The Poor Soul of Television

Dirty talk shows, TV parties, Dr. Videovich, and other public access jewels
by Leah Churner   posted Jun 25, 2009

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The lofty intellectual Leah Churner has the amazing ability to spill much ink on cableTV shows that nobody ever watched the first time around & which have had absolutely NO impact on that great levelizer, the Internet. Only ONE show that she mentions (albeit in passing), 'The Ugly George Hour Of Truth,Sex & Violence' has garnered 1 Billion links as millions WANT to watch
ugly george   posted 27.05.13

This exhibit makes it seem that cable TV's golden era is an age of fossilized relics. These relics are propped up like T-Rex skeletons to be marveled at. On the contrary some programs such as mine still exist. Videowave has been on the air on cable TV since 1982. We provide exposure for innovative music from punk to present.
Videowave   posted 08.10.11

Golly gee whiz, said Ugly George must be some kind of egomaniac to point out that he is the ONLY access-producer with 110,000,000 web links; that he singlehandedly SAVED access in June, 1981 when NYS Assembly wanted to outlaw it and again by going to the FCC in D.C. in 1995-all quietly of course. Corrupt politicians always blame "porno" for causing hi taxes...
ugly george   posted 20.03.11

I had a desire to begin my own business, however I did not earn enough of cash to do this. Thank goodness my close mate recommended to utilize the business loans. Thence I used the commercial loan and made real my desire.
Leticia27Tanner   posted 11.10.10

I found this article and thought I should issue a few corrections... As a puppeteer, I've been hosting "Rapid T. Rabbit and Friends" since 1983 on the old Channel C right up to the present day on MNN Channel 56. RTR only occaisionally made guest appearances on "The Vole Show" back then. However from 1980 through 2005 I had been one of the puppeteers on Vole, in fact the one who was the *talking* frog. By the same token, William Hohauser created and appears as Cuppy on the RTR Show all throughout its history. The Vole Show is no longer on Public Access after William got tired of the way MNN kept shuffling the show's late-night timeslot around in a manner that prevented him from doing it Live anymore. Once in awhile Vole will resurface on Channel 35 (Southern Manhattan) when it fills in for The Grube Tube (which also similarly fled MNN) on Thursday nights that Steve Gruberg takes off from hosting. Speaking of which, Manhattan Cable TV doubled the price of airtime on the old Channel J after the City of NY in effect gave up any regulatory influence it had over it. This had the effect of forcing most Channel J shows onto Channels C & D sans their sponsors, with the notable exception of the well-financed adult programmers. When 1991 rolled around, a new city cable franchise went into effect that created MNN, QPTV, BronxNet, B-CAT & SICTV to administer the Public Access in their respective boroughs but without any provisions for a Public Lease channel. But at the same time, under the Cable Act, Time Warner Cable (which by then completely absorbed Manhattan Cable) had replaced the former Public Lease Channel J in Manhattan with Commercial Lease Channel 35...essentially same concept but with much more red-tape and legal requirements from the producers. When Manhattan Cable started offering Live studio facilities in the late 1970's, it was not their own that were available...instead they got a string of private studios to tie feeds into their control room. Jim Chladek's ETC Studios (later renamed Metro-Access Inc.) was the busiest and most "famous" of these but there was also ELA Studios, Vidlo Video, Automation House, and Corporate Video Services. ETC Metro-Access lasted the longest of these and only ceased operations a little over 2 years ago, succumbing to their loss of business to the free (albeit with regulation-heavy red-tape) studios at MNN despite hedging against that by branching out into the low-power UHF broadcasting business. In a fit of irony, the former literal hole-in-the-ground basement TV facility that ELA Studios was on West 59 Street, is now occupied by a luxury high-rise apartment building next door to MNN's broadcast center. How quickly the years go by...
Rapid T Rabbit   posted 06.08.09


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Courtesy New York University’s Fales Library
Jaime Davidovich's Dr. Videovich, Specialist in Television Therapy, on The Live! Show


June 23-28, 2009 Obvious Dimensions


Out of the Vast Wasteland by Leah Churner
Un-TV by Leah Churner
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Leah Churner is a film/video archivist and curator. She curated the series "Hollywood Musicals of the 1970s and 1980s" at Anthology Film Archives.

More articles by Leah Churner