• 41
    Roots: The Complete Miniseries

    Roots: The Complete Miniseries

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    ABC (Mini-Series 1977)
    The epic tale of celebrated Pulitzer-prize winning author Alex Haley's ancestors as portrayed in the acclaimed twelve hour mini-series Roots, was first told in his 1976 bestseller Roots: The Saga of an American Family. The docu-drama covers a period of history that begins in mid-1700s Gambia, West Africa and concludes during post-Civil War United States, over 100 years later. This 1977 miniseries eventually won 9 Emmy awards, a Golden Globe award, and a Peabody award, and still stands as the most watched miniseries in U.S. history. Roots set the record for most Emmys won in a single season.moreless
  • 42
    Marcus Welby, M.D.

    Marcus Welby, M.D.

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    ABC (ended 1976)
    These are the cases of Marcus Welby and Steven Kiley, a Santa Monica Family Doctor and his young partner. At a time when doctors still made house calls, Marcus Welby, M.D. was both entertaining and informative. Welby is able to address many of the health issues of the era while also helping to educate the viewing public at the same time. It was the highest-rated show in prime time for the 1970-1971 season.moreless
  • 43
    Candid Camera

    Candid Camera

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    ABC (ended 2004)
    Allen Funt got wise to the power of comedic humiliation in the Army. He was known to secretly tape record his fellow servicemen's complaints about the state of things and then broadcast the recordings on the Armed Forces Radio. Stunts like those led to his national radio show, called Candid Microphone, which debuted in 1948 and peppered radio waves time and again for thirty years. That radio show led to a TV show that after over 50 years continues on the PAX network, hosted by Peter Funt (Allen's son) and co-hosted by Dina Eastwood (wife of Clint Eastwood). -The first "reality" show. -The longest-running comedy show on TV. -The current version of the theme song (beginning in Nov. 1999) is sung by Little Richard. Broadcast History Armed Forces Radio / ABC-Radio - 1947 "Candid Microphone" ABC-TV - Aug. 1948, Sun. 8:00 – Oct. 1948, Wed. 8:30 – Nov. 1948, Fri. 8:00 NBC - May 1949, Sun. 7:30 (name changed to Candid Camera) July 1949, Thu. 9:00 CBS - Sept. 1949–Sept. 1950, Mon. 9:00 ABC - Aug. 1951 - May '52 NBC - June 1953, Tue. 9:30 – Aug. 1953, Wed. 10:00 CBS - 1959–1960 (a segment within The Garry Moore Show) CBS - Oct. 1960–Sept. 1967, Sun. 10:00 syndicated - 1974–'78 CBS - May 1990, Fri. 8:30 - Aug. '90 syndicated - 1991–'92 CBS - Feb. 1997, Fri. 8:30 – Jan. 2000, Sat. 8:30 – June 2000, Fri. 8:30 PAX - Jan. 2001, Sun. 7:00 (now 60 min.) June 2001, Wed. 8:00 – Jan. 2003, Sat. 8:00 – Oct. 2003, Sun. 7:00 – Jan. 2004, Sun. 6:00moreless
  • 44
    The Bugs Bunny Show

    The Bugs Bunny Show

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    ABC (ended 1972)
    The Bugs Bunny Show was ABC's second prime-time animated series, along with The Flintstones and aired at 7:30 pm on Sundays. Not only was it one of the earliest broadcasts of Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies on televsion, it was popular for kids since it was a cartoon. Each episode was directed by a handful of senior Warner staffers, including, Friz Freleng, Chuck Jones, Robert McKimson, and Maurice Noble. The show would open with Bugs and Daffy marching out on stage singing "This Is It" which became an instint musical hit among animation and television fans. Then Bugs would introduce a theme or a special guest host. Three cartoons would run and segments were placed between each one. After the second segment a commerical would run. The commerical would exclusively feature one or more of Warner cartoon star which was usually Bugs adverising either Kool-Aid, Tang, or Post Cereals. At the end "Coming Attractions" would be viewed as a sort of "sneak preview" of next week's show. The show was compised of exclusively post-1948 Warner cartoons since it was ownership of the shorts was divided-which Guild Films had owned most of the black and white cartoons while A.A.P. owned all the pre-1948 color shorts-and the 1931-1933 black and white Merrie Melodies. ABC stopped running The Bugs Bunny Show and soon CBC in Canada started showing an/the entire 3rd season in the early 70s, since ABC had cancelled The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour for "Welcome Back, Kotter". These "new" episodes were actually just color version of the older episodes-with the three cartoons changed. With this additional 3rd "cheater" season, there were 78 episodes total. Today The Bugs Bunny Show remains one of the best and most memorable programs in television history. MORE INFORMATION Until 1966 all 52 episodes were originally shown in black and white. Later all 52 episodes were put into color. In September, 1971, the half-hour Bugs Bunny Show reappeared, on Saturday mornings.moreless
  • 45
    Ryan's Hope

    Ryan's Hope

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    ABC (ended 1989)
    Ryan's Hope was a soap opera which aired on ABC from 1975 through 1989. It focused on the Ryans, a Irish Catholic fnamily in New York City who owned a taver. The serial was about their struggles through life, along with the struggles of their friends and enemies. It is a fondly remembered, and has been airing on SoapNet since its launch in January 2000. Ryan's Hope airs on SOAPnet weekdays at 12:30PM and 4:30AM. They are currently airing episodes from May 1979.moreless
  • 46
    The Streets of San Francisco (1972)

    The Streets of San Francisco (1972)

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    ABC (ended 1977)
    Welcome to The Streets of San Francisco guide at TV.com.

