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Honored Contributor
Posts: 12,909
Registered: ‎11-08-2014

FETV continues to air this ground-breaking Sixties' series, on weekdays at 5:00 p.m. Eastern, and 9:00 p.m. Eastern, as well as weekends.  I feel I've now gotten more of a feel for it, and can report a little more definitively (ahem).

 

First, the good.  For those who love "retro" TV,  and the look and "feel" of America in the complex and evolving Sixties, this is a black-and-white winner.  Those who saw it the first time around already know this, but I'm also thinking of those like me, who never saw it originally, but maybe have a strong affinity to films of the past.  When classic movie-showing channels like TCM get too repetitive, check out vintage TV series, to get your "fix" from the past, ha.

 

Some of the writing is top-drawer, because guess what, no less a personage than Stirling Silliphant wrote the series.  He was a brilliant screenwriter, won the Oscar for writing the film "In the Heat of the Night",  and countless other scripts, and created and wrote both "Route 66" and "Naked City", among others.  So there's that.

 

Also, unlike any series up until then, they were actually "on the road", (driving legendary Route 66), showing up in a different place each episode.  You get a breathtaking sense of the variety and complexity of America.  Martin Milner used to import his family for weeks at a time, so they could be with him in his far-flung travels to film the series.

 

The sort of taking on of new challenges by wandering "Tod" (Martin Milner) and "Buz" (George Maharis) in each episode, reminds me of "The Fugitive".  Although that one-of-a-kind series did not actually travel much to film, unlike "66".

 

Like so many other series of the time, the roster of guest stars was phenomenal--  Robert Redford, Robert Duval, Suzanne Pleshette, E. G. Marshall, Anne Francis, Ethel Waters, Walter Matthau, Jack Lord, Joan Crawford, Jack Warden, David Janssen, Leslie Nielsen, even a lithe young Joey Heatherton!  And on and on.   And Milner and Maharis have often very good chemistry with them, and definitely with each other.

 

However, the show can be uneven, with some tedious episodes among the good.  Even Stirling Silliphant had to strike out sometimes!  And I'm not sure what the quality will be after Maharis leaves the show, as he did part way in. He was replaced by Glenn Corbett, playing "Linc",  a Vietnam era vet who throws in with "Tod",  but the show went off the air not that long after that.

 

Still there's enough gold there that I hope FETV (channel 323 on my DirecTV system) runs it through the summer so I can record a decent selection of episodes...

 

    

Honored Contributor
Posts: 12,909
Registered: ‎11-08-2014

Oh, how could I have forgotten--  here's Nelson Riddle's acclaimed light, cool, jazzy theme for the series!  It was very much a big part of the whole mystique of the show.  Here it is playing over the credits while "Tod" and "Buz" are cruising into spectacular ski country:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zw1tiNGQ4wI

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 6,655
Registered: ‎03-15-2010

@oznell 

 

Thanks for the memory trip down 66 ... 

 

For those who have Amazon Prime, you can also binge watch the entire series (1960-64) ... or as you mentioned, watch it daily on FETV.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 12,909
Registered: ‎11-08-2014

Oh, that's helpful to know, @SoX --  I bet there are a lot of people who would more likely get it that way, thanks!

 

By the way, I'm still on the lookout for "The Fugitive" coming back on ME TV.  Nothing yet, grrrrr, maybe in the fall?

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 6,655
Registered: ‎03-15-2010

Re: UPDATE ON "ROUTE 66"

[ Edited ]

I'm hoping The Fugitive will also be offered by Prime soon @oznell  ...  it'll be great watching it on my tablet while on vacation ... or wherever.   

 

Those black and white photos of Tod and Buz sure bring back memories!

Respected Contributor
Posts: 2,267
Registered: ‎03-09-2010
Wish MeTV, GET or Antenna would pick up this show.
Honored Contributor
Posts: 12,909
Registered: ‎11-08-2014

Re: UPDATE ON "ROUTE 66"

[ Edited ]

Well, what do you know, @Kindaglitzy (and anyone else interested).  I just found a bunch of Route 66 episodes streaming free on Youtube!  If anyone wants to get a flavor for the show, here it is. 

 

This episode -- "A Month of Sundays"--  has beautiful Anne Francis as an actress who, in some distress, has returned to her hometown of Butte, Montana.  Tod and Buz are working there, in their cross-country wanderings, and Buz falls in love with her, not knowing the nature of the secret she is concealing...

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x3CS8bMofm4

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 7,475
Registered: ‎03-16-2010

An early favorite of mine!  I remember how crushed I was when George Maharis left the show.😰😍

Honored Contributor
Posts: 12,909
Registered: ‎11-08-2014

He was such a genial heartthrob, @geezerette, and he and Marty Milner played so well off each other...

Respected Contributor
Posts: 4,309
Registered: ‎03-12-2010

Re: UPDATE ON "ROUTE 66"

[ Edited ]

@oznell  - Glad you are enjoying Route 66.  I have been watching or taping and am enjoying it too.  I was eight when it originally started and remember watching with my parents.  There are some episodes I vaguely remember.  I agree some are tedious, but  others are  very good.   America looked so different back then, but it was almost sixty years ago. It's interesting to see the fashions and home decor.   Martin and Maharis have good chemistry together.  I'll admit I always thought Maharis was so good looking - LOL!!

 

Love the theme music!!!