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    Bonanza

    Bonanza

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    NBC (ended 1973)
    White-haired Ben was the proud patriarch of the Cartwrights, the family at the center of one of TV's most beloved and long-running series. Their ranch, the Ponderosa, was 1,000 square-miles (600,000 acres) in size and sprawled from mountainous shores of Lake Tahoe to the desert terrain near Virginia City in the Nevada Territory. Ben oversaw his frontier empire with the help of his three sons: Adam, Hoss, and Joe. The series was set in 1859 when the series began and would progress through and following the Civil War.
    ---------------------------------- Series creator and producer David Dortort, who oversaw the series during its 14 year network run on NBC, says he first first got the idea for the series writing the 1953 episode of "Fireside Theatre" titled "Man of the Comstock."
    ---------------------------------- By 1959, NBC wanted a big filmed series to promote the sales of color television sets. NBC was the only network investing in color programs since its parent company RCA owned the electronic color transmitting system used by TV. "Bonanza" was just the type of show the network needed to "show off" its living color. In its initial season, it floundered in the ratings on Saturday nights against CBS' "Perry Mason"; it's said its renewal had a lot to do with its being shot in color. In the second season, "Bonanza" more than held its own in the Nielsens. It was the network's decision to move the series to Sunday nights that allowed it explode into a Top-10 hit.
    ---------------------------------- "Bonanza" differed in many ways from the dozens of other westerns on the air during its run. It relied more heavily on the characters than it did on action--though there was plenty of that. Good and bad weren't always as simple as "black hats" vs. "white hats"; many times, good people didn't live happily ever after. Despite that, Ben imparted a high code of ethics upon his sons. Among the principles: 1-Intolerance and bigotry were not acceptable. The Cartwrights often came to the defense of Indians, Chinese, and others who were the targets of the narrow-minded. 2-Once a man had paid his debt to society and was released from prison, he deserved a clean slate and a chance to start over. 3-The land was sacred. Ben's greatest business headaches came from his refusal to allow his land to be polluted and destroyed for profit. When the Cartwrights cut down a tree for lumber, they planted another. Their environmental concerns remain unique for a television series.
    ---------------------------------- Ben's path to his dream home of the Ponderosa (named for the Ponderosa Pine, plentiful in that area) was a long time in coming. He was a seaman, acting as first mate for Captain Abel Stoddard, when he met his boss' daughter Elizabeth and fell in love. She died after giving birth to first child Adam. Leaving the sad memories behind in the Northeast, he traveled to St. Louis and opened a trading company. He met and married the Swedish stunner Inger Inger Borgstrom who loved horses and shooting. She gave birth to son Hoss en route to the frontier, but was killed by an arrow during an ambush. Moving to New Orleans, Ben became an importer/exporter and fell for Creole beauty Marie DeMarigny. He made her wife number three and finally made it to the West. They established the Ponderosa and she gave him another son, Joseph. Marie died several years later in a riding accident. The story of each of these romance were detailed in individual episodes early in the series' run.
    ---------------------------------- The high mortality rate of women encountered by Ben and his sons, known jokingly as the "Cartwright Curse," became a running gag among comedians and viewers alike. If a female became a love interest to any of the show's men, even money says she'll be sick, dying, or dead by the end credits.
    --------------------------- Location filming kept the series from feeling "studio bound" and gave Bonanza a chance to highlight its color cinematography. Though much was filmed on a huge sound stage at Paramount Studios, scenes were regularly shot on the studio's outdoor "Western Street" and on locations throughout Southern California and Lake Tahoe, Nevada. The rising cost of shooting at Paramount eventually forced a move to the Warner Brothers studio in Burbank. To explain the new appearance of Virginia City, Season 12 began with "The Night Virginia City Died" where a huge fire destroyed the "old" town.
    ---------------------------------- Changes inevitably took place among cast members during "Bonanza"'s long run. After several years of complaining about being held back from a movie career, Pernell Roberts was finally sent on his merry way after of Season 6. Prior to that, amid fears of Roberts' departure, Guy Williams was brought in for a few episodes as Ben's nephew Will Cartwright. It's said the cast resented his character being added and he disappeared after five appearances. Beginning with "Sense of Duty" in Season 9, David Canary joined the cast as Ponderosa ranch foreman Candy Canady. He practically became a Cartwright, appearing in roughly a third of the series' total episodes. He disappeared with no mention at the end of season eleven after failing to get a raise from producer Dortort. Young orphaned teenager Jamie Hunter did become a real fourth Cartwright son when he was taken in by Ben in Season 12 and legally adopted in "A Home for Jamie" the next season. In the wake of Dan Blocker's death following Season 13, the cast was beefed up. David Canary returned as Candy (reportedly Michael Landon personally asked him to appear) and Tim Matheson was added a Griff King, a young man paroled into Ben's custody who was hired as a ranch hand.
    ---------------------------------- The loss of Blocker left a hole that simply couldn't be filled. This, combined with the show's move to Tuesday nights after eleven years on Sunday, dealt the series a death blow. Ratings took a nosedive and Bonanza aired it final episode in the middle of Season 14 on January 16. 1973.
    ---------------------------------- After all these years, Bonanza remains hugely popular. Besides the quality of the program itself, having filmed in color has kept it from looking "old". Episodes began to be released by CBS/Paramount on DVD beginning in 2009, and were uncut from their network airing with all the original music intact.
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    Hunter

