*This week, we do something a little different and take a deep plunge into the 1980-1981 television season on its 40th anniversary.
*The top 5 shows in the year before, 1979-1980, were: 60 Minutes, Three's Company, MASH, Alice, and Dallas.
*'A House Divided," the Dallas third-season finale in which J.R. Ewing was shot by [spoiler redacted] aired March 21, 1980, meaning viewers had to wait 7 1/2 months for season 4 opener "No Mr. Nice Guy," which aired as part 1 on Friday, November 7, and part 2 on Sunday, November 9, to see if he would pull through.
However, the series didn't answer the true mystery, the identity of the would-be assassin, until November 21's "Who Done It?" That was the highest-rated series TV episode in the USA until the MASH finale in 1983.
Is anyone interested in us doing a full episode on Dallas?
*Shogun, the NBC miniseries based on James Clavell's 1975 novel, premiered on each of 5 nights from September 15-19 and was a huge ratings success.
*Roots aired on ABC in 1977, and sequel Roots: The Next Generation premiered in 1979.
*Mount St. Helens erupted May 18, 1980.
*In fairness to Jean Doumanian, she had a tough job, taking on Saturday Night Live with little time to build it after the departure of many of the show's creative and behind-the-scenes talent as well as its cast. She also faced resistance from many who stayed on the series.
*The short-lived Foul Play TV series did indeed star Barry Bostwick and Deborah Raffin.
*Here's a closer look at Those Amazing Animals:
*Freebie and the Bean starred HECTOR Elizondo as "Bean" Delgado and Tom Mason as "Freebie" Walker.
*CBS' House Calls with Wayne Rogers and Lynn Redgrave lasted 3 seasons, 1979-1982.
*Click here for our season 6 look at the Donahue episode spotlighting the "Clean Up TV campaign."
*Lily Tomlin: Sold Out premiered February 2, 1981 on CBS. It's a meta special based on Tomlin taking her Broadway show to Vegas and debating about whether to change the act for the different audience. Co-stars include Paul Anka, Liberace, and Joan Rivers.
*Life is a Circus, Charlie Brown premiered on October 24, 1980 and is on DVD; in fact, I bought the collection it's in for my son several years ago and should have watched it by now!
*The American Music Awards actually premiered in 1974!
*Ryan's Hope (1975-1989) was about an irish-American family in New York, and "Ryan's" was the name of the bar the patriarch ran.
*Over Easy with Hugh Downs may have had eggcentric segments, but the PBS series was about aging.
*Our print resources, as we mention on the show, include the following:
-Watching TV by Harry Castleman and Wally Podrazik
-Total Television by Alex McNeil
-The Encyclopedia of Daytime Television by Wesley Hyatt
-The Emmys by Thomas O'Neil
-The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows by Tim Brooks and Earle Marsh
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