Friday, November 30, 2018

BJ and the Bear YouTube playlist is now live!

That's right! You can click on the video below for more CB radio, more Greg Evigan, and folks who didn't make it into the episode we covered, like Lobo and Judy Landers! Ed Lauter for Bayer aspirin! All this and more!

And remember to check out our official YouTube channel for episode-specific playlists for each podcast!

Show Notes: Episode 5-7: B.J. and the Bear

*B.J. and the Bear aired 3 seasons (1979-1981) on NBC. Cain's Cruiser, season 2 episode 3, premiered Saturday, October 13, 1979 at 9:00 P.M. opposite The Love Boat (ABC) and Lifeguard (1976) (CBS).

*B.J. premiered February 1979, and spinoff Lobo debuted September 1979. Both had shortened third seasons and were axed after the 1980-1981 TV year.

*The Universal vault fire we mention on the podcast has not been covered in detail; we see a lot of speculation but not so much facts. Consensus seems to be that the studio's music archives were hit harder (as far as irreplaceable losses) than the film/TV side.

*Citizens Band radio was invented in 1945 but took off as a fad in the 1970s. Rising gas prices and a federal speed limit of 55 made CB radio useful for truckers to plan routes and such. People started ignoring licensing requirements (that were eventually just eliminated), and soon all kinds of people were messing around with CB.

*Wisconsin football was very successful in the 1950s but mediocre when B.J. and the Bear premiered.

*I don't know whatever happened to Sam the Chimp, who played Bear, but I recommend reading this.

*In this 1981 Christian Science Monitor piece, Fred Silverman says: In the case of 'BJ and the Bear,' the time came to end it, since it had been on the air for 2 1/2 years and it never really made it. There is a moment in time when you say, 'Let's take it off and try something else. However, he didn't get try too much else, as Brandon Tartikoff replaced him the next season.

*This April 1981 New York Times article talks about NBC's struggles but does say that:''Facts of Life'' and ''B.J. and the Bear'' have evolved from marginal shows last season to modestly successful series.

*Here is the Glen Larson interview clip Mike mentions. Check our YouTube playlist for more.

*The Greg Evigan interview Mike mentions, in which he talks about turning down Knight Rider, is here.

*Ed Lauter was known for being in jillions of movies and shows in the 70s and 80s, like the original The Longest Yard.

*The Universal show with Robert Wagner is It Takes a Thief, not To Catch a Thief (which was the Cary Grant movie).

*According to the CB Slang website, If you hear a truck driver say "Tijuana Taxi" on their CB radio, it's just another way to say "Tow truck." Now it also refers to any well-marked police car.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

5-7: BJ and the Bear "Cain's Cruiser"

Trucker B.J. McKay and his best pal Bear, a chimp, face off with Sheriff Cain and his supercar...designed and built by one Erin Gray. We dig deep into this one, speculate on its role as the possible secret origin of Knight Rider, and pitch our own trucker show Truckstop Lawyer.

Check out this episode!

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

YouTube Spotlight: Ralph Waite on "The Mississippi"

One of my favorite clips in this week's YouTube playlist for The Waltons is the opening sequence to short-lived CBS series The Mississippi.

Thanks to The Rap Sheet for posting this on its own YouTube channel.

The Mississippi ran 1982-1984 for a total of 27 episodes. As you can tell from this sequence, Waite is a criminal attorney who gives it all up (sort of) to buy a boat. The thing is, he keeps running into people who need a good lawyer as he makes his way up and down the mighty Mississip.

I don't know why, but I love this premise.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Happy birthday, Ricardo Montablan!

The late great Ricardo Montalban was born this day in 1920!

No, he doesn't mention "Corinthian leather" in this ad, but it's still great. Mr. Roarke is not part of the BOTNS universe yet, but someday he will be!

(H/T to Sean Mc for posting the video!)

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Happy birthday, Dwight Schultz!

Happy 61st to Howlin' Mad from The A-Team, Dwight Schultz! Here's one to grow on--and is that who I think it is showing up at the kid's door?

