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October 31, 2014

charles van doren

Charles Van Doren finally opens up about the game show scandal

by Bob Sassone, posted Aug 7th 2008 6:03PM
Twenty-OneI've been a nut about game shows ever since I was a kid (the good ones - I don't want to be bothered with something like Deal Or No Deal or Moment of Truth), and I've specifically been intrigued by the game show scandals of the 1950s. Game shows were really hot then - the reality shows of the 50s, really; several of them were on the air, they talked about and written about a lot, etc. - and several got caught in a cheating scandal, including Twenty-One, Dotto, and The $64,000 Question. The Twenty-One scandal was made into the Robert Redford movie Quiz Show, but I've always wanted to hear an in-depth explanation of what happened from Charles Van Doren, the teacher-turned-game show winner at the heart of the scandal (that's him on the right in the pic, with challenger Vivienne Nearing and host Jack Barry). Now Van Doren has opened up to The New Yorker in a piece that's long but well worth reading.

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Five great movies about TV

by Paul Goebel, posted Sep 18th 2007 9:02AM

Peter O'Toole as Lyle SwannAs an avid TV fan, I love it when somebody makes a movie all about the television industry. Since I'm not a movie critic, the cinema is pure entertainment for me. Unfortunately, too often the movies make the mistake of romanticizing the world of television like they do everything else. Here is my personal list of those that got it right.

My Favorite Year
From what I understand, not only is the setting for this film taken straight from Your Show of Shows but the characters are dead on representations of Sid Caesar and others who made the show happen. The movie contains what is probably Peter O'Toole's best comedic performance and an amazing supporting cast featuring Bill Macy, Lanie Kazan, and Joe Bologna.

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TV Obits: Sowards, Di Sesso, Nearing, Downing

by Bob Sassone, posted Jul 18th 2007 4:01PM

Star Trek IIA roundup of TV people from in front of the camera and behind the scenes who have passed away.

  • Jack B. Sowards: He was a television and film writer who wrote for Bonanza, Peyton Place, Daniel Boone, The Streets of San Francisco, Barnaby Jones, Hagen, The Bold Ones, B.L. Stryker, and Star Trek: TNG. He also wrote the big screen movie Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. He died in Valley Village, CA at age 78.

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