Here's the ad for the premiere episode of Daria. As a bonus, they also interviewed her.

This was the first time the press interviewed "Daria" but it wouldn't be the last. Only Kermit the Frog has more press bites. Back when Parade Magazine had a high enough newspaper readership to print more than 12 pages an issue, there was a teen-centered column called "Fresh Voices" in which Daria appeared a lot. They would ask a bunch of random teens about some issue, and in the middle, one of them would be Daria -- as if this was perfectly normal -- giving some sarcastic response to the question. It was interesting to say the least.

Another short TV Guide interview was with Damon Wayans, whose "Waynehead" cartoon show had just flopped...for...some mystery reason.

BTW: "Not black enough" is outrageous. It was already pretty stereotypical.

Not sure what this is. Something about a cheerleader? I'm sure there's something about it in a couple places on the Internet. I think there was a 1992 film by the same name, and then the guy who wrote it didn't like how it turned out and made it as a series instead.....who knows how it'll go. Maybe the geeks will get into it?

Oh yeah. There was also a Pauly Shore sitcom. Thanks, FOX.

Then those are some really stupid police, boy howdy.

There actually was a trashy talk show under investigation for possibly motivating a murder at the time (Jenny Jones), but "Murder Live!" was inspired under outrage that it could possibly happen. Before it did. This movie failed to shame talk shows into behaving, but that's more its own fault, because it was legendarily bad. As the title says, it was filmed "live," or as a simulated facsimile, with shaky cameras and bleeped swears (because live shows always bleep their swears somehow). Its biggest fault was that it wasn't close to as thrilling or nail-biting as it wanted to be.

He-haw! Baywatch was so successful just a few short years prior, stations across America foolishly purchased a spinoff dedicated to what happened on the beach at night. Not very much -- few people go to the beach at night, and the writers had to strain to come up with happenings, like the above gem.

There was a brief, brief period of time when everybody was convinced party-girl Jenny McCarthy was the Next Big Thing, but she fizzled out by 1999. A full decade later, she reappeared as a soccer mom dedicated to preventing children from getting vaccinated. There's a big difference in image there.

I've wondered about this what point does a wife become a mom? Not the literal point, but the psychological what point does a beautiful cool chick turn into a minivan-driving, muffin-cooking square? Is it possible to find this point and prevent it from happening? Maybe we could develop a shot....only Jenny wouldn't take it.

All through the 90's, the Ashton-Drake Galleries sold baby dolls for old-granny collectors on cardboard inserts in TV Guide. This one's a new low: they'd partnered with McDonalds to create a series of babies enjoying McDonalds products, as a line called "McMemories." How'd you like to pay McDonalds $65.40 for what's essentially one of their advertisements? Any takers?

I'd like to see any doll company get away with this today. In addition to the this age of obesity it's kind of shocking to see a toddler munching on heavily fried fast food, which no doctor worth his PhD approves of.

Aargh! The painful memories! The paiiiin!

Throughout most of the 90's I was forced to watch a lot of CBS's family drama dreck due to my parents' strict TV regulations. Promised Land was one of those shows, spun off from Touched by an Angel (but only because they appeared in one episode). The Greenes were a family that traveled in an RV across America and had many horrible things happen to them. got pretty dark for a genre like this. Their children were stalked and/or held hostage on more than one occasion (not just the one above). And it had a series finale only Edgar Allen Poe or the guy who draws Funky Winkerbean could enjoy: the mother was pregnant throughout the final season, she gave birth in the final episode, and the baby was stillborn. Yeah, it happens, but to end a series on that? Dead babies, ladies and gentlemen....thank you for watching Promised Land!

Fortunately, before then, Promised Land ran an episode where the Greenes met a guy who stayed overnight at a woman's house out of wedlock. My parents were so offended they forbade me from watching Promised Land ever again. I managed to handle the ban rather admirably.

Thanks to my involuntary TV schedule of sparse yet wholesome goodness, I learned the following moral lessons which I carry to this day:
1) I hate smarmy family dramas;
2) I hate CBS;
3) My parents have horrible taste.

There was no ad for Part 1.

Stephen King's controversial redo of "The Shining" came out around this time, as an ABC miniseries. King had always hated the Stankey Kubrick movie, for the reason everybody else loved it: Jack Nicholson. Kubrick changed too many things and let Nicholson run too wild for his tastes. So when ABC came to King and told him "we'll make anything you tell us to make for May sweeps," he said "I want to remake The Shining," not expecting to get it.

While it follows the book much more closely, the miniseries does not have nearly as many fans as the movie. Anything that is not in the book is not in the miniseries. "Here's Johnny" is not in the book. "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy" is not in the book. Neither the twins nor the bloody elevator are in the book. But the guy in the dog suit? HE'S in the book. Go figure.

The book had a topiary of animal sculptures that came to life. Kubrick dropped that and substituted a hedge maze -- and Kubrick was dead right. The only way to bring the topiary to life in 1980 was through stop-motion, which would take people right out of the picture. At this point, the topiary would be rendered in really really obvious CGI, which isn't that much better.

In the movie, Jack Torrance has an axe. In the book, he swings around a croquet mallet.

That looks WAY more threatening than the axe, right?

Bonus: a prequel short story written by King. It's okay, but I prefer the Elmo storybook printed four issues before:

TV Guide printed a lot of stories that year. There was also an original Goosebumps story in the Kids' TV issue. Enjoy.

For those of you still sore over the Lost series finale....just feel grateful Roseanne didn't come on at the end and tell you it was all part of a novel she was writing.

That's why we all like TV, Kristen.