    "Inspectors eight-one, responding." This 70's crime drama was one of many Quinn Martin Production shows, a roster which included Cannon, The FBI, The Fugitive and Barnaby Jones. It was filmed entirely on location in San Francisco.

    The show first aired on September 16, 1972 in a time slot of Saturday at 9 p.m., playing against two popular half-hour shows, Mary Tyler Moore and Bob Newhart. Due to the success of its first season, it moved into a more prominent spot -- Thursdays at 10, and later, Thursdays at 9, showing in the same time slot as Kojak, Ironside, and Barnaby Jones.

    The Streets of San Francisco starred Karl Malden as veteran detective Mike Stone and Michael Douglas as Steve Keller, a rookie detective who is college- educated in a workingman's SFPD.

    The show ran for a total of five seasons. After the second episode of the 1976-77 season, Michael Douglas left the show; writers explained that Steve Keller was going to pursue a teaching career. The insufferably pretty Richard Hatch was chosen to play the ingenue-detective role, but the show foundered and lasted for only another season, airing for the last time on June 23, 1977.moreless
  • 47
    ABC World News with Diane Sawyer

    ABC World News with Diane Sawyer

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    ABC
    World News Tonight is a nightly news program that airs on ABC.

    History:

    Harry Reasoner and Howard K. Smith had co-anchored the ABC Evening News from December 1970. In 1975, Reasoner assumed sole anchor responsibilities until his pairing with Barbara Walters, the first female network anchor, in Oct. 1976. Ratings for the nightly news broadcast declined shortly thereafter.

    On July 10, 1978, Roone Arledge, head of ABC's news and sports divisions, launched World News Tonight with a trio of anchors. From Washington D.C., the late Frank Reynolds assumed primary anchor responsiblities, while Peter Jennings (from London) and the late Max Robinson (from Chicago) - the first African-American network news anchor - provided secondary duties.

    From 1983 to 2005, the program as anchored by Peter Jennings. Following Jennings' death, the program was renamed on August 15, 2005, from World News Tonight with Peter Jennings to World News Tonight. Elizabeth Vargas and Bob Woodruff were named as co-anchors. Woodruff was severely wounded in January 2006 while reporting from Iraq. Vargas stepped down for maternity leave in May 2006 and Charles Gibson was named as permanent anchor.moreless
  • 48
    Super Friends

    Super Friends

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    ABC (ended 1973)
    SuperFriends was an animated series that premiered on ABC on September 8, 1973. The series was executive produced by the creative team of William Hanna and Joseph Barbera. The series featured the adventures of DC Comics book heroes Superman, Batman, Robin, Wonder Woman, and Aquaman. These five superheroes along with superheroes in training Wendy, Marvin, and Wonder Dog focused their abilities on putting away criminals, saving lives, and stopping terrible disasters after getting messages from their computer, the "TroubAlert."

    Each episode of the SuperFriends was geared to present, not only action, but also some lesson of educational value. In the short run of the series, a number of other famous DC comic book heroes appeared: Plastic Man, The Flash, and Green Arrow.

    The last new episode of the series entitled "The Watermen" was broadcast on December 22, 1973. The show continued in reruns until it was taken off the air on August 30, 1974. Two years later, however, the series was rebroadcast from February 7, 1976 to September 3, 1977. In an enduring testament to the popularity of the SuperFriends characters, they were later featured in a number of spin-offs and revivals.

    In 1977, the Hanna-Barbera produced sixty-two cartoon featuring the Superfriends. These cartoons were shown on ABC as part of The All-New SuperFriends Hour. Each hour long episode featured four cartoons (one half-hour cartoon and three seven minute shorts). The hour-long show featured adventures of the original fives superheroes from SuperFriends. Wendy, Marvin, and Wonder Dog, however, did not appear. They were replaced by the shape-shifting Wondertwins Zan and Jayna and their space-monkey Gleek. The All-New SuperFriends Hour ran from September 10, 1977 to September 2, 1978 and was replaced in the next season by Challenge of the SuperFriends and SuperFriends (1978).

