The new “Power Rangers” adaptation may seem like a reboot, but Power Rangers as a franchise has been alive and well since the original TV show kicked off in 1993. “Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers” debuted in August 1993 on Fox Kids, the programming block for children that aired on Fox from 1990 to 2002. An immediate hit, kids all across the country rushed home from school, grabbed a bag of 3D Doritos and Gushers, and turned on the TV to watch “Mighty Morhpin’ Power Rangers” six days a week.
The opening lines of that song have been played on TV at least 1,500 times, every Saturday for the last 28 years. The reggae beat of its distinctive theme song, Inner Circle’s “Bad Boys”, is well known to us now, and will continue to be: Season 30 began taping in February this year.
“COPS” began its run on the Fox Broadcast Network on March 11, 1989. The network had just launched a few years prior, in October 1986. It took a chance on “COPS” after other major networks passed on it, jumping on the opportunity in the middle of a five month-long strike by the Writers Guild of America. The strike had crippled TV production in the summer of 1988. A reality-based show that required no writers and was inexpensive to produce was a perfect recipe for the new network.
58 years ago today, Barbara Millicent Roberts made her debut at the American Toy Fair in New York City. Also known as Barbie, she stood 11 inches tall, sported blond hair and wore a black and white swimsuit, complete with accessories like sunglasses, high-heeled shoes, and hoop earrings.
Ruth Handler, cofounder of Mattel, created Barbie after seeing her young daughter ignore her baby dolls and play make-believe with paper dolls of adult women. Handler named her new doll after her daughter, and it became the first doll in the US with an adult body.
Barbie debuted at an opportune time – the 1950s saw the post-war boom and the rise of the suburban middle class. Children were becoming a new group of citizens called “teenagers,” and television was taking off as an advertising medium. In 1955, Mattel became the first company to air commercial sports to children with its sponsorship of the “Mickey Mouse Club.” Mattel used its sponsorship to introduce Barbie to America.
In the days leading up to the Oscars, I thought about which movies I had seen and which movies I had interest in seeing. When both of those lists were short, I thought about what a sharp contrast this was to several years ago when Siskel and Ebert had a near monopoly on televised film reviews, and even if I didn’t see many movies, I was very much aware of them – their plot, their stars, their likelihood of success.
Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert were pioneers of film criticism. Long before the internet prompted millions of amateur critics to endlessly discuss films, there were Siskel and Ebert. Two newspaper guys from Chicago: Siskel wrote for the The Chicago Tribune and Ebert for the cross town rival paper, the Chicago Sun Times. Their television series, with several different names, ran from 1975 to 1999.
This Sunday night, Hollywood stars will make their yearly journey to the Dolby Theatre for the 89th Academy Awards, while audiences eagerly await the announcements of the film industry’s most coveted awards.
These days, we take it for granted that the Oscars will be televised, but that wasn’t always the case. It wasn’t until 1953 that NBC aired the 25th Academy Awards live on television, although it had been covered on live radio since 1930.
A weekend trip to snowy Vermont and New Hampshire last weekend, two days of covered bridges and northern New England history, left me with George Clooney’s voice in my head.
Woodstock, VT, is a small town about a three-hour drive north from Boston and about five hours from New York City. As of the 2010 census, its population was just over 3,000 people, spread across 44 square miles. Set in Vermont’s scenic Green Mountains, the town and surrounding village are postcard-perfect, filled with historic buildings and houses, small farms, quaint inns and old taverns.
Super Bowl LI cemented one thing for sure: Tom Brady is one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time. Of course, we’re a little biased here at clypd, with most of the team in Somerville (although we do have quite a strong and vocal New York contingent).
On Sunday, Brady and the Patriots managed to come back from the biggest point deficit in Super Bowl history to clinch their 5th title. For Brady’s performance, he received the MVP award in a very awkward award ceremony with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.
As one of the star athletes of match, Brady also made a couple of appearances while not on the field during the Super Bowl, during its commercial breaks.
As I read the news this week that Wieden and Kennedy and ESPN were parting ways after a 25 year partnership, I kept thinking, “follow me, follow me to freedom”. W+K was responsible for the long running “This is SportsCenter” campaign, among other great work for ESPN. The campaign, which began in 1994, mixed sports, celebrity, and a behind-the-scenes look at the high-rated sports news program.
“Follow me to freedom” comes from one of my favorite spots in the campaign. In this spot, SportsCenter’s production team engages in a Y2K test. Things don’t go well, and in seconds, alarms sound, the lights go out, athletes loot the place. Mark McGwire takes a baseball bat to a computer. Jonathan, the University of Connecticut mascot, a dog, absconds with some awards. The show’s announcers read highlights by candlelight.
Last Friday, Donald J. Trump was sworn in as the 45th President of the United States.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer held a press conference shortly after to announce that Trump’s inauguration held the largest audience “both in person and around the globe,” kicking off a colorful discussion on crowd size and digital viewership.
In terms of television viewership, Trump’s inauguration didn’t even come close to the most-viewed. The event was seen by 30.6 million viewers across 12 networks.
If you watch TV in the morning, enjoy the personalities and news as you prepare for the day ahead, but treat the program as background noise, you are one of many millions of people who start your day as Pat Weaver hoped. When the “Today Show” launched 64 years ago last weekend, these were some of its founding goals.
Weaver was a television executive who got his start in radio and later worked at an advertising agency. He took this prior experience and applied it to TV. In just seven years at NBC (1949-1956), Weaver left a huge mark as one of the biggest innovators in television programming, developing and championing programs “Today Show,” “Tonight Show,” “Meet the Press,” and “Your Show of Shows.”