Retro TV Guide Ads & Scans Blog #1

Welcome to one of our many new upcoming projects: Retro TV Guide Ads & Scans!!  Born out of my research for Boston Horror TV Listings from old TV Guides, I’ve found a plethora of nostalgic information and ads from the days when TV was really cool.  This page is not only for you oldsters to reminisce, but also for the young people to learn about the cool stuff that they missed out on!!  Which is the mission of Then Is Now!!!  I plan on branching the TV Guide Scans off into it’s own blog, but for now this will be our introductory publication.

A brief explanation as to what this is all about: TV Guide was once the magazine of record. It used to be small; what is commonly referred to as “digest sized” because that is the same size as famous magazine, Reader’s Digest. Each week, TV Guide had fascinating articles about Television, both in front and behind the camera, as well as a plethora of reviews and information on all things TV related. It also had regional Television Listings, so a TV Guide sold in Boston would have listings for Boston area channels, while a TV Guide in Los Angeles would be tailored for that area, and thus it was not universally used across the country. The best part of TV Guide back in the day was the ability to flip back and forth to days gone by and days ahead, as well as check listings all through the night. Modern TV Guide pales in comparison with only network listings and limitied time on it’s grid (usually 8pm – 11pm for listings). This is why I am painstakingly researching old TV Guides, so you can enjoy all the cool elements from them without having to research them yourself!

You can find the main page for it on Facebook:  So sit back and enjoy these scans and observations on TV of the past as we take a journey through time…!!

This week’s topic is “Theme Weeks”. These aren’t seen on TV very much today unless networks are centering it around a big holiday like Halloween or Christmas. Generally speaking, in the good old days of Television, before or near the beginning of pay cable channels, most people watch their movies on the three big networks, their affiliates, or the local independent stations. A “Theme Week” was when one of these stations that played movies on a daily (usually weekday) basis decided to pick a topic – an actor, a director, a genre, etc. – and each day a film related to that topic would play. For example, if it was “John Wayne Week”, every film that week would obviously be a John Wayne film. Presented here are two theme weeks from Boston/New England Edition TV Guides in 1982 and 1983:

The above week is from August 30th to September 3rd, 1982. At the time, Channel 7 was Boston’s CBS affiliate. If you can imagine, they would show movies every weekday at 4pm, rather than Judge Shows or the News! Well, this particular week was “Monsters on the Prowl Week” with the following lineup: Monday – Return of the Fly, Tuesday – Barracuda, Wednesday – Mighty Joe Young, Thursday – Devil Dog: The Hound of Hell, and Friday – Uncanny! I remember running home from school to see Return of the Fly and Mighty Joe Young, while my mother was looking forward to Devil Dog!

Next up, Fright Week on Boston’s Channel 56 (now The CW), October 24-28, 1983:

Note that Monday through Wednesday have ads, but Thursday and Friday do not. I’m not sure why except that it was probably a space consideration. The lineup is as follows: Monday – He Knows You’re Alone, Tuesday – Psycho, Wednesday – Stranger in our House, Thursday – Kiss the Girls and Make Them Die, and Friday – Wait Until Dark. Now, Wait Until Dark is more of a Thriller than Horror, but I’ll give it a pass. But Kiss the Girls?? That’s a Spy Spoof! See for yourself: Kiss The Girls and Make Them Die Trailer.

That would explain why Thurs and Fri didn’t get half page ads!

Okay, that’s all we have for now! Join us next time when Retro TV Guide Ads and Scans will detatch from Then is Now and become it’s own spin-off blog! If you have comments, questions, or requests of a TV Guide-related nature, please email me at TVGuide Scans

TV Guide is © 2015 CBS Interactive Inc. All rights reserved. This fan page is purely for nostalgic purposes. No copyright infringement is intended. No money is being made on this page.