Showing posts with label TV. Show all posts
Showing posts with label TV. Show all posts

Classic Christmas TV Guide For 2022

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Thanksgiving is arriving soon, and as we prepare the turkey, we turn our attention toward our annual Christmas and holiday television specials!  

You've had the nonstop Hallmark movies for what seems like forever already, but it's time for the yearly classics that get us all in that festive Christmas spirit!  

I wanted to get this posted before Thanksgiving to give you a heads up for some of those classics like Planes, Trains, and Automobiles for turkey day... or the annual showing of The Wizard of Oz or March of the Wooden Soldiers on Thanksgiving Day.

Here is a list of what I consider the best of the holiday season.  I'm adding the list here as a regular post, but from now on you'll find it on the right side of the page as well (or below the weekly articles if your using a mobile browser!) Or feel free to bookmark this page and keep checking back!   

Obviously, this schedule is subject to change, but as of writing...

Here is The YesterYear Retro Christmas Classics TV Guide for 2022!

Items Of Note:
Charlie Brown's Christmas will not air on network TV again this year.  It will only be available on Apple TV+ but will be made available free to non-subscribers from Dec 22 to December 25.

FreeForms "25 Days of Christmas" begins on December 1st!  Between Halloween and Christmas, Freeform easily has some of my favorite marathons!

"The Wizard of Oz" airs on TBS on Thanksgiving Day, Nov 24 at 6:00PM and Nov 25 at 5:45PM.

"It's a Wonderful Life" airs as a marathon on E! on Friday, Nov 25th and on Christmas Eve on NBC at 8PM.

"A Christmas Story" marathon returns to both TBS *AND* TNT this year! It begins at 8 PM on TBS and 9 PM on TNT on Christmas Eve. Final showings air at 6 PM on Christmas Day on TBS and 7 PM on TNT.

I've highlighted the first showings of movies in RED that are what I consider "must-watch at least once" films this season.  Some are repeated so much that the whole list would be red, so I highlighted them only on their first showing, but of course watch when you can!  If you feel something should be red that I didn't consider, please leave a comment below!  I'd love to hear about your annual required viewing.  

I also BOLDED some of the more "can't miss" items, such as the once-a-year airings of Wizard of Oz or It's a Wonderful Life. 

All times listed are Eastern. 

Thanksgiving on Frasier

Monday, November 21, 2022

As we discovered in the "Halloween on Frasier" feature, the series didn't focus much on holidays.  That should come as no surprise, as Frasier wasn't your everyday sitcom that featured an "average working-class American family" like Full House or Home Improvement.  

Thanksgiving is a time when most sitcoms highlight family and togetherness.  Where most families celebrate with a large family dinner complete with all of the trimmings, jokes, laughter, and family squabbles, the idea of that is almost the antithesis of Frasier.  As a series, Frasier focused more on the absurdity of life's finer things while still portraying the differences among family members.  While Frasier (the character), living with his father and being best friends with his brother, certainly loved his family, the show Frasier often focused on the affluent urban life of parties, dinners, and private clubs.  Compared to shows like Roseanne that featured the "everyday" aspects of a typical suburban middle-America family, a sitcom show like Frasier is often not considered in the same category.  

This was always sort of funny to me.  While Frasier may have been a bit "elitist," at its heart, the entire family was, deep down, all blue-collar folk attempting to fit in as best they could with the upper class of Seattle.  Martin was as down to earth as you can get, being a retired policeman who would rather spend his time at Duke's, his favorite dive bar.  Pair that with Frasier and Niles trying to weasel their way into elite social circles while still acting like buffoons puts them in everyday familiar sitcom family territory, in my opinion.  

Frasier may not have gone all out for Thanksgiving like Roseanne did every season, but they touched on the holiday twice during eleven seasons.  Like Halloween, Thanksgiving served as more of a backdrop for each episode than the central focus.  It also took the series four years to mention the holiday and another three before mentioning it again. 

