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Rebecca Schaeffer Murder 1989 Pretty Rebecca Schaeffer (pictured below) had an all-too-brief acting career. After she appeared on the cover of Seventeen magazine, she landed the role of Patti Russell on the short-lived CBS sitcom My Sister Sam. (The show ran from October 1986 to November 1987). During the show's run, an obsessed fan, Robert John Bardo, began writing letters to Schaeffer which were answered by CBS employees. Bardo twice tried to see Schaffer on the set but was turned away by security. After the show was cancelled, Bardo found Schaeffer's home address with the help of a private investigator who, for a $250 fee, obtained the information from California's Department of Motor Vehicles. On July 18, 1989, Bardo knocked on Schaeffer's apartment door and had a brief conversation with the actress. She asked him not to return. A little while later Bardo did return and fatally shot Schaeffer in the chest after she opened the door. She was 21. Bardo was apprehended a short time later, quickly confessed, and was sentenced to life in prison. Schaeffer's murder led to the first anti-stalker legislation in California (which has been widely copied in many jurisdictions). Among the celebrities who have benefitted from it or similar laws have been David Letterman and Madonna. The state of California also toughened its security policies regarding residents' personal information.
Tags: Rebecca  Schaeffer  murder  stalker 
Added: 9th June 2010
Views: 1783
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Posted By: Lava1964
1940 Olympics Poster The 1940 Summer Olympics were originally scheduled to be held in Tokyo. With Japan deeply embroiled in the Second World War, those plans were scuttled. The International Olympic Committee opted to move the Games to Helsinki, Finland, as this poster shows. This also proved to be impractical when the Finns began fighting the Russians. The IOC sensibly chose to suspend the Games until the war stopped. (Helsinki hosted the 1952 Summer Olympics. Tokyo got the 1964 Games.)
Tags: 1940  Olympics  Helsinki  Finland  cancelled 
Added: 9th January 2011
Views: 1622
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Posted By: Lava1964
CBS Rural Purge From 1969 through 1972, a 'rural purge' of American television networks (in particular, CBS) dramatically changed the prime time television landscape. The majority of cancellations occurred at the end of the 1970-71 television season. While cancellations have always been part of the television business, the fact that many of the cancelled shows were still quite popular made the move very controversial. Basically, the rural-themed shows lacked the young, urban-demographic audiences that CBS desired. Pat Buttram, who played Mr. Haney on Green Acres, famously noted, '[It was] the year CBS killed everything with a tree in it.' The first rural-themed show cancelled by CBS was Petticoat Junction. (This came as no real surprise as Petticoat Junction had lagged in the ratings since Bea Benaderet's death in 1968.) In September 1970 The Mary Tyler Moore Show premiered on CBS. All in the Family premiered in January 1971 as a mid-season replacement. Both series provided the urban demographic and ratings that CBS sought. These successes prompted the network to cancel Green Acres, The Beverly Hillbillies, Mayberry RFD, Hee-Haw, Lassie, and The Jim Nabors Hour at the end of the 1970-71 season. The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour lasted until the end of the 1971-72 season. Non-rural themed shows cancelled included sitcoms Family Affair and Hogan's Heroes in 1971, with the long running My Three Sons ending in 1972. Variety shows that had been around since the late 1940s and early 1950s, The Jackie Gleason Show and The Ed Sullivan Show, were cancelled in 1970 and 1971 respectively. The Red Skelton Show was cancelled by CBS at the end the 1969-70 season. Skelton never forgave CBS.
