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7/7/77 @ 7pm

7 Jul

Today is the 34th wedding anniversary of Mr. & Mrs. Dick Clark.

Dick Clark on set in the 1970s during a taping of "The $10,000 Pyramid."


As I recall, the third Mrs. Clark (the former Kari Wigton) wanted to be certain her husband would never forget their anniversary so she made it very easy for him to remember. They were married on 7/7/77 at 7pm. 

Happy Anniversary Dick and Kari.


2 Apr

33 years ago tonight, on Sunday, April 2, 1978, the prime-time soap opera “Dallas” premiered on CBS. And just like the daytime soaps, this one had love, hate, greed, and sex. Lots of sex.

The real Southfork Ranch in Parker, Texas, 1994.

TV viewers got a spring preview of “Dallas” when it first hit the airwaves at the end of the 1977-78 season. And while it attracted an audience its ratings didn’t crack the Top 30 until the 1979-80 season when it was the 6th highest rated show. The following two seasons it was TV’s number 1 show. All told it was in the Top 2 for five straight seasons and stayed in the Top 30 through the 1988-89 season. It was quite a ride.

The "Ewing Mansion" at the real Southfork Ranch, 1994.

Dallas” told the story of the wealthy Ewing family: Texas oil tycoons with huge appetites for money, power, and trouble. The Patriarch was Jock Ewing played by Jim Davis. His wife, Miss Ellie was portrayed by Barbara Bel Geddes. The couple had three adult sons, but the series focused on just two of them: the oldest and the youngest.

Sign posted at the real Southfork Ranch in Parker, Texas, 1994.

J.R. Ewing (the oldest son) was evil incarnate. As played by Larry Hagman, J.R. became one of TV’s greatest villains ever. Patrick Duffy, on the other hand, had the role of youngest son Bobby, the nice guy. But he was the nice guy who married the daughter of his father’s former business partner and rival. Bobby’s wife Pamela Barnes Ewing was portrayed by Victoria Principal, while Linda Gray appeared as J.R.’s wife Sue Ellen Ewing.

This writer (on left) with “Pal Joey” at the real Southfork Ranch, 1994.

Although old-time movie serials were known for their cliffhangers, “Dallas” has been credited with bringing the cliffhanger to TV. In the last episode of the 1979-80 season J.R. Ewing was shot, leaving viewers to wait until the fall to find out his fate and the identity of the gunman. Because of a strike by the Screen Actors Guild that wait lasted from March until November. But in that time the phrase, “Who shot J.R.?” was on the lips of millions of Americans. So who did shoot J.R.? I’m not telling.

This writer’s friend, “Pal Joey,” relaxing in the garden at the real Southfork Ranch in Parker, Texas, 1994.

The photos accompanying this post were taken at the actual Southfork Ranch in Parker, Texas, just northeast of Dallas. While the series itself was shot at studios in California, exterior scenes were filmed here. By 1985, as visitors continued to flock to the ranch, the owners moved out and Southfork became strictly a tourist attraction. Today it’s open daily for guided tours of the ranch and the “Ewing Mansion.”

Dallas” ran for 13 seasons, until May 1991, and left an indelible mark on the TV landscape.

“Pal Joey” enjoying the view J.R. would have enjoyed, at the real Southfork Ranch, 1994.


14 Nov


William Hurt as former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, November 14, 2010

Today, the Midwood section of Brooklyn once again returned to its roots as the original Hollywood. The HBO drama, “Too Big to Fail” (about the recent financial crisis) was filming at JC Studios. A portion of the studio goes back to around 1930 when it was built by Warner Bros. NBC bought it in the early 1950s and it remained an NBC studio for nearly 50 years.

Paul Giamatti on set as Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, November 14, 2010

 Among those filming at the studio today were Oscar-winning actor William Hurt (top), who portrays former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson. Paul Giamatti as Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke can be seen entering the makeup trailer (above).

Cynthia Nixon as Paulson's former spokeswoman Michele Davis, November 14, 2010

Actress Cynthia Nixon (above) portrays Paulson’s former spokeswoman Michele Davis. And dressed as current Treasury Secretary Timothy Geitner is Billy Crudup (below) seen heading into the studio. 

Billy Crudup on set as Treasury Secretary Timothy Geitner, November 14, 2010

Other cast members are reported to be Ed Asner, James Woods, Tony Shalhoub, and Dan Hedaya.

©Photos by Mike Wright

Brooklyn Blue Bloods

19 Oct

The set of "Blue Bloods" on Rugby Rd in Brooklyn, NY. October 19, 2010

The new Tom Selleck cop drama “Blue Bloods” was filming in Brooklyn, NY today. Cast and crew were using an old Victorian home on Rugby Road in the borough’s Ditmas Park section. Our “RaisedByTV” cameras  caught co-star Donnie Wahlberg saying hello to fans in the neighborhood.

Donnie Wahlberg greeting fans on the Brooklyn set of "Blue Bloods." October 19, 2010.

In one photo you see an N.Y.P.D. squad car that doesn’t look like part of the show. The proof is written on the side of the car. New York City has no 12th Precinct.

An N.Y.P.D. squad car used for films and TV on the Brooklyn set of "Blue Bloods," October 19, 2010. New York City has no 12th Precinct.

The CBS show airs Friday nights at 10:00pm/9:00pm Central Time.

Donnie Wahlberg waving goodbye to fans in Brooklyn, NY, October 19, 2010.

©Photos by Mike Wright

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