Continuing the "Holidays on Frasier" series, we'll look back and see how they briefly touched on the Thanksgiving season.  I must admit that, much like Halloween, one episode stood out to me even before considering Frasier for this year's series.  I strongly remember watching one of the two Thanksgiving episodes with my parents when it first aired.  I'm not exactly sure why; perhaps it was one of the first times I remember seeing Lilith, Frasier's ex-wife, or maybe it was another "travel" episode as the cast left Seattle and headed east for Boston.  I also can remember the roaring laughter from my entire family as Niles attempts to prepare the Thanksgiving meal.  For whatever reason, this episode is so memorable that I can still picture where I was seated in my parent's living room as we watched this episode, and I'm happy to cover it here.  

Get ready for some eloquent, upper-crust, loving family dysfunction as we look back at "Thanksgiving on Frasier!"

Halloween On Frasier

Monday, October 31, 2022

Suppose you were to watch a sitcom from the 90s that depicted a holiday, especially Halloween.  In that case, you'd likely see great, elaborate costumes on the characters as they attend heavily decorated house parties filled with Halloween spirit.  The houses would be filled with cobwebs, pumpkins, skeletons, witches, black cats, and more.  Halloween was considered a special event on those shows, and it's how I feel that Halloween should have been in real life.

Given how much we all watched television as kids, many of us collectively feel that's how it really happened anyway.  

Honestly, though, we all had homemade costumes cobbled together at nearly the last minute or the very rare store-bought outfit.  We’d collect a small amount of candy and call it a night after hitting the 15 houses on our block before returning home to watch those Halloween specials we now all cherish.  

Don’t get me wrong, I had many fun Halloweens on which I look back fondly.  Especially that one year my parents got the itch and had a Halloween party with all of the kids from school.  My Mom came up with games and activities, and Dad made this elaborate haunted house in the garage that everyone loved.  They never did that again, and in a way, that makes that one time even more special.

Sitcoms in the 80s and 90s got the holidays right, and that's why for the past two years, I've covered classic sitcoms and their special holiday episodes.  You can find the series on Home Improvement and Roseanne in the Collections Section whenever you want, or click HERE for HOME IMPROVEMENT or HERE for ROSEANNE

This year, I've selected another classic sitcom of the 90s that my family always enjoyed watching together:  Frasier!  

Now, I know when you think of Frasier, Halloween doesn't immediately come to mind, especially when compared to Roseanne or Home Improvement.  However, there were a handful of memorable episodes that celebrated the season and even one that is often described as "iconic" or "classic" that makes many people's "Top 5" episode lists.

With the recent news of the Frasier "reboot" sequel series being greenlit on Paramount Plus, I thought the original series would be an excellent choice for our focus this year in the "Holidays On..." series.

Frasier was created as a spin-off of the classic sitcom Cheers, continuing the story of psychiatrist Frasier Crane, played by Kelsey Grammer.  He returns to his hometown of Seattle as a talk radio host, where he reconnects with his father (John Mahoney) and his younger brother, Niles (David Hyde Pierce).  Jane Leeves appeared as Daphne Moon, Martin's live-in caregiver, and Peri Gilpin played Frasier's friend and producer, Roz Doyle. 

Frasier aired on NBC between September 1993 to May 1994.  Originally airing after Seinfeld on Thursdays at 9:30 PM, the network showed its faith in the series by moving the show to Tuesdays to go head-to-head with rating juggernaut Roseanne.  In 1998, the show was moved back to Thursdays, taking over the timeslot at 9 PM long held by the recently concluded Seinfeld. 

The show produced 264 episodes over eleven seasons, receiving critical acclaim for its writing and humor.  The series amassed 318 nominations for a variety of industry awards, including 108 Emmy awards (with 37 wins), 24 Golden Globe Awards (with two wins), 26 Screen Actors Guild Awards (with 2 wins), 11 TCA Awards (with five wins), 9 Writers Guild of America awards (with six wins), and 9 Directors Guild of America awards (with two wins).

My Mom and Dad were big fans of Frasier, and I frequently watched along with them.  I didn't understand most of the humor as a younger kid, but I enjoyed laughing with my parents.  One episode, in particular, involved Niles pre-dialing "9-1-1" into his cellphone and was just waiting to hit send while he, Frasier, and Martin sat in their car in a sketchy neighborhood.  We were practically rolling at that scene, and it was one of several times Granny could hear us from next door.

