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Melba - Forgotten 1986 Sitcom Flop Singer Melba Moore was the star of a barely remembered 1986 CBS sitcom aptly tiled Melba. Moore played Melba Patterson, a recently divorced black mother. Along with running the Visitors' Center in Manhattan, Patterson was trying to raise a spunky nine-year-old daughter (Tracy) with the help of her mother (Rose) and her white "sister" (Susan Slater)--a childhood pal who had been raised by Melba's mom. Before it had even aired once, critics who had seen sneak previews of Melba strongly took a dislike to the show. Nevertheless, Melba's debut occurred at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, January 28, 1986: the same day of the Challenger Space Shuttle disaster. Apparently few people were in the mood to watch a new sitcom later that night: Melba's ratings were the worst in CBS' prime-time history. It got a 13% viewer share--an awful number in the days of just three networks and limited competition from cable stations. Despite the Challenger tragedy, The A-Team (NBC) and Who's The Boss? (ABC) still managed to pull in respectable ratings opposite Melba. Panicky network executives swiftly yanked Melba from CBS' lineup. However, five other Melba episodes aired in August and September on Saturday nights when ABC and NBC were showing reruns. The ratings for Melba were still unacceptably low, so CBS killed it for a second and final time. Here's what the show's opening montage looked like.
Tags: Melba  CBS  sitcom  flop 
Added: 21st March 2014
Views: 275
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Posted By: Lava1964
Name This Umpire You folks are pretty good at identifying major league baseball players. How are you at identifying major league umpires? Can you name this famous arbiter. Two hints: His nickname was 'God' and he is at the top of many people's lists of those who should be enshrined in Cooperstown but isn't.
Tags: name  this  umpire 
Added: 1st September 2009
Views: 516
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Posted By: Lava1964
1883 No-Cents Nickels In 1883, the United States unveiled its new 'Liberty Head' five-cent piece. Conmen immediately sensed an opportunity: Because the reverse bore the Roman numeral 'V' without the word 'cents,' it looked very much like the widely circulated five-dollar gold piece. Crooks simply painted the nickels gold and passed them off as five-dollar coins. To combat this practise, a few months later the mint issued a revised variety of 1883 nickels--these ones bearing the word 'cents' beneath the V. (That design lasted until the Liberty Head nickel was replaced by the buffalo nickel in 1913.) According to numismatic lore, a deaf mute named Josh Tatum was among the most prolific perpetrators of fraud with gold-painted no-cents nickels. He supposedly escaped conviction because he could not ask shopkeepers for change; he merely accepted what was given to him. This is where the verb 'to josh' is said to have originated.
Tags: 1883  nickels  numismatics 
Added: 22nd October 2009
Views: 529
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Posted By: Lava1964
Watertight Smith William Alden Smith was a respected and capable career politician from Michigan who, unfortunately, became the subject of ridicule for one unfortunate public statement. Smith served in the Michigan House of Representatives, the U.S. House of Representatives, and the U.S. Senate. When the R.M.S. Titanic sank in 1912, Smith chaired the American investigation into the maritime tragedy. Although the inquiry was responsible for creating many improved international safety measures regarding oceanic shipping, Smith was widely mocked (especially in the British press) for asking why the passengers in the doomed ship didn't seek safety in the Titanic's watertight cabins. It was pointed out to Smith that the so-called watertight cabins were meant to keep the ship afloat, not to hold passengers. Furthermore, the cabins would have been no help to passengers as they sank with the rest of the Titanic. The British newspapers quickly nicknamed the distinguished senator 'Watertight' Smith.
Tags: Watertight  Smith  Titanic 
Added: 25th October 2009
Views: 794
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Posted By: Lava1964
Heidi Game 1968 The 'Heidi Game' is a derisive nickname given to the New York Jets-Oakland Raiders AFL game played on Sunday, November 17, 1968. It was a much-anticipated marquee clash between two 7-2 teams that was regionally televised by NBC. Well, it was partially televised by NBC--and that was the problem. The game, scheduled for a 4 p.m. eastern start, ran beyond the three-hour time frame allotted to it by the network. At 7 p.m., with the Jets leading 32-29 with 65 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, NBC abruptly cut away from the football broadcast without warning to its scheduled programming: a made-for-TV version of the children's classic 'Heidi.' (NBC had been heavily promoting the movie as part of sweeps week.) Outraged football fans swamped NBC and its affiliates with angry phone calls. They became even angrier after viewers learned that Oakland had scored two touchdowns in the final minute to win 43-32. The uproar reached the front page of the next day's New York Times and national newscasts. The result was that after 1968, pro football broadcasting agreements required the networks to show games in their entirety.
