Unsolved Mysteries...and Solved Ones Too
This year will have marked 30 years since Bill's passing, and one of the things that makes this site such a treat to work on is that we're still uncovering and sorting through clippings, notes, photos, audio, etc., and finding inklings of things we didn't know about. Case in point:
We have pages listed for the radio and television versions of Give and Take. Every reference we've ever found to the show identifies John Reed King as host, and Bill as either announcer or co-host. In the past month, however, co-webmaster Adam found a newspaper ad from November 13, 1948, using a photo of Bill and only Bill. Not only that, but the ad names the show as Bill Cullen's Give and Take! Co-webmaster Matt, a few days later, found a radio schedule from a March 1949 newspaper. Give and Take is scheduled for broadcast that day, and the listing mentions Bill, but doesn't mention John Reed King. So at least at first glance, it looks like Bill was solo host for a time but we don't know that for sure. We're still hunting.
Mystery #2: An Ebay auction happily went Matt's way this week, so we've come into possession of fifty--yes, FIFTY--more episodes of The Parents' Notebook. All of the episodes come from spring and summer 1985. Thing that we're still trying to make sense of is why the episode numbering seems to reset in May 1986. We're trying to determine if there was some reason that they thought production was going to end, or if there was a point when it truly did end and then quickly relaunched. The world may never know...but we'll keep digging.
In happy news, we've solved one mystery and we're hoping that something will come of it for all of us. For a long time, we've been curious about how much of Bill's version of The Price is Right survives. The nighttime version ran for almost exactly seven years, which would work out to 350 episodes or so. In the years that Game Show Network had access to the TPIR library, they only aired around 75-80 different episodes of the show, and so far, Buzzr hasn't rerun anything that Game Show Network didn't. This led us to assume that those episodes were all that existed, which we found odd because Goodson-Todman otherwise took pretty good care of their nighttime episodes from that era.
We're delighted to say that we've recently learned from a source (and one who is absolutely in a position to know this) that the entire run of Bill's nighttime series survives. The issues however, have been, #1, Game Show Network at times had varying attitudes/comfort levels about showing reruns of shows where tobacco company logos were prominently displayed on the set. They had TPIR rights during a time where policy was not to rerun anything with tobacco logos. And #2, At the time, Bob Barker had a say in what episodes were rerun, and he asked for a blanket policy that no episodes with fur coats offered as prizes could be rerun. Well, fur coats were seen as lavish, big-ticket "nighttime" prizes, so a lot of Bill's nighttime episodes offered furs. Start with 350 episodes, eliminate the ones with tobacco logos, and then eliminate the ones that offer fur coats...and that left everyone with about 80 episodes to rerun.
We don't know if Buzzr has to adhere to similar policies, but it's worth noting that on February 16, Buzzr is scheduled to rerun three episodes from 1959: January 7, January 14, and January 21. We compared notes with fellow fan Greg Brobeck, and if our information is correct, these are three episodes that have never been rerun.
And now onto updates...
We found some info a while back about an unusual special episode of the radio incarnation of Winner Take All, and it turns out there's a publicity still from it! So we've added that.
Over at Syndicated Radio, since we're flush with Parents' Notebook episodes now, we've uploaded three of them.
In Photos, we have an album of Bill and Ann's weekend at the Stonehenge Inn and Restaurant in Connecticut.
A really neat, quirky addition has been made to ...And More!
That's it for this week...what's that? You want to see what we're talking about in that And More update? Okay, here's the YouTube link.