Odd to think that Schultz is only 3 years older than Stanley Livingston from My Three Sons, who was always born on this day. 

(H/T to Retrostatic for posting the video!)

Friday, November 23, 2018

The Waltons YouTube playlist is now live!

Our special Waltons-centric playlist to accompany this week's podcast episode is now live! Click below to see: Emmy awards!

Of course, you can also go to our official YouTube page and click "PLAYLISTS" for series-specific playlists for each and every one of our podcasts!

Show Notes: Episode 5-6: The Waltons

*We hope everyone had a happy Thanksgiving free of family drama, pageant-related jealousies, and getting conked on the head.

*The Thanksgiving Story premiered November 15, 1973, at 8:00 P.M. on CBS. On Thanksgiving of that year, a week later, CBS aired a rerun of the show, followed by the 1966 movie Duel at Diablo. ABC aired college football (Alabama at LSU) followed by a Charlie Chaplin documentary, and NBC went with the 1964 My Fair Lady.

*The Waltons aired 9 seasons, 1972-1981 and was a solid ratings earner in its early years, peaking at #8 one season.

*The Flip Wilson Show aired on NBC 1970-1974 and was a huge hit, but it crashed pretty quickly, not entirely due to The Waltons. It was an hourlong variety show that is mostly seen today in cut-down 30-minute versions.

*Toma aired 1 season (1973) on ABC. The series was based on a real-life New Jersey cop. The behind-the-scenes story of this show sounds better than the show itself (which, despite what Wikipedia says, I remember being aired in reruns on WOR briefly). Maybe someday we'll do a Toma episode!

*Earl Hamner Jr. also wrote multiple Twilight Zones and Gentle Bens in addition to creating Falcon Crest.

*Find out more about the Waltons Museum here.

*Hamner's Apple's Way lasted just two seasons (1974-1975) and 28 episodes on CBS at 7:30 on Sundays.

*As we mention on the podcast, we recommend All About the Waltons for much, much more info on the series, the performers, and everything else related to The Waltons.

*Thanksgiving has been celebrated for centuries (exact origins are uncertain), but two significant developments occurred in The Waltons era: FDR and Congress set the holiday in the USA as the next-to-last Thursday of November in 1939 and the fourth Thursday in November in 1941.

*Jenny Pendleton (Sian Barbara Allan) only appeared in two episodes, none after this one. She and Richard Thomas were an off-screen couple for a while.

*Jon Walmsley (Jason) has had a distinguished career as a musician.

*Richard Thomas and John Ritter do indeed both appear in the 1990 It adaptation. Thomas' Battle Beyond the Stars (1980), yet another movie partly inspired by Seven Samurai, was Roger Corman's then-biggest-budget feature ever. The apparent attempt to cash in on the Star Wars craze featured a screenplay by John Sayles and special effects spearheaded by James Cameron.

*Speaking of Thomas, he left the series after the seventh season and was replaced by Robert Wightman but came back for the reunion movies. If you want to see how the series handles the transition of John Boys, see Season 8, episode 9, The Waiting.

*The series is complete on DVD and streaming on Amazon Prime Video.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

5-6: The Waltons "The Thanksgiving Story"

After your Thanksgiving feast, gather round the radio for a BOTNS-style Thanksgiving with The Waltons. This one has everything you'd want from Thanksgiving: family, turkey hunting, romance, moonshine, a pageant, test taking, and a major head injury. Plus, we speculate on the comics in John-Boy's self-published regional newspaper.

Check out this episode!

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

YouTube Spotlight: Kate Jackson on "The Mike Douglas Show"

One of the curios from this week's Charlie's Angels playlist is this clip from the week Kate Jackson and then-hubby Andrew Stevens co-hosted The Mike Douglas Show. In this clip, you see them singing and in old-age makeup:

Monday, November 19, 2018

Happy birthday, Ted Turner!

Mike had the SuperStation before I did, but we both have vivid memories of watching TBS back in the day. Happy birthday to Ted Turner, and as a tribute we are posting this at 6:05!

