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Sunday, December 02, 2018

Steve Canyon Returns to TV...Reminder!

Just a reminder to remember to set your DVR's...

For DECADES TV tomorrow, Tuesday December 4th at 4am eastern (or 1am pacific time if you are on the left coast) to record Steve's 2nd modern-day return to American Television, the second time since reruns ended this last July 7th 2018!

Dean Fredericks as Steve Canyon in OPERATION TOWLINE, the first episode aired (and the original "pilot" film) on NBC on September 13, 1968, which will be on DECADES TV this coming Tuesday.

Steve Canyon's 34 episodes will run (in this time slot) 5 days a week from Tuesday through Saturday for 7 weeks, presumably ending Friday January 18 2019. They will be run in their original 1958/1959 original broadcast order…if you want to watch them in the order they were originally made (and intended to be seen) that is the way they are presented on our 3 volume DVDs.

I'm glad some of you get DECADES and can watch, and am sorry for those who don't have it in their area in the US and in foreign countries. I urge you to write to you local cable providers and local stations urging them to add DECADES, and to write or comment to DECADES about Steve Canyon on their Twitter account and their Facebook page.

So I hope you all enjoy seeing Colonel Canyon on broadcast television again!
(with closed-captioning for the hearing impaired)

Decades is a sister network to Me-TV.

John Ellis
Hollywood, California

Sunday, November 04, 2018

Steve Canyon Returns! month from this coming early Tuesday morning, on December 4th, Steve Canyon returns to DECADES Television for it's second complete modern rerun on american broadcast television!

ALL 34 episodes only ran ONCE in it's initial run on NBC primetime in the 1958-1959 season. NBC only repeated 14 episodes in 1959, and ABC then only repeated 20 episodes in 1960. 11 episodes were NEVER rerun in the US until earlier this summer on Decades. So set your DVRs accordingly!

Barbara Beaird and Dean Fredericks

Here's another heads-up: The Christmas episode, "The Gift", written by Ray Bradbury, was one of those never rerun until June 7th of this year. "The Gift" will be seen early Thursday December 20th, which is pretty neat that it will be played just before Christmas!

Stay tuned for more details (and never before revealed lore) about Ray Bradbury's Steve Canyon episode right here on our blog before it airs on December 20th.

John Ellis
Hollywood, CA

Saturday, July 07, 2018

Operation Firebee Ends Reruns Tonight

In about 2 hours the final episode of Steve Canyon airs on Decades TV, "Operation Firebee", with guest star Martin Milner. In it's place the hour long 1974 truck driver series MOVIN' ON starts next Tuesday morning, starring Claude Akins (who was a guest star in one of the last Steve Canyon shows, "The Sergeant", so I guess that's kind of fitting).

Martin Milner and Dean Fredericks in Operation Firebee.

I hope some of you got to enjoy Steve on Decades, and though I don't know when it'll air again, I'm sure it will and I'll let you know as soon as I do. Be sure to write to Decades (or comment on their Facebook page) and tell them what you think.

Don't miss OPERATION FIREBEE tonight (early morning Tuesday July 7th at 5am eastern time and 2am pacific time on Decades television's "Lost Television"...check your local listings!


Show #12
Production #9214
NBC First Run Tuesday June 2, 1959
Photographed: Sept 25-26-29, 1958
Directed by Don Taylor
Written by Sidney Carroll

Guided missiles are used for target practice by jets. Canyon and another pilot have a contest to see who shoots down the most drones.

Martin Milner, Richard Crane, Patricia Blair, Jane Langley, Don Devlin,
William Kendis, Robert Courtleigh, Roger Pace, James Callahan, Hank Warden, Paul Mantee and John Gallaudet.

“This film is dedicated to the 73rd Air Division (Weapons) Air Defense Command, United States Air Force”

John Ellis
Hollywood, CA

Monday, June 25, 2018


In about 9 hours arguably the best episode of the Steve Canyon TV series will air on american television for the first time in 58 years (since it re-ran on ABC in the summer of 1960).

Counting this episode there are 9 more episodes left to air on Decades TV, this week and next.

Featuring a B-47 crewon a tragic mission...

Ingrid Goude and Jerry Paris co-star. She was Miss Sweden 1956 and he was Rob and Laura Petrie's wacky neighbor on the Dick Van Dyke show.

A bomber crew doesn't respond and sets wheels in motion...

Steve goes up to check out the problem...

What he sees shocks him!

General Connors (Nelson Leigh) has a painful choice to make...

Don't miss OPERATION INTERCEPT tonight (early morning Tuesday June 25th at 5am eastern time and 2am pacific time on Decades television's "Lost Television"...check your local listings!


NOTE: Steve Canyon moved from Thursdays to Tuesday nights with this episode on NBC in 1959.