I didn't start watching Frasier seriously until much later in life.  When The Hallmark Channel began airing Frasier later at right, for some time, it was all my wife and I watched as we headed to bed.

Frasier is often called "high brow" because its titular character frequently discusses things like wine and the opera.  Still, one just has to watch a handful of episodes to see that it contains slapstick and plenty of childish "low-brow" humor.  Much like its predecessor, Cheers, Frasier often used tongue-in-cheek humor filled with double entendres that appealed to high and low-brow audiences.  

Like in our previous look-backs at other sitcoms, not every episode at the end of October covered, or even mentioned, Halloween.  As a matter of fact, only three episodes in the eleven-season series centered around the Halloween holiday.  

Get ready because here's a quick look at those three Frasier Halloween episodes.  

Fair warning, even though it's been nearly 30 years, there are spoilers below:

Retro Scans: TV Guide 1996 Fall TV Preview

Monday, September 12, 2022

Fall may not have officially started yet, but with Labor Day and the unofficial end to summer firmly in our rearview mirror, many of us are thinking of cooler weather and our favorite fall activities.

For the longest time, Fall, and specifically September, often meant a new slate of TV shows and an exciting amount of new programming.  

Growing up in the 90s, I can remember the excitement of the new crop of television programs and the immense amount of advertising these broadcasting companies put into them.  

For me, diving into a fresh Fall television lineup was akin to waiting to see who the New York Rangers would trade on Deadline Day or the excitement of the wheeling and dealing during Silly Season in NASCAR.  

As I poured over the TV listings, it was always exciting to ask myself questions like which of the new series would flop and get canceled.  Who would survive until the end of the season?  Will they get renewed?  Which new show will be the next big thing and launch the actors into megastardom?   

Today... not so much.  There is much less risk with new series and often networks will run the course with a sure thing or cancel it before production.  

That's not just for television, too.  Sports free agent markets have changed so much in recent years thanks to large contracts, corporate input, and salary caps.  Things don't just seem as much fun as they once were.

I can write paragraphs about how streaming services have diversified the viewing landscape.  I could also go on about the lack of "seasons" on television anymore, but that's an entirely different discussion for another time.

As we knew it back then, the fall schedule consisted of new television series paired with returning favorites packaged into a giant media frenzy and advertising campaign launched at the end of August.  The shows would begin their season in September and run through December, taking a hiatus during the holiday weeks when viewership declines.   A "midseason" premier would occur in January and historically run through mid to late May.

Recently, several networks have staggered the new and returning shows without necessarily following the standard fall and spring schedules.  In 2008, NBC was the first to make it official, claiming they'd follow the "52-week television season" with fewer episodes than the current standard.  

For comparison, back in the 1950s, I Love Lucy aired 35 episodes from September through May.  In the 90s, Seinfeld ran 24 episodes from September through May.  But in 2022, Better Call Saul ran only 7 episodes during April and May, followed by a two-month break, before finishing the season (and series) with only 6 more episodes. 

This reduced number of episodes leads to changes in presentation and storytelling, of course.  One would argue that the shows are much more like "mini-films" these days, and you'd be right to some extent.  Rising production costs, increased actor salaries, and reduced advertising budgets created by declining audiences have led to the need to shorten television seasons.  

The audience's desire to binge-watch a series on a streaming platform also reduces the number of episodes per season.  When I Love Lucy aired 35 episodes in a single season, they did so by producing them one week at a time.  When a series is placed on streaming platforms to be watched all at once, all episodes must be filmed all at once, requiring a more extended production schedule.  Many streaming platforms are now following Disney Plus' lead and are getting away from the Netflix style of "dropping an entire season at once" and returning to the standard weekly episodic model.  

You can also consider audience attention span and viewing fatigue as contributing factors.  Today's viewers need a constant "new-ness"; otherwise, a show will wear out quickly.  Today's audience has a more discerning palate, it seems.  

Speaking of advertising budgets, did you know the original reason that the Fall Premier season is a big deal is that it was created to help automobile manufacturers promote the new car lineup for the coming year?   

The more you know... (cue the shooting star). 

