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From The Digital Sweatshop
The Music, Art and Travels of Alan D. Oldham a.k.a. DJ T-1000.

Hot Off The Wire: The Jim Backus Show.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Here's something different for this blog! At the risk of being corny, one of the things I love about the Internet and the digital revolution in general, is all the forgotten TV shows from the '50s and '60s you can now find online, in your spare time.

The late, great Jim Backus is probably best known as Thurston Howell III on "Gilligan's Island," and before that to true old-time TV fans as Judge Stevens on the "I Love Lucy" ripoff "I Married Joan," episodes of which can be found on YouTube. But who knew that in between, in 1961, he'd had his own headlining sitcom that ran for one season in first-run syndication called "Hot Off The Wire: The Jim Backus Show."

I like everything about this show. Great, comedic theme song and background music, it's in black and white, it's funny, and Nita Talbot is just beautiful in it. I remember her from several shows of this era like "The Untouchables." But, like, Backus, I never knew her to have a regular show of her own. The only thing missing? Vintage commercials!

The best thing about this find is that the whole premise of the show--newsmen writing for an independent wire service--is obsolete. There's also a scene in the show where a guy lights Nita's cigarette; smoking is frowned upon today (at least in the USA). Even the premise of the episode is a little condescending by 2014 standards; what happens when a woman takes over the business.

There are only two episodes of this show online, which is a shame. There were 39 in all. This was considered a "failed" show back then. Now, you'd be lucky to get six eps of a show before they pull the plug. I'd like to see more episodes of this show!

-AO :: 5:11 PM ::

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