Archive for TV Guide reviews

A Review of the 1973 TV Guide Fall Preview Issue

Posted in fall tv premier, nostalgia, pop culture, reviews, TV, TV shows with tags , , , , , on February 27, 2013 by Paxton

TV Guide Fall Preview reviews

Welcome to the second installment of my TV Guide Fall Preview reviews.  This is a feature that I sort of “borrowed” from my good friend Shawn Robare over at Branded in the 80s.  He covered mostly the issues from the 1980s, I’ll start taking a look at issues from the 70s as well as the 90s.

I previously reviewed the 1974 Fall Preview issue for my birthday last year. I love looking back at these old Fall Preview issues to see the debut of popular shows when they were brand new as well as see well known actors in TV shows that have long since been swallowed up by time.  These issues also provide great full page ads for some of the new shows as well as some great vintage ads for products that haven’t been seen in years.

So, let’s dive right into this installment with the Fall Preview issue from 1 year before the previous installment.  This article is going to run long.  There’s just so much information and ads to show you, so prepare for a ton of information to come your way.  Starting now:

Here is the cover to the 1973 TV Guide Fall Preview issue.

1973 TV Guide Fall Preview

There are several very popular shows that debuted this year.

Like last time, I’ll divide this article into three parts.  In the first part I’ll look at all the new shows that are debuting in 1973.  Following that I’ll look at full page ads for TV shows and movies and at the end I’ll show you some awesome vintage advertising from this issue.  It should be lots of fun.

So, let’s begin by taking a look at all the brand new shows for the 1973 TV season (which, technically, began in Sep 1972).

Bob Newhart The Waltons
The Bob Newhart Show (left) first debuted during the 1973 fall season.  This is a great show and one of my favorites. The Bob Newhart Show would become immensely popular following The Mary Tyler Moore Show for its first three seasons. The show would eventually last 6 seasons and air its final episode on April Fool’s Day, 1978.

Another very popular show, The Waltons (right), would debut this season as well.  Again, this show would become extremely popular and last for nine seasons before bowing out in 1981.  I remember this show but never really liked it.  I thought it was boring as balls.

MASH Anna and the King
The TV show M*A*S*H (left) was based on the 1970 Robert Altman movie.  M*A*S*H would become a ratings phenomenon and go on 8 seasons before airing its final episode in Feb 1983.  That final episode garnered the highest ratings of any single episode of a TV show then or since.

Yul Brenner was probably most closely associated with the role of the King of Siam from the stage and movie musical versions of The King and I than any other of his roles.  He toured in the traveling stage production until just before his death.  The non-musical television adaptation, Anna and the King (right), was an attempt to repeat that success.  It didn’t work and the show was cancelled after 13 episodes.

The Men NBC Wednesday Mystery Movie
The Men (left) was an umbrella title for three separate TV shows made by three different studios. It was a spinoff of the weekly NBC Mystery Movie.  Each installment of the anthology series would rotate and air every third week.  The first series in the rotation was called Assignment Vienna and starred Robert Conrad as Jake Webster, an American agent in Austria posing as a bar owner. He’s real job, though, was tracking down spies and criminals for the US government.  The second series was called Jigsaw and featured a Police Detective that disliked proper police procedure and protocol but was effective in “piecing together” crimes like a puzzle.  The final series was called The Delphi Bureau and starred Laurence Luckinbill (Sybok from Star Trek V).  Luckinbill starred as an American agent with a photographic memory who works for an obscure anti-espionage department in the US government.   That last one actually sounds like a show that would air today (See The Mentalist, White Collar, Suits, etc).

The NBC Wednesday Mystery Movie (right) began its life the previous season as just The NBC Mystery Movie. It’s where the TV show Columbo got its start. After its success, the group was moved to Sunday and The NBC Wednesday Mystery Movie was born with three more shows.  Those shows were Banacek, starring Hannibal Smith himself (George Peppard) as a Polish-American insurance investigator (?) in Boston.  Cool Million featured a security/retrieval expert whose fee was $1 million per job.  Madigan, the third show, featured Richard Widmark reprising his role from a 1968 movie he had made about an NYPD detective.  This particular incarnation of the NBC Mystery Movie would only last a season.  Both Madigan and Cool Million would be canceled by the end of the season to be replaced by three more detective shows.

