Green is in, especially at the channels owned by NBC/Universal.
The channels go "green" with environment-themed storylines (and logos) during what it's calling "Green Is Universal" week. They include the title character of "Chuck" (Monday at 8 p.m., NBC/4) revisiting Stanford during its Green Festival, and Jack Donaghey (Alec Baldwin) creating an NBC mascot named Greenzo (played by David Schwimmer) on "30 Rock" (Thursday at 8:30 p.m., NBC/4).
While this effort is certainly laudable, TV's been down this Earth-friendly highway before. So let's pause for a moment here and salute these great eco-pioneers from TV's past.
"The Honeymooners" (1956) - RalphKramden (Jackie Gleason) goes to a Raccoon Lodge costume party dressed as the "man from space." Rather than wearing a wasteful plastic costume, he assembled his own from recycled household objects.
The Professor on "Gilligan's Island" (1964-67) - To regenerate electricity for the castaways' transistor radio, the island's resident brainiac designed a coconut shell battery recharger. He also designed a pedal-powered washing machine, water pump and sewing machine.
Fred Flintstone on "The Flintstones" (1960-66) - No fossil fuel? No problem. The Bedrock buffoon drove his vehicle, as the theme song noted, "through the courtesy of Fred's two feet."
"Brady Bunch" I (1971) - In an episode reflecting the early-'70s ecology movement, the Brady kids, along with Carol's women's group, try to prevent the city from building a courthouse that would destroy a local park ("Give trees a chance" read one picket sign).
"Brady Bunch" II (1972) - In this episode, aspiring songwriter Greg Brady penned the tree-hugging ode, "We Can Make the World a Whole Lot Brighter." Sample lyrics: "Come take a sign/and help us save the land/let's go out and try to make it better."