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The TV Museum

A semi-monthly podcast revisiting classic television, one series at a time. Hosts Hannah and Jeffrey are your intrepid and informed tour guides through TV's back catalog as they take a fresh look at shows which have been off the air for at least 15 years and are available on a major streaming service.
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Jun 14, 2017

Hannah and Jeffrey take a look back at the show-about-a-show that helped put HBO on the path to original programming greatness. If you missed Larry Sanders the first time around, start streaming now to see why this single-camera comedy of embarrassment is arguably as influential as The Big S itself.*

*Yes, we just made up that nickname for Seinfeld.

Listen in to learn whose ear was torn by Rip Torn, what was the other successful Delta Burke vehicle of the mid-late 80s, and which star of Entourage started out in the writers' room of Larry Sanders.

Dive deeper:

Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee

Shandling's obit in Variety

How to Binge Watch The Larry Sanders Show

And don't forget to check out Warby Parker for all your fashion-forward but affordable eyewear needs. Get a free at-home try-on and support your favorite podcast! 

May 26, 2017

Hannah and Jeffrey are finally taking on Star Trek

In this exhibit we cover (in semi-exhaustive detail) the folks behind the scenes and in front of the camera on TV's most influential sci-fi series. Beam in to learn which cast member's bar mitzvah prompted a return engagement, which star did unspeakable (fictional) things to Angie Dickinson, and who got career advice from MLK, Jr. himself. Keep listening to find out which TV legends (more than one!) had a hand in getting Star Trek to air, and decide for yourself which TOS cast member had the most "distinctive" recording career.

To learn more, check out...

Spock's Jewish roots

Evil Facial Hair on TV

A comparison of pre- and post-remastering of TOS's visual effects

And if you love the Museum, please visit our sponsor, Audible.com. We suggest you use your FREE trial to get your ears on Fifty Year Mission: The Complete Uncensored, Unauthorized Oral History of Star Trek: The First 25 Years by Edward Gross and Mark Altman. Just be sure to use our link.

Apr 5, 2017

Travel back with us to a time when men were men, the beach parking scene was laid back, and the cars were brown....1970s Los Angeles, where $200 a day (plus expenses) could get you the best private eye in town.

Tune in as we assess the Rockford Files, a stalwart of syndication with a loyal following. Listen carefully and you'll learn ingenious tricks to avoid paying royalties, star James Garner's unfortunate birth name, and who had a battle of words with good ol' Newt Minow!

Extra! Extra! Read more on Rockford and check out trivia from the exhibit:

Garner: Why Steve McQueen Was Like My Brother

The AV Club looks at "Sleight of Hand"

Instrumentals That Cracked the Billboard Top 20

Off the Minnesota Strip promo

Jan 26, 2017

Sometimes you want go...watch one of the 80s' defining sitcoms!

In this Season Two opener of the Museum, we turn back to NBC's legendary Thursday night line-up for a look at Cheers. Like its namesake watering hole, this show feels like home to almost anyone who watched TV between 1982 and 1993.

Though Cheers is surely familiar to most listeners, in this episode Jeffrey and Hannah seek to uncover new information about a classic. Questions which may be answered include:

  • Which cast member's sister wrote for the show?
  • Where did creator James Burrows get his start?
  • Who is more of a poncy blowhard, Sumner Sloan or Frasier Crane?
  • How great is Bebe Neuwirth? (spoiler: very)
  • How did Cheers inspire the best Halloween costume ever?

Learn more:

 Long list of Cheers's awards and nominations

Opening credits of Once Upon a Spy

The Ted Danson sandwich

THR interview with James Burrows

George Wendt hoofs it in Hairspray

Terrifying Norm and Cliff robots

BEST HALLOWEEN COSTUME EVER

Kelsey Grammer falls off a stage

Jan 26, 2017

We are heartbroken about the loss of the singular Mary Tyler Moore, whom our listeners know we revere and respect both as on-camera talent and as a force behind the scenes.  We simply can't imagine TV without her incalculable contributions.

In memorial, we are reposting our episode from December 2015 covering Mary Tyler Moore, and its hourlong spinoff, Lou Grant, and featuring our interview with the legendary Ed Asner.

