Read an Excerpt
Preface: Why TV Land to Go?
Television is great, but there are times when it just isn't practical to watch. Airplane flights, picnics, while you are trapped on elevators, these are all times when this book will have to serve as the next best thing to a great show. This book, the first from TV Land, is an affectionate celebration of everything that makes television so wonderful. We may poke fun now and then, but always with a sincere spirit of appreciation. After all, we really do love TV.
TV Land is a twenty-four-hour cable network devoted to classic reruns, everything from Gunsmoke to Charlie's Angels, The Andy Griffith Show to My Favorite Martian. We have the widest, most varied collection of television in the known universe, and we work hard to bring our viewers all those shows with that magic quality we call "rewatchability." It could be classic sitcoms, beloved dramas, even shows so bad they're good, or otherwise forgettable shows that feature big stars in their early roles. We're delighted to be curating the incredible pop cultural blender of shows and retromercials from the fifties through the nineties that comprise our daily lineup. Do you sometimes find that there is nothing on TV? You must not have TV Land, because with our time-tested reliable shows, there's always something on. Something good!
TV Land was founded in 1996, born of the success of sister network Nick at Nite, the evening portion of Nickelodeon that first gave credibility to the idea of making reruns into a way of life. For so many other networks, second-run television is used as filler, but for Nick at Nite and now TV Land, classic television is all we do. It'sour passion and our expertise. We like to think no one presents it quite the way we do.
TV Land to Go is also a series on on-air vignettes seen on the network in which the author, yours truly, is featured dispensing television stories and arcane trivia from a handsome drive-through booth in a mall. Our hope is that those who haven't been able to make use of our drive-up service will find all the information they need in this volume.
TV Land to Go was written and organized to allow you to read it straight through, or explore at random whatever strikes your fancy. There are various lists that explore all the realms of television, from Endora's favorite names for Darrin to the lessons sitcoms teach us. There are some features based specifically on features of the TV Land channel: the innovators vignettes and 60-Second Sitcoms are here for fans to enjoy. There are TV Land haiku, a glimpse at the future of television, and a time line of its history stretching back to the dawn of mankind.
The major feature of the book is the Top 100 Episodes of All Time, an effort to bring the very latest scientific research to bear on deciding which individual episodes are the very best. A detailed introduction to this feature begins on page 128, and the hundred honorees are covered in great detail, with credits, special notes, and much more.
An early reader of this book said, "Reading this book really made me want to watch television," then realized that perhaps that statement could be taken the wrong way. But frankly, there could be no higher praise. We hope you enjoy the book, get a few laughs, and find yourself ready to go back to the television with a more profound sense of satisfaction at all that the medium can be. We hope the book makes you, too, want to watch television! Enjoy!
VP/Creative Director, TV Land
Copyright © 2001 by Viacom International Inc.