    Hunter

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    NBC (ended 1991)
    Former NFL football player, Fred Dryer, stars as Detective Sergeant Rick Hunter and Stepfanie Kramer stars as his partner, Detective Sergeant Dee Dee McCall. Hunter and McCall investigate homicides for the Los Angeles Police Department.moreless
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    Knight Rider

    Knight Rider

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    NBC (ended 1986)
    The adventures of Michael Knight and his incredible super-car K.I.T.T., Knight Industries 2000. Selected by a dying billionaire, Wilton Knight, Michael now works for the Foundation for Law and Government with the job of rooting out evil that is above the law, with only his trusty car!moreless
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    Miami Vice

    Miami Vice

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    NBC (ended 1989)
    Miami Vice was one of the most innovative and powerful TV series of all time. Focusing on the Miami Metro-Dade Police "Vice" Department and it's continued battle against the illicit drug, prostitution, and firearms crime underworld of the city of Miami. It used fashion, color, and a varied musical selection in order to accentuate and amplify the emotional undercurrent of the drama it portrayed.moreless
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    Ironside

    Ironside

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    NBC (ended 1975)
    Welcome to the Ironside guide at TV.com. When an assassin's bullet confines him to a wheelchair for life ending his career as Chief of Detectives, Robert T. Ironside becomes a consultant to the police department. Detective Sergeant Ed Brown and policewoman Eve Whitfield join with him to crack varied and fascinating cases. Ex-con Mark Sanger is employed by the chief as home help but eventually becomes a fully fledged member of the team also. Officer Whitfield leaves after 4 years service, and is replaced by Officer Fran Belding. If you have any information about this series, feel free to contribute it. Thanks.moreless
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    The Pretender

    The Pretender

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    NBC (ended 2000)
    The Pretender is the story of Jarod, a boy-genius taken from his family as a child. Jarod possesses the ability to quickly learn and impersonate different jobs and occupations. His abductors, a facility simply known as The Centre, tested his abilities through various simulations. But after years of these performances, Jarod becomes wise to the fact that these simulations aren't being used to help people. The Centre sells the sims to the highest bidder to do with as they please, whether it is for good or evil purposes. Knowing this, he breaks free from his captors. Now, as an adult, Jarod sets out to find his family. Along the way, he befriends many people, righting any wrong by using his abilities to become anyone he wants to be. But the Centre has a lot invested in Jarod, and they won't give him up easily. They recruit Sydney, his father-figure and trainer all through his time growing up in The Centre. Sydney is the only man who is close to Jarod, he knows how he thinks. Also in pursuit is Miss Parker, Jarod's childhood friend whose father runs The Centre. Both are aided by Broots, a nervous computer whiz who goes above and beyond the call of duty (whether he wants to or not). The Pretender ran for four years on NBC. TNT co-produced two Pretender movies with Twentieth Century Fox TV. The Pretender 2001 premiered on TNT Monday, January 22, 2001 at 8PM. The second movie, The Pretender: Island of the Haunted, premiered on TNT Monday, December 10, 2001 at 8PM ET. Seasons 1-4 and both TV movies are currently available on DVD.moreless
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    CHiPs (1983)

