Friday, September 28, 2012

25-candle time: my own birth certificate for TNG

So much has been said about The Next Generation—a lot of it by me in blogs, like this ... and oh yeah, this thing.

So I think, on this 25th anniversary event, I'll spare you any more about how TNG not only resurrected Star Trek, but revitalized TV distribution and markets, sparked the genre TV revolution, stoked the mainstreaming of affordable digital visual effects into even non-genre television storytelling ... Much less gave Gene, Bob Justman, and many more of the 1960s show veterans a long-overdue reason to finally say with pride and satisfaction, "Aha—it WASN'T a fluke!"

Nope, I won't get into any of that. Instead, I'll just share a little personal memento ... back from the days when all I knew about TNG was what I could glean from David Gerrold's column in Starlog, like everybody else ...

...back to the days when we actually made cut-and-paste fliers with real cuts and paste, and then "Xeroxed" them—in black-and-white, since color cost so much. Enjoy this relic from my days in news in hometown Norman, Oklahoma ... when no one had ever seen that weird new font before... Behold:


And yes, Oct. 4—this was a syndicated show, remember? It aired throughout the week in various times across the country, city by city: the "premiere date" of Sept. 28 was actually just the first day available—Monday night, when TV-centric L.A.'s Channel 13, for one, had the good sense to run it.

Meanwhile,  good ol' KTVY Channel 4, as OKC's NBC affiliate, snapped up the chance to run TNG in that market because where else would it get such great ratings—at 10:30 SUNDAY NIGHT.  So, a two-hour Sunday late-night party going past midnight meant you had to be TOUGH Okie Trek fans to support your cause. But it was no different nationwide.

Except that we were, however, just about the LAST ones to see "Farpoint" in the whole country. And every episode after that. For seven years. (It's actually why I moved to L.A.)

Oh...and for all the loud noise from the loud TOS "It-ain't-Kirk-and-Spock" naysayers,  -->TNG's pilot beat its prime-time network competition—as one measure of success—in its various times and days in Los Angeles, Dallas, Seattle, Miami and Denver.

I bet we even won the 10:30 p.m. Sunday slot in OKC, too. 

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