I complain when a new TV series starts with a 75-minute episode. Well, it's a good thing I wasn't watching the 1980 premiere of NBC's Skag, which someone thought merited a THREE-HOUR presentation!
I don't know if NBC was really excited about the Karl Malden show or just thought, let's get rid of this in as few chunks of possible, but that's a while lot of Skag. It's not The Winds of Skag. It's not Lonesome Skag. It's not Skag: The Final Battle. It's just Skag.
The gritty depiction of a Pittsburgh steelworker and his family didn't last very long, though it received good reviews. Piper Laurie told Shock Cinema, "I guess people didn't want to watch a series about the difficulties in a blue-collar family. That, I think, could have been a very fine series had it continued. It was a quality show."
If you were ever going to get America to watch a series about Pittsburgh steelworkers, it would have been January 1980, when the City of Champions ruled baseball and football! It wasn't meant to be, though. Maybe Skag should have featured Willie Stargell and Terry Bradshaw.
Maybe that pilot just scared off everyone. I mean, I might watch a series about the difficulties in a blue-collar family, but maybe only for an hour at a time.