Author Topic: Newsletter Mother Lode  (Read 5656 times)

mitsguy2001

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Newsletter Mother Lode
« on: May 31, 2014, 01:43:41 PM »
Tim:

I noticed that you posted about the "Newsletter Mother Lode" that you recently obtained a lot of newsletters from the early 70s.  Any info that you can share with us?  Any schedule information?  In particular, is there anything about 1036-1040, 1051-1055, 1056-1060, or 1071-1075?  Thanks.

Neighborhood Archive

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Re: Newsletter Mother Lode
« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2014, 04:52:57 PM »
Actually, all of you interested in air dates will be interested to know that there is a section in many of these issues called "Neighborhood Highlights" that directly refers to specifics episodes aired on specific dates. I'm not sure if these are original air dates but I would assume so. Youc an see an example of this in what I just posted to the site today -- Volume 2, Issue 9 of Around the Neighborhood.

http://neighborhoodarchive.com/publications/newsletters/atn0209/index.html

Sometime in the near future I'll be sharing the details of each issue...stay tuned!

mitsguy2001

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Re: Newsletter Mother Lode
« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2014, 09:18:12 PM »
Thanks!  The weeks of Feb. 3-7, 1975 and Feb. 10-14, 1975 are reruns, but the other 2 weeks are original air dates!  When converting from the old episode numbers to the new episode numbers, those were reruns of 1381-1385 and 1386-1390, which are the last 2 weeks of the 1974 season, so that makes sense, and it confirms what we already knew.  But I'm really curious now to see the other airdates that you have!  Hopefully you can post them soon.

This also proves something else: since they were still using the old episode numbers for the beginning of the 1975 season, and the trolley closings have the new episode numbers, this means that the trolley closings were not used during the first run of the 1975 season or any time before!  We had a bunch of theories as to when the trolley closing was added, but any theory of them added on Feb. 17, 1975 or earlier must be wrong.

However, 1456-1460 does refer to episodes by their new episode numbers.  One might think that the trolley closing started then (Feb. 16, 1976), but that also seems unlikely, since that week has the 4 second version of the trolley closing, which is also used in the 1975 season.  It would make no sense to use that closing for one week, only to reintroduce it again nearly 2 years later.  So maybe it started the following week, Feb. 23, 1976, when 1001 reran.  But that also seems strange, since that week (and the following week) have a different, softer version of the 4 second trolley closing, which, as far as we know, was never used again.  We had the theory that the 1975-76 version was scaring kids so they softened it up for 1001-1010.  But in any case, this clearly means that it was not introduced on Feb. 16, 1976.  If it had been introduced then, when they decided that the 1975 episodes needed a 4 second trolley closing, they would have used the softer one from 1001-1010, not the one from 1456-1460, as 1001-1010 had aired more recently.

If I had to take a guess, I would still say that the trolley closing was introduced on Feb. 23, 1976.

mitsguy2001

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Re: Newsletter Mother Lode
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2014, 09:21:54 PM »
I saw Volume 1 Number 3 posted: it included schedule info for the summer of 1973.  Specifically, May 28, 1973 - Aug. 31, 1973, where all of 1136-1205 aired consecutively.  Obviously, May 21-25, 1973 had to have been 1131-1135, the 1971 season premiere.  This means that, as I suspected, after the 1973 season, the 1971, 1972, and 1973 season all reran.

I'm looking forward to seeing more information.  In the early years, the biggest mystery is the fact that the 1972 season started a week later than the 1971 season.  After the 1971 season, presumably the 1969, 1970, and 1971 seasons all reran, but that leaves one week unaccounted for.  Did a 1968 week rerun (if so which week), or did a week from either 1969, 1970, or 1971 get an extra airing, and if so, which week, and when did it air.  There is also the mystery of what aired the week of May 25-29, 1970.  Unfortunately, I doubt that these newsletters go back to 1970 or even 1971.  I also hope that they go up to the 80s so that we can find out about when 1036-1040, 1051-1055, 1056-1060, and 1071-1075 last aired, but I doubt that.  Finally, we know that 1 week from the 1968 season did not rerun before the 1969 season.  We think it was 1-5, but that is not confirmed either.  Again, I doubt Tim has anything going back that far.