    Challenge of the SuperFriends was one of the most popular incarnations of SuperFriends that featured the Justice League of America against the Legion of Doom. This half-hour series ran for sixteen episodes from September 9, 1978 to September 15, 1979. It was accompanied in its run by SuperFriends (1978) which also presented sixteen half-hour episodes from September 9, 1978 to September 15, 1979. These episodes featured the same characters as The All-New SuperFriends Hour in further adventures.

    In 1979, Hanna-Barbera discontinued Challenge of the SuperFriends. Reruns of old SuperFriends episodes were mixed with eight new episodes and were presented under the new title The World's Greatest SuperFriends. The World's Greatest Superfriends was a hour long series that ran from September 22,1 979 to September 27, 1980.

    In the 1980's, SuperFriends continued in a number of incarnations. From September 1980 to September 1984, Hanna-Barbara produced sixty-six seven minute shorts (see Superfriends (1980)). Twenty-Four of these shorts were shown in the 1980-1981 season, accompanied by SuperFriend's reruns, under the title The Superfriends Hour. In the 1981-1982 season, sixteen new shorts were presented as a part of the half-hour long Superfriends. These new shorts were, of course, accompanied by reruns. The 1982-1983 season, however, was all reruns. Although Hanna-Barbara produced twenty-four new SuperFriends shorts, ABC decided to show only reruns of the SuperFriends in a thirty minute program entitled The Best of SuperFriends. Most of the unaired shorts (called by some "The Lost Episodes"), however, would later air in syndication.

    The 1984-1985 season, new half-hour SuperFriends episodes would return to ABC under the title SuperFriends: The Legendary Super Powers Show. SuperFriends: The Legendary Super Powers Show was a half-hour sixteen episode cartoon that featured Superman, Batman, Robin, Wonder Woman, and the Teen Titans Firestorm and Cyborg. In the 1985-1986 season, these same characters would appear along with Aquaman, Flash, Green Lantern, Hawkman, and Samurai in the half-hour The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians. This final incarnation of Hanna-Barbara's SuperFriends offered ten new episodes. On September 30, 1986 with the end of the last episode of The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians, Hanna-Barbara's twelve year run of original SuperFriends episodes was over. The SuperFriends, however, would continue to live on in syndication.

    First Telecast: September 8, 1973 Last Telecast: December 22, 1973

    Episodes: 16 Color Episodes (16 one-hour episodes)

    Follow-up Shows: The All-New SuperFriends Hour, SuperFriends (1978), Challenge of the SuperFriends, The World's Greatest SuperFriends, SuperFriends (1980), SuperFriends: The Legendary Super Powers Show, and The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians.moreless
  • 49
    The Dating Game

    The Dating Game

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    ABC (ended 2000)
    THE DATING GAME was and still is by all accounts, the premiere game show for singles. It was the forerunner for many imitators such as "Love Connection", MTV's "Singled Out" and numerous others. But they all have the same influence: Chuck Barris, the creator of the one that started it all! "THE DATING GAME" first premiered on December 20-24, 1965 on abc-TV and remained a fixture on the network in both daytime and nighttime incarnations through the rest of the 1960s and well into the 1970s. Jim Lange, fresh from his announcing duties with Tennessee Ernie Ford stepped through the flower-speckled rotating partitions for the first of many, many times shortly before Christmas 1965. The game play was simple. On one side you had 3 bachelors answering questions from a girl on the other side of the partition (each not being able to see the other). The girl was given a certain amount of time to ask as many questions as she could to the 3 bachelors. More often than not the questions would be of a quirky nature. (E.G.: "If we were marooned on a desert island, what would be the first thing you'd do and why?"). During a commercial break, the girl would think about which bachelor she'd select. When the show returned, Jim would have her announce her choice. After meeting the 2 boys she didn't select, she's meet her date at which point Jim would tell them where they were going for their dream date. On less frequent occasions, the roles were reversed. To wit, the game would feature a boy selecting 1 from the 3 Bachelorettes. The show became an enormous hit with young viewers. (In fact, in light of its success, Baskin-Robbins named an ice cream flavor in honor of the show.) And over the years, the show featured many stars of the day (Burt Reynolds, Paul Petersen and even Dick Clark showed up) as well as newcomers who would in later years become big stars in their own right (John Ritter, Teri Garr, Tom Selleck and Farrah Fawcett were among these.) The show left abc-TV on July 2-6, 1973, but stayed in syndication for another year (1973-1974) before leaving the airwaves altogether. Creator Chuck Barris brought the show back again 4 years later with Lange as host from 1978 to 1980. Along with an updated version of "The Newlywed Game" and 2 new shows, ("The Gong Show" and "The $1.98 Beauty Show") "The Dating Game" returned to syndicated in 1978, only this time with a more adult-oriented borderline dialogue format--perhaps in an effort to recapture the same audience that had grown up watching THE DATING GAME in the 1960s. The newer version- along with Jim Lange's gaudy red tuxedo- lasted for 2 years until local stations finally got tired of the protesting phone calls. Once again, the show featured both present-day and future stars such as Jaye P. Morgan, Bob Saget and Murray "The Unknown Comic" Langston. THE DATING GAME was all but forgotten until the mid-80s, when Barris decided to do it yet again. An all new 80s update of "The Dating Game (The All-New DATING GAME)" premiered on syndicated on September 8-12, 1986, but this time the hosting duties were handled by Elaine Joyce (Lange was busy at the time hosting "The $1,000,000 Chance Of A Lifetime"). This version lasted for three years with Joyce hosting the 1st season and Jeff McGregor hosting the last 2 Seasons and again as in the previous 2 incarnations, the show featured present and future stars. (Among the future stars was Oscar-winning actor Cuba Gooding, Jr.!) The Program Demised on September 8, 1989. Now... as for the NINETIES update? Well... I don't know terribly much about it except for the following: By the time the 90s rolled around, Chuck Barris sold the rights to all his shows to Columbia-Tristar Television. A newer, corporate-whitewashed version of the DATING GAME was released on September 9-13, 1996 and packaged with another updated version of "The Newlywed Game", this time with Chuck ("Love Connection") Woolery (1st Host is Whose Line is it Anyway (US) Brad Sherwood for the 1st Season for the difference) and outside of the quizzer and the respective suitors & suitorettes not being able to see one another, the rules were almost completely overhauled and all ended the show on September 15, 2000. But if you're a game show retrophile like me, you would have to agree that there's just no Dating Game without Jim Lange with or without the awful tux. And now you don't have to suffer from Lange withdrawal because Game Show Network has some episodes to show you... And HEEEEEEEE-RE THEY ARRRRRRRR-RE! Now you can see the classic Jim Lange episodes of the original DATING GAME on The Game Show Network- in particular, the ones that featured present-day and future superstars. You can see them Saturday and Sunday nights at 11:30pm on GSN. Enjoy them if you can... and if you can't stay up that late, TAPE THEM... LIKE ME!! (Dates with celebrities are always subject to their availability.) THE BROADCAST HISTORY of THE DATING GAME: December 20, 1965-March 31, 1967 at 11:30am-12Noon on ABC-TV April 3, 1967-July 12, 1968 at 4:00-4:30pm on ABC-TV July 15, 1968-July 6, 1973 at 2:30-3:00pm on ABC-TV. On 1st Run Syndicated from September 10, 1973-September 15, 2000.moreless
  • 50
    The Flying Nun

