That Wacky Redhead

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Brainbin, Nov 18, 2011.

  1. arrowiv Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2006
    Glad to see Star Trek does better in this TL. Also, how does the absence of The Brady Bunch in this scenario butterflies the career of Robert Reed and the others, especially the kids?
     
  2. Brainbin Kingpin of the Cultural Cartel

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2009
    Location:
    The British Empire
    Glad to be making it happen. And welcome aboard!

    Funny you should mention Robert Reed specifically - my plans for him will be made clear very soon.

    Florence Henderson was primarily a singer and musical actress before being cast as Carol Brady; I see no reason for that to change ITTL. Ann B. Davis will remain a comedic character actress, having already established her legacy with "The Bob Cummings Show". She may become a lay worker earlier than she did IOTL, and will devote the rest of her life to serving the Church.

    As for the kids - that's extremely tough to predict. If I find a show that has an opening for a character who fits one of their descriptions, then maybe I'll "cast" one of them, but other than that? It's difficult to say. If you have any suggestions, I would love to hear them.

    I'm trying very hard to have the next update ready for tonight. I can't promise anything yet, but it's looking good so far. If it isn't ready tonight, it will definitely be ready tomorrow.
     
  3. Brainbin Kingpin of the Cultural Cartel

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2009
    Location:
    The British Empire
    Where No Man Has Gone Before (1968-69)

    “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.”
    - Neil Armstrong, on the surface of the Moon, July 21, 1969 [1]

    1968 was, to put it delicately, an eventful year. Unrest at home, entanglements abroad, high-profile deaths, and closely-fought elections were a visceral reminder of how divided the people were, when once they had seemed so united, and against even greater adversities.

    On September 16, a Monday, at 7:30 PM, Star Trek aired its season premiere, “The Enterprise Incident”. [2] Ratings were even better than network executives had predicted: the episode finished in the top 20 for the week, winning its timeslot over the venerable “Gunsmoke”. Subsequent episodes did not match this feat, but the show remained comfortably within the Top 30 throughout the season. Demographics, of course, continued to be superb: an anonymous NBC executive was quoted as saying “the audience we have for Star Trek alone is worth more than the people watching five of the top ten CBS shows”. [3] At first, the rival network – still the undisputed champion in terms of overall viewers – brushed this brash boast aside, refusing to be baited; but over time, it started to needle at them.

    It didn’t help that “Laugh-In” had rapidly emerged as the #1 show on television – yes, even a half-hour later, and yes, even without George Schlatter. As a lead-in, Star Trek was perfect – it provided exactly the kinds of people the producers wanted to be watching their irreverent antics. Schlatter, for his part, was now shown to be not only incredibly immature, but also rash and short-sighted. All he had left was his pride, and he made good use of it, never once conceding that he might have made the wrong decision. Sure that lightning would strike twice, he made the notorious boast that “Turn-On is going to make Laugh-In look like Lawrence Welk”. [4] Well, he was right… so much so, that one might say he was a little too on-the-nose. “Turn-On” premiered on ABC on February 5, 1969, a Wednesday, at 8:30.

    It was cancelled fifteen minutes later. [5]

    The spectacular failure of "Turn-On", one of television's most infamous bombs, was enough to capsize Schlatter's career. [6] Though his production company continued to produce "Laugh-In", NBC made it clear that they would not accept him returning to work on the show in a hands-on capacity. In later years, his story would become a powerful cautionary tale of hubris and entitlement. In contrast to his career immolation, Lucille Ball and her studio, Desilu, "The House that Paladin Built", were going from strength to strength. Star Trek was now comfortably within the Top 30, and "Mission: Impossible" even cracked the Top 10 for the season. [7] Even the weak link in the Desilu stable, "Mannix", had decent ratings and good reviews. Producers and executives were beginning to take notice.

    Meanwhile, with Grant Tinker in charge at Paramount, that company finally began to make some headway. Two of their pilots were sold, both to ABC: "Barefoot in the Park", an adaptation of a Neil Simon play (also adapted into a film in 1967), and starring Robert Reed [8] of "The Defenders"; and "Room 222", an ensemble program loosely based on the recently-released Sidney Poitier vehicle To Sir, with Love, but set in an American high school. [9] Both series would be shot at Desilu, and were set to debut in September 1969.

