Happy Anniversary WPIX

There’s a special, scheduled for 9:00 PM, which I will be recording. But, there might be as much fun with the shows leading up to the special!

After the Phillies win, Helaine decided to watch the Mets/Padres game on WPIX (aka CW11). A few promos ran for next Saturday’s “WPIX 60th Anniversary” broadcast.

There’s a special, scheduled for 9:00 PM, which I will be recording. But, there might be as much fun with the shows leading up to the special!

12:00 PM – The Little Rascals

Teacher’s Pet (1930) Jackie plans practical jokes on his new teacher, Miss Crabtree. 30 mins

12:30 PM – The Little Rascals

Mail and Female (1937) Alfalfa is president of the He-Man Women Haters Club. 30 mins

01:00 PM – Abbott & Costello

Getting a Job Lou visits an employment agency. 30 mins

01:30 PM – Abbott & Costello

The Actors Home Bud and Lou perform “Who’s on First?” 30 mins

02:00 PM – The Three Stooges

Gents Without Cents The boys hit on vaudeville. 30 mins

02:30 PM – The Three Stooges

A-Plumbing We Will Go Plumber Stooges flood a garden party. 30 mins

03:00 PM – Superman

Crime Wave Public Enemy No.1 starts a crime wave. 30 mins

03:30 PM – Superman

The Perils of Superman A lead-masked man sets death traps for the reporters. 30 mins

04:00 PM – Get Smart

Mr. Big KAOS’ Mr. Big threatens to destroy all cities. 30 mins

04:30 PM – Get Smart

A Spy for a Spy KAOS plans to swap the chief for a missile-detector. 30 mins

05:00 PM – My Favorite Martian

My Favorite Martin A reporter pulls a Martian from a crashed spaceship. 30 mins

05:30 PM – My Favorite Martian

A Loaf of Bread, a Jug of Wine and Peaches Martin is smitten with a striptease artist. 30 mins

06:00 PM – I Dream of Jeannie

The Lady in the Bottle An astronaut frees a 2000-year-old genie. 30 mins

06:30 PM – I Dream of Jeannie

Tomorrow Is Not Another Day Jeannie gives Tony the next day’s newspaper. 30 mins

07:00 PM – The Odd Couple

Password The roommates appear on “Password.” 30 mins

07:30 PM – The Odd Couple

My Strife in Court Felix and Oscar are charged with ticket scalping. 30 mins

08:00 PM – The Honeymooners

Better Living Through TV Ralph and Norton do a live TV commercial. 30 mins

08:30 PM – The Honeymooners

The $99,000 Answer Ralph tests his skill in a pop-music contest. 30 mins

I remember each and every one of these series and the individual episodes. Growing up, Channel 11 was the station for kids shows. Officer Joe, Captain Jack and Chuck McCann all hosted shows on WPIX.

Those days will never return.

Do Predictors Forget?

I make weather forecasts every day. My forecasts only go out a week or so, but the first few days are the most important and the ones people remember. I don’t make long range forecasts.

When I’m wrong, especially on critical days, people remember. When you make long lead forecasts people tend not to remember as much.

AccuWeather press release: “The Northeast is staring down the barrel of a gun,” said Joe Bastardi, Chief Forecaster of the AccuWeather.com Hurricane Center. “The Northeast coast is long overdue for a powerful hurricane, and with the weather patterns and hydrology we’re seeing in the oceans, the likelihood of a major hurricane making landfall in the Northeast is not a question of if but when.”

Did AccuWeather’s release affect anyone? It came out 3/20. On 4/2 USA Today printed this AP article:

PORTLAND, Maine (AP)

FCC Chief: AT&T Can Limit Net Bandwidth

FCC Chief Kevin Martin yesterday gave his support to AT&T and other telcos who want to be able to limit bandwidth to sites like Google, unless those sites pay fees. Martin made it clear in a speech yesterday that he supports such a a “tiered” Internet.

That last paragraph was pulled from Digg – though they added the word extortion before the word fees. Maybe, but that’s a little too incendiary for me to use.

If this story is true, I am very disappointed and worried about the future of the Internet.

This is a subject I’ve posted a number of times. I’ll continue to look for developments.

read more | digg story

Way To Go Wendie

Wendie Feinberg and I have been friends for over twenty years (since she was 3). She was my boss here – though I try not to hold that against her. For the past few years she’s been producing the Nightly Business Report on PBS.

It’s interesting, because I don’t think most people think of this ‘quiet’ show as the most watched financial program on TV, but it is!

Today Wendie was in New York for the annual Emmy Awards. We hoped and kept our fingers crossed… which is undoubtedly why she won.