mjb1124

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Re: Newsletter Mother Lode
« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2014, 03:14:29 PM »
Here's something I find curious regarding trolley closings and airdates: As we now know, the 1973 and 1974 episodes were reran in 1975.   Those episodes are also the only ones to have the long Friday trolley closing with the Bureau of Education for the Handicapped underwriting credit - a credit which also appears after the funding announcements on the 1975 Friday episodes.    I'm guessing that this is not a coincidence.   It could possibly mean that the trolley closings debuted on the May 19, 1975 rerun of episode 1261, though I'm not sure how likely that is considering the different closings on 1001-1010.   Maybe the 1975 reruns of the 1973-74 episodes had an added closing with just the Bureau of Education credit?

By the way, I don't think the difference in closing between 1456-1460 and 1001-1010 necessarily means that 1456-1460 debuted without trolley closings.   Remember that the 1001-1010 closing is actually a bit longer and has funding credits, unlike the one seen on 1975-76 episodes.   Most likely the 4 second version was prepared first for the 1975-76 episodes, then the slightly longer version for 1001-1010, and then they switched to the longer/larger font version for episodes from 1011 on.   

Another things I find interesting from these newsletters, which I also remember reading elsewhere before:  as of 1973, Fred had plans to make 780 episodes of the show, which would eventually run in a continuous cycle repeating every 3 years.    But he decided to halt production in 1976 after 590 episodes, with only the 460 color episodes being rerun for the next three years after that.    (Even in 1973, he did state that the B&W episodes would probably not be rerun, though it seemed like he was still counting them towards the 780 episode goal.)     Then, of course, the show returned on a much more limited production schedule in 1979. 

The overall number of episodes did eventually exceed 780, but the pre-79 episodes had already been taken out of the rotation by that point.     I think the highest number of episodes in rotation at one time might have been in the low 500s, at some point in the 80's.   And the longest period you could ever watch the show without seeing the same episode twice was about a year and a half, during the 1976-79 hiatus era.   Once the post-79 era started, there were certain episodes repeated every year.
« Last Edit: June 06, 2014, 03:17:06 PM by mjb1124 »

mitsguy2001

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Re: Newsletter Mother Lode
« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2014, 11:36:56 AM »
Here's something I find curious regarding trolley closings and airdates: As we now know, the 1973 and 1974 episodes were reran in 1975.   Those episodes are also the only ones to have the long Friday trolley closing with the Bureau of Education for the Handicapped underwriting credit - a credit which also appears after the funding announcements on the 1975 Friday episodes.    I'm guessing that this is not a coincidence.   It could possibly mean that the trolley closings debuted on the May 19, 1975 rerun of episode 1261, though I'm not sure how likely that is considering the different closings on 1001-1010.

That seems very unlikely.  Remember, someone noticed that in 1131-1260 and Mon-Thurs episodes 1261-1389, the trolley closing was a very slightly shorter version of the one used in 1011-1260.  Since it appears not to be a new recording, but rather an edited version, it is not likely that any 1131-1390 episode was the first to have the trolley closing.  It had to have been somewhere between 1391-1460 or 1001-1130, most likely 1001, and most likely its airing on Feb. 23, 1976.

Quote
   Maybe the 1975 reruns of the 1973-74 episodes had an added closing with just the Bureau of Education credit?

That could be.

Quote
By the way, I don't think the difference in closing between 1456-1460 and 1001-1010 necessarily means that 1456-1460 debuted without trolley closings.   Remember that the 1001-1010 closing is actually a bit longer and has funding credits, unlike the one seen on 1975-76 episodes.   Most likely the 4 second version was prepared first for the 1975-76 episodes, then the slightly longer version for 1001-1010, and then they switched to the longer/larger font version for episodes from 1011 on.   