    At the 1969 Emmy Awards, "Mission: Impossible" won Outstanding Dramatic Series for the second time. [10] Winning for Lead Actor and Actress were husband-and-wife Martin Landau and Barbara Bain. This was Bain's third consecutive win in the category. [11] The pair became the second spouses to win Emmy Awards on the same night, following Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne four years earlier. Star Trek went home without any Emmys
    the category that had been seen as a shoo-in, Supporting Actor in a Dramatic Series, was not awarded at that ceremony. [12] Lucille Ball herself presented the Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series, which was awarded to "Get Smart".

    After the conclusion of the broadcast season, and as the culmination of a decade-long effort, NASA became the first organization to send men to the moon and bring them safely home again. The moon landing took place on the 20th of July. Early the following morning, as reckoned by Coordinated Universal Time, astronaut Neil Armstrong became the first man to set foot on the Moon. All of these events were watched by an estimated 500 million people worldwide. But as significant as they were, the truly unsung achievement was Armstrong and his fellow astronaut, "Buzz" Aldrin, taking off from the moon and reuniting with Michael Collins in the orbiting Command Module.

    Returning to Earth on July 24, they were all personally welcomed home by President Hubert H. Humphrey…

    ---

    [1] Yes, the “a” is clearly audible ITTL. Which means that either the mic picked it up or he didn’t fluff his line. Your choice.

    [2] IOTL, Star Trek premiered on September 20, a Friday, at 10 PM (the Friday Night Death Slot), with what is widely regarded as its very worst episode: “Spock’s Brain”.

    [3] Said anonymous executive was actually in favour of “Laugh-In” remaining at 8:00. Executives have the worst long-term memories.

    [4] Schlatter never said this IOTL – as he was still working on “Laugh-In”, and he wouldn’t disparage it like that. (Not that I, personally, have anything against Lawrence Welk, mind you.
    )

    [5] This isn’t technically true – the show wasn’t officially cancelled for another few days – but several network affiliates refused to return to the program after the first commercial break, and many promised not to air another episode the following week.

    [6] "Turn-On" was as colossal a disaster ITTL as it was IOTL. Our Schlatter was able to shrug it off because he was also producing the #1 show on the air at the time, but this one has no such luxury. Remember, kids: don't put all your eggs in one basket, and don't count your chickens before they've hatched!

    [7] "Mission: Impossible" finished at #11 for the season IOTL. However, "Here's Lucy", which starred Lucille Ball, finished at #9. As that show doesn't exist ITTL, everything below it is bumped up by one spot. (At least, until we get to the Ersatz-Lucy-starring sitcom that replaced "The Lucy Show" ITTL, which we'll say is hovering around #30.)

    [8] Reed had been starring in the play on Broadway and was lured back to Hollywood in 1968 to appear in a "Barefoot" sitcom. It was then decided to make the show a vehicle for an African-American cast, and Reed was shifted to another project Paramount was developing, which was, of course, "The Brady Bunch". Without that in the works ITTL, they go ahead with a straight adaptation of "Barefoot" instead.

    [9] The show was produced by 20th Century Fox IOTL, though it did still air on ABC. ITTL, the combination of Tinker and Cramer – a former Fox executive himself – would be enough to lure the creator over to Paramount instead. That creator's name? James L. Brooks. We'll be seeing a lot more of him in the future.

    [10] IOTL, "NET Playhouse", an anthology series airing on the precursor network to PBS, won instead. This was likely a political decision, however, and the factors leading to it do not exist ITTL. Why did Star Trek not win instead? That's what production appendices are for!

    [11] IOTL, Carl Betz of "Judd, For The Defense", won for Lead Actor instead. Bain's three consecutive wins are as IOTL.

    [12] As per OTL. To date, 1969 marks the last occasion that this award was not presented.

    ---

    And I bet you thought I was kidding about the changes coming hard and fast. And about all the butterflies. Oh, but I wasn't! :cool: However, I want to stress that this will remain a pop culture timeline. So don't expect a sudden shift in content or tone.

    I've actually hinted at and foreshadowed the reason for this massive butterfly on a number of occasions. The first person to correctly deduce the reason wins the No-Prize! (Yes, I'll reveal it if nobody gets it.)

    I'll talk about the bombshell I just dropped in more detail later. Right now, I really want to see the raw reactions…
     
  4. Falkenburg CMII

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2011
    Location:
    Lurking
    Did not see that coming. :eek::D

    As I understand it the OTL 1968 Presidential Election was pretty close, in terms of share of the vote.