Check out this classic promo from TBS' "At the Hoop" NBA campaign. I don't know if Ted had anything to do with it, but I love it:

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Fatal Vision premiered on this date in 1984

NBC had a smash hit with its two-night adaptation of Joe McGinniss' book Fatal Vision, which was based on the case of Jeffrey MacDonald and the murder of his family. MacDonald believed the book would exonerate him and cooperated with MacDonald, but the author became convinced he was guilty.

The miniseries features a stellar cast headlined by the great Gary Cole as MacDonald along with Eva Marie Saint, Andy Griffith, Barry Newman, and Karl Malden (who won an Emmy). Part one was the number-one-rated program on TV the week it debuted.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Happy birthday, Danny DeVito!

One of the best heels in TV history, Louie DePalma, is iconic because of the great work by Danny DeVito. Check out our look at Taxi right here, and enjoy him below in this ad for Little--Wait. I'm being told this is not Danny DeVito, but Rich Little impersonating him (and a certain film icon) in this Little Debbie's ad:

Friday, November 16, 2018

Show Notes: Episode 5-5: Charlie's Angels

*This episode of Charlie's Angels, Lady Killer, premiered November 24, 1976 at 10:00 P.M. on ABC.

*The series lasted 5 seasons and 115 episodes, ending June 1981. Jaclyn Smith was the only angel who lasted all 5 seasons, and the "classic trio" only lasted the first season. In season 2, Cheryl Ladd replaced Farrah Fawcett, Shelley Hack replaced Kate Jackson in season 4, and Tanya Roberts replaced Hack in season 5. Fawcett had a recurring role in seasons 3 and 4.

David Doyle, whether he is an angel or not (we try to determine this on the pod), lasted all 5 seasons.

*Wikipedia reports that among the actresses considered to replace Jackson were Michelle Pfeiffer, Barbara Bach, and Connie Sellecca, and Shari Belafonte.

*The Quest, NBC's short-lived 1976 Western, featured Tim Matheson and...not Gary Collins, but Kurt Russell, Brian Keith, and Keenan Wynn! Hey, I was close.

*Hugh O'Brian passed away in 2016 but remains one of the beloved icons of the podcast. Please check out our episode on Search right here!

*The late Alan Fudge had a key role on The Man from Atlantis, which starred Patrick Duffy.

*Kelly quotes Gloria Steinem in this episode. Steinem herself went undercover at a Playboy Club location in the early 1960s and wrote the expose A Bunny's Tale.

*NBC exec Paul Klein coined the expression "jiggle television" in response to ABC's success with programs like Charlie's Angels. In other words, yes, he may well have been hatin'.

*Sue Milburn, the credited writer of this episode, has 9 total credits on IMDB, including episodes of Switch and The Bionic Woman.

Our epic Charlie's Angels YouTube Playlist is live!

Folks, you gotta check this one out to see the Charlie's Angels Mego dolls! Farrah and Joe Namath! Jaclyn plays Jackie O! The Tonight Show...with David Brenner! Plus promos, clips, and Alan Fudge vs. David Carradine!

Remember, you can always hit our official YouTube page for playlists for every single podcast episode!

Thursday, November 15, 2018

5-5: Charlie's Angels "Lady Killer"

In a perfect BOTNS-era plot, Charlie's Angels (original class) go undercover at "men's" magazine "Feline" to stop a murderer from killing more centerfolds. Jill (Farrah Fawcett) might even have to become a centerfold! Guest stars include BATTY award winner Hugh O'Brian and the great Alan Fudge!

Check out this episode!

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Monday, November 12, 2018

YouTube Spotlight: Roy Clark meets The Odd Couple

In this week's YouTube spotlight, we highlight one of the best clips from our Hee Haw playlist: Roy Clark pickin' (but without a guitar pick) like a madman on the fifth season of The Odd Couple:

Even on Hee Haw, you should get an idea of Clark's skills, but if you have any doubt, just check out this clip. Roy's fingers even upstage his sideburns.

I must admit, though, I kind of do want to hear Mountain Dewwwwww again, as Oscar requests.

The Odd Couple was riddled with music replacements when it came out on DVD, but this scene (and in fact, the whole episode, I believe) is uncut, so grab that set if you want to see more.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Happy birthday, Leo

This holiday is also the birthday of actor Leonardo DiCaprio, who is of course most famous for ruining Growing Pains, even to those who didn't like the show in the first place:

Is this kid annoying or what?

Friday, November 9, 2018

Our Hee Haw YouTube playlist is now live!

If you haven't had enough of Kornfield Kounty, click below for this episode's official playlist, filled with music, comedy, and more! Enjoy: Foster Brooks pickin' and (hic) grinnin'! Johnny Cash for the United Way! Minnie Pearl teams up with Liberace! All that and plenty of ads, promos, and tunes!

And remember you can always head to our official YouTube page for episode-specific playlists for all of our shows!

Show Notes: Episode 5-4: Hee Haw

*We cover episodes from the seventh season of Hee Haw for the podcast: Episode 7 (October 25, 1975) and Episode 14 (December 13, 1975).

*Hee Haw airs on RFD-TV several times a week, but it looks as though they licensed a limited number of episodes. If you are looking for a particular one or are interested in the really old shows, let's just say it isn't hard to find some online.

*The infamous "rural purge" may be a bit exaggerated, but CBS did cancel some well-rated programs, reportedly at the urging of Fred Silverman, to shift the network demographics. However, The Beverly Hillbillies and Green Acres were aging series that had fallen in the ratings. Also, Ed Sullivan, Jackie Gleason, and Red Skelton were canceled, too, because of older audiences, not rural ones. This could be a subject for an entire show!

Hee Haw was definitely a hit, though, before it was a casualty. Interestingly, right on the heels of this so-called purge was a show as rural as it comes: The Waltons, which stayed on CBS for years.

*TV Turkeys is out of print but available from resellers!

*Besides Hee Haw, there was Buck Owens' Ranch Show in syndication from 1966-1972.

*For another look at Roy Clark's career, check out this great piece by Matt Dembicki and Matt Rawson:

*Minnie Pearl was a fixture at the Grand Ole Opry for over 50 years. Born Sarah Colley, she had been performing about 30 years when Hee Haw debuted.

*Hee Haw Honeys was an ill-fated 1978 spinoff centered around Lulu Roman's character's truck stop and the various "honeys" who worked there, along with musical guests/

*The crack research team believes the act Mike remembers from the Opry is Four Guys (not Five Guys), seen here (photo courtesy of

*George Lindsey got plenty of mileage from the Goober character but apparently no legal flak despite essentially playing the same character he did in The Andy Griffith Show and Mayberry RFD. We are unable to find evidence of a legal battle in which Lindsey claimed he was playing himself and therefore had rights to the "character."

*If you want to read more about the horrible death of David "Stringbean" Akeman, click here. Brace yourself first. We don't blame you if you got all you needed to know from the podcast.

*The Newsradio show Mike and special guest (and Friend of the Show) Dann discuss is Season 3, Episode 15, Rose Bowl, available on DVD.

*Special thanks to Dann, and check out his work with Surfana here:

Thursday, November 8, 2018

5-4: Hee Haw

Our listeners voted again, and we listened. Pick and grin with us as we discuss two episodes of country variety classic "Hee Haw," featuring Freddy Fender, Melba Montgomery, Johnny Cash, and La Costa. Crank up the laugh track, let the banjo licks fly, and don't let the fence hit you on the way out. Plus, we hear an extra-special "Hee Haw" story from one our listeners.

Check out this episode!

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Happy birthday, Christopher Knight!

The Brady Bunch is not yet part of the BOTNS universe, but how can we pass up the chance to salute the great Christopher Knight on his birthday?

Below, enjoy my favorite Peter Brady moment. I mean, what is he even thinking, the way he hurls the basketball--where IS he hurling it? Don't play ball in the house? How about, don't throw basketballs around like a moron without knowing where you are aiming them?

