Saturday, October 3, 2020

YouTube Spotlight: The City vs. Country Showdown: Underseen gem of the 1980-81 season?

One of the highlights of this week's massive video playlist commemorating the 1980-81 TV season is this NBC promo, not because it attempts to position Marie Osmond as sultry, but because of the event following Marie's show:

We here are big fans of the sports entertainment TV events that popped up in the BOTNS era in the wake of Superstars and Battle of the Network Stars, and this is a new one.  It doesn't seem to be readily available, but some digging reveals it premiered Tuesday, December 9, 1980 in a two-hour slot, followed by Steve Allen Comedy Hour.  It must be rare; I can't even find a reference to it in Vincent Terrace's massive guide to network specials.

Let's take a look at the guest list in lieu of more footage: 

On the Country side (I assume): Glen Campbell, Charley Pride (yes!), Catherine Bach (yasssssss!)

On the City side: Lou Gossett Jr., Grant Goodeve (yassssss!), Danielle Brisebois (What?)

And of course we see Larry Wilcox with slop over his head, and if that isn't enough, as Casey Kasem tells and shows us in the promo:


All right, this is now on the official MUST-SEE list! Now, young Rick might have watched A Charlie Brown Christmas at 8:00 on CBS, but Now Rick wants to save that for the holiday and watch this great event now--as in, right now.

The special made Picks and Pans in People that week: and the description makes it sound even better:

“Country” stars like Melissa Gilbert, Glen Campbell, Tanya Tucker, Charley Pride and Catherine Bach vie with such “city” slickers as Lou Gossett, Linda Evans and Charlene Tilton in trashsport events from cow milking to jump rope.

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