We join you in mourning Mary. Let's remember her together. 

Nov 24, 2016

To celebrate both the holiday of Thanksgiving and the august tradition of special Thanksgiving episodes, we look back at two shows we covered in previous exhibits, watching holiday-themed episodes we skipped in the first go-round. Both A Different World and Third Rock From the Sun tackled everyone's favorite family-and-food holiday in their own unique way.

Do they hold up as great TV? Do they capture the hallmarks of their respective shows? Is Whitley a classy drunk? Does Jan Hooks smear gravy in her cleavage (spoiler: yes)? And most importantly, can these eps hold a candle to WKRP's classic "Turkeys Away"?

Episodes we watched:

A Different World, "If You Like Pilgrim Coladas", Season 2 Ep 6

Third Rock From the Sun, "Gobble, Gobble, Dick, Dick", Season 2 Ep 10

 

Aug 15, 2016

As we go on a brief hiatus to welcome the tater tot, we invite you to join us for a look back on the highs and lows of the first 20+ exhibits of the TV Museum Podcast! And, we give you a preview of what's to come when we return for Season Two in October!

Jul 21, 2016

Wrapping up our trifecta of alien-in-the-living room sitcoms, we set the time machine for “not that long ago” and took a look at 3rd Rock from the Sun, which left the airwaves in 2001, just making our 15-year cut-off. Would this show outshine its predecessors, or would it be yet another out-of-this-world dud?

Listen in to learn which star made history behind a newsdesk, find out who is the American John Cleese, and discover what double-entendre episode titles make Jeffrey and Hannah snicker like fourth graders.

 

Dig deeper:

French Stewart takes on Hollywood legend Buster Keaton

10 other roles from early in Joseph-Gordon Levitt’s career

Kristen Johnston’s struggle with depression and drugs

Jul 7, 2016

In this exhibit we continue our foray into the world of high-concept sitcoms, specifically of the alien-in-the-livingroom subgenre. Where My Favorite Martian portrayed the visitor as a font of wisdom and experience, Mork and Mindy substituted zany naivete in the form of white-hot superstar Robin Williams. Can a show succeed for four seasons on the back of a comedic genius in rainbow suspenders? Listen in to learn about the show's unlikely genesis in the brain of grade schooler, discover who popped out of an egg in the final season, and find out what David Letterman was up to pre-Late Show. 

Can't get enough Mork from Ork? Read more:

Gizmodo calls M&M an "Unlikely Miracle"

Thirteen Out-of-This-World Facts About Mork & Mind

Robin Williams and Jonathan Winters Take Over The Tonight Show

 

Don't spend the summer squinting! Check out super affordable and fashionable prescription sunglasses from Warby Parker and support The TV Museum. Go to warbyparkertrial.com/tvmuseum .

Jun 15, 2016

Join us to look back at a prime example of one of the strangest trends of the 60s: the scifi/fantasy sitcom. In the course of this exhibit we unearthed a treasure trove of TV trivia. Learn what a first-class time slot can do, find out about the connection between MFM and The Beatles, discover what happens if you turn a squirrel into a man, be amazed by the longevity of Lassie, and find out which star of MFM went on to appear in an 80s classic and which had to settle for a movie called Steambath

And for more fun, check out producer Jack Chertok's Oscar-winning (really) short: How to Sleep.

Don't forget to shop our new and exciting sponsor Loot Crate! Enter promo code bridge10 to get 10% off your subscription of awesome geek gear.

 

 

Jun 1, 2016

If, like Hannah, you have ever bought a lot of Agatha Christie paperbacks off eBay, we have the show for you! Not just another 70s police procedural, Columbo turns the detective genre upside down, as we start each episode watching the killer commit the crime. How will everyone's favorite soft-spoken, disheveled sleuth unravel the mystery? But more importantly, is Columbo worth your TV time? 

Learn much (MUCH) more about one of TV's most memorable icons:

 The Ultimate Columbo Site

Get the rights to Prescription: Murder!