Outstanding Extended Coverage of a Business Story

* Nightly Business Report

China’s Emergence as an International Economic Power – PBS

Until late 2004, Americans were likely to see China mainly as a huge untapped market for Western firms. But then in early 2005 this (politically) communist nation seemed to turn the tables. Chinese manufacturers began to account for a larger share of both low-end and high-end goods worldwide Soon Chinese companies were not only taking on American firms on their own terms, they were taking over American firms themselves. By mid-2005, China was regarded as an economic power to be reckoned with. In this series Nightly Business Report covers the steps that led to this startling transformation and the American reaction to it, and goes on to find out why China made the decision to go beyond its borders to become a major force on the global economic scene.

** Senior Producer

Wendie Feinberg

** Washington Bureau Chief

Darren Gersh

** New York Bureau Chief

Scott Gurvey

** Managing Editor

Rodney Ward

** Producer

Stephanie Dhue

** Reporter

Nick Mackie

I have seven local Emmys. They have rectangular bases and any Emmy aficionado can easily see they’re second class Emmy citizens. Wendie has the heavyweight round based Emmy. I am so jealous.

She deserves this award, as does her team who did an amazing job reporting under difficult conditions from China.

Nothing makes me happier than to see my friends do well.

About My Friend’s Mom

As Hurricane Katrina was bearing down on New Orleans, I phoned a friend’s mother to tell her to leave. I wrote about this in an earlier entry.

This past week her story was told in the Connecticut Post and New Haven Register.

I’ve attached both stories after the jump.

Continue reading “About My Friend’s Mom”

The Mind as a Relational Database

One of the most powerful functions a computer can perform is to manipulate a relational database. How are two or more seemingly non-connected things related?

Our brains work very much this way. You think of one thing, which reminds you of another thing, which… well, you get the idea.

I was on the phone today with my friend Paul. I’ve known him for 35 years and we’ve been friends all that time. Paul has been referred to as “Raider of the Lost Archives,” because he has found obscure and often unseen television programs and found a way to get them on the air and make money with them. Good skill to have.

Over the past few years Paul has produced DVD compilations of old TV series. His joy, and what makes these DVDs stand out, are his special features where the original stars come back to comment today on what went on decades ago. It’s Paul’s work on the Dick Van Dyke Show DVD series and many others that make them so special and worth collecting.

He’s working on The Twilight Zone now. It’s amazing how many big stars appeared on the original Twilight Zone before they were big stars.

We were talking today and the conversation got around to a Twilight Zone episode that no one who ever saw it will ever forget, It’s a Good Life. In this episode, a pre-teen Billy Mumy&#185 is able to ‘punish’ people for their bad thoughts by ‘wishing them into the cornfield. I always felt it was incredibly creepy and judging by what I’ve read as I did a little research tonight, I am not alone.

Here’s where relational databases or at least their human equivalent come in.

As I was thinking of this episode, I thought of one of the actors, Max Showalter. Max played one of the neighbors,.. the man who played the piano. He’s in the credits as Casey Adams. I don’t know why.

Max was in a zillion movies and TV shows, He might be best known as the piano playing reverend who presides over Bo Derek’s wedding in “10.” He was also in Niagara, with Marilyn Monroe.

Max, who died a few years ago, was a Connecticut resident who came to the television station many times in the 80s and 90s. Other than being charming, Max was fun to be with because he had lived the ‘real’ Hollywood life when Hollywood was in its heyday and had stories about everyone.

Believe me, I’m not doing this on purpose, but this is how my pea brain is working today; finding relationships between unconnected names and events.

Anyway, Max came to the television station to promote an event. He was doing some sort of theater tribute in Chester, where he lived. He had convinced his long time friend, Debbie Reynolds to appear – and I believe there was even a retrospective of her films shown.

So, Debbie Reynolds, big time Hollywood star, is in our little TV station and she’s going to be interviewed on the news at 5:30. Diane Smith, who was anchoring that newscast at the time, wandered into the makeup room only to find Debbie there with a make-up kit the size of a large tool chest.

“Where’s the make-up man honey?” Debbie said to Diane.

I can tell you, though at the time Diane didn’t think she could tell Debbie, we don’t have a make-up man. Not knowing what to do, Diane said she’d get the news director. In this business everyone in the newsroom reports to the news director. He’s the chief. But Debbie was Hollywood.

“Forget the director,” she said, “bring me the producer.”

As it turned out, Diane ended up doing Debbie’s makeup – something she’ll never forget!

Anyway, this story came to me because of that Twilight Zone DVD talk. It’s funny how the mind associates.

One more Debbie Reynolds story before I go. It was 6-7 years ago at Paul’s son’s Bar Mitzvah. We were in Los Angeles for the reception at the Sofitel across from the Beverly Center.

Helaine and I were seated with… you guessed it – Debbie Reynolds. She’s a friend of Paul’s.

Meanwhile, in the middle of the affair we ran into people we hadn’t seen in years. So, I picked up the camera and motioned to Debbie. I’m sure she was ready to get into the picture, something I know she’s done graciously a zillion times. Except, now I have a picture taken by Debbie Reynolds!

&#185 – Billy Mumy later became Bill Mumy. At separate times, he and I both hosted Inside Space on the SciFi Channel.