Friday, November 30, 2018

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.

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