In the 90s, an old Seinfeld rerun could earn 20 million viewers.  Today, a "hit" streaming show on Netflix or Amazon may be considered a "massive success" with only a few hundred thousand views, as long as it gets social media buzz to drum up online ad sales.  

With limited time this week, and after working on my "Retro Museum" at home, I came across a copy of an old TV Guide from 1996 I had aquired many years ago that highlighted the new Fall Season.  

Some of the shows featured in the following pages I remember fondly.  Some I had long forgotten, and some I don't remember whatsoever.  I scanned some excerpts, along with a handful of fun advertisements that piqued my interest.  

Look through the scans below and enjoy your own stroll down memory lane.  Do you remember any of these shows?  Did you watch any of them faithfully, only to be disappointed when they were canceled?  

Let me know in the comments section, or drop me a line!  

You can find the "Drop Me a Line" box on the right side of your screen if you are using a laptop or desktop computer.  You can find it on a tablet or phone below the posts towards the bottom of the page.  

Or, you can always just click on the little envelope in the top right corner and send me an email!  

15 Totally Awesome 90s Infomercial Products

Monday, May 16, 2022

I think it's been pretty well established that I think of the 90s as the best decade.  I think it's also been pretty well established that I watched A LOT of television during that time.  As a matter of fact, I'm pretty sure we all did.  After all, what else did we have to do?  The internet was in its infancy.  It was slow and expensive, and not everyone had in-home access yet.  So, we watched television during our free time more in the 90s than we do today.  

Back to the earliest point I can remember, cable only had a handful of channels.  It's expanded over the years, but there wasn't much to watch on television back then, even with the few channels we had.   

And to make matters worse?  We couldn't fast forward through the commercials!  

Yes, kids... without the benefits of digitized cable, DVRs, or streaming, we couldn't skip past them with the press of a button.  I remember my Dad would record something on the VCR, and we'd excitedly fast forward through the commercials. Still, recording was a pain, and the already poor television-quality was often reduced by the VHS tape that had been recorded over four hundred times already.  

Commercials were a large part of the 90s.  Some of them became pop culture moments that had the whole nation talking.  Water cooler conversation often quoted or repeated jingles and phrases from these now-iconic commercials from the 90s.  I even have an entire series on this site dedicated to some of my favorite Commercials of YesterYear, which you can check out in the Collections section (with more on the way!) 

Remember the countless Ten-Ten-Two-Twenty or Star Six-Nine phone company commercials?  The Budweiser Wasssssup guys, or Bob Wehadababyitsaboy from Geico Direct Collect Calls?  The Taco Bell dog or the Bud Ice Penguin (Doobie Doobie Doo)?  Those were significant 90s commercials that shaped popular culture, and you remember them today because of their impact from back then.  How many commercials from today will you remember in 20 years?  Not many, I'd wager.

Back in what the kids call the day, television stations would frequently not have enough programming to air a full 24 hours.  The late-night hours became home to crazy, sometimes hours long, commercials selling the strangest products and services.  Occasionally, you'd find a shortened minute-long version of these infomercials during the day that aired so frequently you could recite them in your sleep.

I remember the commercials often had crazy gimmicks that were probably illegal, if not just downright deceptive.  They'd have counters on the screen showing the number of callers or the number of items sold, much like modern-day QVC, which could not possibly have an accurate count with a commercial airing at random times.  Or the "call within the next two minutes" with a clock counting down as if you waited three minutes, you'd miss out on the deal.  If I hadn't been a naive kid who believed everything on TV, I probably would have noticed the clocks and counters were the same every time.

Sometimes, though, we'd get hours of infomercials on a lazy weekend afternoon between the morning kid's cartoons and the evening movies.  Often referred politely to as "Paid Programming," these infomercials were selling all sorts of stuff.  Food processors, golf clubs, chef-quality knives... the list goes on.  As a matter of fact, as I type this, I'm in a hotel room watching "Paid Programming" for a leaf blower.  

This paid programming on weekend afternoons was mostly on the type of channels I loved, like WPIX, FOX 5 NY, and UPN.  These stations relied heavily on syndication and films to fill up their schedule, and it was there that I watched countless hours of infomercials while waiting for the Saturday Afternoon Movie.  These channels are responsible for stuffing my mind full of catchphrases and sales pitches for junk I never knew I needed.

