One of the best things about television in the ’70’s and ’80’s were those yearly image campaigns by each of the networks pushing their new fall lineup. ABC, CBS and NBC always seemed to be trying to out do each other every year with bigger, louder and more star-studded campaigns than the year before. Aside from the eye popping visuals, there were the catchy jingles accompanying each campaign. 1982’s winner was, hands down, ABC with it’s “Come On Along” theme. The network actually allocated a budget, hired a chopper and paid some of its talent to appear in scenes shot specifically for this campaign. Fonzi and Chachi, Mr. Roarke & Tattoo, Laverne and Shirley, Max from Hart To Hart, that Benson guy, Joanie (Erin Moran, who lived near me for many years in Los Angeles, RIP) and even Scooby Doo showed up in Manhattan to get bystanders to come on along. It’s the promotion people running amok, schlock galore, and I love every second of it: Continue reading 1982 IMAGE CAMPAIGNS
“There’s no need to fear – Underdog is here”.
That’s the catchphrase of the 1960′s cartoon superhero Underdog! He was, sort of, the canine version of superman for the Labrador set. His heroics were often done to impress his love interest, Sweet Polly Purebred, who could never commit. Everyone loves the underdog, which is why the series ran for more than a decade. But an underdog is just as essential and relevant in the realm of morning news. And I learned this first hand.
When The KTLA Morning News first went on the air, we were indeed the underdog. In Los Angeles from 7-9AM, it was us verses the Goliaths of Good Morning America, Today and CBS This Morning. The LA Times called us “the little show that could”. Because we did. We faced off with the three major networks for a slice of the LA morning viewing audience. And on a daily basis, we felt the pressure. We couldn’t book the A-lists guests that the networks did. We didn’t have the million dollar network set, the expensive designer clothes that they wore. And early on, we didn’t have the ratings and we certainly didn’t have the mentality of a “winner”. That title went to Katie Couric and Matt Lauer who ruled morning news for a long time before we arrived on the scene. We were, clearly, the underdog. And we felt it every morning when we hit the air. Continue reading THE “UNDERDOG” CARD
Second Verdict was a show idea that came to me while I was working at E! Networks during a rash of celebrity court trials. What if we take footage of actual trials and re-tried them with our own jury? And instead of using jurors who were completely unbiased, we use jurors who themselves were victims of violent crimes or who had particular biases. Or perhaps we give them information that the judge declared inadmissible during the actual trial. How would that affect the outcome of our trial versus what happened in court? Continue reading WE, THE JURY…FIND THE DEFENDANT…