Show #28
Production #9229
NBC First Run Tuesday March 31, 1959
NBC Rerun Tuesday September 1, 1959
ABC Summer Rerun Thursday April 21, 1960
Photographed: Feb 5-6, 1959
Directed by Arthur Marks
Teleplay by David Haft
Story by Frank Benedict

A freak accident kills the pilot and co-pilot of a B-47 bomber while the plane
is in flight, and the plane heads for the USSR on automatic pilot. Canyon tries
to intercept the plane and determine whether the third crew member is alive or not.


 Jerry Paris, Nelson Leigh, Harlan Warde, Harry Landers, Ingrid Goude, Don Richards, Gil Frye, Jeanne Tatum.

Here's a clip from the episode

“This film is dedicated to the Air Control and Warning Personnel of the United States Air Force”

John Ellis
Hollywood, CA

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Abel & Bobby & Other Things

Early yesterday morning Decades Television aired the Steve Canyon episode OPERATION BIG THUNDER, that introduced Abel Fernandez, Bob Hoy, Ted de Corsia and Jerry Paris in the series.

Lt. Colonel Steve Canyon, Major Williston, Master Sgt. Maconochie,  Sgt. Pete Berger and Airman 1C Abel Featherstone ponder a serious issue at Big Thunder Air Force Base.

So last month Abel Fernandez's 2nd year passing memorial slipped right by me...but better late than never (as Abel would sometimes say). Abel you are missed.

Abel's headstone at Riverside National Cemetary. Big thanks to Barbara Lima for this image!

I should have done something for both Abel and Bobby Hoy for Memorial Day but I'll just have to shoot for next year. Two of the greatest (and funniest) guys around. We had a blast recording their commentaries here! Coffee and sinkers just about blew our budget!

Bob Hoy, me (John Ellis) and Abel Fernandez clowning (after a commentary recording session) in my back yard Friday March 20, 2009. Less than a year later Bob would leave us on Monday February 8, 2010. We miss you, Bobby!

So OPERATION BIG THUNDER is the "change of format" episode to appease the Air Force and the aircraft industry (who felt trivialized by fictionalizing their successes)...the Air Force was just upset in principle and thought they knew how to do it better than the professional filmmakers. They should have just left them alone to make a good show.  What they did do was excellent and if allowed to continue "on their own flight-path", I suspect they would have gone another season or two. 

From left, Ken Lynch, Jerry Paris (seated), Bob Hoy, Dean Fredericks and Abel Fernandez in the 17th Steve Canyon episode produced, OPERATION BIG THUNDER. Lynch and Bob Hoy appeared together in THE DEVIL IN THE DARK episode of the original Star Trek!

The roots of this episode were in the Steve Canyon newspaper comic strip in a story from 1956!

Milton Caniff's Steve Canyon daily from Saturday November 17, 1956, story arc titled "The Girl From Little Dogie", which introduced Poteet Canyon AND was also the story which this TV episode was loosely based (which only happened twice during the series run). Alas, we could have used a bit of Poteet in the TV series, don't ya think?


Wow! I just noticed something today that I hadn't before: that the first 4 episodes he's in have Abel's rank being Airman First Class (A/1C):

Abel wore these stripes in his first 4 episodes ...currently these are the stripes designated for "Senior Airman", but back in late 1958 this designated "Airman First Class". They had serious Air Force technical advisors on set (such as Col. Frank P. Ball) who watched goings on like hawks and kept things accurate and crew on their toes! (Ball was an F-102 expert and actually survived being at "ground-zero" during an atomic blast! See this link!

...but apparently he got promoted to Staff Sergeant for the last 3 episodes he was in:

USAF "Staff Sergeant" stripes, then and now (as worn by Abel in his final 3 episodes of STEVE CANYON!

...pretty cool, Abel!

Now, some things about DECADES airing the series. They ARE running them in order, BUT they are running them in the original NBC broadcast order instead of the order they were made, which throws the episodes STRIKE FORCE and IRON CURTAIN out of order once in STRIKE FORCE take place immediately before IRON CURTAIN, but on Decades it will air 5 episodes later. Confusing? You bet.

Also, as is customary they are cutting out 3 minutes of each episode to make room for commercials. They are doing a pretty good job as the cuts are barely noticable (even to me), but if you want to see the shows uncut (and in the proper order and in the highest quality), I refer you to our 3 volume COMPLETE STEVE CANYON ON TV DVDs.

15 episodes have aired so far; 19 more to go. It's exciting seeing them on TV again in the United States for the first time in 58 years...I'm certain that the cast and crew and everyone involved in the series would be proud...and especially Milton Caniff. If you are watching Steve Canyon on Decades we'd like to hear from you, and we'd also like you to let Decades know you are watching and what you think. You can find them on Facebook at: