Thursday, September 15, 2016

TV Time '79

If I couldn't be watching TV when I was a kid, the next best thing was reading about it.  I used to buy these books from Scholastic Publications which detailed new and continuing shows as well as interviewed the stars from them.  Kind of like their version of the TV Guide Fall Preview issue.

I've had the "TV 79" book since I bought it directly from Scholastic when I was a kid. I found the following book at a garage sale this past weekend and thought it was a competitor of the above, but on second glance, not only was it also published by Scholastic, it was written by the same person, Peggy Herz.

In fact, the catalog numbers are only off by one digit and a letter (TX 4494 and TK 4495).  "TV 79" is paperback sized while "TV Time '79" though also paperback, measures 7 1/2" x 5 1/2".

Both books share the same interviews with stars of new and old shows, but each has interviews unique to it. I've selected a few from "TV Time '79" based on what I would have watched back then.

While the interviews are the same in "TV 79", there are some different pictures:

I've probably mentioned this before, but "The Amazing Spider-man" TV show was one of my great television disappointments.  Being I was a comic book fan and particularly a Spider-man fan, I was ready for some comic-styled action and effects.  What I got was a bad costume (the costume on "The Electric Company" was better), no real super villains and poor green-screen effects along with awkwardly-staged physical stunts.

Below is the picture from "TV 79", just slightly different than the one used above  in "TV Time '79".

 Look ma, no wires...oh, there are?  Never mind.

 Additional picture from "TV 79"

Additional picture from "TV 79"

Joyce DeWitt's quote "We get so much mail from kids" reminded me how amazed I am that my mom let me watch "Three's Company" at age 11. Implied homosexuality combined with blatant heterosexuality all mashed together with two girls running around in nighties.  Joyce is right, I did watch it for the slapstick comedy, but I didn't have my eyes closed for the other scenes.

Additional picture from "TV 79"

The "Hardy Boys" started out as a good mystery show with some classic elements of the book series, but soon devolved into an entertainment vehicle for Shaun Cassidy with unlikely premises putting Shaun on stage singing "Da Do Ron Ron".  The interesting thing about the inclusion of this show is that it wasn't really on TV in '79.  It was cancelled in January of 1979.

Pamela Sue Martin played Nancy Drew in the first season of the series.  She was replaced by Janet Louise Johnson shown above.

Additional picture from "TV 79"

Additional picture from "TV 79"

For some reason, "TV Time '79" lumps "Mork & Mindy", "Project U.F.O." and "Battlestar Galactica" into one article.  "TV '79 has a separate article for "Mork & Mindy" and "Project U.F.O." but surprisingly nothing about "Battlestar Galactica".

Additional picture from "TV 79"

The odd thing about "Project U.F.O." is I remember it being called "Project Bluebook". There's even a post over on the space1970 blog that discusses the differences in people's memories about the title of the show. It concludes that the name was in fact "Project U.F.O.", but still I don't remember it that way.  The amount of comments on the post allude to other people feeling the same way. I contend it's one of those "Berenstain/Berenstein Bears" things.

Did you think that was the end?  Oh, no, my TV-loving friend.  Because while looking for my copy of "TV 79" I came across yet another book I found at a sale some time ago.

"TV Super Stars '79' was written by Ronald Lackmann and was published by Xerox who made a run in the '70's as a competitor to Scholastic.  This book is strictly interviews along with some vital statistics.  I've scanned some of my favorite '70's stars.  Excuse the blur, this book was pretty thick and didn't lend itself to scanning.

Why did I choose Shields and Yarnell?  Because you don't get more '70's than that.

Okay, now it's over.  Really. Enough time in front of the television.  Go out and get some fresh air.


  1. oooh some of my favorites and some of my not so favorites. I couldn't stand Three's Company. And sorry, Shaun Cassidy... nothing personal, but I prefer your half-brother David. But oh how I loved some of those shows. I was jealous as hell of Kristy McNichol. I wanted to be her.

  2. Wow - Such a TV time capsule! Awesome find. Going to post a link to this post on my retro TV tumblr blog! Love it. Thanks for sharing!

  3. i'm pretty certain i had the '79 book. it's super familiar, and i was a Scholastic obsessed kid. also, it was DEFINITELY "Project Bluebook"!

    1. >it was DEFINITELY "Project Bluebook"!
      Yes! Another vote for my side! Mandela Effect indeed!

    2. i'm serious! i had never heard of "Project UFO" until you mentioned it -- i remember it clearly at "Project Bluebook"!

      this is another piece of parallel universe crossover evidence akin to the "Berenstein Bears/Berenstain Bears" one!

    3. >this is another piece of parallel universe crossover evidence

  4. I love the vital statistic - like it is important to know how much any of these people weighed!


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