Total Television is perhaps the most complete guide available on American television. Offering listings on over 5,400 series from 1948 through 1995, this resource provides a treasure trove of fascinating lore and minutiae about TV and, in the process, about American popular culture. Each series listing reports the air dates, the network affiliation, and a summary of the show’s premise and significant cast members. The level of detail is admirable. For instance, it notes that Don Hornsby, the original host of Broadway Open House, died of polio within two weeks of its original airing in 1950; that Barbara Colby of Phyllis was found murdered after three episodes of her show; and that Pick and Pat, which aired briefly in 1949, was the only variety show that regularly featured minstrel acts.
Of added interest is a listing of noteworthy specials, detailed charts showing the prime-time schedules for the networks by season, a summary of Peabody and Emmy award winners, a recap of the highest rated programs from 1949 through 1995, and an index of 19,000 personalities, which will allow the reader to check out the credits of their favorite TV entertainers. JAT
Paperback: 1251 pages