Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia on June 9, 1974 · Page 101
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Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia · Page 101

Charleston, West Virginia
Issue Date:
Sunday, June 9, 1974
Page 101
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Page 101 article text (OCR)

Writer proposes new plan for TV By Jay Fredericks I was more than somewhat intrigued this past week by a suggestion of John J. O'Connor, the television writer for the New York Times. Mr. O'Connor proposes that all standard situation television series, no matter how popular, should be limited to a run of 13, or at the most, 26 weeks. All variety formats should be changed each season. And even the personnel of the nightly network news telecasts, including the anchormen, should be rotated yearly. "Archie Bunker," says Mr. O'Connor," has become a bore. Ironside and his wheelchair have grown rusty. Marcus Welby has gone about as far as he can ethically go for the American · Medical Assn. The only thing left, for the Waltons is group canonization. Even Mary Tyler Moore, everybody's ideal sweetheart, is beginning to take on the hard- edged v e n e e r of middle age." The. O'Connor point is well taken -- although his remedy may seem drastic. It is an indisputable fact that after the first season or two of. success, popular television shows begin to sag. Archie Bunker has, in fact, become something of a bore. He has not changed -- only grown louder as decibels began to take the place of acting and writing. Why bother to create new clever lines when you can get laughs by just "having Archie say the old lines, only louder? It is possible to predict, with almost 99 and 44/100ths percent accuracy, exactly how Ironside or Columbo or Caine of Kung Fu will react in a given situation. Kojak, because he has been on only one season, still can outwit us, but by next year you will know almost exactly when he plans to pop a lollipop into his mouth. The only show which can still surprise, to some degree, is "Police Story!' and that's because it has a different cast each week. Under O'Connor's system, we would not have the time to grow weary of our television heros and heroines. They would be on for one or two seasons and then disa- pear -- not because of poor ratings, but just to make way for something new and different. Mr. O'Connor points out that a ^ong running show can be destructive to a comedian especially. Sid Caesar, Milton Berle and Jackie Gleason were picked clean. Flip Wilson is the latest to suc- c u m b , s i n k i n g slowly through the ratings after two seasons of fresh, hilarious, work. Actors, as Mr. O'Connor points out, grow stale after playing the same role year · after year. They grow bored with the character they're portraying and they begin to rely on crutches -- such as yelling -- to cover up any weakness in their interpretations. As for the area of television news, Mr, O'Connor says the problem ot personality is different. "There is no question," he w r i t e s , " t h a t C r o n k i t e , "Don't worry. I 'm wearing my bullet proof girdle.' SPECIAL SPRING CHAIN SAW SALE! SAVE NOW IN STOCK 99 95 $0095 HOMLITE X L 2 . . . REMINGTON MIGHTY MITE POULAM Model 20 REMINGTON SL9 Many Other Great Chain Saw Values To Choose From! Subject To Prior Sale '99" '129' 5 · Complete Chain Saw Sales And Service--All Makes! · Chain Saw Sharpening · Fast, Expert Repairs. · Free Estimates · We Carry All Makes Saws Lombard-Remington-Homelite-McColoch-Poulaii-Pioneer .. ,, , ILAWN MOWER REPAIR SERVJCE] Shatter s u ~ CHAIN SAW HEADQUARTERS 7 i 837 INDIANA AVE., Charleston-Phone 342- 1272J cellor, Keasoner.and Smith are intelligent and honorable men. There is also no reason, however, that they be the permanent and dominant symbols of the large news organizations that employ them. A year in the anchor seat could be followed by a year of hard reporting or special projects. The anchormen would be profes- sionally revitalized. And, given the occasional opportunity to sit in the central seat, other newsmen might not get so restless waiting in the wings." SOMEBODY'S BIRTHDAY? * * ' Phone 343-5141 615 Brooks St. 702 Fife St. ERNIE SAUHDERS "the voice of sports" broadcasts doily on television for Capital Builders. DIRECT FROM DISTRIBUTOR TO YOU Save money. Buy direct from Capital Builders, West Virginia's exclusive distributor of Perma-Sash replacement windows. PERMA-SASH REPLACEMENT WINDOWS · Cut heat loss · Eliminate drafts 9 Never need painting · Tilt-in for easy cleaning Installation does not interfere with inside or outside design or decoration. SPECIAL WINDOW CASINGS EXCLUDING WINDOWS 6 f o r $ 9 8 For Free Estimates call 344-8088 Out-of-town, call collect Phone answers 24 hours. CAPITAL BUILDERS 517 Elizabeth Street Charleston, W.Va. 25311 Write: · Capital Builders 517 Elizabeth Street | Charleston, W. Va. 2531 1 NAME _ : - ADDRESS CITY · · ZIP .STATE _£HONE CHARLESTON, W-.VA-. 7s

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