In the mid-2000s, infomercials and product slinging became so mainstream that pitchman Billy Mays (of OxyClean, KaBoom, and Orange Glo cleaner fame) launched a competition game show with fellow salesman Anthony Sullivan on the Discovery Channel called "Pitch Man."  This was also the period that "Slap Chop," "Snuggie Blanket," and "Sham-Wow" became very popular commercials.

Commercials slowly got out of control over the years, and as more and more people began tuning them out, companies started finding ways to catch your attention.  Eventually, they cranked up the volume during commercial breaks to keep your interest.  After a while, the volume changes were so significant that we were all getting ready to hit the mute button the second our regular programming went to break.  

In 2009, the CALM (Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation) Act was introduced and passed to marginal success.  On May 10, 2022, the author of the original CALM act, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, introduced the CALM Modernization Act, including streaming services.  That bill has not yet been passed into law.  

As our viewing habits have changed, so have commercials.  Rarely is there one that we even remember today.  Certainly, none that we discuss around whatever the modern version of the water cooler is.  There are no jingles or catchphrases, no "hey, have you seen the commercial for..." yet.  Mostly today's ads are just pharmaceuticals and other programs already on the network.  

Like many things, it just seems like it was better "back when."  That's why we nostalgia nerds love to discuss these things, and I, as the writer on this site, like to document them.  I know I've forgotten way more than I'll ever remember, and hopefully, in reading this, you too will spark a memory of where you were, or who you were with when you watched these commercials.  

Maybe you even succumbed to the advertising and purchased the product!  Did you?  Let me know in the comments, or drop me a line (on the right if you're viewing on a desktop or below on a mobile device) to let me know! 

Please click "Keep Reading" to view the list of 15 Totally Awesome 90s Infomercial Products! 

Christmas Classics TV Schedule for 2021

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Thanksgiving is here, and as the turkey cooks in the oven, we turn toward our annual Christmas television specials! You've had the nonstop Hallmark movies for over a month now, but it's time for the yearly classics that get us all in the festive Christmas spirit!

Here is a list of what I consider the best of the best of the holiday season.  Bookmark this page so you can come back time and time again to make sure your DVR is up to date!  If you don't bookmark it, you can find it on the right side of desktop browsers and below the articles on mobile.

Obviously, this schedule is subject to change, but as of writing, here is:

The YesterYear Retro Christmas Classics TV Schedule for 2021!

Items Of Note


After all of the hubbub last year that "A Charlie Brown Christmas" was not on ABC for the first time in decades (it was available via Apple TV), this year, you can find the classic special on PBS on Sunday December 19, at 7:30PM ET.  

FreeForms "25 Days of Christmas" begins on December 1st!  

"The Wizard of Oz" airs on TBS on Thanksgiving Day, Nov 25 at 7:45PM and Nov 26 at 12:00PM.

"It's a Wonderful Life" airs on December 4 on NBC at 8PM and again on Christmas Eve on NBC at 8PM.

"A Christmas Story" marathon returns to both TBS *AND* TNT this year! It begins at 8 PM on TBS and 9 PM on TNT on Christmas Eve. Final showings air at 6 PM on Christmas Day on TBS and 7 PM on TNT.

Halloween on Roseanne

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

1990's Sitcom television's version of Halloween depicts how I feel Halloween should have been in real life.  Dressed up in cool costumes, the characters on the show attended heavily decorated Halloween house parties and were just so filled with Halloween spirit.  Cobwebs, pumpkins, skeletons, witches, and black cats were more than just a backdrop on our favorite sitcoms.  Halloween was *special* on those shows.  

Last year, I chronicled the holiday episodes of my family's favorite sitcom when I was growing up, "Home Improvement."  Please CLICK HERE to go back and read last year's "Halloween on Home Improvement" feature.

This year, let's cover the self-described (apologies to Elvira) "Queen of Halloween" and star of the sitcom that arguably had the most Halloween spirit, Roseanne Barr, and her show "Roseanne."

I didn't start watching "Roseanne" until I was much older, but there's no arguing that she and her show's writers took Halloween and the end-of-year holidays seriously.  