    The Flying Nun

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    ABC (ended 1970)
    The Flying Nun was a one of the many fantasy sitcoms on the 1960s. It was about Elsie Enthrington, a surfer girl, who became a nun. Now named Sister Bertrille, the young novice discovered that she had the ability to fly. She only weighed 90 pounds and when the wind was right she could put on her cornette and fly.

    In 1967, she arrived at the Convent San Tanco in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The Reverand Mother who ran the place was a strict conservative who usually had to put up with Bertrille's mishaps. Sister Jaqueline, a wise nun with a sense of humor became Sister Bertrille's friend (Sister Jaqueline also narrated the show). The sister was also friends with Sister Sixto, a Puerto Rican nun who was struggling with her English language, and Sister Ana, another younger nun.

    She had a special relationship with Carlos Ramirez, a playboy who owned the Carlos-A-Go Go discoteque. Carlos was usually disturbed by Sister Bertrille right in the middle of hot dates, and because of this he dreaded her visits. Deep down, though, Carlos was a great friend to the airborne novice.

    For three years, The Flying Nun was a favorite among kids and adults, and was praised by actual Catholic nuns for its portrayal of convent life. While it is rarely shown on cable, it was recently seen in a regular timeslot on TVLand.

    Broadcast Information
    1967 to 1969---ABC---Thursdays 8:00pm ET
    1969 to 1970---ABC---Wednesdays 7:30pm ET

    For its first two seasons, The Flying Nun was seen on ABC's "It's Your Move" lineup along with Bewitched and That Girl.moreless
  • 51
    Baretta

    Baretta

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    ABC (ended 1978)
    Baretta was an indirect spinoff of Toma. After Tony Musante left the show, Robert Blake was asked to step in, and the show was revamped into Baretta. Tony Baretta was an unconventional cop, streetwise with a decidedly funky lifestyle. He lived in apartment 2-C of an old run-down hotel called the King Edward, with his pet cockatoo, Fred. The orphaned son of poor Italian immigrants, Baretta was a master of disguise, an ability he used to infilrate gangs. The show had plenty of hard action, as well as comic relief provided by his dude informant friend, Rooster. The show made it into the Top Ten for the 1976/1977 season.moreless
  • 52
    The Scooby-Doo/Dynomutt Hour

    The Scooby-Doo/Dynomutt Hour

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    ABC (ended 1976)
    This hour long show is based on the adventures of Scooby-Doo and Dynomutt in a half-hour adventure of both shows. While many of you know Scooby-Doo as the character who solves mysteries with his Mystery Inc. crew, some might not know who is Dynomutt, Dog Wonder.

