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The TV That Time Forgot: National Velvet

Most of us know about the classic movie National Velvet starring Liz Taylor and Mickey Rooney.

But how many us remember that there was a National Velvet TV series as well?

It debuted on Sunday, September 18, 1960 on NBC. It starred Lori Martin as the young horse lover Velvet Brown. Scottish actor James McCallion played the former jockey Mi Taylor who was helping Velvet groom her stallion, King, for a run in the Grand National Steeplechase.

It would have seemed that the show couldn’t miss. Young girls love horses, but apparently they loved Ed Sullivan more. He was Velvet’s competition on CBS.

 

Read more: The TV That Time Forgot: National Velvet

"Back to the Beach" (1987)

Remember the Beach Party movies of the 1960’s? They were made quickly and cheaply with the barest excuse for a plot (and the barest excuse for swimsuits they could get away with in those days.

Somehow, when they decided to make one more trip to beach in 1987 with Paramount Pictures’ Back to the Beach, they made it look just as cheap and feeble as the original films!

Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello are the stars (natch) only instead of being “Frankie and Dee Dee” as they were called in the original series, they’re now named “Annette” and “Annette’s Husband” (no, we’re not making that up).

What little plot there is revolves around a return trip to Malibu where their grown-up daughter is “living in sin” (remember that concept?) with a new generation of surfer. Also along for the ride is their young son, who actually looks like he could be Eric Von Zipper’s kid (although Harvey Lembeck is nowhere to be found). If we were Frankie, we’d get a DNA test. Just sayin’…

Read more: "Back to the Beach" (1987)

The TV That Time Forgot: Richard Diamond

With all of the CSI-style forensic cop shows on TV, it may be hard to remember that network television was once ruled by cowboys and two-fisted private eyes.

One of the first of the shamuses was Richard Diamond, Private Detective.

The show was one of the first on TV because it had been a long-running, successful radio series. The radio show was created by Blake Edwards, who was later to create TV detective Peter Gunn as well as the bumbling Inspector Clouseau of Pink Panther film fame.

 Diamond had been played on radio by Dick Powell, but when it made the jump to CBS television, Powell stepped behind the camera as Executive Producer. In his place a young David Janssen was cast, beginning what was a very long career as a television star (The Fugitive, O’Hara, U.S. Treasury, Harry O, etc.).

Read more: The TV That Time Forgot: Richard Diamond

Make Room For Daddy

A.K.A. The Danny Thomas Show

Virtually forgotten now, Make Room for Daddy was one of TV’s earliest and most successful sitcoms.

But it took a long and winding road to get there and along the way, it created some television firsts.

Read more: Make Room For Daddy

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