Wednesday, March 11, 2009

IN SEARCH OF -- syndication profits

When the syndicated TV series IN SEARCH OF debuted in 1976, I was spellbound. Leonard Nimoy was host. "He used to be Spock on Star Trek", my cousin told me. With my 9 year old TV-saturated brain I assumed that since Spock was logical and smart (and Nimoy wore a suit jacket and turtleneck and seemed informed) then IN SEARCH OF info must be true. I knew nothing about disclaimers or teleprompters.

The series conducted "investigations" into the pseudoscientific and paranormal (ie: UFOs, Bigfoot, and the Loch Ness Monster). Additionally, it featured episodes about mysterious historical events and personalities such as Anna Anderson/Grand Duchess Anastasia, the Lincoln Assassination, the Jack the Ripper murders, infamous cults (ie. Jim Jones), and missing persons, cities, and ships (ie: Amelia Earhart, Jimmy Hoffa, D. B. Cooper, the Titanic, the lost Roanoke Colony).

Some shows were really creepy and you didn't want to watch them alone. The film reenactments (of hunters terrorized by Bigfoot) could be captivating and terrifying.

Opening verbal disclaimer (by Nimoy): "This series presents information based in part on theory and conjecture. The producer's purpose is to suggest some possible explanations, but not necessarily the only ones, to the mysteries we will examine."

End Credit Narration (by Nimoy): "Lost civilizations, extraterrestrials, myths and monsters, missing persons, magic and witchcraft, unexplained phenomena. 'In Search Of...' cameras are traveling the world, seeking out these great mysteries. This program was the result of the work of scientists, researchers and a group of highly-skilled technicians."

148 half-hour episodes were produced through 1982.

Fun facts:
There was a soundtrack album on AVI Records, released in 1977 and produced by W. Michael Lewis and Laurin Rinder, that featured the In Search Of Orchestra.

A few years later, Series creator Alan Landsburg would give TV audiences THAT'S INCREDIBLE! hosted by John Davidson, Fran Tarkenton and Cathy Lee Crosby (presenting fun factoids and real life freaks).

4 comments:

Donna Lethal said...

I even had the "IN SEARCH OF ..." books! No wonder I have a scientist fetish.

Vincent-louis said...

even as a youngster I found the "evidence" alittle lacking.. but I watched every episode!

Keith said...

I'm a big Nimoy fan. I loved this show. I watched it religiously when I was growing up. I always liked this sort of thing. It was so fascinating whether I believed in any of it or not.

childish said...

I loved this show. Besides The Money Pit/Oak Island mystery and Roanoke, my favorite episode was about Vincent van Gogh. As I recall, Nimoy visited many locales from Vincent's time in Arles and the town where he later died.