    Dynomutt, Dog Wonder is a silly sidekick canine of the super hero known as Blue Falcon. You may have seen Blue Falcon and his silly canine on many shows. Together the crime fighting team is unstoppable.

    In this format, the show lasted one season. There were additional original Dynomutt episodes made but they were shown on a later series Scooby's All-Star Laff-A-Lympics

    THE SCOOBY-DOO/DYNOMUTT HOUR MAIN TITLE THEME

    They've got it all together, and do you know what? Scooby Doo is hangin' 'round with Dynomutt! While Scooby Doo is haunted by a spooky ghost, Dynomutt is doin' what he does the most.

    They make a super pair, with a super show to share: Scooby Doo and Dynomutt!

    (Instrumental solo)

    They make a super pair, with a super show to share: Scooby Doo and Dynomutt! The Scoo-by Doo...Dynomutt Hour!moreless
  • 53
    Disneyland

    Disneyland

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    ABC (ended 1990)
    Walt Disney, one of Hollywood's most ambitious producers, was first approached to do television in 1950, when The Coca-Cola Company offered him a one-hour special. The one hour special, "One Hour in Wonderland," aired December 25, 1950 on NBC and garnered 90% of the television viewing audience. A second special, "The Walt Disney Christmas Special," aired December 25, 1951 on CBS. When Walt had drawn up plans for a theme park, known as Disneyland, he found a hard time obtaining funding; critics, including Walt's brother Roy, thought that it was unfeasible and that it would be a fiasco. At the same time, the ABC television network offered him a deal for a television anthology series. Walt wouldn't agree to it unless they put up partial financing for Disneyland (a term that had kept CBS and NBC from signing with him). ABC agreed, and also paid him $50,000 per program, an exorbitant sum for the time. The show, titled Disneyland, premiered on October 27, 1954 and was an immediate success. Historically, the show is significant for two reasons. First, with thirty-four seasons, it is the longest-running prime time network series in history (not counting news programs; if one were to count news programs, 60 Minutes would take that title). Second, it was the first original television production by a major Hollywood studio. Other studios resented television for fear that it would keep people from going out to the movies. Thus, they refused to produce television programs, and they refused to let networks or stations use any of their more recent or better-known material. Walt Disney was the first Hollywood producer to do so. Disneyland was a mixture of cartoons, live-action adventures, documentaries, and nature stories. Some of these were made expressly for television, but others were former theatrical releases. Many of the early programs were designed to promote upcoming theatrical releases. One particular early success of the Disneyland series was the Davy Crockett trilogy. This was a phenomenal success in every aspect; the merchandising bonanza that followed sold $300 million worth of Crockett memorabilia. Thus, ABC wanted more adventure stories along the lines of Davy Crockett. Disney provided them, but none were nearly as successful. Along the way, in 1958, it was retitled Walt Disney Presents. Eventually the show became more reliant on original material, though pre-existing material was used at times. In 1961, his contract with ABC expired. He moved his show to NBC where he could broadcast it in color (ABC would not have the capability for color broacasting until 1962). It was rechristened Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color, with an original theme song by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman (who went on to write the song scores to such well-known Disney films as Mary Poppins, The Jungle Book, The Many Adventures of Winnie-the-Pooh and Bedknobs and Broomsticks). It premiered on NBC on Sunday, September 24, 1961. On NBC, he was able to re-air many of the ABC shows in color, as they had been filmed that way as insurance for possible future airings once color broadcasting, or "colorcasting," took hold. In September of 1966, doctors told Walt Disney, a lifetime chain-smoker, that he had lung cancer. Though the cancerous lung was removed, doctors told him that the cancer had been detected too late, and he died on Thursday, December 15, 1966. Knowing full well that no one could replace him as a host, Walt Disney Productions dropped the hosted introduction segments after the season's end. Luckily, Walt had filmed that all of that season's host segments before it was too late. The show changed its name to The Wonderful World of Disney on September 14, 1969, and dropped the Sherman Brothers theme song in favor of various alternating medleys of well-known songs from Disney movies and parks. The trusted Disney name continued to insure high ratings for the next few years. As popular tastes changed dramatically during the late 1960s and early 1970s, the public seemed to have largely begun to turn away from anything Disney (except theme parks and merchandise), seeing the name as symptomatic of a square, uptight, and unhip mindset that young people were coming to reject. The studio itself suffered from the lack of hit movies and accusations of incompetent management at the time. The ratings of the anthology series, however, remained reasonably stable, enough so that NBC renewed Disney's contract through 1978. In the fall of 1975, the show began a ratings decline when it was moved back to 7 PM from 7:30 PM. Disney's ratings fell from the Top 30 and continued to fall every year afterwards. The following year went face to with CBS's 60 Minutes. Though it had begun in 1968 and was scheduled on Tuesday, the CBS newsmagazine had been scheduled on Sunday evenings since the 1971-1972 season, and had been held back until after football season due to the risk of pre-emptions; it was this year that the show finally began its season in the fall. The show was easily able to beat ABC's Sunday night offerings but trailed the CBS newsmagazine by a wide margin. As the number of original installments decreased every year, so, too, did the ratings. In 1979, NBC (which, as a network, was also in the midst of a very public, humiliating decline) threatened Disney with cancellation unless the ratings improved. That fall, Walt Disney Productions rechristened the anthology series Disney's Wonderful World and commissioned a new, original theme song by John Debney and John Klawitter, new opening and closing credits, and a new announcer, Gary Owens (longtime announcer Dick Wesson committed suicide in January of that year). In a flashback to the original themed format, many episodes initially were divided into one of four categories: "Fantasy Night," "Adventure Night," "Comedy Night," and "Animation Night." Beneath the "happy new face" sung of in the new theme song, however, was more of the same: too little original material, airings of theatrical movies, and far too many reruns. In spite of this, the face-lift helped the ratings, so the show was renewed for the 1980-1981 season. But the next season saw only 10 installments