Tomorrow on Battle of the Network Shows...

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Another look inside the Sanctum (pics from Dr. Strange)

If you don't have the DVD of Dr. Strange (1978) or even if you do but can't get enough of the good doc and the metaphysical Marvels of the TV movie we covered in our latest episode, here are some more glimpses of star Peter Hooten and the rest of the ensemble.

First, a reminder of what is at stake in this movie:

Dr. Strange at his day job:

Wong and Lidmer talking over something...profound, no doubt:

The saucy Morgan Le Fey:

Some trippy visuals, including Strange and Clea:

And how ABOUT that chemistry between Dr. Strange and the evil sorceress?

How about we just enjoy the various costumes for a few moments:

Finally, a look at the cool end credits:

Monday, November 5, 2018

YouTube Spotlight:

We complement each week's episode with a YouTube playlist of related clips, and we like to highlight particularly interesting videos with their own post. This week, straight from the episode 5-3 Dr. Strange list, is something we mention during the pod: the theme song to the short-lived ITV UK series The Zoo Gang:

I have never seen an episode of this, and frankly I don't know if I want to, because how can it ever be as fabulous as this opening sequence?

And speaking of fab, that evocative song is the handiwork of  Paul and Linda McCartney!

The 1974 series, based on a Paul Gallico novel about a team of WWII resistance fighters who reunite in the 1970s to fight crime, lasted 6 episodes. It is available on DVD and Blu-Ray, but sadly, it's Region 2.  According to Wikipedia, the series aired as a "multi-evening event" (back then, I'm sure it was just "filling airtime in the summer" on NBC over 3 nights in July and August 1975.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Happy birthday, Loretta Swit!

We didn't talk too much about Hot Lips Houlihan in our season 5 opener about MASH, but the character is an essential part of the long-running series, and we salute Loretta Swit on her birthday! Here is a clip from Dolly's late-eighties show:

Friday, November 2, 2018

Doctor Strange playlist is live!

Check out our YouTube playlist for this week's Dr. Strange episode, and enjoy clips and promos plus Paul Williams! Star Wars! And Paul McCartney's excellent theme song for a 1970s TV series!

Click the embedded playlist below or head to our official YouTube channel for past shows and more episode-specific playlists!

Show Notes: Doctor Strange (1978)

*As we mentioned on the show, Doctor Strange premiered on CBS  September 6, 1978, at 8:00 P.M. against the season premiere of Eight Is Enough and hour one of a rebroadcast of an episode of Roots on ABC plus Sharks: The Death Machines and Dick Clark and a Cast of Thousands on NBC,

*The character premiered in Marvel's Strange Tales #110 in 1963 (cover dated July but likely several months earlier on the newsstands) and was created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, though it appears Ditko did most of the character development and even plotting. This 1978 TV movie was the good doctor's first appearance on the big or small screen.

*Peter Hooten (born November 29, 1950) made his screen debut in an episode of Marcus Welby and appears in 2017's Souleater.

*The Zoo Gang is a 6-episode British TV series with John Mills, Brian Keith, Lili Palmer, and Barry Morse. if you don't see anything else in our YouTube playlist this week, please at least check out the great opening to the show!

*Morgan LeFey is an enchantress who figures prominently in Arthurian legend. She is thought to have first appeared in 1136 in Geoffrey of Monmouth's account of the life of Merlin.

*Among the events that happened in 1478, the year deemed not mystical/medieval enough by us:

--Thomas More was born
--The Spanish Inquisition began (and not even Morgan LeFey expected it)
--Lorenzo de Medici became ruler of Florence

*Click here for Aaron Couch's Hollywood Reporter piece we discuss on the podcast.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

5-3: Dr. Strange

When a giant puppet head and Lucille Bluth try to break down the barriers between dimensions, only one man has the prescription and mustache to stop them--Dr. Strange, Sorcerer Supreme.

Check out this episode!