I have previously expressed that this is the Golden Age of Television.
And it is, in so many ways.
With the advent of YouTube, and DVDs, and Tivo, we are no longer at the mercy of the concept of "Least objectionable programming".
We can watch what we want, when we want.
We can stop the picture to go to the bathroom.
We never have to hold it in anymore.
So what's missing?
For me, it's the TV Guide.
I know that you can still find it at the checkout in the supermarket, but since it went Life Magazine size, rather than Reader's Digest size, all it is now is a glorified tabloid, with too much difficult to find information.
The old TV Guide had character.
And as I was growing up, it became more and more the highlight of my week.
Anticipating it's appearance, and receiving it.
And I'd read it cover to cover.
All the way from the first yellow page, called "New York Teletype", to the last yellow page, called "Hollywood Report"
If you subscribed to it, it would arrive in Wednesday's mail, for shows that would begin that Saturday.
My mother subscribed to it.
Because it was cheaper than if you paid retail for it in the supermarket or at newsstands.
I beckoned, yea pleaded for her to drop the subscription.
Because you could pick it up at the supermarket or at newsstands on Tuesday.
Or even Monday.
This would satisfy my Jones for it, and give me extra time to plot out my programming choices for the week.
The way it was laid out made it very easy to do that.
It also gave me more time, in our one-TV home, to plead my case for watching "Checkmate" instead of "Hazel".
With my mother's innate fondness for "Hazel", this was usually an exercise in futility.
But the TV Guide would occasionally provide me with the information that the coming week's episode of "Hazel" was a rerun.
I thought that might give me a fighting chance.
It was "Hazel".
Rerun or not, it was her show of choice.
I was invariably screwed.
It also helped me plot my pleas to stay up past my bedtime I there was something I could convince my mother was worth it.
This occasionally worked.
She finally relented and dropped the subscription, leading me to my Monday hunts.
The TV Guide was still a great navigational device.
And it provided some wonderful stories and reportage.
It also provided a great ongoing discussion in my house.
See, once the week was up, and the current TV Guide became obsolete, nobody rushed to toss it into the garbage.
So early in most weeks, we usually had three TV Guides on the premises.
And the following conversation would usually take place:
My Father:(Picking up one of them) Is this the TV Guide?
Me: No. That's last week's.
My Father: (Picking up another one) What about this one?
Me: That's next week's.
My Father: (Frustration mounting) Okay. We have last week's and we have weeks. Where's THIS week's??!!
This is what I miss most about the TV Guide.
I don't know if anyone else ever had that conversation.
But we had it constantly.
And I miss it.
My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not
e-books. But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one. If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at email@example.com.
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube, and my 4-hour interview at the Television Academy's Emmy TV Legends Website.
Here's the link: www.emmytvlegends.org/interviews/people/mark-rothman
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- Thank God For James Garner.
- The Original Trixie Norton.
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- mark rothman
- Hi. I am, according to my Wikipedia entry,(which I did not create) a noted television writer, playwright, screenwriter, and occasional actor. You can Google me or go to the IMDB to get my credits, and you can come here to get my opinions on things, which I'll try to express eloquently. Hopefully I'll succeed. You can also e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Perhaps my biggest claim to fame is being responsible, for about six months in 1975, while Head Writer for the "Happy Days" TV series, for Americans saying to each other "Sit on it."