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Welcome to Central Illinois' On-Line Broadcast Museum. This website documents in detail the history of each of the viewable TV stations, past and present, across mid-Illinois in text, photos, and videos, as well as each station's current status. This site also includes some local radio history and automated analog formats, again told in pictures, videos, and text. 

Note that this website displays best on a full-size monitor, desktop, or laptop computer.

If you are using your phone, use the "desktop" view. You can zoom in on the page if needed.

Doug Quick 1978

Doug Quick 
Radio/TV Broadcaster/Historian, Author, Webmaster
complete bio available here.

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Doug from 1978.

Videos of the Week

The Tonight Show (1965) NBC New Year's Eve Show

The video above is a New Year's Eve show broadcast on December 31, 1965. It begins with Ed McMahon and Skitch Henderson, the band leader. It included guests Woody Allen and some guests you might not have heard of, including Gila Golan and Willliam Walke. During the show, cutaways were made (in black and white) with reporter Ben Grauer at Times Square, New York. 

This was only three years or so after Johnny Carson took over the show's reins. It's also one of the few video tapes from that era that is still in existence.

The show's format was slightly different, with a 15-minute lead-off with Ed and Skitch and the NBC orchestra. Many affiliates joined the show at 10:45 pm CT when Johnny's entrance and monolog took place. The guests would sit with Johnny at the desk, a tradition that started with Steve Allen in the 1950s. 

This installment of "Tonight" would have been seen across mid-Illinois on WICS, WEEK-TV, WGEM-TV, WTWO-TV(just five months after Channel 2 signed on), and KSD-TV.

22 New Shows of Winter-Spring TV 1985

If you were around in the Winter and Spring of 1985, here were some of the "new" shows you were probably sampling. Some you might not remember, but a few you probably do. 

Watch for shows like "Crazy Like a Fox," "Sara" (watch the pilot show below) with Geena Davis, Bill Maher, and Mark Hudson, "Mr. Belvidere, "The Lucie Arnaz Show," "Hail to the Chief" with Patty Duke and Ted Bessell, "The Best Times," "Half Nelson" with Joe Pesci, "Me and Mom" with Lisa Eilbacher and Holland Taylor with Bruce Jenner, "MacGruder and Loud," "Eye to Eye," "Detective in the House" with Judd Hirsch, "Double Dare," "Moonlighting" with Bruce Willis and Cybill Shephard, and many more shows. 

You say you don't remember, but a few of them? A trip back with this video may bring back some memories.

This post is from the RwDt09 Channel.

Vintage Celebrity Commercials (60s-80s)

The commercials in this video above take us on a journey into our past, with many commercials from classic shows featuring the stars of the shows selling the sponsors' products. 

From Alvin and the Chipmunks to William Shatner, Ali McGraw to Jerry Lewis, Danny Thomas to Clint Eastwood, Susan Dey to Cybill Shephard, David Janssen and the cast of "Dennis the Menace" are all called on to support the sponsors.

From the FredFlix YouTube Channel.

Laverne and Shirley (1976) ABC

The video above is a recording from WLS-TV on March 2, 1976. It shows the ending of "Happy Days" airing before "Laverne and Shirley." That's followed by Harry Reasoner with a primary election report and the opening for "The Rookies." This video includes all commercials, which is more significant than the program.

 

"Laverne and Shirley" premiered January 27, 1976, and continued long after it should have through May 10, 1983. The show was created and produced by Garry Marshall, beginning during "Happy Days," which was also created and produced by Mr. Marshall.

It starred Penny Marshall and Cindy Williams, both no longer with us. Others in the cast included Eddie Mekka as Carmine Ragusa, Phil Foster as Frank DeFazio, and the breakout characters Lenny and Squiggy, played by Michael McKean and David L. Lander.

The behind-the-scenes of "Laverne and Shirley" was not pleasant. The rivalry between the two stars became quite fierce the longer the show continued. Cindy Williams finally left the series during her pregnancy in 1982. That wasn't the only issue. There were disagreements among the production staff, writers, and stars. 

In his book "My Happy Days in Hollywood," Garry Marshall, Penny Marshall's brother, describes how his daughter wanted to observe the productions of Happy Days and Laverne and Shirley. She visited the HD set, but her dad, Garry Marshall, refused to let her on the L&D set. He knew it wouldn't be pleasant and didn't want her to observe the chaos there.

"Laverne and Shirley" aired in mid-Illinois on ABC affiliates WAND, WRAU, and KTVI. It also aired later in syndication on WICS, WICD, and perhaps WRAU-TV.

 

Posted by The Museum of Classic Chicago Television
 

Second City Television (1978) Syndicated 

This video above was recorded from WMAQ-TV, which broadcast the legendary series "Second City Television," produced in Canada. It was in first-run syndication, meaning that WMAQ would air new episodes. Even though "Second City" describes Chicago, a Toronto, Canada faction began producing this series in 1977, lasting through 1981. Seventy-eight episodes were produced.