Good point, but it's not likely that 1456-1460 had the trolley closing when 1391-1455 didn't.

Quote
Another things I find interesting from these newsletters, which I also remember reading elsewhere before:  as of 1973, Fred had plans to make 780 episodes of the show, which would eventually run in a continuous cycle repeating every 3 years.    But he decided to halt production in 1976 after 590 episodes, with only the 460 color episodes being rerun for the next three years after that.    (Even in 1973, he did state that the B&W episodes would probably not be rerun, though it seemed like he was still counting them towards the 780 episode goal.)     Then, of course, the show returned on a much more limited production schedule in 1979. 

Interestingly, even during the 70s, it seems that episodes that were 3 years old were "retired" in favor or rerunning the current season, which contradicts what Fred wanted to do.  But maybe as long as they were making new episodes, they wanted the last season to air immediately before the new season for continuity reasons.

Quote
The overall number of episodes did eventually exceed 780, but the pre-79 episodes had already been taken out of the rotation by that point.     I think the highest number of episodes in rotation at one time might have been in the low 500s, at some point in the 80's.   And the longest period you could ever watch the show without seeing the same episode twice was about a year and a half, during the 1976-79 hiatus era.   Once the post-79 era started, there were certain episodes repeated every year.

Interestingly, the show was most popular during the early-mid 80s, which was roughly when the largest number of episodes aired.

We don't know for sure what the largest number of episodes ever was, since we don't know when the infamous episodes 1036-1040, 1051-1055, 1056-1060, or 1071-1075 last aired.  By the 1983-84 season, there were 495 episodes in the rotation (1001-1030, 1066-1070, and 1076-1535).  Or maybe we can only count 485, since 1526-1535 didn't first air until after 1001-1030 had their last airing.  In the 1988-89 season, the rotation had 1066-1070 and 1076-1610, which is 540 episodes.  But 1291-1350, 1396-1400, 1411-1420, and 1441-1445 would never air again, so that leaves 460 episodes, coincidentally (or not?) the same number of color pre-79s.  Though I would really count 1396-1400, 1411-1420, and 1441-1445 since they all aired in the fall of 1988, so that leaves 480 episodes, slightly less than the 485 from 1983-84.  If we go to just before 1296-1300 (the first post-1970 week to have its last airing) last aired, the rotation would have been 1066-1070 and 1076-1580, which is 510 episodes, all of which would air again.  So, depending on how you count it, I would say that the maximum episode library size was 510, between May 8, 1987 (when 1580 had its first airing) and Sept. 27, 1987 (the day before 1296 had its last airing).  The maximum library size could not have been during the early 80s, since even with all of 1001-1460 airing (including the 4 banned weeks), another 10 weeks of post-75s wouldn't exist until 1506-1510 first aired in 1983, and we know the banned weeks were gone by then.  And by the time there were another 4 weeks to replace them, all of the 1969 season was gone.

So, I have proven that the maximum episode library size was 510 episodes, from May 8, 1987 and Sept. 27, 1987, and the 510 episodes were 1066-1070 and 1076-1580.  Again, that is close to when MRN was at its peak in popularity (the 1985-86 season).

bjdwsm

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Re: Newsletter Mother Lode
« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2014, 05:41:27 PM »
I'm curious whether the newsletters will have any discussion of the show's new look for the 1973-74 production run. 

Quinn

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Re: Newsletter Mother Lode
« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2014, 09:26:09 PM »
These are very interesting to read. They're full of information that we'd likely never know about otherwise. I liked the article on the model revamp.

pastorscott

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Re: Newsletter Mother Lode
« Reply #8 on: July 14, 2014, 10:59:43 PM »
Thanks to the newsletter referring to the new model, it looks like the little green house (#7) in-between the yellow and blue houses is Negri's Music Shop.  And here I thought all this time that the green house was the Little Theater.  But, I think in later episodes Negri's must have moved to the Yellow or Blue building, as the camera seems to stop there.