Monday, July 15, 2013

Prime Time-Week Ending October 27th, 1978

I don't really remember too much about the period between high school graduation in 1977 and joining a local comedy troupe in 1980. I always assume that just not that much interesting happened in there. That said, let's take a look at the prime-time TV schedule here in the Cincinnati area for the week ending October 27th, 1978 and see what was on, shall we?

Saturday night at 8, CHIPS was probably the most popular show and tonight's episode guest-starred Elaine Joyce, a favorite of mine now married to Neil Simon. We would have watched RHODA, though, or perhaps HEE HAW with the President's brother, Billy Carter. Even if we watched the former, we would have turned to the latter for the last half hour as we didn't care for GOOD TIMES which was on at 8:30.

At 9 PM came the conclusion of the fun TV movie RESCUE FROM GILLIGAN'S ISLAND, split into two segments for some bizarre reason. So cool to see them finally get off that %^%$!!! island! We watched that over LOVE BOAT and the forgotten AMERICAN GIRLS. Dack Rambo's short-lived SWORD OF JUSTICE would have taken precedence over FANTASY ISLAND. I stayed up to catch Frank Zappa hosting SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE, too! He was a Dancing Foooool!

The Disney film, NOW YOU SEE HIM, NOW YOU DON'T with Kurt Russell and my Facebook friend Michael McGreevey started out the Sunday prime time schedule at 7. It was the concluding part. Most likely watched that over ABC's HARDY BOYS. I preferred NANCY DREW.

At 8, CBS aired a deep and serious episode of ALL IN THE FAMILY about death but I remember us watching NBC's 10th anniversary 2 hour celebration of HEE HAW! This meant we also skipped Linda Lavin in both ALICE and a TV movie co-starring Kristy McNichol. At 10 PM, LOVE AMERICAN STYLE reruns aired on the local independent station, tonight guest-starring Stefanie Powers, Christopher George, Alan Sues and Judy Carne.

On Monday night at 8 all the choices had local themes--Bob Hope headlined a special from The Ohio State Fair, there was an Ohio Election special that we didn't care about since we live din Kentucky, and there was WKRP IN CINCINNATI, one of my all-time favorite sitcoms! Never missed an episode. After that, former Miss America and future Kentucky First Lady Phyllis George hosted PEOPLE (based on the magazine?). Tonight's episode featured Paul Newman, Diana Ross, Lynda Carter and The Electric Light Orchestra, all in one half hour. M*A*S*H, ONE DAY AT A TIME and LOU GRANT were our Monday night standards after that but MERV looks awfully good. Joan Fontaine, Susan St. James and Maya Angelou. At 11, if one skipped the local news, the choice was between THE GONG SHOW and THE DICK CAVETT SHOW. I hated the former with a passion!

Tuesday night at 7:30, I saw the live local coverage of the gala re-opening of Cincinnati'sPalace Theater, rehabbed by the neighbor who lived directly across the street from us. Bob Newhart and mimes Shields and Yarnell were the opening act and my friend Terry and I would catch them there that weekend.

After that it was a choice between old favorite HAPPY DAYS, Jack Albertson in GRANDPA GOES TO WASHINGTON or Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman in the big screen hit, PAPILLON, edited for television. I think we went with the movie actually, although I know at some point I caught the PBS conclusion of COUNT DRACULA with Louis Jourdan and Frank Finlay. Favorites like LAVERNE AND SHIRLEY, THREE'S COMPANY  and STARSKY & HUTCH fell by the wayside this night and a TV movie about the Donner Party never stood a chance.

BUGS BUNNY and FAT ALBERT Halloween specials were both preempted on Wednesday evening by yet another Ohio elections special so I probably caught DICK CLARK'S LIVE WEDNESDAY with his guests Chicago, Raquel Welch and future TONIGHT SHOW host Jay Leno. The other options were EIGHT IS ENOUGH and a GUNSMOKE rerun, though, so it could have been one of them.

At 9 PM came Carol Burnett's highly publicized turn in Erma Bombeck's THE GRASS IS ALWAYS GREENER OVER THE SEPTIC TANK. Susan St. James was in a TV western called DESPERATE WOMEN and a Kate/Jackie/Cheryl episode of CHARLIE'S ANGELS was on. Knowing what I know now, I most likely would have scurried to PBS for the undoubtedly well-acted version of THE COLLECTION starring Lord Laurence Olivier and a young Helen Mirren. Then, I probably opted for the Angels, followed by Robert Urich in VEGAS.

An early directorial outing for Ron Howard, COTTON CANDY, highlighted Thursday's lineup but I don't recall seeing it. Most likely we went with THE WALTONS or perhaps the Dr. Seuss special, HALLOWEEN IS GRINCH NIGHT. Football then took over ABC, leaving BARNABY JONES, QUINCY, HAWAII 5-O and the John Wayne movie HATARI. Most likely my Dad watched the football and I retired to my room.

Finally, Friday started out with Gilda Radner voicing the animated WITCH'S NIGHT OUT, followed by the well-cast WHO'S WATCHING THE KIDS with Larry Breeding, Scott Baio, Jim Belushi and Robert Donner. I don't think we watched either of those, though, most likely opting for Sherman Hemsley on either the David Copperfield magic special or DONNY & MARIE. He was on both.

The evening's movie was Brian DePalma's OBSESSION but it was opposite THE ROCKFORD FILES and THE INCREDIBLE HULK so it didn't stand a chance. FLYING HIGH, a silly stewardess show, and the short-lived EDDIE CAPRA MYSTERIES came on at 10. I liked the latter.

Well, that was my prime-time week in October of 1978. The following night would be the long-awaited KISS MEETS THE PHANTOM OF THE PARK!


1 comment:

  1. Preempting Bugs Bunny and Fat Albert Halloween specials would have left me irate!

    I remember my mom being excited about The Grass is Always Greener movie. She was a fan of the Erma Bombeck book. But I don't think she cared for the movie after seeing it. In fact, I don't recall anything except the first 15 or so minutes of the show, so either I lost interest or she did. She was a huge fan of The Carol Burnett show, but never seemed to like her in anything else. A few years ago, I took her to see Carol at the Fox Theater in St. Louis. It was great show full of reminiscing about her variety show. And of course someone had to ask her to do the Tarzan yell.

    I recall I was away from home the night of the Kiss Meets the Phantom movie and the tv reception was awful. I recall watching a very snowy and fuzzy version with poor sound. To this day I haven't seen it properly.