NBC aired the series in a 90-minute format via syndication on Friday night from 11 pm to 1 am from May 1981 to June 1983. This particular video was from the first run of a 30-minute show during the syndication period of the program airing on August 20, 1978.  

Stars of the ensemble comedy cast included John Candy, Joe Flaherty, Eugene Levy, Andrea Martin, Catherine O-Hara, Harold Ramis, and Dave Thomas. "SCTV" was a parody of television and included sketches based on current TV and shows of the past.

Other "Second City" graduates include SNL's John Buluski, Dan Aykroyd, and Gilda Radner. The group also boasts other graduates, including Robert Klein, David Steinberg, Valerie Harper, Joan Rivers, Alan Arkin, Elaine May, and Mike Nichols.

Posted by The Museum of Classic Chicago Television

Sara (1985) NBC Geena Davis

As I look at the cast of this show, I would have predicted a much longer run of "Sara." Geena Davis played Sara McKenna, a single young woman working in a small San Francisco law firm.

 

Other cast members included Alfre Woodard ("Desperate Housewives") as her friend and co-worker, Bill Maher ("Real Time with Bill Maher") an opportunistic attorney at the firm, and Bronson Pinchot ("Perfect Strangers") a gay attorney at the firm, Mark Hudson (pop group member "The Hudson Brothers" and Kate Hudson's uncle) as a neighbor at Sara's apartment building, a single father with a young son played by Matthew Lawrence.

"Sara" premiered in January 1985 on NBC, airing on Wednesdays at 8:30 - 9 pm (CT), with the final episode airing in May. Over mid-Illinois, it was seen on WICS, WICD, WEEK-TV, WGEM-TV, WTWO-TV, and KSDK. 

"Sara" was posted to YouTube by The Retro Sitcom Network.

Jack Benny Program (1961) CBS Guest Raymond Burr

Here is another "cross-promoting" effort by CBS with this edition of "The Jack Benny Program" airing November 5, 1961. The superstar lawyer "Perry Mason" played by Raymond Burr, made an appearance as Jack goes on trial for murder. 

Jack gets sued for having a loud rooster in his backyard, so he goes to consult with a lawyer played by long-time JB cast member Frank Wilson. He returns home to take a nap and dreams he's in the courtroom facing a murder charge (for killing his rooster) and is represented by Perry Mason. The prosecuting attorney is played by Frank Nelson, giving Jack confidence that he'll win the case, but will he? Watch this funny episode and find out if he'll wake up before he's sentenced to death. 

This long-running CBS show aired from October 1950 through September 1964. It starred his radio cast, which included Don Wilson, "Rochester" Eddie Anderson, Dennis Day, Frank Wilson, Artie Auerbach, and Mel Blanc. Jack's real-life wife, Mary Livingston, made guest appearances as well. 

It initially aired throughout mid-Illinois on WCIA, WMBD-TV, KHQA, WTHI-TV, and KMOX-TV. Four classic episodes of "The Jack Benny Program" were also seen on CBS in August 1977. 

This video was posted on YouTube on the Free the Kinescopes Channel.

Classic Radio

WGER, 102.5FM (early 1970s) Bay City, Michigan

This station has no relevance to central Illinois other than the fact that our area was a home for the Beautiful Music format, which was well represented in the major cities and a few smaller ones at one time or another from the late 1950s through the late 1970s.

 

Before you write off this format as "elevator music," you might be surprised to find out how successful WGER and other beautiful music stations were at picking up solid numbers and incredibly loyal audiences. The station featured in the video above was #1 in its market with all listeners 12+; adults 18+, 18-49, 25-49, and 25-54; women 18-49, 25-49, and 25-54; and men 18+, 25-54. 

You'll see samples of various automated formats on this website under Radio History and Automated Radio Formats.

So, where did these stations exist? In Peoria, it was WSWT, 106.9FM; in Champaign, it was WDWS-FM, 97.5FM; in Decatur, it was WSOY-FM, 102.9FM; in Springfield, it was WVEM, 101.9FM; and in Taylorville, it was WTIM-FM, 92.7FM. Others played the music but mixed in many other program elements and formats. One of the last was WGCY in Gibson City, Illinois, which played the format through the 1990s.

If anyone has airchecks from any of the stations mentioned above, please message me on the form at the bottom of this page. We can arrange to have any recordings transferred to my YouTube Channel.

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I hope to have a new edition of my book "Pictures on the Prairie: The First Ten Years of Mid-Illinois Television" e-book set for purchase sometime during the Spring of 2024.

Previously on Videos

of the Week...

 

If you've missed any of the "Videos of the Week" or "Classic Radio" recordings, you'll find them here. Unfortunately, there's no narrative to go along with each. You have to visit each week for that.

