadian series The Murdoch Mysteries (revived last year with a different cast) which also featured Star Trek: The Next Generation’s Colm Meaney, who was a bit miscast as Gene Hunt in the pilot (but not the series) of America’s Life on Mars. The title character in The Murdoch Mysteries was acted by Peter Outerbridge, the lead of my all-time favorite Canadian series, Re-Genesis.

The only conclusion I can draw from all of this is…I watch way too much television.

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1/15/2009


Television Changes, Part 1 - Whaa?

Filed under: Television — Charlie Summers @ 2:54 pm

As everyone should know (but many don’t), television is changing in a big way in February (although as of this writing the February 17th date has gone soft). The way of transmission between station and you, good enough for better than fifty years, is going away. And other than some silly little promotions by the NAB, no one is really talking about the changes that are coming, and the resultant changes you need to, or can, make to continue watching re-runs of McHale’s Navy. So in an occasional series, I’m going to wax philosophical about the changes, and even point out some things no one seems to be mentioning in the transition from analog to digital. In this installment, I’m going to give you a quick primer on all those silly terms geeks like me tend to spout at a moment’s notice that sound like the worst kind of gobbledygook.
(more…)

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1/14/2009


Ricardo Montalban, Actor, Dies at 88

Filed under: Television — Charlie Summers @ 6:50 pm

From the New York Times: Ricardo Montalban, Actor, Dies at 88

“Kaaaaaaaannnnnnnnnnnn!!!!!!”

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Patrick McGoohan, TV’s ‘Secret Agent’ and ‘Prisoner,’ dies

Filed under: Television — Charlie Summers @ 5:23 pm

From The Los Angeles Times: Patrick McGoohan, TV’s ‘Secret Agent’ and ‘Prisoner,’ dies

I know everyone will remember “The Prisoner,” but I think of the Reverend Dr.Syn, and, “of days long ago, when the great Scarecrow, would ride from the jaws of hell…and laugh with a fiendish yell…”

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12/18/2008


Majel Roddenberry, ‘First Lady of Star Trek,’ dies

Filed under: Television — Charlie Summers @ 8:27 pm

From USA Today: Majel Roddenberry, ‘First Lady of Star Trek,’ dies

(*sigh*) Goodbye, Number One.

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10/13/2008


R.I.P.: Gil Stratton, Jr.

Filed under: Old-Time Radio, Television — Charlie Summers @ 10:15 am

Received this sad news this morning from REPS…Gil was a great friend to the Friends of Old-Time Radio Convention, always quick with a laugh. Below a photo from last year’s con.

Fans and friends may leave their condolences for Gil’s family - and/or share memories or remembrances of Gil Stratton on his website guestbook at http://www.gilstratton.com/

Gil Stratton’s radio credits included:
Fibber Mc Gee and Molly, Halls of Ivy, My Favorite Husband, The Life of Riley, Lux Radio Theater, Suspense, Great Gildersleeve and others.

Gil Stratton, 86, called ‘em as he saw ‘em 6:22 PM Saturday

A friend of longtime Los Angeles sportscaster Gil Stratton emailed the news that Stratton died this morning at home in Toluca Lake. He was 86 and had suffered heart problems. Stratton was a fixture on KNX Radio and Channel 2 for decades and the popular sports anchor on “The Big News” with Jerry Dunphy that ushered in the era of hour-long news in L.A. From the obit being circulated by friends:

Stratton, 86, was a native of Brooklyn, NY and started out as a Broadway performer at the age of 19 in the musical “Best Foot Forward.” That led to a career in films including a supporting role in the Academy Award-winning “Stalag 17″.
His career was interrupted by World War II when he served as a bombardier in the Army Air Corps.

In 1954, Stratton caught the attention of management at Channel 2, then KNXT, and became a sportscaster. He became part of the “Big News” team headed by anchor Jerry Dunphy as the station dominated local news ratings in the 1960’s. Drawing on his background as a baseball umpire, Stratton would open his sportscasts with a trademark line: “Hi folks, time to call ‘em as we see ‘em.”

