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Blog Posts by Subject: Broadcasting, Radio and Television

Little House on the Prairie of Horrors: Memories of Charles and the Gang

It was during the early '80s that my mom decided Little House on the Prairie would be more beneficial to my development than Welcome Back Kotter, so the TV dial went from channel 5 to channel 11 every night during dinner at 5 P.M. I haven't seen an episode of Little House on the Prairie in over 20 years but some of the scenes are burned into my memory... some good but mostly bad.

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Billy Parrott, Meet Billy Parrott

OK readers. Some time back I did a blog post in which I firmly stated I was the real Billy Parrott. I'm writing today to formally acknowledge that I am only one Billy Parrott. I am Billy Parrott, the librarian. I'd like to introduce you to the other Billy Parrott. He's the actor.

Mistaken identity was the subject of my original post. Most cases of mistaken identity are visual in nature and I recounted various incidents in which I was 

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"Chris in the Morning" Reading List

From 1990 through 1995, the television viewing public was obsessed with the goings on in Cicely, Alaska. Northern Exposure ruled the television airwaves. And while our airwaves were dominated by this quirky drama, on the show itself the airwaves were ruled by Chris Stevens and his KBHR radio show Chris in the Morning.

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When They Trod the Boards: "Star Trek" Edition

STAR TREK. The Musical! OK, not really, but even Mr. Spock would find fascinating what we dug up in the Library's Billy Rose Theatre Division about the original Star Trek actors before they went stellar. Who knew that Nichelle Nichols sizzled in the local cabaret scene before taking up her earpiece on the starship Enterprise? Or that George Takei was an activist (OK, not surprising), or that William Shatner, of Shatner's World; We Just Live in It..., first 

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Waiting for "Downton Abbey"

Updated February 2012! Do the names Lord Grantham, Mr. Carson, and Lady Violet mean anything to you? Can you discuss at length the love story of Mary and Matthew? Does the word week-end, bring to mind Maggie Smith’s impeccably-timed line delivery? If so, then you are a Downton-ite... or is it Downton-head? Whatever the case may be, it means that you are a fan of the ITV/Masterpiece Theater drama Downton Abbey. First airing on PBS in January 2011, this British series depicts 

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The "Mad Men" Reading List

You might remember my original list, which will always be available here.   

This revised list will be easier to follow and, like my previous list, it will be updated as books appear in new episodes. Details on literary references will continue in the comments field. As mentioned in my original blog post, some of the books on the list are featured more prominently in the series than others, but all are a great way to gain insight into the episodes and the social and cultural times in which the 

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That's My Queue and I'll Cry If I Want To

I'm a really big fan of NYPL lists, so I made one about TV shows from my recently watched queue. Here it is! :]

Thumb nail, ThumbnailDon't forget to check all the links... the links are the bread and butter of the blog.

10. Hard Times of RJ Berger — This series was unfortunately cancelled. Only the goofs die young... Thanks for trying, 

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A "Mad Men" Mystery Solved

I am a librarian. I like things to be in order. I like things to be complete, but I have been troubled for the past year. You see, Sally Draper was shown reading a book in Mad Men season four, episode five ("The Chrysanthemum and the Sword"), and I could not for the life of me figure out what that book was. The Mad Men Reading List was incomplete and, as a 

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When They Trod the Boards: "I Love Lucy" Edition

This series is designed to showcase the often little-known stage background of popular TV and movie stars. In this installment, we'll explore the Broadway origins of the cast of I Love Lucy, including the secret life of Ethel Mertz!

Who didn’t grow up with Lucy? I Love Lucy, one of the most popular television programs of all time, has been in continuous syndication since it premiered in 1951. Ever since the first television signals of Lucy began to leak out of our atmosphere, now heading towards distant star systems 60 light years away, here on earth the 

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Notes From a Life-long Learner: Podcasting

A podcast is an audio program anyone can make, post to a website, and make available for download onto a computer or portable device, such as an iPod (hence the term “podcast”). Listeners can subscribe to a podcast and get future episodes downloaded automatically as they become available. You probably already subscribe to podcasts of various kinds, but have you ever considered making your own?

