#ThrowbackThursday More About It

…and read a freakin’ book!

As long as Hooray for Reading! didn’t give away the ending.

It’s Interstitials Week once again, and this time, I’ve dug around for a few Interstitial/Public Service Announcement-type segments that prove that the Edu-Informational segment following a program/movie/special isn’t just for children to learn good values, dietary habits, more about the world around them, learn from their mistakes, and how to avoid having to read Bad Times for Irma Braumlein.

Sure, we had Hal Linden talking about young athletic girls and their menstrual cycles, but there is more to the interstitial-type segment than Barney Miller providing important information about sex and old people.

There just has to be!

Contrary to popular belief, there is a purpose for reading books that goes beyond certificates for free pizza, and that Mandatory Monthly Trip to Pizza Hut for that star sticker on your Magical Movement pin (did you even Book It, bro?). For instance, it was a visit to Staples, which was my dad’s requirement of taking us to Pizza Hut once a month.

For those who read for fun and information and not free pizza, there was a long-running interstitial/Public Service Announcement that ran far longer than interstitials did, lasting nearly two decades beyond the end of the thirty second educational moment. While Reading Rainbow was giving reading recommendations to children in a full-length program, today’s interstitial was dishing them out to adults.

It isn’t catchy and exciting like Hooray for Reading!, but seriously, is anything quite like this LSD-laced introduction?

The answer is no. There is nothing quite like this.

We’re travelling back in time to 1980, and to a Public Service Announcement-type segment on recommended books related to what you were watching on CBS on any given night, as long as something special was airing.

Read More About It was a joint venture of the CBS network and the Library of Congress, always airing at the end of a primetime special program, with recommendations for books that would teach the viewer more about the subject of the program you just watched. The segment began running in 1980, and was a prominent part of the network’s primetime lineup for many years.

So, what could you learn from partaking in reading more about the subject?

Well, if your interest involves the history of television, Christmas, underage drinking, animated films, magic, puppetry, dinosaurs, or even the circus, a celebrity featured in the special or an announcer recommends several books to help capitalize on that newfound interest, as recommended by the Library of Congress. The endorser reminds you that these and other books can found in your local library or bookstore. Everyone from Mel Blanc, Jim Henson, Kermit the Frog, Gonzo the Great, Lance Kerwin, David Copperfield, and even Angela Lansbury (among others) were happy to make recommendations!

Even Garfield had a few!

The original introduction, which was used from 1980 until 1990, featured stop motion, turning the television into a book’s pages flipping, with the introduction becoming CGI. The theme song, beginning in 1983 was Craig Palmer’s “Moments of Courage,” which changed in 1990 to go with a new theme.

By 1999, the growing popularity and sophistication of the internet as a resource to learn more about a given subject effectively made a segment on recommended reading obsolete. The segment was replaced by CBS Cares, which, like its predecessor, airs directly after a movie (until 2010), or special program. The current segment recommends resources, both online and in print, and encourages education on the subject or community involvement. It still airs to this day.

But until that time, Read More About It was a fixture of information, with a beautiful introduction, theme song, and a great premise meant to target an audience who parents of children who learned their values from interstitial programs, or those who grew up during that time themselves. They’re really nice segments – I do remember the ones from the 1990s, but that 1980s introduction, especially that theme, are sooooo good!

Did any of these segments help you…Read More About It?

Visit them. They’ll be happy to help you Read More About It!

And visit me tomorrow, for another round of informational segments!

Have a great Throwback Thursday!

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