The Art of the Sell — The TV Guide Fall Pre-View issue

These posts celebrate the movie trailers, movie posters, commercials, print ads, and other promotional material that stand as their own works of art.

When I was a kid, a few different magazines jostled for the unofficial position of being my favorite periodical in the non–comic book division. There was no doubt, though, of my favorite single issue of the year. It was always at around this point in the calendar year that the hearty slab that was the TV Guide “Fall Pre-View” issue flopped into the mailbox.

In the days before every last tidbit of entertainment news could be clicked up by an artful searcher, it was a true treasure for a media-addicted youth like myself to get the annual survey of all the new programming being wafted onto the airwaves by the major broadcast networks. It was especially satisfying that the format stayed more or less the same from year to year, at least through the nineteen-seventies and nineteen-eighties. Almost every new program got one full page in the magazine, with a photo of the cast and a to-the-point summary that offered no judgment about the individual program nor predictions of its fate. For one glorious week, the likes of Holmes and Yoyo and Mr. Smith were afforded the same respect and dignity as any other show. Hill Street Blues and Freebie and the Bean were given precisely the same amount of real estate. It was the most egalitarian TV would ever be.

Other entries in this series can be found by clicking on the “Art of the Sell” tag.

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