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November 22, 2020 10:43 am  #1


How A Man You Never Heard Of Changed Sci Fi On TV

You've probably never heard of Herb Solow. And there's no reason you should have. He worked for Desilu studios in the 60s and he was the executive who pitched CBS on the idea of "Star Trek." They turned him down, noting they already had "Lost In Space" running. 

From that short-sighted response he went to NBC and managed to sell them Gene Roddenbery's idea of "Wagon Train in space." He was also the guy who convinced Roddenberry to resist the network's insistence that Spock's ears looked satanic and should be changed. (Ironic, in hindsight, that CBS now owns the rights to the iconic franchise.) 

And here's a factoid I never realized about the series - the story set in the future actually took place in the past! From Variety:

"Solow told the publication Carpe Articulum that he came up with the idea of presenting the story as a flashback. “I made a key change whereby we treated every episode, the whole series, as a flashback and invented Star Date,” he said. “A flashback is very interesting. People become kind of relaxed with the characters and the story knowing what they were watching had already happened. We’re not dealing with the future, absolutely not, we’re dealing with telling a story from the past. The Captain’s Log setup each show. Bottom-line, telling the story from the past was a huge plus.”  

The prolific producer, who also sold "Mission: Impossible,"  passed away this week at age 89. He was one of those unknowns who helped to change the landscape of TV history with his persistence - and a refusal to take no for an answer.

If the name seems even remotely familiar, it's because you saw this every week on the closing credits:

https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/memoryalpha/images/c/c8/Herb_Solow_official_credit.jpg/revision/latest/scale-to-width-down/350?cb=20141219164028&path-prefix=en
  

As a huge fan of the show, I just thought I would note his passing. 

Herb Solow, Producer Who Sold ‘Star Trek’ to NBC, Dies at 89

https://i.ibb.co/ZGNm5rd/st.jpg

 

November 22, 2020 11:37 am  #2


Re: How A Man You Never Heard Of Changed Sci Fi On TV

Just for fun, here's how the Fall Preview issue of TV Guide introduced the show in 1966. With words like "spooky Spocky," it doesn't look like they were taking it very seriously.

Little did they know what it would become - even though the original only lasted three seasons and was never really a ratings hit in its network days.

https://i.ibb.co/C2ZgFks/Star-Trek-Explained-Fall-TV-Preview-TV-Guide-Sept-10-1966.jpg

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November 22, 2020 12:17 pm  #3


Re: How A Man You Never Heard Of Changed Sci Fi On TV

I read a bit of the history / story of the Desilu studios.  

By 1960 Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball's marriage had ended, and production of I Love Lucy also ended its run on CBS. Lucille Ball's second series "The Lucy Show" was now in production.  Lucille Ball bought out Arnaz's interest in Desilu in 1962, and she became the President of the Studio/Production company.

Lucille Ball sold Desilu in the late 60s to Gulf+Western which rolled Desilu into its Paramount Television division. At this time, Desilu was producing Star Trek, Mannix, Mission Impossible and Here's Lucy. This is why some of the early episodes of Star Trek, and Mission Impossible, and Mannix have the Desilu Studios copyright card at the end of the credits.  By 1969, the Desilu name would be replaced by Paramount Television.

Last edited by Glen Warren (November 22, 2020 12:19 pm)

 

November 22, 2020 2:39 pm  #4


Re: How A Man You Never Heard Of Changed Sci Fi On TV

Not many people  know Leonard Nimoy for his musical accomplishments but perhaps this little number might appear on a future oldies show by Roger Ashby 



 

Last edited by grilled.cheese (November 22, 2020 2:39 pm)

 

November 22, 2020 2:40 pm  #5


Re: How A Man You Never Heard Of Changed Sci Fi On TV


 

November 22, 2020 3:57 pm  #6


Re: How A Man You Never Heard Of Changed Sci Fi On TV

Nimoy's cover of Proud Mary is one for the ages.

 

November 22, 2020 4:18 pm  #7


Re: How A Man You Never Heard Of Changed Sci Fi On TV

Yes, the ages 3 through 6...

