There has always been some confusion over just when Strange Paradise made its debut on the airwaves. With the general perception of the show as a Canadian production, fans often cite its inaugural broadcast on the CBC (transmitted October 20, 1969) as the series’ premiere. But by the time Canadian viewers got that first glimpse of Jean Paul, Raxl, and the rest of the inhabitants of Maljardin, Americans in many markets had already been tuning in to the series for six weeks. Officially, Strange Paradise first invaded television’s airwaves when it was launched in U.S. syndication on Monday September 8, 1969. However, the following excerpts from the TV Key section of The Portland Oregonian‘s 9/7/69 edition reveal another story:
So at 8:30 PM (Pacific) on Sunday September 7, 1969, audiences in Portland, Oregon witnessed the true first transmission of Strange Paradise (just slightly ahead of the rest of the country). This marks NBC affiliate KGW-TV Channel 8 as the series’ first broadcaster, unleashing Strange Paradise on its west coast viewership. Their choice of time slot for the preview is rather unexpected, smack in the middle of primetime on a Sunday night, wedged between Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color and Bonanza. I can only imagine what children who remained tuned in after the end of “Davy Crockett at the Alamo” thought. But God bless KGW-TV for opening the door to the Desmond family and their strange saga.
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