"Roseanne" was a family-oriented, yet adult-skewing, comedy that ran on ABC from 1988 to 1997 for a total of 222 episodes.  In 2016, the show was briefly revived with 9 new episodes before being canceled.  It was reborn "The Conners," without the star of the show, Roseanne.

For the uninitiated, the "Roseanne" series focused on a fictional blue-collar, working-class family in the fictional suburban town of Langford, Illinois.  The show, and its namesake star Roseanne, were heavily praised for their realistic portrayal of a working-class family in early 90s America.  Roseanne, both the series and the human being, also received immense praise and adulation for being progressive, groundbreaking, and for not being afraid to push the boundaries of social norms.

"Roseanne" was so popular it became number one in the Neilsen ratings only a few episodes into the second season.  In 2002, "Roseanne" was ranked number 35 on TV Guide's "50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time" list, and a decade later, in 2013, TV Guide ranked it 32. 

Like what we found with "Home Improvement" last year, the Halloween-themed episode tradition didn't begin until Season 2.  The focus on the holiday was stronger some years rather than others, but millions of viewers tuned in each October to see how the Conner family celebrated the spooky holiday!  Each year was filled with incredible costumes, great decorations, elaborate pranks, and the occasional classic horror film homage.

Here's a look back at the Roseanne Halloween episodes in chronological order.  Fair warning, even though it's been nearly 30 years, there are spoilers below:

Ten Sitcom Characters That Just Disappeared

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Growing up during the (late) 80s and 90s, I was a big sitcom fan.  

Back then, the theme song would hit, and we'd all sing along as we knew that good, albeit predictable, laughs, stories, and life lessons would be coming our way.  A safe, family-friendly half-hour of entertainment made for the comfort food of television as we grew up.  

I'll admit, these days, I don't really watch sitcoms.  I find today's offerings to be bland and boring.  Maybe I'm older and a little more cynical now, or network television has become too... safe?  You certainly can't imagine a show like "All in the Family" or even "Seinfeld" being produced today. 

One of the biggest differences I find in today's sitcoms is you'd be hard-pressed to find one today that in 20 or 30 years would be considered a classic.  Take sitcoms of the 80s and 90s with shows like "The Golden Girls," "Seinfeld," or "Friends."  Today's shows can't hold a candle to them in terms of longevity or rewatchability. If you go back even further, there is an endless stream of classics like "I Love Lucy," "Taxi," or "Newhart" that established the genre and set the bar quite high.  These shows were groundbreaking in their day and still have very active fan bases, in some cases 60 years later.

As a real youngster, my Dad got me hooked on Nick-at-Nite.  You can read about that HERE.  As I got older, programming blocks like ABC's "TGIF," NBC's "Must See TV," and ABC's programming like Home Improvement or Roseanne became mainstays on my television.

Over the years, I began to notice characters that came and went.  Sometimes, the characters have disappeared without a trace. 

Here are ten of the most memorable instances of sitcom characters that just disappeared. Did you miss any of these characters when they left? Did you even notice? 

Here's a list of ten, in no particular order.

Scorch: The Short Lived Show About a Dragon

Friday, January 15, 2021

Thousands, possibly even millions, of television shows have come and gone throughout the years.  Even today, with hundreds of channels on cable and many different streaming services on-line, most series are lucky to make it to completion of their first season, let alone achieve syndication status after multiple successful seasons.  Most shows don't even make it past the network executive office, let alone get greenlit for production once the pilot episode is filmed.  For some lucky shows, they make it past the boardroom, past the pilot episode, and on to the regular schedule but get cut off after only a handful of episodes. 

That was the case with 1992's "Scorch" which aired on Friday's at 8PM on CBS for all of 3 episodes before being replaced with reruns of "Rescue 911."

"Scorch" is a series I often think about "what could have been."  I really loved that show back in 1992.

Retro Scans: 1992 Saved by the Bell TV Photo Cards Foil Pack

Sunday, January 3, 2021

"Saved by the Bell" was one of my favorite shows growing up.  If you read my recent article that was featured here and over on The Retro Network about "Saved by the Bell" and the disappearance of Kelly and Jessie during the final season (which you can read HERE), then you'd know just how big of a fan I was.  Still am, to be honest.