He is the recipient of seven “Golden Mike” awards from the Southern California Broadcasters association.

Gil Stratton, Jr. and our friend Ken Stockinger at the 2007 Friends of Old-Time Radio Convention

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10/2/2008


Or maybe not…Fox orders full season for Fringe

Filed under: Television — Charlie Summers @ 10:37 am

Talking about the cancellation of Do Not Disturb, I said, “there is hope for the American public.” Ok, maybe not, since Fox has ordered the back-nine for the uninspiring and derivative Fringe, large stupid location reminders and all.

Ah, well, there’s always Supernatural…

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9/26/2008


Fox Cancels ‘Do Not Disturb’

Filed under: Television — Charlie Summers @ 1:26 pm

Thank heavens, there is hope for the American public; it solidly rejected the abysmal Do Not Disturb, this season’s attempt to insult the viewer as much as last season’s Cavemen did. Three aired, and done, although Fox is maintaining it’s just taking a week off, to be replaced next Wednesday with a rerun of the also not-so-swift Til Death.

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7/29/2008


“24″ blows up the ship

Filed under: Television — Charlie Summers @ 3:15 pm

Ok, kids, it’s about time to bid farewell to what used to be the best series on the air, 24. Last season (that is, 2006-2007, before the writer’s strike came along and got them more money for writing garbage like Cavemen) they brought on-board Manny Cotto, who hasn’t done anything worth watching since Odyssey 5, and as expected the show immediately hit the skids, went down the tubes, pick your favorite metaphor for worst…season…ever. So how are we going to fix this?

By hiring Star Trek: WhoCares’ Brannon “Hey, I only have one idea but I’ll keep using it over and over - let’s blow up the ship!” Braga and Manny’s brother Carlos Cotto, whose only justification seems to be nepotonic, as co-Exec Producers.

Seriously, we’re all doomed. Why is it every time I really like something they end up screwing me over? I still maintain the writers personally owe my mother a partial refund for the claptrap they foisted upon us, and that she purchased for me in DVD format (my mother knows me really well…every year there’s a 24 DVD set and something from the original-and-only-legitimate Star Trek under the tree for me).

And one more thing…can we please stop calling the upcoming two-hour movie a “prequel?” Unless it airs after the up-coming season (which it won’t), it’s no “prequel,” it’s instead a bridge between what was the worst season to date, and what is shaping up to be the worst season to air (at least based upon the recent new-hires). But it’s airing in the correct order chronologically. (prequel: A literary, dramatic, or cinematic work whose narrative takes place before that of a preexisting work or a sequel.) I don’t care if they filmed the whole bloody season first, if it’s airing in the correct order, it ain’t a “prequel.”

(*sigh*) I’m going back to 24: The Game. There’s a helluva lot more originality in the script for the game than there was in all of last season, anyway, and this year ain’t shaping up so good.

Oh, before I forget, yes, kids, I know I have been lax in the podcasting area. I’m working on that now, and should have some new shows posted within the week. Sorry ’bout that…

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7/10/2008


Review: Do Not Disturb

Filed under: Television — Charlie Summers @ 8:09 am

Ah, out with the old, in with the new. The television season is dead, long live the next television season. And to prepare for it, I’m going to review new shows as the pilots become available.

Do Not Disturb; Fox, Wednesday 9:00 PM

Let’s watch Robert Wagner’s long and distinguished career self-destruct, shall we?

