Monday, February 13, 2012

Early Edition, A Blast from the Past

Anyone remember the TV show Early Edition? It aired on CBS in the late 1990's on Saturday nights. It ran for 4 seasons, and while it easily could have gone longer, these days 4 seasons certainly isn't anything to scoff at.

Anyway, the premise was fairly straight-forward: Gary Hobson, a Chicago resident, gets tomorrow's newspaper today. This puts him in the unusual spot of seeing tomorrow's headlines and articles a day before they happen, giving him the opportunity to change events before they occur. Deadly shooting? Hit and run? Devastating fire? Thanks to the 'paper, Gary has the means and information to change the future and stop events from happening. Oh, and the paper just happens to come with a cat. No, not a dog, a cat! :)

I've been re-watching the series, well, actually I'm just about finished with it now. But anyway, the episode I watched last night, "Time" (season 4, ep 20) really got me thinking. I remembered pieces of it from it's original airing 12 years ago; for some reason this episode stuck with my then 13-year-old self. For someone who's watched the whole series, it's really an awesome episode with some cool revelations, but I won't get into the details here. What I want to point out, however, is that the storyline from this episode would be absolutely perfect to pull from and create a new incarnation of the series. I don't know if the writers' intended it that way or not, but I have to think they did.

There is a serious lack of good, clean, family television anymore. Honestly, I think Early Edition was one of the last truly family oriented shows. No, it doesn't have kids or a big family in it, but somehow it has appeal for all ages. I liked it when I was 13, and re-watching it now at 25, I like it even more. My parents liked it then (still do), and even my grandparents watched it when it originally aired, which is really saying something. The acting is good, and the content is clean. The stories are uplifting, with Gary running around the city trying to stop events and save people from harm, usually coming across some strange or amusing obstacle that he has to overcome. I can't think of a single current show that features someone constantly putting the well-being of others first like that. (If you know of one, feel free to enlighten me!)

On one hand, I would love to see a network draw from this episode and create a new edition (pun intended!) of Early Edition. On the other hand, if they did I have to say that I'd be a bit hesitant, wondering if they would trash it up like so many of the current shows are.

Good clean shows that have multi-generational appeal are hard to come by, but Early Edition's concept is able to interest and entertain all ages, which makes it a superb show for families to watch together. It's a real gem.

If you've never seen or heard of it, check out this video. It's the opening credits for the show, but it actually sums things up quite nicely.


  1. I loved Early Edition! My siblings and I used to watch it together every Saturday night. Do you have it on dvd? I've got the first two seasons, but I haven't been able to find 3 and 4. Anyway, thanks for bringing this great series back to my attention!

  2. I used to watch it with my family on Saturday nights, as well. Great memories! :)

    I do have the first two seasons on DVD, but unfortunately the 3rd and 4th seasons haven't been released. When I wrote this post I was actually watching some old tv recordings that I'd tracked down...