Relive every episode with two Scottish guys

 

And if you like The TV Museum, please support us by supporting  our sponsor, Audible.com! Get a FREE 30-day trial with a FREE audiobook of your choice of over 180,000 selections at www.audibletrial.com/tvmuseum

 

May 18, 2016

If old Hollywood, 90s topical humor, and general zaniness are your cup of tea, then you're likely already acquainted with the topic of this week's exhibit. Animaniacs introduced a new generation to the wacky, highbrow-meets-lowbrow aesthetic of the Looney Tunes, and it's now available on Netflix. 

"Toon" in to learn which movie parodies zinged and which fell flat, who were the best and worst of the huge cast of characters, and what was the dirtiest joke those three kooky Warner siblings ever got past network censors.

Chicago Tribune review from 1993

Way More Than You Ever Wanted to Know About Animaniacs (Mentalfloss)

Tom Ruegger on Reddit

A compilation of racy jokes from Animaniacs 

Can't get enough TV history? Sign up for a FREE TRIAL of Audible.com to access titles like Steven Spielberg: A Biography by Joseph McBride.

May 4, 2016

By popular request, we've tackled a classic from the early 90s, a show that brought the world one of the top ten most distinctive southern accents, an Aretha Franklin-sung theme song, and the greatest (pre-Warby Parker) development in stylish eyewear. This Cosby spin-off came into its own when it ditched the Huxtable element, embraced a large cast, and took on the social issues of the day. 

Learn more:

Jezebel's The Muse rewatches ADW

14 Things You Might Not Know About A Different World

Learn How to Wave, Whitley Style

Apr 20, 2016
"Holy amazing guest, Batman!" 

We're joined by NPR critic, author, Pop Culture Happy Hour panelist, and one of our favorite voices on culture, Glen Weldon, to discuss his new book, The Caped Crusade: Batman & The Rise of Nerd Culture, and the two major TV series featuring the not-always-so Dark Knight.  How did the character change from the comic page to the TV screen with the garish campiness of the live action series that ran on ABC in the mid-1960s? Did fans reclaim their hero with the darkly faithful animated series that aired on Fox in the 1990s? Tune in to find out!
 
On this episode:
 
Batman (1966): 
"The Bookworm Turns/As Gotham Burns" (S1 Eps. 29-30)
 
Batman: The Animated Series (1992):  
"Heart of Ice" (S1 E14)
"The Joker's Favor"  (S1 E22)
"Legends of the Dark Knight"  (S4 E19)

 

The Bookworm -- turning!

Glen Weldon 

The Real Comic Book Origins of the Batman '66 TV Series

The AV Club picks the 10 campiest Batman episodes

Complex picks the 25 best eps of The Animated Series

 

Don't forget to check out Glen's book! You can get it FREE with a 30-day Audible Trial!

Apr 6, 2016

Grab your six shooters and your ten gallon, 'cause the TV Museum's finally tackling a Western! We take a look at one of the 28 (yes, really!) primetime shows set in the Old West that aired in 1958: The Rifleman.

Listen in to hear about star Chuck Connors's bizarre and varied pro sports career, find out which Rat Packer made not one but two guest appearances on the show, and learn where to go when you just can't afford enough salt to get through the winter.

Note: We apologize if you hear a little audio crackle in this ep. Just imagine we're all sitting around a camp fire, shootin' the breeze....

Mentioned in the exhibit and worth a look:

Inside the Box podcast talks about the Dumont Network

AV Club's The Rifleman Roundtable

The Encyclopedia of TV on westerns

FCC Chair Newton Minnow on the "vast wasteland" of TV

A look at the special effects challenges of The Ordeal

The Rifleman's casualty list on RiflemanConnors.com

The Johnny Crawford Dance Orchestra

 

We are sponsored again by Audible and hope you'll take advantage of a FREE 30-DAY TRIAL so you can check out one of the following audio books:

John Wayne: The Life and Legend by Scott Eyman

The Last Gunfight: The Real Story of the Shootout at the O.K. Corral - and How It Changed the American West by Jeff Guinn

Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry

Just go to http://www.audibletrial.com/tvmuseum today!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Apr 1, 2016

CBS-TV has closed a deal with Uber that will put Tony Danza back in the role of boxer/cabbie Tony Banta, the character he brought to life on celebrated sitcom Taxi--but with a new economy twist.