Come on! You could garner a great following and become the next (insert favorite radio personality here). Or you 

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Give "Glee" a Chance! An Interview with a Gleek

My name is Jennifer Jane and I am a Gleek. Most people do not know what a Gleek is... that's because they don't watch the TV show, but you should watch an episode and just Give Glee a Chance! Did you ever feel that black void in your heart or soul.. that something's missing? It's

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Breaking Bad: If Only They Had a New York Public Library Card

The season finale of AMC's Breaking Bad is soon approaching, and the problems for Walter White and company are mounting like Everest. It got me to thinking that if some of the characters on Breaking Bad had a NYPL library card, some of their problems could have been avoided.

If you have not yet seen Breaking Bad, I would suggest 

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Sci-Fi Summer Television We Love to Watch: Ziggy Who!? Quantum Leap

The summer is almost over! It's sad but true. As we look ahead to the leaves changing colors in Central Park and kids going back to school, let's spend the last fleeting moments of the season talking about the oldest show on our list, Quantum Leap.

“Theorising that one could time travel within his own lifetime, Doctor Sam Beckett stepped into the Quantum Leap accelerator and vanished... He woke to find himself trapped in the past, 

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Celebrating Lucille Ball with Music

First edition of the theme song for "I Love Lucy"

Happy belated 100th birthday to Lucille Ball!

While the Music Division of The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts may seem peripheral to Lucille Ball and her legacy, we do have an important connection to the theme music of her first television show.

To begin with, the Music Division has what is believed to be the first edition of the show’s theme song in sheet music 

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Sci-Fi Summer Television We Love to Watch: The Teen Aliens of Roswell

"September 23rd. Journal entry one. I'm Liz Parker, and five days ago, I died. After that, things got really weird..." 

Here's a typical boy-meets-girl story. The girl is Liz Parker, a high school waitress from Roswell, New Mexico. The boy is the mysterious Max Evans, a high school loner who redefines "tall, dark, and handsome." Liz works at her parents' diner, the Crashdown Café, which plays up the town's touristy alien kitsch mentality. One afternoon while Max is eating and Liz is working, two guys get into an argument. One pulls out a gun. There's 

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Sci-Fi Summer: Science Fiction Anime

Oh Japan, where would modern sci-fi be without you? With your vivid and thought-provoking visions of what the world could be, robots and all, you've given us countless rich and spectacular new arenas for our imaginations to run around in. From the philosophical man-and-machine melds of Ghost in the Shell to the adventurous natural majesty of Nausicaa 

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Sci-Fi Summer Television We Love to Watch: Into the Vortex! "Sliders"

"What if you found a portal to a parallel universe? What if you could slide into a thousand different worlds? Where it's the same year and you're the same person... but everything else is different. And what if you can't find your way home?"

As far as science fiction concepts go, Sliders kind of cornered the market on weird. Our story starts with the main protagonist, Quinn, played by Jerry 

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Buried Treasure and Lost Adventure: Rare "Doctor Who" Stories at the Library

The phrase "lost episode" can evoke a number of different emotions in TV viewers. To some, it can evoke the excitement of lost treasure; to others, the sadness of an adventure they may never see. In the early 1970s, tapes for storing old television programs were very expensive in the United Kingdom, and the advent of home video was still a few years off. Figuring that most of the old black-and-white Doctor Who serials from the 60s (along with numerous other shows) had officially been milked for all their commercial value, the old tapes were wiped to make room for new 

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Sci-Fi Summer Television We Love to Watch: J.J. Abrams and "Fringe"

Teleportation. Precognition. Suspended Animation. Dark Matter. Fringe.

From the mind of J.J. Abrams (who brought you Alias, the Cloverfield monster, and an updated Star Trek movie, to name just a few) comes the story of a mad scientist, his estranged son, and the F.B.I. Agent who brought them all together. A large part of ... Read More ›

Sci-Fi Summer: Climb Aboard the TARDIS — A Classic "Doctor Who" Starter Kit

Since 1963, the BBC's sci-fi epic Doctor Who has followed the adventurous and enigmatic alien time traveler known only as the Doctor as he races through space and time and our TV screens solving problems, saving worlds, and making new friends who join him on his travels. Unfortunately, the current season is on break and won't be back until this fall (with an episode curiously titled "Let's Kill Hitler.") Let's say you're a newer fan — someone who's only recently 

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