that had not been aired on the anthology series before, and pre-emptions were far more frequent. Ratings for the show's 27th season did not improve, and in on December 30, 1980 NBC announced that it would not be renewing the series for next season. All was not lost that year, as the show was then immediately picked up by CBS. It was moved from its longtime Sunday night slot to Saturday night at 8 PM, as the network would not displace its highly-rated pride and joy 60 Minutes. Retitled Walt Disney, the show promised to present more original programming than it had in its final years on NBC. On September 26, 1981, after a huge advertising campaign by the network, the series premiered on CBS. Ratings improved against mediocre competition, and the show was renewed for another season (its 29th on network television). A few of these shows were pilots for series that were never picked up. The second CBS year saw an increase in the number of reruns (as opposed to last year's increase in new episodes), and the ratings dropped. Disney did, however, produce several midseason replacement series for CBS, but all of them failed. On Monday, April 18, 1983, Walt Disney Productions and Westinghouse Broadcasting launched The Disney Channel, a cable network created to showcase the large library of Disney cartoons, movies, and TV shows (the anthology series was rerun under the name Walt Disney Presents). Thus, in the eyes of CBS, the anthology series had outlived its purpose and was canceled. There were occasional network and syndicated specials, but all of Disney's television resources were concentrated on the cable service. When Michael Eisner became CEO of Walt Disney Productions in September of 1984, one of the first things he and his new regime did was express an interest in reviving Disney's presence on network TV. He had some success, as the Emmy-winning, Touchstone-produced sitcom The Golden Girls and the Saturday morning cartoon (a medium with which Walt Disney himself had refused to get involved due to fears of compromised quality) Disney's Adventures of the Gummi Bears both premiered on NBC on Saturday, September 14, 1985 and lasted several years. However, these particular shows were the exception, not the rule; a number of series that the new regime eventually launched failed (Wildside and The Ellen Burstyn Show, for instance). Also, of course, did the company plan to revive the anthology series. Now known as The Disney Sunday Movie, it made its much-hyped return to network television on February 2, 1986 after a hiatus of 2 years, 4 months, and eight days, replacing the dismally-rated Ripley's Believe it or Not. Just as Walt Disney had hosted the original until his death, Michael Eisner appeared in an introductory segment at the beginning of each episode. Nostalgia and ratings were high initially, but both eventually wore off. The show premiered at a two-hour length, but in the fall of 1987, once again being soundly beaten in the ratings regularly by 60 Minutes in its first hour, and by Murder, She Wrote in its second, it was shortened to one hour for its third and final season on ABC. NBC, which had not been able to launch a hit show in Disney's old time slot in the seven years since the show was axed by that network, picked up the show, which was renamed The Magical World of Disney. At first, a rotating "wheel" format was used, utilizing three different genres; every fourth week would be a special. This lasted until a few months into the following season. Eisner continued to host the show, but ratings on NBC were no better than they had been on ABC, and it limped through a two-year run here before the network pulled the plug for good. After 36 years (save for the September 1983-January 1986 hiatus), one of television's last remaining institutions from its golden age came to an unceremonious end. In 1995, The Walt Disney Company announced plans to buy out the ABC television network, which went through in January of 1996. In the fall of 1997, a family-oriented movie time slot was set aside on ABC and christened The Wonderful World of Disney. Ratings to date have been middling. Though the show is not currently repeated anywhere (The Disney Channel dropped it and all vintage Disney programming in September of 2002), episodes are slowly being released on DVD in the United States, and its legacy of quality television entertainment for all members of the family lives on in the hearts and minds of many. Here is a chronology of titles used for the series: Disneyland: October 27, 1954-September 3, 1958
    Walt Disney Presents: September 12, 1958-September 17, 1961
    Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color: September 24, 1961-September 7, 1969
    The Wonderful World of Disney: September 14, 1969-September 2, 1979
    Disney's Wonderful World: September 9, 1979-September 13, 1981
    Walt Disney: September 26, 1981-September 24, 1983
    The Disney Sunday Movie: February 2, 1986-September 11, 1988
    The Magical World of Disney: October 9, 1988-September 9, 1990 The final name was used as an umbrella title for Disney movie airings on cable's The Disney Channel from September 23, 1990 to August 25, 1996. ABC Broadcast History (1954-1961):
    October 27, 1954-September 3, 1958: Wednesday, 7:30 PM-8:30 PM
    September 12, 1958-September 25, 1959: Friday, 8:00 PM-9:00 PM
    October 2, 1959-September 23, 1960: Friday, 7:30 PM-8:30 PM
    September 25, 1960-September 17, 1961: Sunday, 6:30 PM-7:30 PM NBC Broadcast History (1961-1981):
    September 24, 1961-August 31, 1975: Sunday, 7:30 PM-8:30 PM
    September 14, 1975-September 11, 1977: Sunday, 7:00 PM-8:00 PM
    September 18, 1977-October 23, 1977: Sunday, 7:00 PM-9:00 PM
    October 30, 1977-September 13, 1981: Sunday, 7:00 PM-8:00 PM CBS Broadcast History (1981-1983):
    September 26, 1981-January 1, 1983: Saturday, 8:00 PM-9:00 PM
    January 4, 1983-February 15, 1983: Tuesday, 8:00 PM-9:00 PM
    July 9, 1983-September 24, 1983: Saturday, 8:00 PM-9:00 PM
    (two irregularly scheduled airings on May 3, 1983 and May 21, 1983) ABC Broadcast History (1986-1988):
    February 2, 1986-September 6, 1987: Sunday, 7:00 PM-9:00 PM
    September 13, 1987-September 11, 1988: Sunday, 7:00 PM-8:00 PM NBC Broadcast History (1988-1990):
    October 9, 1988-July 2, 1989: Sunday, 7:00 PM-8:00 PM
    July 9, 1989-July 23, 1989: Sunday, 8:00 PM-9:00 PM
    August 6, 1989-February 25, 1990: Sunday, 7:00 PM-8:00 PM
    March 4, 1990-April 15, 1990: Sunday, 7:00 PM-9:00 PM
    April 22, 1990-May 6, 1990: Sunday, 7:00 PM-8:00 PM
    May 27, 1990-July 22, 1990: Sunday, 7:00 PM-9:00 PM
    August 5, 1990-September 9, 1990: Sunday, 7:00 PM-8:00 PM
    First Telecast: October 27, 1954
    Last Telecast: September 9, 1990 Episodes: 751 (180 black and white episodes, 571 color episodes [as far as the format in which they were first broadcast]) (NOTE: many of these were originally theatrical releases, and a small number were specials aired at other times, but for purposes of their first airing on the anthology series they are counted as episodes)moreless
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    The F.B.I.

