I Miss You, Ed Sullivan
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Would someone please explain to me what has happened to television? We now have, literally, hundreds (well some people have hundreds) of channels to choose from, and there is nothing good to watch!

I remember when the television stations in New York were channels 2, 4, 5, 7, 9, 11, and 13. The three major broadcasts were CBS (2), NBC (4), and ABC (7). And you know what? There were plenty of good shows to watch. In fact, sometimes you couldn’t decide which show to watch when they were running against each other.

You may be wondering what I consider “good shows.” Well, first of all, I remember new made-for-TV movies every week. I can also remember, not so long ago, a movie every Sunday night on all the three major stations. What has happened to the one-hour drama shows like “Matlock,” “Jake and the Fat Man” and “Family Law?” We see very few of them now. Remember family shows like “Little House on the Prairie” and “The Walton’s?” Remember the sitcoms between 8 and 9 before the movie began? You know the sitcoms that weren’t focused on just sexual situations? Then, tell me, where are the terrific variety shows?

For those of you who didn’t remember that classic TV show, Ed Sullivan had the best variety show on the air. He brought entertainment into our homes every Sunday night at 8 p.m. For one hour, we would see entertainment in all forms - singers, dancers, comics, musicians, magicians, jugglers, and even animal acts. There was always something for everyone every week.

Over the years, there were other variety shows such as “Shindig,” “The Carol Burnett Show,” “Sonny and Cher,” “Tony Orlando,” and of course, every weekday afternoon was Dick Clark’s “American Bandstand.”

Okay, what do we have today? We have hundreds of movies playing over and over again on every cable station. If I see the “Godfather” one more time, I think I’m going to puke. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that the “Godfather” wasn’t a great movie, but why does it need to be jammed down our throats every other week? Or do the stations think that there is still a person in this country who hasn’t seen the movie yet!?

Then we have the reality shows! Please tell me why at the end of a busy, stressful day would anyone be interested in reality? People watch television to relax, to be entertained, and to get away from reality. What is so exciting about watching people clean someone’s filthy, maggot-infested home, for example? And how many home and body makeovers can thrill us every night? Also, if I’m watching performers compete, that’s all I want to see. I want to watch them entertain, not follow his/her every step before walking out on that stage!

I’m not saying that there is absolutely nothing on television that is worthwhile seeing. Yes, I occasionally find a new movie on, but very few in a month. It seems that there were more new made-for-TV-movies before we had so many cable stations! How incredible is that? More stations, less choices!

It is becoming really pathetic searching through the TV listings every night and finding the same movies running and seeing reality shows taking over the spots that were once filled with drama, comedy, and entertainment. Maybe I need to get lost in a story (and not one I’ve seen 30 times before) and maybe I enjoy watching a singer perform or laugh at a comic.

I miss you, Archie Bunker. I miss you, Mary Richards. I even miss you, Laura Ingalls. Yes, of course I miss and did love you, Lucy. Most of all, I miss you, Ed Sullivan.

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