TV History


As a viewer, my first encounter with Shannen Doherty was on a gentle little NBC drama called Our House. The series aired 1986 to 1988 and starred Wilford Brimley, who specialized in playing grumpy old coots. In this series he played a grandfather who, after his son dies, takes the rest of his son’s family

Swiping left or right had a whole other meaning back when Dr. Ruth Westheimer was in her TV prime. The peppery, diminutive sex therapist, who hosted radio and television sex talk shows throughout the ‘80s and into the ‘90s, passed away July 12 in Manhattan. She was 96. To call Westheimer a survivor is an

Before Late Night with David Letterman and within a year or two of Saturday Night Live and SCTV there was a little show that firmly planted the irony flag on the comedy landscape: Fernwood 2Nite. This offshoot from the equally groundbreaking Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman deconstructed talk show television in a way rarely seen on

Donald Sutherland had been a major movie star for decades before he appeared opposite Geena Davis in the 2005-06 ABC drama Commander in Chief. I was one of the reporters hoping to get a few words with the acclaimed actor on a visit to the L.A. set of that short-lived series. Davis played the first

Tonight marks the final appearance of pat Sajak as host of the Wheel of Fortune. The 77-year-old entertainer is leaving after 41 seasons and over 9000 shows. That is a lot of spinning, and Sajak, who has had some helath problems in recent years, has opted to step away from one of the cushiest jobs

Milton Berle was television’s earliest non-puppet breakout star. Let’s not forget Howdy Doody. Berle’s Texaco Star Theater (1948-’53) a rambunctious comedy-variety series that stood out in the early days of network television, was the most-watched series among early set buyers. Berle himself joked that he sold more TV’s than anyone else. When his show came

If you listened to the 1972 Canada-Soviet Union Summit Series over the radio — as some of us did with a wire running up one arm and into an ear speaker while pretending to pay attention in a classroom — it wasn’t the voice of Hockey Hall of Famer Foster Hewitt calling the play-by-play. It