Tags: CBS  rural  purge  television 
Added: 22nd January 2011
Views: 10407
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Posted By: Lava1964
John Banner Here's a face that fans of 1960s TV can't forget: John Banner who played the bumbling and thoroughly lovable Sgt. Hans Schultz on Hogan's Heroes from 1965 to 1971. Apart from his steady role on Hogan's Heroes, the Austrian-born Banner made over 70 other television appearances between 1950 and 1972, including roles on Mister Ed, The Lucy Show, Perry Mason, The Partridge Family, The Untouchables, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, and The Man from U.N.C.L.E. In a 1954 episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Banner and Werner Klemperer--who would later be cast as Colonel Klink in Hogan's Heroes--both had roles. Banner, a Jew, was on tour with an acting troupe in Switzerland when the Nazis occupied Austria in 1938. Banner opted to emigrate to the United States and continue his acting career there. By the 1960s, the once lean Banner's weight had increased to 280 pounds. This helped gain him the part of the kindly inept German POW camp guard in Hogan's Heroes. The gentle Banner was loved not only by the viewers, but by the show's other cast members too. Banner defended his character, telling TV Guide in 1967: 'Schultz is not a Nazi. I see Schultz as the representative of some kind of goodness in any generation.' After Hogan's Heroes was cancelled in 1971, Banner starred as the inept gangster Uncle Latzi in the short-lived television sitcom, The Chicago Teddy Bears. His last acting appearance was in the March 7, 1972 episode of The Partridge Family. He then retired to his native Vienna. There he died suddenly of an aneurysm on his 63rd birthday on January 28, 1973.
Tags: TV  John  Banner  Hogan 
Added: 29th January 2011
Views: 1935
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Posted By: Lava1964
Blanskys Beauties - 1977 Sitcom Flop After being part of two successful TV series in the early 1970s, Nancy Walker had two sitcoms in which she played the starring role cancelled in the same 1976-77 TV season. In September 1976, The Nancy Walker Show premiered. In it Walker played talent agent Nancy Kitteridge who was learning to live with her husband who had been away at sea for most of their 29-year marriage. The show bombed and was cancelled before New Year's Day. Undeterred, ABC cast Walker in another sitcom. This time she played Howard Cunningham's visiting cousin Nancy Blansky from Las Vegas on the February 4, 1977 episode of Happy Days. Blansky's Beauties premiered eight days later. In this show Nancy Blansky was a Las Vegas showbiz vet and current den mother to a bevy of beautiful showgirls. In addition to keeping order in the chaotic apartment complex where they all lived, Nancy staged the girls' big numbers at the Oasis Hotel. (Strangely, the Happy Days episode on which Nancy first appeared took place circa 1960, yet Blansky's Beauties was set in 1977.) Sixteen-year-old Scott Baio played the role of a "12-year-old going on 28." Eddie Mekka from Laverne and Shirley was also part of the cast. Blansky's Beauties ran for just 13 weeks before being axed. Recalled once critic, "This show had every 1970s teeny bopper element aimed to appeal to the lowest intellect and thus make it a hit--except this time cute boys and inane, jiggly, dumb blondes were not enough to cover for horrible scripts, contrived situations, bad acting, and unbelievable plots. The show tried to be a spin-off/tie-in to Happy Days and Laverne and Shirley (or at least ride on their successes) by utilizing actors - most notably Eddie Mekka and Scott Baio - from those shows and making the title role the cousin of Happy Days' Howard Cunningham. Having Nancy Walker as its star, scantily-clad bimbos wiggling around the set, and pretty boy co-stars to elicit screams from young girls in the audience, however, could never have saved it from itself. This show is a best-forgotten footnote to bad television."
Tags: Blanskys  Beauties  sitcom  flop  ABC  spinoff   
Added: 20th August 2011
Views: 2947
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Posted By: Lava1964
Ball Four - Sitcom Flop 1976 Ball Four was a situation comedy that aired on CBS in 1976. The series was inspired by the tremendously successful 1970 book of the same name by Jim Bouton. Bouton co-created the show with humorist and television critic Marvin Kitman and sportswriter Vic Ziegel. Bouton also starred in the series. Ball Four followed the Washington Americans, a fictitious minor league baseball team, dealing with the fallout from a series of Sports Illustrated articles written by Americans' player Jim Barton (Bouton). Like the book, the series covered controversial subjects including womanizing players, drug use, homosexuality in sports, and religion. The series included a gay rookie ballplayer--one of the earliest regular gay characters on television. The creative trio began developing the series in 1975, looking to groundbreaking series like M*A*S*H and All in the Family as models. CBS expressed interest and the creative team developed a script. CBS shot the pilot episode and ultimately bought the series. Ball Four aired at 8:30 PM Eastern time, which was during the Family Viewing Hour, an FCC-mandated hour of early evening "family-friendly" broadcasting. Consequently the writers had some trouble with the network's Standards and Practices in their attempt to portray realistic locker room scenes, especially the language used by the players. Pseudo-profanity such as "bullpimp" was disallowed, while "horse-crock" and "bullhorse" were approved. Ball Four debuted on September 22, 1976. Critics panned the series. One of the more charitable reviews called it "uneven in quality." CBS cancelled Ball Four after just five episodes.