    Almost anything could have tipped the balance the way of the Happy Warrior.
    Especially if it was at the expense of Wallace in the South.

    Maybe President Johnson blocked Nixons' back channel sabotage of the Paris Peace Talks, helping draw the poison from that wound and consequently boosting Humphrey?

    Or maybe, instead of protesting outside the Democratic Convention in Chicago (and being publicly brutalised for their temerity), all those young people were glued to the Box, watching Star Trek (followed by Laugh In).

    In short, I haven't a clue. :p

    Falkenburg
     
  5. Mal-3 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2010
    ...

    Well, now. As funny as it'd be to have Star Trek be the catalyst for Nixon losing in '68, that can't be it. Not directly, anyway. So what is it?

    The butterfly has to relate back to the POD, Lucy not selling Desilu to Gulf+Western. Lucy uses her newfound mojo as a studio head in an activist role, maybe? No, too Hollywood a solution even for a Hollywood TL. Maybe Gulf+Western sinks too much cash into Paramount TV since they have to build from scratch, so they can't put as much into Nixon's war chest & that tips the balance? I think I'm going to go with that one as my answer.
     
  6. ChucK Y Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2008
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    Beatles references in post #20

    We Hope You Enjoy the Show

    Hill was no fool

    came together

    Back in the U.S.S.R.

    she got by with a little help from her friends
     
  7. Brainbin Kingpin of the Cultural Cartel

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2009
    Location:
    The British Empire
    Excellent :cool: There are advantages to being subtle after all!

    About 500,000 votes. Only 300,000 in those states needed to swing the election from Nixon to Humphrey. I'm counting on those margins.

    Try to approach it from the opposite direction. Something tipped the balance the way of Tricky Dick IOTL that didn't ITTL.

    A lot of people were watching those shows. People who are attractive to advertisers, less set in their ways, more easily swayed...

    You're right, it most certainly does!

    Indeed. Also, Lucy was pretty apolitical - remember, registering as a Communist for her grandfather in the 1930s caused a huge stir with the HUAC, and from then on, she stayed entirely out of politics. That will not change ITTL - she's got a business to run.

    I really, really like this answer - it gives me more ammunition against critics of this butterfly, it's logical and flows naturally from the POD, and we all know how money talks.

    But I can't award you the No-Prize, because it's not what I intended. My reason has more to do with hearts and minds. Also, it is a single event, or rather the lack thereof. But you're dead-on in that it's a direct result of something Lucy did.

    Very good, but I'm afraid you missed one. But nice of you to mention post #20, because that post is precisely where the events leading to Humphrey's victory are set into motion.

    ---

    I really don't want to give the answer away just yet; more hints and a little more time might just do the trick. And hopefully, Chuck Y will go back and find the last song, and I can award two No-Prizes :p

    To summarize: A single event that did happen IOTL that did not ITTL resulted in Hubert H. Humphrey winning the presidency.

    What caused this event to not happen ITTL? The original POD, Lucille Ball not selling Desilu to Gulf+Western, which in turn resulted in something happening in post #20; as part of the aftermath of the something in post #20, the forces that set this OTL event into motion did not, or more accurately could not, do so ITTL.

    This eventually resulted in Humphrey, instead of Nixon, winning the popular vote, as well as the electoral vote, and the election. (Along with other, less tangible factors, such as the lack of funding from Gulf+Western, as Mal pointed out.) Remember, the OTL event tipped the balance toward Nixon, and not against Humphrey.

    I admit the event in question might be hard to decipher if you don't know about it, since by its very nature I totally omitted it from my posts. It's also comparatively obscure and oft-dismissed; the Wikipedia article on the election doesn't mention it at all, even in passing. But the individual responsible for the OTL event certainly seems to think It's Wot Won It, and so did both candidates, it seems.

    One last hint: remember, this timeline has been primarily about television, right? Well, then, wouldn't it be a safe bet to assume that this event had something to do with that? :D

    ---

    I'll have the answer for you tonight. If you really want to know what it is, I feel for you, because I really want people to figure it out! :p
     
  8. anon_user anonymous member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2010
    Location:
    somewhere
    Nixon doesn't show up on 'Laugh-in,' maybe? No 'Sock it to me' from old Tricky Dick?
     