Ok, before I tell you how stupid and offensive I found this pilot, let me rush through the obligatory plot summary; there’s a high-class hotel owned by R.J. (the afore-mentioned Wagner) badly-run by his son Neil (Jerry O’Connell; Sliders, Crossing Jordan) who is so over-the-top he thinks he’s responsible for the hotel being listed as one of the Times’ 10-best places to stay, with the expected quirky employees who all make fools of themselves by insulting the overweight, gay, blond, black, and any other stereotype the writers could come up with - I’m certain they think they’re being edgy, but, well, not-so-much.
(more…)

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7/1/2008


Jim Caviezel to Star in AMC’s Reinterpretation of The Prisoner

Filed under: Television — Charlie Summers @ 9:51 am

From TheFutonCritic.com: Jim Caviezel and Ian Mckellen to Star in AMC’s Reinterpretation of Cult Classic, The Prisoner

Oh, my dear lord…as if badly remaking The Wild Wild West, Bionic Woman, and Lost in Space isn’t enough, now a bunch of hangers-on believe they can “reimagine” one of the most thought-provoking programs of the 1960’s. Look, kids, either get some new ideas, or get the hell out of the entertainment industry and start selling aluminum siding.

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6/23/2008


Award-winning comedian George Carlin dies

Filed under: General, Television — Charlie Summers @ 8:12 am

From CNN: Award-winning comedian George Carlin dies

Carlin had a profound effect on me…in my misspent youth, I listened to his albums so often I memorized them voices and all - to this day, I can recite “The Hair Poem” in its entirety (including the, “See my beard?” coda), do a passable riff on birth control pills (”Gee, you are a good sport, aren’t you?”), and of course know the “Seven Dirty Words You Can’t Say on Television” (although some of them are now occasionally heard even on network TV). He also, on The Tonight Show a few years ago, gave me a line I have quite literally used in raising my daughter, the way I hope to be remembered by my child: “Good Father. Bad Example.”

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6/21/2008


Review: Fringe

Filed under: Television — Charlie Summers @ 6:37 pm

Ah, out with the old, in with the new. The television season is dead, long live the next television season. And to prepare for it, I’m going to review new shows as the pilots become available.

Fringe; Fox, Tuesdays 9:00 PM

Strap on, kids…it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

The latest J.J. Abrams (Alias, Lost) series with what promises to be an epic (and, if Alias is any indication, confused and contradictory) mythology is Fringe, airing this fall on Fox. The only problem is…we’ve seen almost all of this before, and unfortunately, much better.

The two-hour pilot opens with a passenger on an international flight needing to use his insulin pen-injector, which for no good reason causes his skin to sloff off…and for good measure, everyone else on the flight is affected as well. After some…er…jaw-dropping special effects (oh, c’mon, you knew I couldn’t resist that one) and the opening credits, the focus shifts to a bedroom where co-workers and FBI agents Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv, Australian series The Secret Life of Us) and John Scott (Mark Valley, Boston Legal, Keen Eddie) are busy gettin’ busy when their cell phones go off.
(more…)

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5/25/2008


Say Goodnight, Dick…

Filed under: Television — Charlie Summers @ 2:52 pm

From The New York Times (requires registration): Dick Martin, Who Rode ‘Laugh-In’ to Fame, Dies at 86

At the end of each episode of Laugh-In, Dan Rowan would say, “Say goodnight, Dick,” to which Mr. Martin would respond, “Goodnight, Dick.” It was this routine that has a generation convinced that when George Burnes said to Gracie, “Say goodnight, Gracie,” she replied, “Goodnight, Gracie.” Of course, she never did, instead simply responding with a sweet, “Goodnight…”

Anyway, Dick Martin was a funny, funny man, and the world got just a little less interesting with his passing.

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1/20/2008


Suzanne Pleshette dies at 70

Filed under: Television — Charlie Summers @ 10:58 am

From CNN.com: Suzanne Pleshette dies at 70

(*sigh*) I’m surprisingly sad about this…we lost her husband, television comedy pioneer Tom Poston, earlier last year, and now this. Add in the death of Allan Melvin, a solid well-known actor who, while you probably didn’t know his name, you would recognize immediately from his bazillion television character roles starting with The Phil Silvers Show, and you get a bleak time for comedy.

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