51 30'30.55 N and 0 12'49.91 W

It all started one evening in 1978. It seemed harmless at the time -- staying up late to watch this weird show that had a guy sitting on a bar stool, drinking and smoking. And that crazy accent... Had I known it would lead to this, I am sure my mother wouldn't have allowed it. What was it? It was "Dave Allen At Large." He, or should I say it, was the show that started my penchant for British programming.

Oh, it got bad. From Dave I moved on to "Benny Hill" and "Fawlty Towers." Then it was "To The Manor Born," "Keeping Up Appearances" and other shows of that ilk. Now it manifests itself in reruns of "Coupling" and "Absolutely Fabulous." But at the core of it all is one show that, despite the fact that I have seen every episode from all nine seasons at least well, multiple times, I still to this day watch at least an episode a week: "As Times Goes By."

Why am I telling you this? Because "old" crashed into "new" over the weekend. You see, I was watching Episode 43, "The Dinner Party." when my husband (who indulges me by sitting on the couch surfing on his laptop) asked me one simple question: "Where is the house supposed to be?" "Holland Park," I replied. "Are you sure?" he asked. My reply was simply a look of disgust that he would ever doubt me, which he accepted like any good husband would.

Three minutes later, he looked at me in surprise and said, "You were right!" I looked over, and what do I see: Google Earth zoomed in at 51º30'30.55 N and 0º12'49.91 W, with a house clearly labeled "As Time Goes By," right on the edge of Holland Park.

Now, I scan the television message boards and the fan sites (think of it as a job requisite) but it NEVER occurred to me to employ mapping technology as part of this exploration. I have seen some fan sites with tracking applications as bands tour or the use of mapping technology as part of a game application - but for some reason it had never occurred to me that fans of shows that are well over a decade old and not exactly huge "hits" (think The Sopranos) or were targeted to a youthful viewing audience would be using Google Earth as part of fan "self expression." as it were.

Now, this convergence of technology and programming may be earth-shattering to some and not to others -- but it became crystal clear for me in the that very moment that I saw that Google Earth screen: television -- no, all of entertainment -- is never going to be the same again.

Tags: tv
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