    CHiPs (1983)

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    NBC (ended 1983)
    The adventures of Highway Patrol officers in Los Angeles. This great series had 6 seasons before it ended. The main characters are Jon Baker and Frank Poncherello, two motorcycle officers always on the street to save lives. 1998 followed the TV movie "CHiPs ´99" with some of the series cast but we can also see new faces like Officer Roulette and his partner or Sandy Baker, Jon´s spouse.moreless
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    Empty Nest

    Empty Nest

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    NBC (ended 1995)
    Empty Nest was a spinoff of The Golden Girls. Created by Susan Harris (Soap, Benson, The Golden Girls) this series centered around Dr. Harry Weston. A recent widow, Harry had to deal with going on with his life without his late wife, Libby. Fortunatly he had his practice (he's a pediatrician) as well as his two daughters, Carol and Barbara, who move back home and provide an annoyance to him. Other members of the cast include, Charlie Dietz (the obnoxious next door neighbor) and Laverne (Harry's sassy nurse). In later seasons, Harry began working at a clinic with Maxine, with Laverne in tow. Also, when the Golden Girls sequel, The Golden Palace, ended in 1993, Estelle Getty came to the show and portrayed the Golden Girl character of Sophia Petrillo. Theme Song: "Life Goes On" Written by: John Bettis and George Tipton Spin-off of: The Golden Girlsmoreless
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    Viper

    Viper

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    NBC (ended 1999)
    Viper was a new show by NBC in 1994. The show was pulled off the air for a year for re-tooling/re-casting. The only original cast member to remain in all four seasons of the show was Joe Nipote as Frankie "X" Waters. The First Season included James McCaffrey, Dorian Harewood and Joe Nipote. When the series returned in 1996, Joe Nipote was the only original cast member remaining. Dorian Harewoood - Julian Wilkes (Designer) James McCaffrey - Joe Astor (Driver) Joe Nipote - Frankie "X" Waters (Mechanic/Mole in MetroPol) The Second Season brought on board Jeff Kaake, Heather Medway and Dawn Stern. Dawn Stern did not return for year three. This season also introduced J. Downing as a recurring character. Jeff Kaake - Thomas Cole (Driver) Heather Medway - Cameron Westlake (Metropol Liason) Dawn Stern - Allie Farrow (Systems Specialist) Joe Nipote - Frankie "X" Waters (Mechanic) The Third Season brings J. Downing as a full time cast member. Jeff Kaake - Thomas Cole (Driver) Heather Medway - Cameron Westlake (Metropol Liason)
    Joe Nipote - Frankie "X" Waters (Mechanic)
    J. Downing - Special Agent Catlett (Project Overseer)
    The Fourth Season brought a new change in the cast. Jeff Kaake leaves the show and James McCaffrey returns as Joe Astor. James McCaffrey - Joe Astor (Driver) Heather Medway - Cameron Westlake (Metropol Liason) Joe Nipote - Frankie "X" Waters (Mechanic) J. Downing - Special Agent Catlett (Project Overseer) Pictured (Top Left - Season 2: Joe Nipote, Jeff Kaake, Heather Medway and Dawn Stern) (Top Right - Season 3: Heather Medway, Jeff Kaake and Joe Nipote) (Bottom - Season 4: J. Downing, Joe Nipote, Heather Medway, and James McCaffrey) Seson 1 Opening: The day after tomorrow. A time when criminals rule the city. The only weapon that can stop them, needs a driver. "A man without a memory can be supplied with one. With a little cosmetic fine-tuning, he'll be our driver." Commisioner Strand "Let's Initiate Changeover"Julian Wilkes "Three...Two...One! Activate!"Joe Astor The most wanted man on wheels is about to change sides. Now, Against a corrupt system... A lone fight for justice. VIPER is taking back the streets! Season 2 Opening: It Prowls the streets in the Pursuit of Justice. It's Origins are Secret. It's Technology, 21st Century. It's Existance, Officially Dissavowed. It's presence, Undeniable. The perfect Weapon for an imperfect Future! VIPER!moreless
  • 10
    The Americans

