It may look like we’re writing a lot about our Contributing Editor Emeritus Herbie J Pilato lately, and we are. The TV gods have been smiling at him lately (we’d be more effusive in our praise but don’t want to jinx anything), and not only is his new show Then Again with Herbie J Pilato doing big “box office,” our article about it was the most viewed article on TVWriter™ last week.
And if that ain’t winning, hey, what is?
Here’s the latest on him from another website to which he’s been a popular contributor, good ole Emmys.Com.
by Larry Nemecek
Authoring 11 books on beloved TV subjects from Samantha Stephens to Steve Austin might have been enough for the most dedicated of any small-screen buffs.
But now thanks to Shout! Factory TV, lifelong-TV-fan-turned-authority Herbie J Pilato is taking that passion to the next level —and he’s still pinching himself.
Starting July 1, Pilato began talking about retro TV…one-to-one with his heroes … right on that same small screen with Then Again with Herbie J Pilato, his own half-hour streaming series themed to beloved classics like Batman, Dark Shadows, My Three Sons, The Wild Wild West, and the classics of producer Garry Marshall.
On the day we caught him wrangling the ever-gregarious Ed Asner about The Mary Tyler Moore Show and beyond, Pilato, whose new celebrity biography, Mary: The Mary Tyler Moore Story, was recently published by Jacobs Brown, was clearly still on cloud nine about what had become of his passion, at this stage of his career.
“It sounds corny, but it’s true: I get to sit down and be the voice and the face for the classic TV world—it’s a responsibility!” he beams. “So I want to be successful for everybody on the crew. We all love classic TV, and we’re bringing that spirit to the show. It’s a dream come true.”
But why that dream? The Rochester, NY native known to everyone as “Herbie J” turns reflective: “Everything that I’ve done has brought me to this moment,” he says.
“I grew up in the inner city, which was rough, and I was bullied and picked on a lot,” he says. “And I gravitated, like many of us in the ’60s, to escapism television. Like Bewitched and Star Trek and I Dream of Jeannie and all the rest—all the great shows of the ’60s….”