Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Nosetalgia: The T-Day T-Zone Marathon

Listen Millennial boys and girls...and you will hear a television tale from long, long ago. Back when Woolly Mammoths still thundered across the plains, there was a time before iPhones, iPods, widgets and apps. If you wanted to watch TV, you had to get your big butt off the couch and turn it on by hand. And once it was on, there were only about 5 or 6 channels to watch. That's right, no Animal Planet, no ESPN, no Hallmark or G4 or Discovery. Incredibly, the world was still without DVD's and DVR's as well. It's possible we didn't even have microwaves back then, but it was soooooo many moons ago it's hard to recall.

You're probably thinking, what in God's name did we all do on Thanksgiving after the Macy's parade was over and the turkey was bubbling in the oven? Well most people watched football on TV and if you weren't a sports fan television was a vast desert. That is, until the Twilight Zone Marathon came along. Invented by industry titan and fellow Nose founder Lisa, the T-Zone marathon was at the forefront of alternative programming. An entire day of Twilight Zone episodes were programmed back to back on independent TV powerhouse KTLA (Los Angeles). It was wildly, amazingly, Nielsen ratingly successful. Finally, non-football followers had something to be thankful for on the national day of stuffing and pumpkin pie. Rod Serling's classic and iconic series was truly a feast for starving TV viewers.

I checked TV listings for tomorrow and could not find Twilight Zone playing anywhere on my Comcast system. I guess some good things have to live in the rosy glow of our memories. TV Land is doing a Bewitched and I Dream of Jeannie marathon however, and I consider it an homage to our Nose founder Lisa.

Do you have a favorite Twilight Zone episode? A lot of people would choose the one pictured above, where a very young William Shatner thinks he sees a monster on the wing of a plane. Yes! There was once something a bit scarier than TSA pat downs or body scans! I'm partial to "A Stop at Willoughby", which always resonated personally after many years working in media and advertising. In it, an ad executive loses all his marbles from Madison Avenue stress, and finds a way to escape into a kinder, gentler time, compliments of....the Twilight Zone. I hope this post helps you recall a kinder, gentler time in television history. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!


Lisa said...

I was pleased to see KTLA doing it today, again -- but only until 6pm, but with some really poor choices in the marathon, IMHO. A marathon needs only the most iconic episodes, every one needs to be a winner -- this one wasn't. Somebody doesn't understand programming too well over there, I'd say. Actually, I believe the TZMarathon was first done by a Boston indie, then KTLA did it soon after. Special show, great occasion, and wonderful tradition!!

Lisa said...

I forgot to say my favorite episode -- gee...possibly "Nick of Time" with William Shatner and the fortune telling machine, the one with Billy Mumy as the little kid with strange powers -- see, I'm trying to remember the titles without looking them up...couldn't remember that one! -- so many others! Almost all are good, which is amazing considering there are almost a hundred and a half of them!

Jane said...

I actually have 2 or 3 seasons in a boxed set that I have to haul out every now and then. The caliber of stars it attracted (Shatner, Agnes Morehead to name a few) was pretty significant. It was very, very smart TV during an era when dumb TV (Beverly Hillbillies, Gilligan's Island) ruled. NOT that there was anything wrong with dumb TV! ")