DAVID BIANCULLI

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1957: The Bumsteads Try Television
January 4, 2017  | By TV WW
 
On this day in 1957, NBC attempted to bring Columbia Pictures' hit feature film franchise, Blondie, to the small screen. Based on the popular Chic Young comic strip of the same name, the series, like the films, followed the lives of the Bumstead family: Husband Dagwood, wife Blondie their children, Cookie and Alexander and last but not least, dog Daisy.

Two dozen Blondie films were made between 1939 and 1950, with Arthur Lake and Penny Singleton portraying Dagwood and Blondie. (The duo also starred in a radio version of the comic strip.) Lake reprised his role in the NBC sitcom, with Pamela Britton portraying the title character, Blondie. The show ran just one season.

CBS attempted to revive the franchise in 1968, with a cast that included Jim Backus as Dagwood's boss, Mr. Dithers. It also was short-lived.
 
 
 
 
 
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Good news, TVWW readers: David’s new book from Doubleday, The Platinum Age of Television: From I Love Lucy to The Walking Dead, How TV Became Terrific is now avaialble on Amazon.

Doubleday says: “Darwin had his theory of evolution, and David Bianculli has his. Bianculli's theory has to do with the concept of quality television: what it is and, crucially, how it got that way."

"The Platinum Age of Television is an effusive guidebook that plots the path from the 1950s’ Golden Age to today’s era of quality TV. For instance, animation evolved from Rocky and His Friends to South Park; variety shows moved from The Ed Sullivan Show to Saturday Night Live; and family sitcoms grew from I Love Lucy to Modern Family. A high point is the author’s interviews with Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks, Norman Lear, Bob Newhart, Matt Groening, Larry David, Amy Schumer and many others...Bianculli has written a highly readable history." —The Washington Post

 

This Day in TV History

 
 
 
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