Akron Beacon Journal


Q: We like “Mountain Men,” which was on the History channel. Will it be back on anytime soon?

A: The series begins a new season on June 18. With seasons consisting of no more than 16 episodes run weekly, that means there’s a long break between seasons.

Old story about ‘New People’

Q: I have memories of a show called “The New People,” which aired in about 1970. It seems to me that each program was only 45 minutes long. Am I correct?

A: We tend to think of scripted network TV shows these days as running 30 minutes or an hour, but that was not always the case. In the earliest days of television, some shows ran 15 minutes. There were also 90-minute movies and, sometimes, 90-minute series such as “The Virginian” and “Name of the Game.” In 1964, NBC tried airing three overlapping sitcoms in a 90-minute slot; the umbrella title was “90 Bristol Court,” after the address of the apartment complex where the characters in the three shows lived.

In 1969, ABC tried filling 90 minutes with two 45-minute shows, “Music Scene” and “The New People.” The former was a performance show featuring Janis Joplin, James Brown, Buck Owens and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, among others. “The New People” was a drama about a group of college students stranded in a Pacific island test-site following a crash; they were supposed to start their own, new society. Rod Serling had a hand in the show. Neither program was successful, both ending in January 1970.

Where’s Bob Beckel?

Q: Whatever happened to Bob Beckel, the lone liberal on the daily talk show “The Five” on Fox News Channel?

A: We can argue about how “liberal” Beckel is another time. On April 30, Fox News released a statement to the Mediaite site saying the following:

“Bob Beckel has entered a rehab facility for treatment of an addiction to prescription pain medication. His relapse developed over the last several months as he tried to cope with extensive back pain before and after he underwent major back surgery. We hope our viewers and the public will respect Bob’s privacy during this difficult time.”

Beckel has acknowledged substance-abuse problems in the past.


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