Tuesday, October 10, 2006


As you know by now Google acquired YouTube the other day, for millions upon millions of dollars. A ridiculous sum of money for a break-even operation.

I was reading Lost Remote and those pro-Internet kool-aid drinkers over there were once again ranting about how this was proof that television doesn't get it, that this was the end of television and how the Internet was dominating the world and so on, which is all a bunch of pro-Internet proselytizing, or however it's spelled.

The thing is, YouTube could be put out of business quite easily if the TV networks ever decided to put a stop to all the copyright infringements going on with the service. So far they just see it as a publicity tool. Whenever someone melts down on TV or something nutty happens, like the big Bill Clinton blowup on Chris Wallace's show the other week, the video from these networks almost immediately gets posted on YouTube by the fans at home. The fans are also able to post pilot episodes of network shows on here without the network's permission sometimes. That's why this service is so popular, you can sometimes watch some good viral video stuff on here.

Google figures it would be a good idea to buy them out so they could post a few ads and make even more money. But YouTube is built on quicksand. Without the TV networks cooperating with them as they are doing right now, these guys are out of business. So they have to partner up with these guys. I don't see YouTube as being proof that the end is nigh for television, because the TV guys still have all the power in the whole relationship. The TV folks can still gang up and come up with their own engine that puts YouTube out to pasture. And Google paid a ridiculous sum of money, so much that I think they got taken to the cleaners. We'll see what will come of this whole deal and whether YouTube will be able to keep going in its present form without starting to charge people money for its services.

Anyway, I thought I would share some cool stuff I found from YouTube, some TV stuff from the 1960s and 1970s. The best thing about YouTube is that they have on there a bunch of nostalgic clips of old TV shows and old commercials from years ago. So you can watch these opening credits again for the first time in years. Here's some links to some of my favorite clips.

For starters, check out the open for Hawaii Five-O. It's hard to believe but this show ran for 12 years on CBS. I remember when I first got cable TV in 1978 and found this show still on the air, with new episodes. It was hard to believe that it was still on. Book em Dano.

Cannon. This show was part of the "personality-cop" show trend of the 1970s. They didn't just have cop shows; they named the shows after these cops! Like Columbo. McCloud. Kojak. Starsky and Hutch. Here, it was Frank Cannon, played by William Conrad. And his gimmick was that he was, well, fat. Sort of like Kojak's gimmick was that he was bald.

Harry O featured David Janssen in his last regular series on network television. It ended shortly before he died, in 1976. Janssen is better known for his work on The Fugitive. What struck me was how similar the opening for this show was to the open for Quincy. Similar feel.

The FBI. This was, like Cannon and The Fugitive, a long-running Quinn Martin production. It aired from the 1960s onward and starred Efrem Zimbalist Jr., and it actually was a pretty popular show in its day. But it's a long-lost kind of show. You never see any reruns for this show running anywhere, not even on the places that usually run that kind of stuff. I find it unusual because I remembered seeing this show on TV when I was a kid, and this show ran for a long time. Also, the opening titles here are in Spanish. I guess it was a Spanish feed.

Check out the opening titles for It Takes a Thief- Season 1 , starring Robert Wagner as a suave undercover agent whose job is to steal on behalf of the U.S. government. Then check out the cool titles from season 3.

No wonder they called on Wagner to appear in the Austin Powers movies; the James Bond influence was definitely there with this show. This show ran on ABC from 1968 to 1970, and apparently my local station CFQC in Saskatoon ran this show, too, though I didn't remember ever seeing it. Maybe I was too young to remember it, or they ran it too late at night or something. In the mid-90s, CFQC brought back all these old shows they used to air and showed them again as part of their anniversary coverage, and this was one of them. But as I say, I don't remember ever seeing any episodes of this show- though I do remember Ben Casey and this other junk they used to run.

Finally here is a television ad for RC Cola that aired during the Movin' with Nancy special starring Nancy Sinatra. That special aired around 1968. I've had a crush on Nancy Sinatra ever since a trip to Los Angeles back in 1981. We visited the Movieland Wax Museum and on wax display there was Nancy, riding a motorcycle in her cool miniskirt for her movie The Wild Angels. I later discovered the campy music video she did in 1966 for These Boots are Made for Walkin'. I always thought she was a really cool babe.

As for RC Cola, I know it was a popular drink in southern California, but that's about the only place where it's popular, unfortunately. Anyway, the commercials feature Nancy singing "It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad Cola."

That's it for now, I'll see if I can post some more interesting YouTube stuff in honor of the big sale to Google. There's some music video stuff I'll post a little later.

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