  9. Brainbin Kingpin of the Cultural Cartel

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2009
    Location:
    The British Empire
    You have it! Congratulations, you win the No-Prize! :D Don't go spending it all in one place, now :p

    Allow me to present to all of you, the six seconds that changed history. (WARNING: Link is to YouTube)

    I'll explain all of this in more detail in an appendix tonight, including the chain of events that brought us from the POD to this butterfly.
     
  10. SavoyTruffle Memeber

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2010
    Location:
    Luxendarc
    Continues to be intriguing. More successful Star Trek, Turn-On doing far worse, and ol' Tricky Dick not appearing on a TV show costing him an election? More. :D
     
  11. ChucK Y Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2008
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    One more Beatles reference

    work it out
     
  12. Brainbin Kingpin of the Cultural Cartel

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2009
    Location:
    The British Empire
    Thanks again for the kind words, SavoyTruffle. Glad you're still reading :)

    "Turn-On" didn't actually do any worse than IOTL - that would be pretty much impossible. It's just more noticeable because George Schlatter had a lot more to lose. It was all a bit like watching a car crash...

    Sure thing, boss! :D

    And with that, you have them all! Congratulations, you win the No-Prize! Now, if you pool your winnings with anon_user, you both might find you have a whole lot of nothing :p Thanks for playing, everyone!

    Now to get cracking on that appendix...
     
  13. Brainbin Kingpin of the Cultural Cartel

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2009
    Location:
    The British Empire
    Appendix B, Part I: Current Events (US Presidential Election, 1968)

    This marks the first installment of a series that I'll be writing about "serious alternate history". One important point: these posts are going to be the only ones that aren't focused on pop culture. And even then, expect a general overview meant solely to provide a frame of reference... along with some trivia and statistics, largely because I'm a fan of those things myself. (Just as before, my editorial comments, and comparisons to OTL, will be highlighted in RED and placed in brackets.)

    ---

    "With the counting of the last ballots in Illinois, CBS News is now ready to project that Vice-President Hubert Humphrey, the Democratic nominee, has been elected the 37th President of the United States. His running mate, Senator Edmund Muskie of Maine, will succeed him as Vice-President. California remains too close to call at the moment, but even if former Vice-President Nixon wins his home state, it will not be enough for him to take the Presidency. With at least 275 electoral votes, Vice-President Humphrey has also surpassed the 270 necessary to attain a majority in the Electoral College, thwarting Governor Wallace's attempts to split the electoral vote and throw the election to the House. Once again, Vice-President Hubert Humphrey will be the next President of the United States of America."

    - Walter Cronkite, for CBS News, calling the presidential election early in the morning of November 6, 1968

    TWR US 1968.png

    Map of Presidential election results. Red denotes states won by Humphrey and Muskie; Blue denotes those won by Nixon and Agnew; Gold denotes those won by Wallace and LeMay. (IOTL, Nixon won seven states that he lost ITTL: New Jersey, Delaware, Ohio, Illinois, and Missouri to Humphrey; and Tennessee and South Carolina to Wallace. It's not a uniform swing: Nixon very narrowly retains California, along with Alaska and Wisconsin, despite them being closer IOTL than several states that were lost ITTL. Also IOTL, Wallace received the support of a faithless elector pledged to Nixon, one Lloyd W. Bailey from North Carolina; butterflies take care of him.)

    Turnout for the election was approximately 60%. (Just below 73 million; slightly below OTL.) Though Democratic Vice-President Hubert H. Humphrey and his running mate, Senator Edmund Muskie, carried only 18 states out of 50 (along with the District of Columbia), this translated to 275 electoral votes out of 538; in contrast to Republican Richard Nixon and his running mate Governor Spiro T. Agnew, who won 25 states but only 199 electoral votes. Third-party candidate, Governor George Wallace, and his running mate, retired General Curtis LeMay, won the remaining seven states and 64 electoral votes. (IOTL, Nixon won 302 electoral votes, Humphrey won 191, and Wallace won 45; Wallace then gained an additional vote at Nixon's expense from the aforementioned faithless elector.)