    The F.B.I.

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    ABC (ended 1974)
    The F.B.I. was Quinn Martin Productions's longest running series. It was unique as its stories were loosely supervised by at the time, current FBI director J. Edgar Hoover himself who watched over the presentation of proper bureau procedure.

    After each week's episode, Efrem Zimbalist Jr. would step from behind the part of Inspector Erskine and directly address the audience, asking for help to catch real criminals that were on the run.

    The show was sponsored by the Ford company which provided numerous vintage cars for chasing, crashing, and, occasionally, simple transportation.

    After the Watergate scandal, the public's perception of the American government and its institutions was tarnished and changed forever. In 1974, The F.B.I. was cancelled after 9 years and 240 episodes.moreless
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    How the West Was Won

    How the West Was Won

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    ABC (ended 1979)
    How The West Was Won started on TV as a 1970s spin-off of the wildly popular Oscar wining Cinerama feature film of 1963. Told over several years of varying formats, it's the story of Zeb Macahan, a rugged mountain man who has spent ten years in the Dakota Territory before returning to Virginia where his brother's family is getting ready to make the long trip west to escape the coming violence of the Civil War.
    Just as the war begins, Zeb's brother Timothy returns east and his wife Kate is killed in an accident, leaving four children in Zeb's care. Luke, the oldest son, kills three men in self-defense and becomes a fugitive from the law; Laura is beautiful and ready to become a woman; Jessie is the tomboyish 12-year-old; and Josh is the exuberant teenager, anxious to become the man of the family. Aunt Molly, Kate's widowed sister, travels from Boston to help them on their travels, through perils and hardship caused by Indians, renegades, nature and other dangers.
    Adding to the scope of the series was the spectacular setting. It was filmed in Colorado, Arizona, Utah, and Southern California. The executive producer was John Mantley, who had also been the producer of Gunsmoke and the pilot movie was filmed only two years after James Arness left the saddle as Marshall Matt Dillon.
    How the West Was Won began it's TV run as the 1976 pilot movie The Macahans. It then returned as a top-rated miniseries in February of 1977. It came back for second "season" as a weekly series in 1978. Finally, the show returned for a third go around in early 1979 with 11 new two-hour stand-alone movies depicting the Macahans as they built a ranch in the Tetons and began to raise Appaloosa horses.
    The entire series was extremely popular overseas, but has not yet been officially released on DVD, though a bootleg of mediocre quality taped off of Swedish television is available online.moreless
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    Kolchak: The Night Stalker