Tags: football  Heidi  broadcasting 
Added: 29th October 2009
Views: 1000
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Posted By: Lava1964
Wheezer - Our Gang Robert Hutchins joined the Our Gang troupe in 1928 as a three year old. (He acquired the nickname 'Wheezer' on his first day on the set when he ran around so much he began to wheeze.) Hutchins appeared in 58 Our Gang shorts through 1933 where he usually played a tag-along little brother. His acting career was controlled by a father so domineering he wouldn't allow the other cast members to play with his son during breaks in shooting. He planned to be a pilot, but Hutchins died in 1945 at age 20 in an airplane crash during his last week of flight school.
Tags: Our  Gang  Wheezer  Robert  Hutchins 
Added: 9th November 2009
Views: 1200
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Posted By: Lava1964
1920 World Series Program This very appealing baseball program is from the 1920 World Series between the Brooklyn Dodgers and Cleveland Indians. (Cleveland won the best-of-nine series in seven games.) What I find interesting as a baseball historian is that the program clearly calls the Brooklyn club the Dodgers. Most reference books call the 1920 team the Robins. That name derived from their manager, Wilbert Robinson, who was pictured on the program's cover. I guess the proud nickname 'Dodgers' had already stuck to Brooklyn's beloved baseball team.
Tags: baseball  1920  World  Series  program 
Added: 21st November 2009
Views: 772
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Posted By: Lava1964
Our Gang - Spanky McFarland George (Spanky) McFarland had the most prolific career of any member of the Our Gang troupe. He appeared in 95 Our Gang shorts from 1932 through 1942. Even by Our Gang standards, McFarland began at a young age. His cuteness as a baby got Spanky's picture widely circulated on bread billboards in his hometown of Dallas. When Hal Roach began a new talent search, Spanky's aunt submitted his photos. This got him a screen test that was hugely positive--thus Spanky became an Our Gang regular at the age of three. The origin of Spanky's nickname is unclear; McFarland believed a Los Angeles showbiz columnist came up with it. Spanky's early Our Gang roles were as a tagalong little kid. His abilities to steal scenes and deliver funny lines got him more prominent roles. By 1936, at the age of eight, he was clearly the star of the series and the Gang's leader. He was always the 'idea man' of the Gang, devising schemes and plots. After Hal Roach sold the rights to Our Gang to MGM in 1938, MGM intended to begin anew with an entirely fresh cast of child actors. However, MGM rehired Spanky when a suitable replacement could not be found. Along with Spanky's 95 appearances in Our Gang films, he was also the lead in General Spanky (1936)--the only feature-length Our Gang film ever made. He later served in the Air Force. Spanky was working menial jobs in the 1950s when the Little Rascals reruns began to air on television. He began hosting a local program of them. Spanky's renaissance fame got him a job at Philco-Ford where he eventually became the head of national sales. In his later years Spanky hosted charity golf events. He made a cameo appearance on the sitcom Cheers in 1993. Spanky died of a heart attack not long afterwards. He was 64 years old.
Tags: Our  Gang    Spanky  McFarland 
Added: 26th November 2009
Views: 2541
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Posted By: Lava1964
Our Gang - Stymie Matthew Beard played Stymie in the Our Gang films. He acquired his nickname from director Robert McGowan who was 'stymied' by his inability to control the five-year-old newcomer. Stymie, in efffect, replaced Farina as the Gang's black character. He was witty--always ready with a quip. Stymie got his trademark oversize bowler hat from Stan Laurel. Stymie's tenure on Our Gang ran from the early talkies to the Spanky/Alfalfa heyday. Stymie came from a family of 13 children; a handful of Stymie's siblings and his mother had small Our Gang roles. After leaving showbiz, Stymie descended into drug abuse, but he cleaned himself up in rehab. He spent the remainder of his days lecturing on the evils of drugs. In early 1981 Stymie suffered a stroke just after his 56th birthday. He died of pneumonia shortly thereafter.
Tags: Our  Gang  Stymie  Matthew  Beard 
Added: 1st December 2009
Views: 3151
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Posted By: Lava1964
Betty White Snickers Commerical Tags: Snickers    Super  Bowl    Football    Superbowl    Football  Games    Snickers  Commercial    Commercial    Super  Bowl  Commercial    Snickers  Bar    Betty  White    Abe  Vigoda     
Added: 14th February 2010
Views: 1715
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Posted By: pfc

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