Fall’s not the same without TV Guide

I usually operate under the assumption that nobody who reads this blog grew up geekier than I did. Or at least you’re not willing to admit it.

But it took a special kind of geek to salivate over the TV Guide fall preview issue quite as much as I did.

Now when I was a kid and a teenager, I was a movie, sci-fi, book and TV geek. Unlike now. Ha.

The highlight of my week, at least many weeks, was Tuesday, when the new TV Guide came out.

My friend Jim and I went over each issue, inch by inch, increment of the day by increment of the day, checking out what was airing on the four or five channels we could see with our primitive TV antennas.

Sammy Terry’s “Nightmare Theater” was a highlight of each Friday night and the listings of Sammy’s two features that night was likewise a highlight of TV Guide. So was the listing for “American Bandstand” on Saturday. So were the Saturday morning cartoon listings.

We mapped out our entire week’s viewing well before the week began.

The best TV Guide of the year, of course, was the fall preview season. Besides the program listings that we scoured religiously were the articles and previews of new shows. “Battlestar Galactica?” Don’t know what it is, but I’ll give it a try. “Man from Atlantis?” Why not?

The TV Guide fall preview, with its colorful photos, snappy articles and — best of all, really — unsubtle ads was the social event of the year for geeks. If you considered a social event a digest-sized magazine that prompted you to spend hours on end sitting alone in front of a TV, that is.

I haven’t read TV Guide in years. I’m not sure a print version of the magazine is still published. I mostly know it now as a cable channel with low-rent programs and an annoying “crawl” of  listings. The online version of those listings is just as bad, maybe worse.

Somebody mentioned the other day that the fall TV season had begun, and I guess it has. But how can anyone tell without the fall preview issue of TV Guide on the coffee table?

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