This week, CHML’s Scott Thompson wanted to know all about this nut bar Nik Wallenda and his bright idea to walk across Niagara Falls on a tightrope. Specifically what the deal was with ABC insisting the dude be tethered to the cable as a condition of their airing the stunt (June 15; CTV is also broadcasting the attempt).

The whole thing smacks of 1974, when Evel Knievel made his mega-hyped Snake River Canyon jump. That failed attempt was carried on closed circuit television after ABC refused to pony up for the deal. When it finally was shown on TV it looked laughably lame, with the chute opening on takeoff and Knievel’s rocket-powered ride drifting down into the canyon. Frankly, I would rather have seen him jump Christy Canyon.
The mid-’70s also featured Bobby Riggs/Billie Jean King, Battle of the Network Stars and a host of other tacky yet cherished distractions. Maybe we’re all in for another wild huckster ride.
Scott asks about a bunch of other stuff, including plans to launch Good Afternoon America and the release of the classic ’60s series Route 66 on DVD. You can listen in here.

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  1. Good Afternoons were last Fall with Route 66 airing weekdays after two other on-location shows, the 1974 Trucker series Movin’ On, and another B&W series from Stirling Silliphant, Naked City via the Buffalo NY, RTV subchannel.
    Now Route 66 and Naked City only air during the Sunday Overnights at me-TV.
    The 70s also had Route 66 co-star George Maharis posing for Playgirl. (Which – besides a Wikipage mention, was quiped about in a box set episode of Match Game.) Interesting was a Route 66 episode with Maharis and also a younger Burt Reynolds in a smaller role.

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