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A Review of the 1974 TV Guide Fall Preview issue

Posted in fall tv premier, nostalgia, pop culture, TV, TV shows with tags , , , , , , on May 9, 2012 by Paxton

TV Guide Fall Preview reviews Today is my birthday and I wanted to do something on my birthday for the blog.  I had this idea that I wanted to review something from the year I was born. I thought about it and remembered that I absolutely LOVE Shawn Robare’s 80s TV Guide Fall Preview reviews. It’s a great series and really fun to read. And he covers nearly all of the 80s Fall Preview issues. So, I thought it would be fun to review the TV Guide Fall Preview issue from the year I was born; 1974.

So, yes, I’m totally stealing this topic from Shawn.  But before you go running to Branded in the 80s and narc-ing on me, I showed up at the Branded offices “Godfather-style” and asked permission to use the idea.  Shawn granted me his permission, so we are all square and legal in that respect.   That and my next child will be a masculine child (Shawn deemed it so).

My plan is that this will be an ongoing feature.  I plan to look at a bunch of the 70s Fall Preview issues as well as some of the 90s.  However, this will be an irregular, ongoing feature as it takes time to scan the issues and I have the Oz books read through I’m in the middle of and I’m also gearing up for a Bionic Review feature that will review the Six Million Dollar Man franchise.   So, I’ll squeeze this in as I have time.

Anyway, today, on the day of my birth, I am going to take a look at the 1974 TV Guide Fall Preview issue.

1974 TV Guide Fall Preview issue cover Honestly, I have to say, right off the bat, that is one boring ass cover. WTF, TV Guide?! You couldn’t spruce this up with a ninja or robotic dinosaur? I get a dead tree. Thanks. Happy birthday to me.

So let’s move on from that horrible cover and take a look at the contents of this issue.  I’m going to group these scans into three sections.  First I’ll look at the Fall premier section and talk about all the new shows for the 1974-1975 season.  Next I’ll look at a few house ads for existing and new shows.  Lastly I’ll show you some of the more awesome vintage product advertising.  It should be fun, so let’s get this TV Guide party started.

You can click any of the below images to see them BIGGER.

New Fall TV Show Previews

Friends & Lovers/Nakia
First, on the left, we have the preview for Friends and Lovers starring Paul Sand as well as Penny Marshall. The show was actually ranked 25th but was pulled later in the year and replaced by The Jeffersons in January 1975. On the right we have the show Nakia starring Robert Forster as a Navajo deputy sheriff in New Mexico. It also would be cancelled before the end of the year.

The New Land Sonny Comedy Revue
TV Guide describes the show on the left, The New Land, as a “Swedish Waltons” as if that will lure viewers to watch the show in droves. It does star a very young Kurt Russell, an impossibly young Bonnie Bedelia and Todd Lookinland, the brother of Mike Lookinland (Bobby Brady).  On the right is The Sonny Comedy Revue, which is the evolution of The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour. Cher and Sonny separated and each started their own variety shows in 1974-1975. However, both of those shows would cease when they decided to start performing together again in late 1975 on the new Sonny & Cher Show.

Born Free/Rhoda
The TV show Born Free was based on a 1966 movie. It starred Gary Collins about a couple who live in Kenya raising a lioness and protecting the local animal population from danger. It was cancelled before the end of the year.
However, the show Rhoda, which was a spinoff of The Mary Tyler Moore Show, starred Valerie Harper as her character from the previous show who moved back to New York from Minneapolis. It would air for 5 seasons and beat it’s parent show in the ratings.

Petrocelli/Get Christie Love!
On the left, Petrocelli began life as a movie called The Lawyer starring Barry Newman. Newman would reprise his role as a Harvard educated, enthusiastic lawyer who moves out of the hustle and bustle of the city to the American Southwest. The show would last for 2 seasons.
Like Petrocelli, Get Christie Love! began as a film, only not a feature but a made-for-TV film. It starred Teresa Graves who was one of the regular performers on Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In. The TV movie became very popular and spawned this TV show. Unfortunately, budget concerns and rewrites due to Graves becoming Jehovah’s Witness and refusing to do anything too racy would kill the show after 21 episodes.

Little House 1 Little House 2
On the left is the preview page for Little House on the Prairie. Little House would become an extremely popular show and run for 9 seasons. Little House would run on Monday nights for it’s first two seasons then move to Friday nights for the last seven seasons. It starred Michael Landon and Melissa Gilbert. It’s strange seeing this early picture of the cast as I am currently watching Melissa Gilbert on Dancing with the Stars and she’s like a cougar now. Weird. Anyway, on the right is one of TV Guide’s house ads for the premier of Little House on NBC.

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