    Kolchak: The Night Stalker

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    ABC (ended 1975)
    Kolchak was originally two made-for-TV movies that aired in the early 70s, and featured the adventures of Carl Kolchak, a down-on-the heels reporter who ran afoul of a vampire in Las Vegas and an alchemist in Seattle. These movies proved popular enough that they were spun off into a series, which placed Kolchak in Chicago with the Independent News Service. Each week for 20 weeks he investigated various supernatural and supranatural creatures, ranging from aliens to vampires to Aztec sacrificial cults. Although it only lasted one season on ABC, Kolchak has remained a cult favorite and been kept alive through the efforts of creator Jeffrey Grant Rice, Mark Dawidziak, and the folks at Moonstone Comics, who produced two Kolchak comic books and a series of novels and anthologies. The show also spawned a brief and very loose remake in 2005, Night Stalker.moreless
  • 57
    Rich Man, Poor Man

    Rich Man, Poor Man

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    ABC (ended 1976)
    The small screen adaptation of Irwin Shaw's best-selling 1970s novel Rich Man, Poor Man was the first great American mini-series. It was an epic television event of historical proportions. The story of the Jordache family grabbed the attention of a nation during the winter of 1976. Originally broadcast as a limited twelve-part dramatic series, the series topped the weekly ratings and ended the 1975-76 TV season as the second highest rated show. It was nominated for 20 Emmys (winning 4) and 6 Golden Globes (winning 4, including Best TV Series - Drama.)

    "Rich Man, Poor Man" recounts the lives of brothers Rudy (Peter Strauss) and Tom (Nick Nolte) Jordache from 1945 - 1965. One will gain great wealth and power as a businessman and politician while the other will struggle through life as a boxer and gangster thug. They both compete for the love of Julie Prescott (Susan Blakely) with one of them finally making her their wife.moreless
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    Top Cat

    Top Cat

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    ABC (ended 1962)
    The misadventures of a smart-aleck, street-wise alley cat name T.C., and his pals Benny, Choo Choo, Fancy, Brain and Spook; who get into many acts of trouble with Officer Charlie Dibble, and always have each other. Watch Top Cat on Boomerang. Like The Flintstones, Top Cat was another situation cartoon created by Hanna-Barbera Theme song lyrics: Top Cat The most effec-tu-al Top Cat Who's intellectual close friends get to call him T. C. Providing it's with dignity Top Cat The indisputable leader of the gang He's the boss He's the VIP He's a championship He's the most tip top - Top Cat Yes he's the chief He's the king, but above everything He's the most tip top - Top Cat!moreless
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    Davy Crockett

    Davy Crockett

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    ABC (ended 1955)
    The classic Walt Disney series featuring the life of Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier, starring Fess Parker (Daniel Boone) and Buddy Ebsen (Beverly Hillbillies, Barnaby Jones) as the legendary frontiersman Davy Crockett and his best friend, Georgie Russell.

    The series followed their adventures through the Indian Wars, Davy's tenure in Congress, travels down the Missisippi River, and the last stand at the Alamo.

    The five episodes of the series aired as segments of "Disneyland"; in 1954 and 1955. Later, they were re-edited and packaged into the theatrical releases Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier and Davy Crockett and the River Pirates. In 1989, Disney launched a revival series, with Tim Dunigan and Gary Grubbs. Though good in its own right, it never reached the popularity of the original Fess Parker episodes.

    The popularity of the shows made the "Ballad of Davy Crockett" a chart-topping single and inspired children across the country to sport coonskin caps.moreless
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    Barney Miller

    Barney Miller

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    ABC (ended 1982)
    Captain Barney Miller and his officers fight crime in this humorous classic TV series. Captain Barney Miller is the consummate boss, earning the loyalty of the officers under him. The early shows featured scenes from Barney's home life, but it was soon put on the back burner to emphasize the characters with whom he interacted at the twelfth precinct. Detective Ron Harris would rather be an author, and even publishes a book about the precinct that isn't exactly flying off the shelves. Nick Yemana is a Japanese American cop from Omaha who is so low key he's almost napping. Wojciehowicz, or Wojo, is the innocent of the group who doesn't seem very bright but speaks for everyone with his simple statements of truth. Dietrich is the intellectual who could be doing anything for a living, but chooses to be a detective. Fish is the seen-it-all veteran who can't wait for retirement, even though that would mean more time with his wife, Bernice. All of them worked together to make one of the funniest sitcoms ever on the air.moreless
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