The MediaLog MediaFix: NBC Fall 1967 Morning Shows

This minute-long NBC promo highlights the network's fall 1967 weekday programming.  These, of course, were the now long-lost days when networks programmed this time period themselves (rather than allowing affiliates to run syndicated fare, as happens now), and for the most part the networks filled the mornings with game shows and occasional light variety.

Featured in this promo are "Snap Judgment" with host Ed McMahon (in this period working the morning and late-night shifts for NBC); "Concentration" with host Hugh Downs (ballyhooed as the network's longest running game show); "The Pat Boone Show," a rather obscure and presumably short-lived variety half-hour starring the pop singer; "The Hollywood Squares," the long-running (and oft-revived) celebrity-centered game show that was near the beginning of its TV life; "Jeopardy" (in its original Art Fleming-hosted incarnation); and "Eye Guess," another fairly obscure show, one of the many game shows hosted by Bill Cullen.

This promo is a delight to watch, partially because its difficult to imagine any network running such a clip now (at least without intended irony).  Multiple images--some stylized drawings, some stylized photos of the hosts of the various shows--cascade in kaleidoscopic fashion across a 3x3 grid of squares that resembles the playing board for the aforementioned "Hollywood Squares."  Accompanying the images is an appropriately jaunty and lighthearted musical score that would be right at home in any of the shows from NBC's fall 1967 morning schedule.


Hollywood Round Table @ The March on Washington

This fascinating clip comes courtesy of the National Archives (via its YouTube page).  Seven men--including Marlon Brando, Sidney Poitier, Harry Belafonte, Charlton Heston, and James Baldwin--conduct a round table discussion regarding Martin Luther King Jr.'s March on Washington in August 1963.  The clip is only a couple of minutes in length, consisting of the introduction of the participants, and offers but a taste of what must surely have been an intriguing discussion.  Hopefully, the Archives will make the entire session available online.


"Hoop Dreams" plus 15

The basketball documentary Hoop Dreams, which was released in 1994, is this year celebrating its 15th anniversary. A couple of new essays available online recognize the milestone, and discuss the film's legacy, including the fact that it is about so much more than just basketball.

Roger Ebert, in his amazingly insightful "Roger Ebert's Journal" (which is often about so much more than just movies), discusses his and the late Gene Siskel's early involvement with the film as cheerleaders who helped the documentary gain first distribution and then an appreciative audience. Ebert recounts the recent Chicago event in which the film's two subjects, William Gates and Arthur Agee, sat on a panel discussion with the filmmakers to talk about the film's impact on their lives.

Ebert provides a link to an older but still incisive essay on the Criterion Collection website by John Edgar Wideman. Wideman, writing from the perspective of an African-American man who fostered some of the same dreams as Gates and Agee, drills just as deeply into the idea that Hoop Dreams is about so much more than basketball, and about how dreams of basketball stardom were about so much more than sports and glory for young people like himself and the stars of this incredible documentary film.