When I was a kid, the Fall Preview TV Guide was my favorite holiday event, as anticipated as the Thanksgiving turkey and Christmas presents.
I'd spend hours poring over it, studying the show's descriptions, plotting my sked choices with military precision.
The apogee was reached in the early nineties, when the Fall Preview was spread out over three weeks of issues. I think it caused massive sensory overload.
Nowadays, the Fall Preview TV Guide has lost some of its lustre. There are so many other sources for news about the Fall TV season: online sources like Yahoo! and Zap2It.com; magazines like Entertainment Weekly. (Being a larger sized format, EW gets the advantage now - more details about each show, and printing large enough for my aging eyes to read!)
Or maybe it's because the Fall Preview TV Guide lost its magic hold over me once Rupert Murdoch bought the company.
Right from the beginning back in 1953, the decision was made by the editors to use artwork for the cover which would suggest the changing of the season. The reasoning was that they would not show partiality to any new show by featuring it on the cover for that one issue.
But since Murdoch gobbled up the company, the Fall Preview TV Guide has featured various TV stars on its covers (usually the cuties). At least in his defense, it's not FOX shows every year.
Yet, there's nothing about these covers that set them apart from any other issue during the year. Go to the TV Guide website and look in their cover gallery. Select "Fall Preview" as the keyword. You can evoke a sense of the time period just by looking at the artwork used in any particular year before Murdoch took over.
After that, you have to depend upon your knowledge of TV trivia as to when the featured show debuted.
This year, the cover displays Heather Locklear in a dress that looks like it was designed by that hooker on 'The Mary Tyler Moore Show'. Locklear is one sexy lady, but this outfit cheapens her. It makes it look like she's got rows of teats; like she's ready to nurse a litter......
Looking at this year's Fall Preview TV Guide still fills me with excitement, but now I feel so dirty because of it......