Thursday, April 17, 2008

Hocus Focus

Following up on my previous post about appearing as a guest on this week’s edition of the KSAV “global radio” series Talking Television with Dave White, an archive of that show is now available online. Click here to listen.

I had been asked to speak on the subject of Bill Bixby’s 1973-1974 TV series, The Magician, but the show was focused more generally on Bixby’s career and accomplishments. Also making guest appearances that night were Renee Tufo, who’s leading a campaign to win Bixby posthumous induction into the Television Academy Hall of Fame; and Brandon Cruz, who was Bixby’s child co-star in The Courtship of Eddie’s Father (1969-1972). Because Cruz was “kind of a last minute addition,” according to host Ed Robertson, and because he had so many interesting tales to tell (including one about how Bixby’s first wife, Brenda Benet, was apparently the first naked woman he ever saw in the flesh), my participation was scaled back a bit. But I still had a chance to talk about The Magician in the last third of the show, and Robertson says he’ll invite me back sometime to say more.

I’ll let you all know if that happens.

Meanwhile, I’m embedding here the main title sequence from the 1973 pilot film for The Magician. It’s very much like the intro to the show that would follow, except the latter used a different typeface for its titles, and--for some peculiar reason--re-created a scene picked up from the pilot, which had originally found actress Elizabeth Ashley kissing Bixby, substituting another woman in the same circumstances. Nostalgia buffs, you may begin reveling now.

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