Elie's Expositions

A bereaved father blogging for catharsis... and for distraction. Accordingly, you'll see a diverse set of topics and posts here, from the affecting to the analytical to the absurd. Something for everyone, but all, at the core, meeting a personal need.


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Thursday, August 07, 2008

TV Trivia Thursday #14

"And except for one television network, we have found intelligent life everywhere in the galaxy."
- John Belushi as Captain James T. Kirk

Hello and welcome back to TV Trivia Thursday after a much too long hiatus! First, the answer to Tuesday's preview question:
This classic show of the 1960s was nominated for fourteen Emmys, but never won any - though ironically, a parody of the same show did win an Emmy several years later.
TRN had a good guess, but the correct answer is the original Star Trek, which ran from 1966-1969, and notwithstanding its ultimate achievement of cult status, was unsuccessful at winning an Emmy despite 14 nominations. This wrong was righted, to a small degree, during the initial season of Saturday Night Live, which garnered a 1976 Best Performance Emmy for their brilliant Star Trek parody, "The Last Voyage of the Starship Enterprise".

Now for today's questions:

1) This show, running from 1959 to 1973, was the first network television series to film all of its episodes in color.

2) Which mother and son appeared on the very first cover of TV Guide, April 3 1953?

3) Whose unmatched longevity record of over fifty continuous years on television ended just over a year ago with his well-earned retirement?

4) What 1950s show is credited with literally doubling US sales of television sets?

5) This actor's role as a TV cop was so revered that when he died in 1982, the Los Angeles police department actually retired his character's badge number.

6) He was the highest paid actor on television during this show's late 1970s run, despite never appearing on screen and pre-taping all of his lines off set! Name the actor and series.

7) As discussed in one of the early TTTs, the producers of "I Love Lucy", fearful of offending public sensibilities, handled the title actress's on-screen pregnancy with extreme care, avoiding even using the word "pregnant". But there was another adjective that no characters were allowed to utter during the full run of the show, for an entirely different reason. What mundane, seemingly innocuous five-letter word did the Lucy cast need to avoid, and why?

11 Comments:

At 8/7/08, 10:16 AM, Blogger Soccer Dad said...

3) I'm guessing is Bob Barker. Mike Wallace hasn't retired yet, has he?

 
At 8/7/08, 10:17 AM, Blogger Tova said...

Ok I'll try:
4. The Honeymooners

 
At 8/7/08, 10:36 AM, Blogger cruisin-mom said...

1: Ed Sullivan?
2: Lucy and Desi Arnaz Jr.???
3: Mike Wallace?
4: I love Lucy or Honeymooners
5: Jack Webb?
6:Charlie's Angels/John Forsythe
7:knew about the pregnant thing, but don't know what the 5 letter word is.

 
At 8/8/08, 12:03 PM, Blogger Soccer Dad said...

I'm going to second Jack Webb, he was the guy from Dragnet, wasn't he?

 
At 8/8/08, 6:07 PM, Blogger cruisin-mom said...

yep, soccer dad, Jack Webb was from Dragnet.

 
At 8/10/08, 9:36 PM, Blogger SuperRaizy said...

I only know #4-
The Milton Berle Show

 
At 8/11/08, 11:30 AM, Blogger Elie said...

Great job all! Here's the full set of answers, most of which were at least partially supplied:

1) The answer is Bonanza, which was one of the first series overall to be broadcast in color, and the very first to do so from the get-go. Still, it was only the 2nd most popular/long-running TV Western, after Gunsmoke on both counts.

2) Cruisin-Mom was right, it was Lucille Ball and her then-infant son Desi Arnaz, Jr. who the long-running TV publication chose to honor for their inaugural issue.

3) Soccer Dad got this one. Bob Barker started his 50-year career as a TV game show host with "Truth or Consequences", which ran from 1956-1975. In parallel with the tail-end of that show, he began his record 35+ year run hosting "The Price is Right" in 1972, taping his final episode on June 6, 2007.

Mike Wallace was a good guess - and is probably a strong 2nd place to Barker in the longevity race. But although Wallace's TV career did also begin in the 1950s as host of various game shows and interview shows, his continual run didn't start until the 1968 debut of 60 Minutes.

4) CM and Tova chose the two 1950s shows that are best remembered today, and (I believe) the only two still regularly seen in reruns. But SuperRaizy nailed the correct answer: NBC's Texaco Star Theater, hosted by Milton Berle, who was known back in the day as "Uncle Miltie" and - apropos of this question - "Mr. Television". So overwhelmingly popular was this first major hit of TV's golden age, that many restaurants and places of entertainment across the country would close during its weekly broadcast time, since so much of their potential clientele would be home glued to their sets!

5) CM and SD both got "just the facts, ma'am/sir": Jack Webb was indeed given this posthumous honor by the real-life counterpart of the police department that he publicized, as producer and star of Dragnet, for more than two decades on radio and TV.

6) And CM nailed this one as well - John Forsythe, as the mysterious Charlie from Charlie's Angels, was the higher-paid TV actor in Hollywood during the series' run, even though, since only his voice was used, he didn't even need to show up at the studio for the show's taping!

7) On one classic episode (but then, weren't they all?), Lucy, Ethel and Fred hire an elocution teacher, who primly informs them "There are two words you should never use: one is 'swell' and the other is 'lousy'". (Fred hilariously replies, "OK, tell us the lousy one first!") But in fact, the actual five-letter adjective you'll never hear on the show is - drum roll please - the word "lucky"! The show's sponsor, Phillip Morris, forbade it because they did not want their audience reminded of their main cigarette rival, "Lucky Strikes". It seems that the power of a sponsor to exercise a degree of control over their show's creative direction - as in today's ubiquitous product placement - goes back a lot further than most of us think.

 
At 8/11/08, 3:17 PM, Blogger LEL said...

2.Lucille Ball and Desi Jr.
3.Bob Barker
4.The Ed Sullivan Show
6.John Forsythe-Charlie's Angels

 
At 8/11/08, 9:30 PM, Blogger cruisin-mom said...

thanks Elie... T.V. trivia is definitely my favorite (movies next, and then music)
By the way, may I add, that you have the most delicate and sweet way of letting us know when we are WRONG!!! :)

 
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