 

The "requel" series will follow Danza during his days and nights behind the wheel of the black Nissan Altima sedan he has to pay for and maintain himself as a driver for the tech and transportation industry upstart.  Instead of featuring a large ensemble cast congregating in a dispatch office, the series will center on Danza as a solitary Uber contractor.  

Danza will not be the only star in the cast, however:  He will be joined by Dame Maggie Smith, who is lending her vocal talents to the role of the navigational assistant application who keeps Banta company.

Alright, alright -- enough.  Happy April Fools' Day from The TV Museum Podcast! But, if you're reading this, perhaps you'll stick around and check out our show! 

Click around the site, or subscribe on iTunes (http://bit.ly/tvmuze), Stitcher (http://bit.ly/stitchtvm), or your podcatcher of choice!

Mar 23, 2016

This exhibit explores a critically-acclaimed but never-before-seen (by your hosts, anyway) show that offers up plenty of surprises. Tune in to find out what makes Taxi such a keystone in the history of the American sitcom. Hint: echoes of Taxi are all over better-known hits like Cheers and Seinfeld

Episodes we watched:

  • Pilot/ “Like Father, Like Daughter”
  • S1 E3 "Blind Date"
  • S1 E17 "Elaine and the Lame Duck"
  • S3 E20 - “Latka the Playboy”
  • S4 E1 - “Jim the Psychic”
  • S4 E21 "Latka’s Wedding"

Learn more:

Museum of Television entry on Taxi

Extensive video interview with co-creator James L. Brooks

Jeffrey Tambor talks about Taxi

Tony Danza in Animal House

Talking Apes TV

Skywalking Through Neverland

And, just for fun, here's a picture of Tony Danza wiping out on rollerblades:

 

Step up your glasses game with Warby Parker and a FREE five-day at-home trial of five stylish frames. Check out Warby Parker's funky, chic offerings now!

 

Mar 9, 2016

In this installment of the TV Museum we dig into the fondly remembered cult hit Quantum Leap - will it succeed where its ancestor The Time Tunnel failed? 

Listen in to learn more about the largely glow-in-the-dark nature of future technology, discover how meteorological conditions affect time travel, and hear a guy in a truly horrible suit rap about the ABCs. More importantly, we'll answer the question: does Quantum Leap have The Right Stuff?

 

Episodes we watched:

Pilot/Genesis Parts 1 & 2

Color of Truth (S 1 EP 7)

What Price Gloria  (S2 EP 4)

Catch a Falling Star  (S2 EP 10)

The Leap Back (S4 E1)

 

Dive deep to be a true Leaper:

Al's Place (the ultimate QL fan site)

Eight Sad Truths You Realize When Re-Watching Quantum Leap

QL soundtrack on Spotify

 

Step up your glasses game with Warby Parker and a FREE five-day at-home trial of five stylish frames. Check out Warby Parker's funky, chic offerings now!

 

Feb 24, 2016

On this (very!) special episode of the TV Museum Podcast, we meet up with The Munsters' Butch Patrick for an in-person interview. Listen in to hear his take on life as a child star in 1960s Hollywood, his time as a resident of 1313 Mockingbird Lane, and some of the highs and lows he's experienced in the years since.

Many thanks to Butch for his time and to Joel McGee (America's Toy Scout) for playing host to our interview.

Butch Patrick's The Munsters Website

America's Toy Scout

If Chins Could Kill: Confessions of a B Movie Actor by Bruce Campbell

Get a FREE 30-Day Trial of Audible NOW!

Feb 11, 2016

In this episode we hurtle through time to explore a 60s cult classic.

The facial expression that defined a series.

 

What do a cancer patient aboard the Titanic, a scarlet lady in ancient Jericho, and the 16th president of the United States all have in common? Getting their butts saved by Doug and Tony, of course! Tune in to learn what other hijinks these two valiant scientists get up to while careening through history.

Episodes We Watched:

"Rendezvous With Yesterday" (Pilot)

"The Walls of Jericho" (Ep. 20)

"The Death Trap" (Ep. 12)

 

Need more?

The Lost World trailer (aka Iguanas in Hats)

Original Time Tunnel trailer

The TV Party of The Time Tunnel

 

Can't get enough TV history? Sign up for a FREE TRIAL of Audible.com to access titles like The Agency: William Morris and the Hidden History of Show Business.