The New Year brings many things for my wife and I to watch, among them the new release of Saved by the Bell on NBC's new streaming platform called Peacock.  The pilot episode of the new reboot of the series was funny enough to get my wife, and I interested in watching, and we're slowly but surely working our way through it.  

I actually scanned these cards in February of 2020 while waiting for Lauren to go into labor with our daughter and never got around to posting them.  What better way to kick off 2021 than joining in on all of the SBTB nostalgia going on these days than posting them now?!  

Please enjoy these scans without any further ado as we flashback to 1992 and hang out at the Max with the gang from Bayside High with a Saved by the Bell TV Photo Cards Foil Pack.  

SBTB: Where did Kelly and Jessie go?

Saturday, November 14, 2020

On November 25th, a new version of "Saved by the Bell" debuts on the NBC streaming service Peacock. In this new version, California Governor Zack Morris poorly plans the state budget and is forced to close many low-income high schools. The state begins relocating those students to the highest-performing schools in the state, including Bayside High. Mario Lopez, Elizabeth Berkley, Tiffani Amber Thiessen, Mark-Paul Gosselaar, and Lark Voorhies have signed on to reprise their previous roles. To coincide with the new streaming version's release, a new podcast titled "Zack to the Future," with Mark-Paul Gosselaar, debuted.  With the new show's impending debut, one can feel an overall renewed sense of enthusiasm for the original.

The original "Saved by The Bell" itself was a retooled version of a Disney Channel show "Good Morning, Miss Bliss." The initial run of "Saved by the Bell" was from August of 1989 to May of 1993, where we followed a cast of teenagers living in Pacific Palisades, California, who attended Bayside High School. The show was a lighthearted look at their life, relationships, teenage angst and occasionally touch on serious social issues as the sitcoms of its time were known to do. Drug use, drunk driving, homelessness, divorce and remarriage, death, women's rights, and more were often lightly touched upon to teach the viewing audience right from wrong.

When the show went off the air in 1993, it created two spin-offs: "The College Years" (93-94) and "The New Class." (93-00) During the tenure of the original show, they created a 'Made for TV' movie "Saved by the Bell: Hawaiian Style" in 1992, and another in 1994 to cap off "The College Years" with the television movie "Saved by the Bell: Wedding in Las Vegas."
Like most kids of the 80s and 90s, I was a huge "Saved by the Bell" fan. I can also clearly say that like most red-blooded American males that age, my first crush was Kelly Kapowski. "Saved by the Bell" was always on channels like TBS in the mornings and after school, but as I've come to find out, many people are surprised to learn it was a Saturday morning kid's show on NBC.

Christmas Classics TV Schedule for 2020

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Haul out the holly! Put out the tree before my spirit falls again... it's time for Christmas television! Of course, you have the Hallmark and Lifetime channels with nonstop 24/7 Christmas... but what about the other Christmas classics?  

Well, here is a list of what I consider the best of the best. Obviously, this schedule is subject to change, but as of writing, here it is!

The YesterYear Retro Christmas Classics TV Schedule for 2020!

Items Of Note


"A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving" will NOT air on television this year but will be FREE on Apple TV from November 25th through November 27th. The same goes for "A Charlie Brown Christmas," which will be available FREE on Apple TV from December 11th through December 13th.

FreeForms "25 Days of Christmas" begins on December 1st!

"A White Christmas" starring Bing Crosby and Danny Faye will air late at night at 2:30 AM on AMC on the night of December 3rd or the morning of December 4th, depending on how you look at it. The actual date is December 4th at 2:30 AM.

"The Wizard of Oz" airs on TBS on Sunday, November 22nd, at 8 PM and 10 PM.

"It's a Wonderful Life" airs on Christmas Eve on NBC at 8 PM.

"A Christmas Story" marathon returns to both TBS *AND* TNT this year! It begins at 8 PM on TBS and 9 PM on TNT on Christmas Eve. Final showings air on Ch4at 6 PM on Christmas Day on TBS and 7 PM on TNT.