    The Americans

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    NBC
    The Americans feature the lives of brothers Ben and Jeff Canfield during the Civil War. Each supports the opposite side. Ben went to the North while Jeff went South.
  • 11
    Dark Skies

    Dark Skies

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    NBC (ended 1997)
    Dark Skies is set in the 1960s and includes a government employee, John Loengard, and his fiance Kimberly Sayers. John's quest for the truth leads him to Majestic-12, a secret government operation (above all offices and law) dealing with extra-terrestrials. At first the show seems to be just another show about Government spies and greyliens, but look closer and you will see much deeper. The plot thickens. The Greys, it seems, are only hosts for the real aliens, called the Hive. The Hive are much more dangerous than was previously imaginable with the Greys. This horrible truth is to be kept from the American people by Captain Bach, the leader of super-secret government organization called Majestic-12. The two main characters are on the run from the alien Hive and from the Government, and their travels lead them all over the country as they learn more and learn to fear more. Many historical figures are woven into the Dark Skies story, an important part of the turbulent ambience in which the characters exist. Many bear witness to the conspiracy involving "Majestic 12."moreless
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    Captain N: The Game Master

    Captain N: The Game Master

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    NBC (ended 1991)
    Kevin Keene, a teenager from Northridge, California, and his dog Duke are brought to another universe called Videoland, where Nintendo video games are real, to defeat the evil villainess Mother Brain. Mother Brain is trying to conquer Videoland. Kevin has been brought to defeat her, as foretold in an ancient prophecy. Kevin is given the title "Captain N: The Game Master." He and Duke join the N Team consisting of Princess Lana (the ruler of Videoland), Simon Belmont (the hero from "Castlevania"), Mega Man, Kid Icarus, and later Gameboy (a supercomputer that looks like a Game Boy system). The N Team goes up against the evil Mother Brain (the villianess from "Metroid") and her minions King Hippo (from "Punch Out"), the Eggplant Wizard (from "Kid Icarus"), Dr. Wily (from "Mega Man") and Count Dracula (from "Castlevania"). The forces of good and evil go up against each other and often find themselves in comical, hilarious situations. The Characters The Good Guys: Kevin Keene/Captain N: Kevin Keene is from Northridge California. He was brought to Videoland through the Ultimate Warp Zone to become the savior of Videoland as Captain N: The Video Game Master. Kevin cares greatfully for Lana and his dog Duke. As Captain N, he has a weapon called a Zapper which shoots laser-like beams to dedigitize his enemies. He also wears a power pad, a wonderful item that allows him to jump higher, run extremely fast, and stop time around him for a limited duration. Duke the Dog: Duke is Kevin's pet dog whose weapons are his bark and his bite. Duke will do anything to protect Kevin but is actually a slightly coward. He loves to chase cats. Princess Lana: Princess Lana took over as ruler of Videoland after her father King Charles disappeared. She wishes for peace more than anything else and is too trusting of others, even Mother Brain, if there is a chance of peace. This leads to many problems. Kid Icarus: Kid Icarus AKA Pit is the winged archer from Mount Icarus. Even though he's small and weak, he has a variety of arrows from which to choose for his attacks. He has speech impendiment when he puts the suffix "-icus" after a few words. Mega Man: Mega Man was created by Dr. Light. He is extremely strong due to a mighty arm cannon and is very strong. Like Kid Icarus, he also has a speech impendiment by putting mega in front of a few words. Simon Belmont: Vampire hunter Simon Belmont is extremely vain. He keeps a mirror in his backpack to constantly look at himself. He hats getting his hair mussed up. Despite this, he's very strong. Gameboy: Gameboy was sent to Videoland by King Charles at the start of season 2 from the Mirror World. He is young and naive and uses his display to create weapons. The Bad Guys Mother Brain: Mother Brain is a brain in a bottle and the villain from Metroid. She banished King Charles to Mirror Warp and tries many attempts to overthrow Princess Lana. Eggplant Wizard: Eggplant Wizard is the villain from Mount Icarus. He and King Hippo tend to bungle up tasks that Mother Brain send him on. King Hippo: Like his partner Eggplant Wizard, King Hippo also bungles things up with Eggplant Wizard. He's from Punchland. Dr. Wily: Dr. Wily is Dr. Light's archnemesis who builds Robot Master and other devices for Mother Brain. He also wheezes constantly in his speeches. Alucard: Son of Count Dracula. He's not much like his father. He skateboards and is pretty much a punk. Donkey Kong: Donkey Kong is the giant ape of Kongoland. Although he's not truly evil, he must be appeased with food or else he'll wreak havoc upon the people of Kongoland. Gannon: Gannon is the master of evil on Hyrule. Before he is given the Potion of Power, he looks quite weak until he's returned to his big, powerfulm hoggish mage as he drinks it. He doesn't like to work with others and refuses to obey Mother Brain since he likes to work solo.moreless
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    Gulliver's Travels

