Interstitials weren’t made for only for kids, though it seems like the majority of these short series were geared to educating kids. A product of the 1970s-early 1980s Television Code era, the segments sought to educate, inform, and even surprise viewers.
As we wrap up this short series of articles about interstitials, I figured it was time to actually be a 38-year-old and look at something for the adults. What I came across was actually quite informative, featuring a then-sitcom star and a cool logo.
I give you…
…for your information!
FYI was a series of interstitials, featuring important information for adults, providing answers to both common and uncommon, but interesting to know, questions. The segment aired three times per day during ABC’s daytime programming, between airings of All My Children, One Life to Life, and General Hospital.
Hosted by actor Hal Linden, then starring as the eponymous captain of New York’s fictional 12th precinct on the sitcom Barney Miller, the series premiered on January 14, 1980, and ran until about 1983. By the time the series ended, the era of interstitials and the Television Code had come to a close. The segments were the weekday daytime equivalent of the ones ABC aired on Saturday morning for the kiddie set – The Bod Squad (1974-1977, airing until 1988), Time for Timer (produced in 1975, but aired until 1992), and Schoolhouse Rock (1973-1984, revived 1993-1996).
FYI covered such topics as shovelling snow safely, good news after turning 40, singing to your baby, the benefit of children spinning oneself around, sex in old age, limited lying, carpool savings, parenting, exercising your mind, food poisoning, female athletes and menstruation, and choosing a daycare.
I can’t find how many segments were actually produced, but FYI was popular enough to win three daytime Emmys in the “Informational Children’s Series in 1981, 1982, and 1984. In addition to the segments, two books – FYI (For Your Information): Unexpected Answers to Everyday Questions and More FYI (For Your Information): Further Tips for Healthful Living were released in 1982 and 1983, respectively.
Linden discussed the segment and its impact in 2016 for the Archive of American Television:
Turns out, he liked spreading good information to the masses. Nice to know television had that kind of impact at one point.
I really have enjoyed covering interstitials, and since I know there are more that deserve some say, I’m going to revisit this topic in the coming months. Think of this as a nice little change up from the usual, as technically, they were an important part of commercial breaks at one point in time.
I guess you can say it is good stuff…for your information.
Had to do it.
Also had to do this…
And yes, this address still exists. Children’s Video Library can’t even say that!
Have a fantastic Flashback Friday, and a great weekend!