Saturday, November 29, 2008

Not so "Good Times" behind-the-scenes

Have you ever heard the behind-the-scenes trivia of the actors versus producers battle of the CBS 1970's hit "Good Times"? No, then listen up. But first, do you remember what series "Good Times" was a spin off from? Esther Role was the no-nonsense maid from Bea Arthur's hit show "Maude". Audiences liked her so much that they gave her a spin off. Created by Eric Monte and Michael Evans (the original Lionel on "All In The Family and The Jeffersons) the show hit the airwaves in 1974 on CBS. It was one of the first TV shows that featured the struggles of a lower income african american family in which the mother and father were strong and upheld good values for their kids. The show wasn't afraid of taking chances with controversial topics like race and unemployment.

Apparently, as the show progressed John Amos and Esther Role were fighting to keep the show's reputation of pushing-the-limits in tact. But as Jimmie Walker's character of JJ began to take-off the plots began turning more toward his goofy character and away from those social issue based episodes.

As a result John Amos left after 2 seasons and Esther Role left after 3. The show's last episode aired on August 1st 1979 but it still rings as a groundbreaking show from the 1970's that still has legs today. You can still see it on TV Land to this day ( )
....and don't forget to look for Janet Jackson's adorable Penny. last thing. Walona, played by Janet Du Bois sang the theme song for another great sit-com in the 70's...what was it? Answers in the next blog. Until then...don't change the channel.

Eric Chilton

Friday, November 28, 2008


Quick, name your favorite television show growing up! I'm sure it didn't take long for a few titles and names to fly into your head. Isn't it funny how the invention of television has shaped pop culture and the way we get our entertainment. I was a complete television junkie as a kid. I watched WAY too much television. (And no, I don't allow my kids to watch as much as I did. LOL) I actually had the weekly television schedule pinned to my bulletin board in my room. (geek) But I couldnt miss the Six Million Dollar Man or Happy Days and Laverne and Shirley. Or what about Love Boat or Fantasy Island...Ok, Ok I'll stop now.

You get the idea. I love this little idiot box that has lit our living rooms for decades. It's why I do what I do now. I would've never guessed that as a kid I would eventually have a small role on television as a local weatherman/host/feature reporter. I absolutely LOVE what I do and every night before the little red light goes on I try to remember the scene at my house growing up when the local news came on. Mom and Dad on the on my stomach doing homework and our local funny-guy weatherman Frank Deal making us all smi le and laugh. I hope I can be that guy now that Frank has long since retired from the market.

Anyway, I hope you love television as much as I do because if that's true you have found your blog home. If you check out our podcast weekly we will be delving into lots of old TV shows. From the early days with Sid Ceasar and Jackie Gleason through the decades to the shows we loved in the 80's like Growing Pains.

Join us as we turn on the flux capacitor and visit our favorite shows and the stars that made them famous. Drop me a comment on this post with an old TV show you would like us to "trivialize".
See ya soon.

Eric Chilton