    Gulliver's Travels

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    NBC (Mini-Series 1996)
    This 1996 version of Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift was co-produced by Jim Henson Production, and featured an all-star cast.The series won 5 Emmy Awards for Outstanding Art Direction for a Miniseries or a Special, Outstanding Hairstyling for a Miniseries or a Special, Outstanding Special Visual Effects, Outstanding Writing for a Miniseries or a Special and Outstanding Miniseries.moreless
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    The 100 Lives of Black Jack Savage

    The 100 Lives of Black Jack Savage

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    NBC (ended 1991)
    This action adventure series was a joint effort from Disney and Steven J. Cannell productions. AKA: Disney Presents The 100 Lives of Black Jack Savage ========================== Summary 1: The story goes that Black Jack Savage a 17th century pirate was hung in the courtyard of his castle for his treacherous deeds, in order for him to escape hell he must save a life for every one he's taken. Now in modern day NY surfaces another Pirate of sorts "Barry Tarberry", he's been bad, swindiling the IRS out of funds and they want him, now to escape his purgatory Barry flies out of the country to a little island that will grant him immunity called San Pietro. He buys an estate, sight unseen that just happened to belong to Black Jack Savage. The ghost wants to strike a deal with Barry, for every life saved Barry can have half credit toward his own impending fate- the agreement sealed the 2 pirates start trying to save lives on this small carribean island. ====================== Summary 2: Long ago the evil pirate Black Jack Savage ruled over the sea. However, he was finally captured and was hanged for his crimes in the courtyard of his own castle. Years later Barry Tarberry, a world famous millionaire and ruthless man has been charged with stock market fraud. To escape his crime he comes to a small island paradise. Only to soon discover he's trapped with all his accounts seized by the government. He now has only an old castle the locals believe is haunted. To Barry's dismay, the owner of the castle is the only one able to see Black Jack Savage, who is living on another spiritual plain until he saves 100 lives for those he killed. Jack tells Barry that he is heading for the same fate unless he too saves lives with Jack. Barry and Jack work together keeping the secret from the entire island, who now believe he is crazy. In the process Barry falls in love with Danielle, who cares more for her people than a love sick man. Also there is Logan "FX" Murphy, the local inventor, who once worked for the government. He wants only to be payed but Barry strings him along for the ride. Barry and Jack bring the bad in and make the island safe for all again ========================== Filming Location: Florida, USA ========================== The Disney production THE 100 LIVES OF BLACK JACK SAVAGE/NBC/1991 told the tale of Black Jack Savage (Steven Williams), the ghost of a legendary 17th century Caribbean pirate who was teamed with Barry Tarberry (Daniel Hugh-Kelly), a crooked Wall Street wheeler-dealer who both needed to save 100 souls to compensate for the damage done by their sinful life. Unfortunately, once Black Jack left the safety of his castle haunt on San Pietro Island, he was fair game for the Snarks (who could transport Jack back to Hell through an entrance at the base the tree where he was originally hung). To battle the Snarks both Black Jack and his human counterpart Tarberry teamed up to defeat these hellish spirits so they could get about saving souls and thus win their way into salvation. Aiding them in their mission was inventor Logan "F.X." Murphy (Steve Hytner) who fashioned a "snark buster" (resembling a vacuum cleaner) to ward off these sniveling, soul snatching netherworld nuisances. Logan called the machine a "Proton Ion Positive Negative Field Adjuster." A con-artist millionaire to salvage souls of others in exchange for their own redemption from perdition. ====================== The Blackbird - The high-tech speedboat on the fantasy adventure THE 100 LIVES OF BLACK JACK SAVAGE/NBC/1991. The Blackbird was built by scientist inventor Logan "FX" Murphy (Steve Hytner) from the body of a SR71 spy plane to help his friend Barry Tarberry (Daniel Hugh-Kelly) battle crime around the Caribbean islands. The Blackbird moored at a secret dock at Blackbird Castle on San Pietro Island. The speedboat took its name from a pirate ship once captained by a 17th century buccaneer named Black Jack Savage (now a ghost who joined forces with Barry to win his way into heaven). =============== Production Companies * Stephen J. Cannell Productions * Walt Disney Television Distributors * Buena Vista Television * National Broadcasting Company (NBC) Other Companies * Studio Sea marine coordination ------------------------------------------- Release dates USA -- 31 March 1991 ------------------------------------------- CREW: Directed by Tucker Gates Bruce Kessler Kim Manners Jorge Montesi David Nutter James Whitmore Jr. Original Music by Mike Post (also theme) Set Decoration by William D. McLane Makeup Department Jay Cannistraci .... additional makeup artist Mark Wittenberg .... makeup artist (uncredited) Sound Department Bernie Blynder .... sound mixer Jeff Blynder .... boom operator Kevin Cerchiai .... utility sound William Hooper .... sound editor Special Effects by Mark Rappaport .... special effects supervisor Stunts Christian J. Fletcher .... stunts Shane Le Mar .... stunt double: Napolean Bird (pilot episode) Other crew Fabio M. Arber .... location manager Jeffrey T. Barabe .... production assistant Ingrid K. Behrens .... production assistant C. Ransom Walrod .... marine coordinatormoreless
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    ProStars