    As is so often the case, the popular vote was much closer than the electoral tally might suggest. Humphrey had a less than one million-vote lead over Nixon; approximately 32 million to 31 million. This translated to a lead of slightly more than 1% of the vote: 43.6% to 42.4%. (This is almost double the OTL margin - in the other direction, of course - of about 500,000 votes. Nixon loses over 750,000 votes from OTL; Humphrey gains a little less than that.) Wallace received over 10 million votes, or almost 14%. (Up about 200,000 or so from OTL.) No other candidate received more than 25,000 votes nationwide. (Eugene McCarthy receives about 20,000 write-in votes in California, which is larger than the margin between Nixon and Humphrey there ITTL.)

    As for the campaign, it was a long and divisive one, on both sides, though certainly more so on the Democratic side. Both Humphrey and Nixon emerged as candidates largely because the opposition to them within their respective parties could not coalesce around an alternative. From the nadir at the Democratic Convention in late August, when it had seemed that most factions within that party's coalition of supporters would not support the ticket, Humphrey staged an incredible recovery. By October, most polls showed him in a dead heat with Nixon - a few had him slightly ahead. (Though still within the margin of error.)

    (And so begins the chain of events: In early 1967, Lucille Ball did not sell Desilu to Gulf+Western, and remained in a hands-on role running her company. In this capacity, a year later, in early 1968, she spoke on behalf of her series, Star Trek, to NBC executives. Because of her prestige and influence, the network decided to move the show to a better timeslot. IOTL, they instead sided with George Schlatter, producer of "Laugh-In". But ITTL, Schlatter was shafted. In retaliation, he abandoned his duties at "Laugh-In" to focus on the ill-fated sister series, "Turn-On". But Schlatter had the idea to invite both Nixon and Humphrey to appear on "Laugh-In" and say "Sock it to me!" IOTL, only Nixon accepted. ITTL, Schlatter can't even make the offer, so Nixon can't accept it.)

    (So here's where we play the numbers game. "Laugh-In" was the #1 show on the air in the 1968-69 season. It had a 31.8 rating. This means that 31.8% of all TV-owning households were estimated to be watching the average episode. At this time, that's 18.5 million households. Let's assume that just one person in each of those households goes to vote. In fact, we'll even go down to a nice, round number: 18 million. Now, suppose that 1% of these people are swayed toward Nixon by his appearance on "Laugh-In"; that they find him warmer, more personable, and so on. That's 180,000 people, or all you need to change the election result from OTL (as it's more than half of 300,000). But we know these people are more easily swayed than most, less set in their ways; that's why advertisers find them so attractive. So let's bump it up to 5%. That's nearly a million people, with a potential impact of 1.8 million votes. These people, being so demographically attractive, would be disproportionately found in urban/suburban states, like Missouri, New Jersey, Ohio, and Illinois.)

    It was during the month of October that Humphrey opened up a lead and maintained it until election day. This was largely due to two key events: first was the endorsement of his nomination rival, Eugene McCarthy, and the second was the announcement of a bombing halt in their quagmire of an overseas conflict, and a resulting peace conference. (Sorry, I promised I wouldn't say the "V"-word. It's verboten. And yes, Nixon's people attempted their backdoor sabotage ITTL, too, but the polls showed Humphrey slightly ahead and those in charge waffled; they saw that Nixon wasn't likely to win and weren't sure what move to make. In the end, they didn't pull out of the peace talks.) The last Gallup poll taken just before the election showed Humphrey's lead to be just outside the margin of error; as it turned out, support for Nixon was understated, and the result was the second close election in three cycles. Nixon had the dubious distinction of being on the losing end of both of them. (Projecting based on Gallup's poll would show Nixon losing Alaska, California, Wisconsin, and Oregon to Humphrey, and North Carolina to Wallace; in the actual TTL results, he won all five states by less than three points.)

    A third high-profile defeat, following his loss to John F. Kennedy in 1960 and his California gubernatorial loss to Pat Brown in 1962 was the final curtain for Richard Nixon's political career. He became to the Republicans what Adlai Stevenson had been to Democrats a generation earlier: a respected elder statesman, revered within his party, who nonetheless failed to gain traction with the people. Never terribly gracious in defeat, Nixon largely retreated from public life, doing his best to avoid the scrutiny of his bete noire, the news media. (And so, Nixon and the man who won him the election, George Schlatter, are two of TTL's biggest losers. I'm not deliberately planning a zero-sum game, but when you focus on a dog-eat-dog industry like television, it's hard to avoid.)

