Can you believe today is the 50th anniversary of the U.S. premiere of The Val Doonican Show?
OK, maybe he isn't as much of a presence in the culture today, but Irish singer Doonican was a fixture on BBC for years even before ABC gave him a slot after Lawrence Welk on Saturday nights. It didn't catch on here, lasting only as a summer fill-in.
ABC had trouble filling that post-Welk slot at 8:30; The Pearl Bailey Show had run there the previous few months. In the 1971 Fall season, Welk was a victim of his demographics, getting canceled by ABC and moving to syndication. ABC went with Bobby Sherman's new sitcom (see yesterday's post) and a movie of the week.
40 years ago tonight, NBC broadcast the original movie Side Show, starring Lance Kerwin (James at 15) and directed by William Conrad! According to IMDB:
A teenage boy runs away from home. He joins the circus but finds out that it's not all what it's cracked up to be. But then the boy becomes a witness to a murder, and he must try to stay out of the killer's way.
Sounds pretty good to me! There is a tension between the "regular" circus folks and the side show acts. There's romance, intrigue, and danger! Also in the cast: William Windom, Barbara Rhoades, Red Buttons, Tony Franciosa, and Connie Stevens.