Sunday, January 30, 2022
Friday, January 28, 2022
Thursday, January 27, 2022
Wednesday, January 26, 2022
Tuesday, January 25, 2022
In this week's Top Ten, we marked the 40th anniversary of the premiere of One of the Boys, a flop starring Mickey Rooney and a young Nathan Lane and Dana Carvey. I can't let it go, though! Sadly, the only full episode online that I can find is this one:
Watching it is almost a disappointment. It's not laughable. It's not over-the-top embarrassing. It's just...bad. I hoped to see more evidence that, "Ah, yes, here is where we can tell The Mickster was a jerk to Carvey."
But instead it just seems like the whole thing falls flat. It's amazing that two prolific sitcom writers (Saul Turtletaub and Bernie Orenstein) could create a show so devoid of jokes--and I mean attempts at jokes, let alone good jokes.
Here is what TV Guide said in 2002 when it called this one of the 50 Worst Shows of All Time:
Monday, January 24, 2022
Sunday, January 23, 2022
1) One of the Boys: Today is the 40th anniversary of the debut of this sitcom classic starring the Mickster with help from Dana Carvey, Nathan Lane, and Scatman Crothers!
Despite the cast and the pedigree (created by the prolific writing team of Turtletaub and Orenstein), the show flopped and made #24 on TV Guide's Worst Shows of All Time list in 2002.
2) Merlin Olsen: The NFL Hall of Famer and 14-time Pro Bowler topped my list of 1980s NFL commentators the other day.
3) Barney Miller: The popular sitcom debuted on this night in 1975. It was even more popular than One of the Boys! We talk about the show in this episode.
4) Roots: One of the biggest TV events of the 1970s was this epic miniseries, which debuted this night in 1977.
5) Gil Gerard: Happy birthday to the former star of beloved cult classic Sidekicks!
6) National Pie Day: How about topping your piece of pie with some nice whipped topping?
7) COZI Condensed Bold: I hadn't checked in for a few weeks, but it made it through the holidays! Yes, that breakout hit show Cozi Condensed Bold is still spotlighted on the network's official website!
8) Open All Night: Me-TV ran an article about the short-lived (about as short as One of the Boys, for context) sitcom this week, and though it could have had a little more context (it doesn't mention the earlier Britcom Open All Hours, it quotes a first-name-only commenter from Ken Levine's blog for some reason), it's cool the show and star George Dzunda get some pub.
9) Winnie the Pooh: I just discovered the original version of the character is now in the public domain, meaning the long-awaited Rewind Stubbs Meets Winnie the Pooh crossover is how doable!
10) R.I.P. It was another tough week of losses, including Ralph Emery, the face of Nashville Network back in the day:
Also, Ron Franklin, the voice of ESPN college football coverage for years; Yvette Mimieux, and Louie Anderson.
Friday, January 21, 2022
The recent passing of John Madden inspired me to rank my favorite NFL color guys of the BOTNS era. Hey, the former coach thrived on competition, right?
This ranking is a very personal list of what I felt back then combined with a wee bit of adjustment for the decades of sports watching I have enjoyed since. Note that I didn't watch the NFL on TV on a regular basis until the early 1980s, and I also cheated to include a couple guys who started early Nineties-ish.
Also keep in mind that there was no Sunday Ticket, I was too young to roam the sports bars, and bonus coverage wasn't as much a thing. I just remember there were less games, period. So regular folks didn't necessarily get a lot of exposure to the full network announcer rosters beyond the top teams and the guys who happened to be calling the local game.
1) Merlin Olsen: I was an NBC guy growing up. I liked the Steelers and the AFC anyway, but I also just liked NBC. So my team of choice was not Summerall and Madden, but Enberg and Olsen. Merlin seemed like a decent guy, and I didn't even watch Father Murphy.
2) John Madden: It's impossible to miss his importance and his impact, but back then I didn't appreciate him as I would later. Even now, I think this rating is as much because of his great commercials as much as his work on CBS.
3) Paul Maguire: I liked him a lot on NBC, and for a while, I thought he even made the ESPN broadcasts tolerable. He was a funny guy and a likable presence. Is there an alternate universe in which HE is the star of Father Murphy?
4) Dan Dierdorf: I thought he got a little full of himself on Monday Night Football, but in retrospect, it couldn't have been easy dealing with everyone else on that show. I liked his work on CBS teaming with Verne Lundquist, but that was wayyyy outside the time period. However, he did do work before MNF on CBS, so I am including him!
5) Todd Christensen: Boy, whatever happened to him? He went from a rising star in the NFL booth lauded for his use of big words to something like the 12th team on ESPN college football coverage. I mean, Roy Firestone loved him. ROY FIRESTONE, people! I really dug him and his pairing with the venerable Charlie Jones.