    The closely-fought election and, to put it delicately, the eventful year of 1968 behind him, Hubert H. Humphrey was inaugurated as the 37th President of the United States on January 20, 1969.

    ---

    I bet now it's pretty obvious that psephology is one of my other interests :D I hope all the lovely statistics distracted you from the dearth of policy discussions. And if you're waiting for me to name every member of the Humphrey Cabinet... well, keep waiting! :p One thing that's worth thinking about is how a Humphrey presidency might affect popular culture... because it will affect popular culture.

    Any other, minor discrepancies with OTL can be explained away by butterflies too insignificant to mention :cool:

    Coming up, another production appendix for Star Trek! How will what was known in OTL as the "Turd Season" turn out ITTL? Stay tuned.


    TWR US 1968.png
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2011
  14. Space Oddity That One Guy. You Know Who I Mean.

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2010
    May I just state I am filled with love for this TL?
     
  15. anon_user anonymous member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2010
    Location:
    somewhere
    Do I get a second no-prize for recognizing what psephology means without needing to google it? I like my nothing, after all!
     
  16. Brainbin Kingpin of the Cultural Cartel

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2009
    Location:
    The British Empire
    Thank you very much, Space Oddity :eek: That means a lot, coming from the author of one of my own favourite TLs.

    I'm sorry, No-Prizes are awarded only for competitive tasks. But I can give you a Non-Certificate of Achievement, "for the impressive feat of understanding a word that can easily be confused for about a dozen other, very similar words". I hope you like it! :D

    And now I'm going to get to work on Season 3 of Star Trek. As you might expect, the episode list for TTL is going to be rather different from that of OTL. I'd like to invite my readers to suggest any episodes that were "pretty good" or at least "not that bad" that they might like to save from the trash heap; as you may have noticed, "The Enterprise Incident", widely considered one of the best episodes of the Turd Season (however low that particular bar may be set), will be returning, though not quite as you remember it.

    The production appendix should be ready in the next couple of days.
     
  17. SavoyTruffle Memeber

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2010
    Location:
    Luxendarc
    A better Season 3 of Star Trek? Very intriguing...

    That will certainly shape pop cultural science fiction.
     
  18. The Professor Pontif of the Guild

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2006
    Location:
    Republic of Beerhaven
    Intriguing.
    And I'm glad you're not abandoning your AH TV for AH politics ;)
     
  19. Unknown Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2004
    Location:
    Corpus Christi, TX
    Well, Brainbin, you don't have to name Humphrey's cabinet (especially since others have already done so in their TLs about President Humphrey).

    The popular culture will be...interesting, to say the least.
     
  20. Brainbin Kingpin of the Cultural Cartel

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2009
    Location:
    The British Empire
    And yet not too difficult to arrange, once you find the right POD... especially one with particularly intriguing butterflies :p

    Mostly it's a question of timing. IOTL, Star Trek didn't become a classic of popular culture until well into the 1970s, when it became a hit in syndication (and international audiences started watching). And, arguably, it didn't definitively prove that it had mainstream appeal until as late as 1986 (thanks to The One With The Whales). ITTL, both of these things are going to happen by the end of 1969.

    Thank you. My readers seem fond of that word; if I didn't already like the subtitle I had for my timeline in my signature, I would change it to say: "That Wacky Redhead: It's Intriguing!" :D But seriously, I'm glad you like it.

    Good to hear. Because, honestly, political timelines based in this era are a dime a dozen on this forum, and most of them are better written, and in far greater detail, than I would have ever done myself. But I do have my niche, and I intend to stick to it :)

    Truer words were never spoken; that's the exact reason why I didn't do it. (Well, that, and it's really outside the scope of my TL. When would I ever mention Humphrey's Secretary of the Interior ever again? Certainly not nearly often enough to research possible candidates and then have to pick one, and then be forced to justify my choice to any critics...)

    I can guarantee that you're making a severe understatement. But keep on reading and you'll see for yourself...

    I've got the rough episode guide for Season 3 ready, so it's just a matter of writing the appendix now. An appetizer before the main course: I've only eliminated five of the 24 OTL episodes - technically just four, but the fifth has been changed so dramatically from its OTL counterpart that it's basically a different episode - and then added just enough to get to 26. Of course, how all those episodes are going to be produced is what's going to make all the difference. I might have the update proper ready tomorrow, but no promises. Until then...