Turnabout

NBC (ended 1979)
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  • Episode Guide
  • S 1 : Ep 8

    Magic Statue (4 episode compilation movie)

    Aired 12/1/81

  • S 1 : Ep 7

    Statutory Theft

    Aired 3/30/79

  • S 1 : Ep 6

    Crass Reunion

    Aired 3/23/79

  • S 1 : Ep 5

    Till Dad Do Us Part

    Aired 3/9/79

  • S 1 : Ep 4

    Cry Me a Touchdown

    Aired 2/16/79

  • Cast & Crew
  • Sharon Gless

    Penny Alston

  • John Shuck

    Sam Alston

  • Bobbie Jordan

    Judy Overmeyer

  • Richard Stahl

    Jack Overmeyer

  • Bruce Kirby

    Al Brennan

  • show Description
  • Welcome to the Turnabout guide at TV Tome.The updated plot follows the classic 1930's novel by Thorne Smith (also author of Topper, etc.) fairly well. A 1940 movie was made as well, though it had the voices switching bodies along with their personalities. The characters in the series are similar, although they have been renamed and modernized for a society 50 years in the future of the original novel and movie. Their neighbors, coworkers and jobs are new creations for the TV series, but remain in the general style of the prior source material.Penny wishes her life were more like hubby Sam's. And he wishes much the same about his wife. Each thinks the other has the easier life and both wish one night that they could be each other, to have an easier life. Of course dreams don't come true, especially idle ones! Or do they???Unfortunately, Penny bought a small statuette from a gypsy, unaware that it had the power to grant wishs. As fast as you can say "presto-chango," their personalities swap bodies. Actually, it happened overnight, while they slept, as shown in the opening animated credits and the pilot episode. Their astral dream selves are liberated by the statue during the night, and for a lark, they both agree to finish sleeping in the other's bodies, thinking it all a strange dream!) But it was no dream! More like a nightmare!When they wake up, Sam is inside Penny's body and she is inside of his! Once the shock wears off, and they realize the dream-like situation isn't going to wear off, they both must pretend to the outside world that they are the spouse they appear to be. Each must adapt to the gender they now possess, all the while experiencing the "joys" and occasional "pains" of living out each other lives as the opposite sex!Their nosy if friendly neighbors are Jack and Judy.Al is Sam's publisher, and Geoffrey is Penny's boss in the competitive cosmetics advertising industry. Geoffrey treats Penny like a lady, except when he is unconsciously sexually harrassing her, and now that Sam is Penny to the rest of the world he finds Geoffrey's behavior highly unwanted. No man ever patted his knee in sympathy before the body swap! And how is he expected to know the differences between a dozen different shades of red lipstick! He has enough trouble just getting Penny's makeup properly on her face each morning. Meanwhile Penny, the feminist woman stuck inside the burly body of her husband, has to deal with the chauvinistic attitude of her new boss Al and the macho sports stars she has to interview in Sam's place. Just living an ordinary life is quite different when you are suddenly someone else, not to mention the wrong gender!Every week, they begged, pleaded, and even prayed to the mystical statue to give them back their original bodies but they never get their second wish granted. They still occupy the other's body to this day!ABOUT THE SERIES...What made this series stand out in the minds of those who were able to find it was the outstanding acting talents of the two leads.John Schuck was a favorite co-starring actor on McMillan and Wife, winning a supporting actor Emmy for the role of the Police Sergeant assistant to the lead character! He also played a robot among other challenging character roles in a long successful career. Sharon Gless of course went on to win multiple Emmy awards as best actress for Cagney & Lacey! This show got good reviews when it premiered, but buried right after the show 'Hello Larry' - often referred to (rather unjustly) as the worst show ever broadcast, and Dallas on another network to compete with it, -- it had NO chance to succeed.Seven episodes were announced in TV Guide. At least 6 were aired. Since mid-season replacement shows are usually ordered in either 6 or 12 episode orders, there MAY be up to 6 more episodes. If anyone has any info on other episodes please let me know so I can add them to the list!moreless

  • Top Contributor
  • CBourque2025

    User Score: 257

    EDITOR

  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Notes (6)

    • The episode was prempted in parts of the northeast.

    • The episode reportedly was included in the movie compilation of several episodes described elsewhere here. (Thanks to Raaj for the info.

    • This was the last episode broadcast, and ended with them still stuck in the wrong bodies so apparently they remained that way ever after.

    • The end credits have copyright dates of 1979 & 1981.

    • The collection was made into a video, renamed The Magic Statue, and was broadcast on cable and released on video over a year after the series was cancelled.

    • The fill pieces between episodes were all done with the same actors.

    Show More Notes

    Trivia (5)

    • Jerry Quarry was a real life champion boxer playing himself that Sam was supposed to interview, but Penny wound up interviewing as she was stuck in Sam's body!

    • Joyce Bulifant (Expectant mother) was also Marie, the wife of the newswriter Murray Slaughter on the Mary Tyler Moore Show. Florence Halop (Doctor) was portrayed by the actress playing the wife of the lead character Fish on the show of the same name, and on the show Barney Miller.

    • Sports announcer Lynn Shackelford appears in this episode as himself.

    • Tim Rossovich was a professional football player turned actor after retirement from the sport.

    • This episode was listed in the TV Guide but the episode did not get shown as far as I can determine. I can only speak for part of the east coast. Unless it was picked up on the west coast perhaps. Since it was announced in the TV Guide, it was produced, but may remain unaired to this day. If anyone DID see it, please update this with your location at the time you saw this episode.

  • Fan Reviews (1)
  • why it was good, why it failed

    By CBourque2025, Jul 15, 2009