Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Birthday Channel 11

Yesterday WPIX, Channel 11 in New York celebrated its 60th birthday. It's hard to believe that a TV station has been around that long, but it has been.

They had a special program that showed the highlights of some of their best shows. I was a little disappointed because, in my opinion, they didn't spend enough time on the Yankees, particularly their winning streak of five consecutive World Series'.

They did mention a number of firsts. They introduced the Telepix Newsreel to TV watchers, the covered the 1948 Democratic and Republican Conventions including a live interview with Gov. Tom Dewey. They introduced the first instant replay in 1965, the Subway Series of 1956.

They originated a number of children's shows, among them The Little Rascals Clubhouse, Merry Mailman, Officer Bolton, Shari Lewis with Lambchop and the Magic Garden.

They also produced the first music video - the Yule Log. I remember many Christmas Eves when I insisted on putting out all the living room lights except for the Christmas Tree and watching the Yule Log on the TV and pretending it was our fireplace. For many years they brought us the St. Patrick's Day Parade and still give us the Midnight Mass from St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York.

They also listed a number of syndicated shows such as The Honeymooners, The Odd Couple, Happy Days, and Friends. They originated some shows such as Dawson's Creek, Seventh Heaven and Buffy The Vampire Slayer.

They were one of the first TV stations to bring us movies. When they mentioned Night Owl Theater, I was reminded of the time I stayed up very late on the Friday after Thanksgiving so that I could have some leftover turkey when it was officially Saturday. Way back then, we couldn't eat meat on Friday. I remember struggling to stay awake, but I made it.

The show brought back a lot of memories, all of them good even though they make me feel old.

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