Friday, April 21, 2017

Show Notes: Episode 3, Real People (October 12, 1983)

*This episode aired Wednesday, October 12, 1983, at 8:00 P.M. on NBC.

*George Schlatter told the Archive of Academy Television that the series came about when his agent told him Fred Silverman was looking for a show with...real people. Schlatter liked the title Real People and the concept, and it started as a pair of specials, was expanded to 6, and then scored big in summer reruns and became NBC's big hit.

*In the same interview, Schlatter talks about the serious stories the show did, many of which were later adapted into feature films, and takes credit for George Foreman's comeback!

*Silverman called the show the forerunner of shows like A Current Affair and Inside Edition. He also claimed the show became number one, though it never was number one for an entire season.

*Imitator That's Incredible! aired on ABC 1980-1984. Also like Real People, it was later chopped into 30-minute versions for syndicated reruns. It was created by Alan Landsburg Productions, which of course also gave us In Search Of...

*PM Magazine was a syndicated light newsmagazine show airing weekday evenings. Local hosts and segments customized the show, but many features were shared among various stations.

*The Real People spinoff Speak Up America started as specials, then lasted only a few months as a regular Friday night series. Similarly, Real Kids (1981) flopped, and it apparently doesn't even have an IMDB entry.

*Here is the L.A. Times article about the Sarah Purcell "flu shot" incident we discuss on the podcast.

*Byron Allen was 22 when this episode premiered.

*Barbara Billingsley of Leave It to Beaver fame was married to Peter Billingsley's mother's cousin Glenn, but the two are not related by blood.

*America's Funniest Videos is still on ABC!

*Dale Lowdermilk, founder of Not Safe, is apparently still around. As recently as Fall 2016, he wrote a sarcastic letter to The New York Post suggesting that mayors in "liberal cities" should ban pressure cookers, knives, and garbage cans to create safe spaces in responses to terrorist attacks.

*Post updated to reflect acrurate relationship of Barbara and Peter Billingsley. - ed.

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