Saturday, November 13, 2021

This Day in TV History: Duel and Strike Force

November 13 is a big day in milestonish (?) TV history. The broadcast networks gave us interesting viewing options both 50 years ago and 40 years ago tonight, and the most prominent is 1971 made-for-TV movie Duel, directed by a young Steven Spielberg.

I think this in consideration for a podcast slot someday, so I won't go into depth, but the thriller with Dennis Weaver is still remembered fondly today in its own right, though the notoriety of being one of Spielberg's early works helps!

Preceding it on ABC was Bobby Sherman's Getting Together, and after it was Roger Moore and Tony Curtis in The Persauders. Remember that TV movies often fit in 90-minute slots in those days.

CBS had its usual monster Saturday lineup--mostly. All in the Family and The Mary Tyler Moore Show, each in their second season, were supplemented by Funny Face with Sandy Duncan and The New Dick van Dyke Show with Hope Lange. Oh, yeah, and Dick Van Dyke. Mission Impossible closed out prime time.

NBC led off with The Partners, a sitcom with Don Adams (plus BOTNS fave DVP--not to be confused with DVD--in a supporting role); and The Good Life with Larry Hagman and Donna Mills.  At 9:00 the network broadcast the 1967 John Wayne movie The War Wagon.

Friday, November 13, 1981 has CBS with another iconic lineup: The Incredible Hulk, The Dukes of Hazzard, and Dallas

NBC led off the night 40 years ago with NBC Magazine hosted by nesman Jack Perkins, then followed with two specials: More TV Censored Bloopers and It's Only Human. The first stars Dick Clark, natch, and the latter is a compilation of human interest stories hosted by Barbara Eden and Reggie Jackson!

ABC offered a new Benson and a Guiness Book of World Records special before the 90-minute premiere of Robert Stack in Strike Force, a short-lived action show about an L.A.-area combination of law enforcement groups. Somehow, this series actually received a manufactured-on-demand DVD release several years ago!


  1. I watched Strike Force. Though considering the ratings, I may have been the only one.

    1. Your DVD set is waiting for you!
      The only Strike Force I saw in the 1980s was the WWF tag team champions.