    ProStars

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    NBC (ended 1992)
    Originally intended to air on ESPN, the show centers on Michael Jordan, Bo Jackson and Wayne Gretzky fighting crime and helping children, often protecting the environment as well. These three were chosen to represent the pinnacle of all four major American professional sports in the early 1990s. While Jordan and Gretzky are widely considered to be the best to ever play their respective sports, it is accepted that Jackson was included since he could represent both football and baseball and was a high-profile celebrity off the field as well. A reference to his highly popular "Bo Knows" Nike ad-campaign was worked into almost every episode. Bo Jackson was a star player, but not analogous to Gretzky or Jordan. The stars appear in live action sequences before the show, and often answer questions from kids at the conclusion. Normally this is done solely by Gretzky and Jackson—often in separate sound stages and edited to appear as if talking to each other. Jordan's filmed bits are almost always one line or two, and not part of the skits before the episode. However, none of the celebrities provided their own voices for the animated segments of ProStars.moreless
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    Land of the Lost

    Land of the Lost

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    NBC (ended 1976)
    Rick (a.k.a. Marshall) , Will, and Holly Marshall are on rafting trip and a earthquake sends them over a waterfall to the world known as, The Land of the Lost! Total Episodes: 43 For more info: landofthelost.com/ THE DINOSAURS Alice the Allosaur Grumpy the Tyrranosaur Dopey the baby Brontosaur Emily the Brontosaur Junior the baby Allosaur Spot the Coelophysis Spike the Triceratops Lulu the two headed monster Torchy the Dimetrodonmoreless
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    I Spy

    I Spy

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    NBC (ended 1968)
    A pair of American operatives work undercover as a tennis pro and his trainer. Kelly Robinson is the man with a racket, Alexander Scott is, among other things, a polyglot. The creation of the Cinemobile for location shooting enabled far-flung episodes in Hong Kong, Europe, Mexico, etc. The writing is of a standard that would be very difficult to match in any circumstances, or as Scott & Robinson might say, the wonderfulness of its marvelousness is only equal to the marvelousness of its wonderfulness.moreless