 

Jan 27, 2016

This week we visit one of the most beloved families of 80s TV, the Keaton clan. 

Tune in to hear more about the only sitcom in network history in which someone gets laid after attending a lecture on conservative fiscal policy! Reminisce about heads stuck in bannisters and watch a future Oscar winner tie one on at a PBS affiliate! Discover how many Family Ties stars later formed not-very-famous bands and which Keaton sought therapy on what appeared to be the set of Charlie Rose!

Episodes We Watched:

Pilot 

S 1 Ep 4 "Summer of ‘82"

S2 Ep 14 "Say Uncle"

S3 Ep 11 “Don’t Kiss Me, I’m Only the Messenger” 

S 4 Ep 1 and 2 “The Real Thing, Parts One and Two” 

S 5 Ep 22 "A, My Name is Alex (part one)"  

 

Learn more:

The Atlantic on "very special episodes"

Family Ties at the Museum of Broadcast Communications

"How Family Ties Spawned a Conservative Hero"

Bootjack and Bonz (Brian Bonsall's band) 

 

Start your free trial of Audible and get a free audiobook. Our listeners might enjoy Lucky Man, a memoir by Michael J. Fox. CLICK HERE FOR FREE 30-DAY AUDIBLE TRIAL

Jan 13, 2016

In this episode we look at one of the most successful primetime soaps of the 80s, in which a secretary can marry a billionaire, long-lost daughters turn up nearly every week, and Moldavian freedom fighters can really ruin a celebration.

Is Blake Carrington about to choke a ... lady?

Listen in to learn how many last names Joan Collins's character had, why Rock Hudson's guest starring stint on the show was so controversial, and what drove William Faulkner out of Hollywood.

Episodes we watched:

  • Pilot
  • “Enter Alexis” (S2 E1)
  • “Royal Wedding” (S4 E30)

Comprehensive list of Dynasty cat fights

Fashion tips from Alexis Carrington

Linda Evans on her scene with Rock Hudson

Producer Aaron Spelling's unbelievably enormous mansion

 

Want to learn more about Aaron Spelling? We suggest you listen to Aaron Spelling: A Primetime Life, with your 30-day free trial from Audible.

Thanks as ever to Minden for our theme music.

Dec 25, 2015

In this special bonus episode, guest hosts Sylvia (7) and Judith (4) take a look at Peabody's Improbable History

 

Learn more:

Full Segment List Courtesy of Wikipedia

Peabody's Improbable History at Toonpedia

Go visit the Paley Center to learn more about Jay Ward's work.

Dec 23, 2015

This week we combine two great tastes: Mary Tyler Moore, a comedy about a woman who can turn the world on with her smile, and that show's landmark hour-long spin-off, the newsroom drama Lou Grant.

Tune in to learn which Robocop star goose-stepped through an episode of Lou Grant, hear Cloris Leachman sing about social disease, and discover why Ron Burgundy's dog is named Baxter. 

Keep listening for an interview with Lou Grant himself, the great Ed Asner.

 

Episodes we watched:

The Mary Tyler Moore Show:

Pilot  “Love is All Around” 

S3 E16 "Lou’s Place"

S2 E1 “The Birds and..um..Bess”  

S2 E 23 "Some of my Best Friends Are Rhoda" 

S7 E 24 “The Last Show” 

Lou Grant:

Pilot - "Cophouse"

S3 E1 "Cop"

S1 E5 "Nazi"

 

Check out a photo from the interview on our Facebook page.

Highlights from Someone I Touched

Check out The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Lou Grant on Hulu

 

Get a free audiobook and free 30-day trial from our sponsor, Audible

And thank you to the fabulous Minden, who composed our theme music. 

 

Dec 10, 2015

This week we brave the horrors of late 70s fashion to give you a review of a television show about radio:

Tune in to learn whatever happened to Dr. Johnny Fever, who the heck Ol' Lonely is, and how to make a career out of a sultry swimsuit photo.

Show links:

NPR calls WRKP the first show to take rock seriously

Nedra Volz IMDB

Vincent Schiavelli IMDB

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