Tags: sitcom  Ball  Four  baseball  CBS 
Added: 23rd August 2011
Views: 1500
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Posted By: Lava1964
Bad News Bears - Sitcom Flop 1979 Successful movies don't often spawn successful TV series. Take the Bad News Bears, for instance. In the television version, Jack Warden portrayed former minor-leaguer Morris Buttermaker, the coach of the Hoover Junior High Bears, a sorry bunch of youthful misfits and bumblers. Catherine Hicks played Hoover Junior High principal Dr. Emily Rappant. Phillip Richard Allen played Roy Turner, the coach of the dreaded rival Lions. Corey Feldman, Billy Jayne (then credited as Billy Jacoby) and Meeno Peluce were cast amongst the team's players, and Tricia Cast played Amanda Wurlitzer, the Bears' star pitcher. Poor writing and subpar acting doomed this series. Three episodes into the series' second season, CBS cancelled The Bad News Bears due to low ratings. A few previously unaired episodes were shown during the summer of 1980.
Tags: sitcom  Bad  News  Bears  CBS  baseball 
Added: 23rd August 2011
Views: 1524
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Posted By: Lava1964
Misfits of Science Misfits of Science was a short-lived NBC science fiction program. Only 15 episodes were made for the 1985-86 season--and just 14 aired--before it was cancelled due to low ratings. Misfits of Science featured young adults with unusual powers who were melded into a crime fighting unit. Among them was Dean Paul Martin (Dean Martin's son). He played Dr. Billy Hayes who organized the unit. Kevin Peter Hall, who was anywhere from 7'2" to 7'4" tall, played Dr. Elvin Lincoln who had the ability to shrink himself to a height of just six inches. A young Courteney Cox played juvenile delinquent Gloria Dinallo who possessed telekinetic powers. Here is the show's very strange opening montage.
Tags: Misfits  of  Science  NBC   
Added: 17th January 2014
Views: 1235
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Posted By: Lava1964
1961 US Figure Skating Team This group photo of the U.S. figure skating team was taken on February 14, 1961 as they prepared to depart from New York City to Brussels--their first leg on a journey to the world championship in Prague. They never made it. After a seemingly routine flight, the airplane experienced unexpected difficulty while in a holding pattern while awaiting permission to land. The aircraft crashed into a farmer's field in the small town of Berg, Belgium. All 72 people aboard the airplane perished--including the 18 people connected to the U.S. figure skating team. Because of the horrible tragedy, the world championships that year were cancelled.
Tags: figure  skating  plane  crash 
Added: 18th February 2012
Views: 1432
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Posted By: Lava1964
Bridget Loves Bernie - Controversial Sitcom Bridget Loves Bernie was a CBS sitcom that ran for just one 24-episode season in 1972-73. Starring Meredith Baxter and David Birney, it was based on the long-running Broadway play Abie's Irish Rose. The show's premise was that a young school teacher from a well-to-do Irish-American family falls in love with and marries a poor Jewish cab driver. The show was given an excellent time slot--Saturdays at 8:30 PM, between All in the Family and Mary Tyler Moore--and finished fifth in the overall ratings for the season. Why was the show cancelled? It was widely reported that Jewish groups opposed to inter-religious marriages inundated CBS with hate mail! (Officially, CBS claimed the show's ratings were disappointing.) Bridget Loves Bernie remains the highest-rated show ever to be cancelled after just one season. Birney and Baxter were later married in real life.
Tags: Bridget  Loves  Bernie  CBS  religion  controversy 
Added: 21st February 2012
Views: 2508
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Posted By: Lava1964

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