Halloween on Home Improvement

Monday, October 19, 2020

When I think back on my childhood, the sitcoms of the 1990s depict how I feel Halloweens should have been.  Everyone was dressed in cool Halloween costumes and attended parties with elaborately decorated houses full of cobwebs, pumpkins, skeletons, and witches.  They all played Halloween tricks on each other, and it was a laugh-a-minute.  

To be honest, though, we had homemade costumes cobbled together at the last minute with the occasionally storebought rubber mask or items like a sword or clown wig.  We'd collect a small amount of candy and call it a night after hitting the 12 houses in my neighborhood before returning home to watch those Halloween parties on television.  

When I was in the 8th grade, I realized about a year too late that I was too old to be out trick or treating.  I'll never forget the look of disgust on the faces of the adults that answered that first door as we, with no costume whatsoever, held out our pillowcases expecting candy.  That was enough for me, and I returned home and turned on my faithful Halloween sitcoms.  Slightly embarrassed, I'd rather live in TV land for awhile. 

Don't get me wrong, I had many fun Halloweens that I cherish.  Especially that one year my parents got the itch and had a Halloween party with all of the kids from school.  My Dad made this elaborate haunted house in the garage that everyone loved and made me the star at school for a few days.  They never did that again and, in a way, makes it even more special.

In the 90s, most shows celebrated Halloween in some way.  However, two shows went all out every year:  "Roseanne" and "Home Improvement."  I didn't watch Roseanne until much later, but Home Improvement was appointment television for my family each week.  

It was the one show we all watched together, and if we weren't going to be home, my Dad spent the approximately 37 minutes it took to set the VCR to record before leaving the house. My Dad is very handy, well-skilled with power tools, and always watched Bob Villa and This Old House, so naturally, he liked the show.  My parents were pretty strict about television content back then, so "Home Improvement" was wholesome family entertainment in their eyes. 

A Salute to "Salute Your Shorts"

Monday, August 3, 2020

Camp Ana-wanna, we hold you in our hearts…

As August begins and the summer heat builds to its peak, I find myself reflecting on the summers of my youth.  I never went to a REAL summer camp, but it's something I always thought I might enjoy.

But, who am I kidding?  I was a pretty lazy kid who enjoyed playing NHL Blades of Steel on Nintendo or surfing the pro wrestling "BBs" on Prodigy all night.  I've also never liked to be away from home for too long.  But the THOUGHT of summer camp seemed incredible to me as a kid.  Sports, activities, the outdoors, pine trees and lakes, new friends, girls, you name it. I always thought it would have been legendary.

I played ice hockey from kindergarten through college, and the only summer camp I ever went to was an annual week-long training camp in Boston.  It was full of good memories and fun times, but, after an early morning on-ice session, mid-day calisthenics, an afternoon two-mile run, and an evening on-ice session, I was too exhausted at the end of the week to enjoy myself.

What did I do during my summers when my neighbor, the only kid my age around, went to day camp? Watch Nickelodeon, of course!  Side note:  does anyone else remember the Weinerville or Stick Stickley programming from the 90s?  Anyway, back on topic, one of the few shows that could make me come in from playing outside was "Salute Your Shorts."

My family would spend two weeks in August with our extended family renting cabins around a lake in Maine every year.  When I was about 12, my Dad began letting me take our boat out by myself.  Across the lake was a sleepaway camp tucked into the woods, and I would sail around in the late afternoons, imagining that as I motored past Camp Hawthorne, I'd find Ug, Budnick, Donkey Lips, and the gang.

SBTB: The College Years Thanksgiving Special

Friday, November 8, 2019

When I think back to my childhood, holidays are often the fondest of my memories of yesteryear.  Nothing beats Christmas as a child but a close second was when the whole family got together at Thanksgiving and enjoyed good food and fellowship.  Before and after the meal we'd all gather around the TV watching many memorable events like the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Parade and the often forgettable football games.  The Laurel and Hardy classic March of the Wooden Soldiers was (and still is) a holiday staple in my house.

Forgotten to many, though, is the Thanksgiving episode of Saved by the Bell: The College Years.  Many shows of yesteryear would celebrate the holidays with special episodes and it's something I feel is missing today.  However, this College Years episode is something that always sticks out in my mind when I think of Thanksgiving programming.