The Joey Bishop Show (1968) Guests: Rat Packers

The Joey Bishop Show (1969) First Half Hour

The Dick Cavett Show (1972) Guests: Mel Brooks, Robert Altman, Peter Bogdanovich, and Frank Capra

The Dick Cavett Show (1973) Guest: Paul Newman

ABC Late Night (1980) Opening Titles

ABC Late Night (1982) Aircheck/Breaks from WAND

The Love Boat (1983) ABC Guest: Barry Van Dyke

KXOK (1967) Johnny Rabbitt Show

Perry Mason Promo (1960) CBS

Perry Mason-Opening Titles (1957-1995) CBS/NBC

Perry Mason (1957) CBS The Case of the Sulky Girl

Judd for the Defense (1967) ABC Carl Betz

Owen Marshall, Counselor at Law (1973) ABC Arthur Hill, Lee Majors, Reni Santoni

L.A. Law 100th Episode Special (1991) NBC Jan Pauly

Boston Legal (2004) ABC James Spader

Perry Mason (1943-1951) CBS Radio

The Edsel Show (1957) CBS

President Dwight Eisenhower (1958) NBC

Price is Right segment/Kraft Music Hall (1958) NBC

Dinah Shore Show (1958) NBC

Dinah Shore Chevy Show (1959) NBC

Steve Allen Show (1959) NBC

Astaire Time (1960) NBC

An Evening With Fred Astaire 1958) NBC

The Jetsons Opening (1962) ABC

The Hollywood Palace 1965) ABC First in Color

The Hollywood Palace (1965) ABC

NBC Color Promo (1964-65)

Assorted Promos (1967) NBC

Thursday Sunday Specials (1968) NBC

Bob Hope Christmas Show (1968) NBC

Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In (1968) NBC Guests: John Wayne, Sally Field, Terry Thomas

The Dean Martin Show (1968) NBC Guests: Orson Welles, Joey Heatherton, Buck Owens, Bob Melvin

Bonanza (1968) NBC Guests: Albert Salmi, Richard Carlson

Commercials/Promos (1960s) ABC/NBC

Classic Radio

WBBM-FM (1965) Art Hellyer Show

The Saint (1968) NBC The Fellow Traveler

The Prisoner (1967) CBS Ep 1

The Avengers (1967) ABC The Winged Avenger

The Avengers (1968) ABC The Forget Me Knot

Monty Python's Flying Circus (1969-74)

BBC 1/PBS The Ministry of Silly Walks Sketch

Monty Python's Flying Circus (1969-74) BBC 1/PBS The Olympic Hide and Seek Finals

Classic Radio

Lite Rock 97.5, WHMS (2001) Lee Marcus

Twilight Zone (1963) CBS There's a Man Out There

SNL (2010) NBC Nightmare at 20,000 Feet Sketch

For the People (1965) CBS Episode 1

The Defenders (1965) CBS Guests: Wm Shatner, Madlyn Rue

Barbary Coast (1975) ABC Ep 1 Funny Money

Columbo (1976/1993) NBC/ABC Wm Shatner

The Practice (2004) ABC Wm Shatner

Classic Radio

WWTO, 105.7, Peoria (1973) Drake-Chenault Solid Gold

The America We Knew: March 1976

The Love Boat (1982) ABC Clip with Markie Post, Lyle Waggoner

Today (1952) NBC First Broadcast with Dave Garoway

Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In (1968) NBC Outtakes with Don Rickles, Ruth Buzzi and Arte Johnson

Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In (1971) NBC Outtakes with Adam-12 Stars

Unsold Pilot-Dream Wife (1965) Shirley Jones

Classic Radio

WJBC-AM (1974) Ken Behrens

The Tonight Show (1965) NBC New Year's Eve Show

22 New Shows of Winter-Spring 1985

Vintage Celebrity Commercials (60s-80s)

Laverne and Shirley (1976) ABC

Second City Televsion (1978) Syn.

Sara (1985) NBC Geena Davis

Jack Benny Program (1961) CBS Raymond Burr

Classic Radio

WGER-FM, 102.5FM (early 70s) Bay City Michigan, Beautiful Music

New Stuff on this Site

April 23, 2024-The Peoria TV Today page has been updated to show a new channel line-up on W27EQ-D. Thanks to Daniel Kolb for the i

May 27, 2024-The Peoria TV Today pate has been updated to show the latest channel lineup on W27EQ-D. Once again, thanks to Daniel Kolb for the update.


May 30, 2024- I added pictures from the Danville Sunrise Rotary Anniversary Dinner, where I gave the keynote speech. To see them, click here.

May 30, 2024-I updated and corrected the TV Today-Quincy and WVDM-LD listing. The long-rim shot TV station for Quincy and north St. Louis burbs added The Live 365 and Outlaw networks. Thanks for the heads-up to "Jo Blow."

June 15, 2024-TV Today, the Chicago market station lineup was updated with minor changes.

June 22, 2024- I reposted AJ Gersh's complete interview with me recorded at WICS in September 2023.

Next Week on 
Videos of the Week

 

to be announced 

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Central Illinois On-Line Broadcast Museum and dougquick.com supports the work of the St. Louis Media History Foundation. 

Visit their website at:

stlmediahistory.org

 

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