6) Don Meredith: But I admit it's more the idea of Dandy Don since I was well aware of the myths of the glory days of Monday Night Football in the 1980s but didn't always watch much of it.
7) Terry Bradshaw: It's easy to forget his color commentary run on CBS after he's been on the FOX pregame show so long. It wasn't easy at the time to forget his playing career as a Steeler fan watching the likes of Cliff Stoudt and Mark Malone (who himself became a play-by-play guy).
8) Dan Fouts: He had a heck of a career in both pro and college football broadcasting.
9) Hank Stram: Another one where it's more the idea of Hank Stram and the fun of imitating him because I don't think I actually got to watch too many Jack Buck/Hank Stram games.
10) Beasley Reece: Nothing against the guy, but he kind of became a punchline for us when we saw the announce teams in USA Today the weekend of the games or when he actually turned up on an NBC game: "Who the heck is Beasley Reece?" Pretty sure I somehow had at least 4 or 5 football cards of him, though.
Thursday, January 20, 2022
Wednesday, January 19, 2022
Tuesday, January 18, 2022
Monday, January 17, 2022
Sunday, January 16, 2022
1) Sanford and Son: Friday marked the 50th anniversary of the sitcom's debut on NBC.
2) Warm weather: Boy, I sure miss it. Hopefully some of you reading this have something more like this than what I am getting right now:
3) Golden Palace: Hulu is extending the celebration of Betty White's career by adding this (just past our timeframe) Golden Girls spinoff. Of all the TV shows the late White did in her career, this is certainly one of them.
4) Welcome Back, Kotter: The great Brick Mantooth posted this fun and informative look at the show's merchandising in the 1970s:
5) SAG nominees: Congratulations to stars like Denzel Washington (St. Elsewhere) and Michael Douglas (Streets of San Francisco) for their SAG nominations. Also props to Jean Smart, Michael Keaton, Steve Martin, and Martin Short.
6) National Healthy Weight Week: I think in 2022 we've gone back to not worrying about this--not like back in 1982 (the ad is from Australia, but just go with it):
7) Sara: Mike linked to this in our Facebook group last week: A vintage night-of-broadcast episode of Geena Davis' short-lived 1980s NBC sitcom:
It doesn't seem to work despite an interesting group of talent--Merrill Markoe is the credited writer, and Alfre Woodard, Bill Maher, and Bronson Pinchot appear in the supporting cast--but it's worth a look. I wonder if Maher and Pinchot would have smarm-offs on set to entertain the crew.
8) The Last Hurrah: An interesting recent addition to Crackle is this 1977 Hallmark Hall of Fame adaptation of the Edwin O'Connor novel that was previously filmed as a motion picture in 1958. Carroll O'Connor (no relation, though, oddly, Edwin also wrote a novel called All in the Family!)) plays the Spencer Tracy role. Other stars include Jack Carter, Mariette Hartley, Dana Andrews, and Patrick O'Neal.
9) Georgia on my mind: Congrats to the Georgia Bulldogs, and a shout-out to Friend of the Show James, who is very happy with the result of the National Championship game last week. Because he's a great guy, I wouldn't dream of bringing up THIS game again:
10) R,I.P.: Bob Saget's death was a stunner. Dwayne Hickman will be missed, too.
(Edited to delete a ridiculous mistake I made in the original post)
Saturday, January 15, 2022
Thursday, January 13, 2022
Tuesday, January 11, 2022
Monday, January 10, 2022
As we established last year, William Sanderson is a Friend of the Show, whether he knows it or not, by virtue of having liked an Instagram post we did when we covered Newhart. So we are especially happy to wish him a very happy birthday today!
Sunday, January 9, 2022
1) National Balloon Ascension Day: You know what THAT means! It's time to say hello to our friend Henry Winkler and all his pals at ABC!
2) Betty White: Not that we'd want to or would be able to, but many outlets are making sure we don't forget the late actress. I think the only channel not running a marathon is ESPNU.
3) Houston Knights: Crackle gets 2022 off to a HIGH-OCTANE start with its addition of this short-lived 1980s series:
4) The Pat Sajak Show: debuted this day in 1989.
5) The Rockford Files now on Get-TV: Could the programmers at Get be influenced by the Battys? If so, hey, guys, can you get your hands on Munsters Today?
6) Bionic Woman: Super 7 announced new Reaction Figures (TM, I'm guessing) of the show:
7) Other shows premiering on various diginets this week: Among them, we have Amen and Gimme a Break on Cozi, Welcome Back Kotter on Antenna, and Hawaii Five-0 on Heroes and Icons.
Note that BOTNS does not endorse these presentations and warns that all of those shows will likely be edited, time-sped, credit-crunched, and/or cropped for fake widescreen. Yet we don't want to complain too much about giving people the chance to see old shows for free.