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November 22, 2020 4:57 pm  #8


Re: How A Man You Never Heard Of Changed Sci Fi On TV

grilled.cheese wrote:

Not many people  know Leonard Nimoy for his musical accomplishments but perhaps this little number might appear on a future oldies show by Roger Ashby 



 

Christ, and to think people (rightfully) ridiculed  William Shatner's cringe-worthy attempts at 'singing'.
This was every bit as bad, or worse.  What was Nimoy thinking?
 

 

November 22, 2020 4:59 pm  #9


Re: How A Man You Never Heard Of Changed Sci Fi On TV

Charlie wrote:

What was Nimoy thinking?

Nobody knew what Star Trek would eventually become. I believe he was cashing in while the cashing in was good. 

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November 23, 2020 9:44 am  #10


Re: How A Man You Never Heard Of Changed Sci Fi On TV

Some of Leonard Nimoy's other "Hits" included I Walk The Line and If I Had A Hammer. While Nimoy's singing?? is appallingly bad, there are other much worse examples. Twist & Shout-Mae West, House Of The Rising Sun-Andy Griffith, Satisfaction-Phyllis Diller, Give Peace A Chance- Mitch Miller [And The Gang]. All these wonderful tunes, and many more were available on the "Golden Throats" series of albums released by Rhino Records in the early to mid 90's. My personal favourite was the 1997 release of Celebrities Butcher The Beatles. Tennessee Ernie Ford doing Let It Be, Bing Crosby-Hey Jude, Day Tripper- Mae West. Just the thought makes me think of nails on a blackboard.

 

November 23, 2020 3:06 pm  #11


Re: How A Man You Never Heard Of Changed Sci Fi On TV

Acting celebrities doing covers may be out of fashion these days, but modern examples occasionally occur. Scarlet Johansson released an album of Tom Waits covers about a decade ago. It wasn't half-bad.

 

November 23, 2020 3:25 pm  #12


Re: How A Man You Never Heard Of Changed Sci Fi On TV

Sounds like we should all have a copy of this album, which features not only Dwayne Hickman of Dobie Gillis fame and Robert Conrad, star of The Wild. Wild West and Baa Baa Black Sheep, among others, but also Jack Larson (Jimmy Olsen in The Adventures of Superman), Michael Landon (Little House on the Prairie and Bonanza), Don Grady (My Three Sons) and my favourite, Jerry Mathers of Leave It To Beaver. What no Wally? 

Track Listing

https://2.bp.blogspot.com/_EzgMv4lNXco/SxEgKeW9cZI/AAAAAAAACy0/SG0gQ6nP8HE/w1200-h630-p-k-no-nu/Kopie+van+singing+TV+Stars+f.jpg



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November 23, 2020 7:44 pm  #13


Re: How A Man You Never Heard Of Changed Sci Fi On TV

Chrisphen wrote:

Acting celebrities doing covers may be out of fashion these days, but modern examples occasionally occur. Scarlet Johansson released an album of Tom Waits covers about a decade ago. It wasn't half-bad.

I quite liked this song by Scarlet and Peter Yorn. I heard it a lot on triple A radio in the US but I am not sure if it was played by CFNY. I think it was a Triple A hit before Indie 88.1. I was unable to properly link the official video of the song but have included the YT URL. That has a nice reel to reel deck on it.

https://youtu.be/vEMPbsqqdOA







 


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November 23, 2020 8:23 pm  #14


Re: How A Man You Never Heard Of Changed Sci Fi On TV

Here's a few more TV stars doing music:

Yellow Balloon with Don Grady from My Three Sons on Drums:




Dino, Desi and Billy before Desi was actually a TV star:




Billy Mummy on Lost In Space:




This one is stretching it but some may remember the Darlings who made a few appearances on Andy Griffith. The Darlings were bluegrass group the Dillards. I remember hearing them on CHUM FM when they got more folk rocky than the track below. Perhaps John Donabie remembers playing them:


 

Last edited by Fitz (November 23, 2020 8:24 pm)


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