Efrem Zimbalist Jr.: The Actor Who Went From Private Eye to Mr. FBI

Back in late 1950s and early 1960s, one of the coolest series on the tube was 77 Sunset Strip, a stylish variation on hard-boiled detective noir infused with wise-cracking hipster humor – sort of Raymond Chandler meets the Rat Pack, set in what TV historian Horace Newcomb describes as “a sun-drenched world of cocktails, cool jazz and convertibles.” The show’s star was Efrem Zimbalist Jr., who, as suave detective Stuart “Stu” Bailey, deftly tangled with tough guys, charmed beautiful dames and unraveled mysteries …

Will Aereo Revolutionize Broadcast TV, or Kill It?

On April 22, the U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments in a lawsuit that some think will determine the future of television – or, at the very least, whether you can watch local TV news and broadcast channels over the Internet, without having to buy a cable TV subscription. The case involves Aereo, a two-year-old New York-based start-up that offers a new way to watch TV. Aereo captures signals from broadcast TV stations on banks of antennas located close to the …

Sid Caesar: Maestro of TV Sketch Comedy

Without Sid Caesar, we might not have had Saturday Night Live. In the early days of TV, some comedians simply got on camera and performed the same slapstick routines that had been a hit for them on Vaudeville, while others tried to replicate the situation comedy of radio shows. But Caesar, who passed away on Feb. 12 at age 91 in Beverly Hills, Calif., pioneered a new way to make us laugh in the age of television. >> Sign up for the …

Mac McGarry: The Quintessential Quizmaster

Washington, D.C., has more than its share of inquisitors. But perhaps the most renowned questioner of all was Maurice James “Mac” McGarry, the founding host of It’s Academic who died on Dec. 12 at age 87 in Potomac, Md. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the televised test of wits for teenagers is the longest-running quiz show in the TV history. When It’s Academic premiered in October 1961, McGarry and the show’s creator, Washington lawyer-turned-TV producer Sophie Altman, had a noble …

50 Years Later, JFK Death Again a TV Event

The flood of upcoming TV specials commemorating the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s assassination threatens to be a little redundant: Conspiracy theories aside, we probably know about as much as we’ll ever get to know about that awful November day. >> Sign up for the AARP Leisure Newsletter That’s not to say that remembering the tragedy isn’t important. It’s just to point out that the most interesting of the JFK-themed programs scheduled to air in the run-up to the Nov. …

August is the Sunday of the Months

If you are confused by this blog’s title, it is a phrase I heard recently from my niece. We were talking about vacation and she said, “Yep, August is the Sunday of the months as it is the time to relax.” What do I do to relax? I like to go to movies just like 58% of the 50+ (see our fact sheet below) and Woody Allen’s new movie Blue Jasmine is a must see Movie for Grownups. I love Broadway …