Friday, March 31, 2023

Female-driven shows that are not on streaming

In honor of Women's History Month, ending today let's examine a group of Seventies/Eighties TV shows that remain missing in action on major streaming video platforms.

Kate and Allie: In the latest top ten, we noted the anniversary of the CBS sitcom, which debuted this month in 1984. It was never a huge hit, but it had two appealing stars in Susan Saint James and Jane Curtain, and I think the family comedy has its fans and it ran for 6 seasons. I don't think it has even been in reruns much lately. It's owned by Universal and might make a nice add for Peacock, though not one that fits in with the Bravo and WWE shows, but more with stuff like Home Improvement and Leave It to Beaver.

Alice: What is the deal with this one? It had a cup of chili on Prime Video a few years back but was yanked without fanfare and hasn't been seen since despite Tubi and Roku channel adding some other Warner Brothers shows of the era. This one is available on DVD and for digital purchase, so I am not sure why it isn't streaming somewhere, but I expect it to turn up at some point this year.

The Facts of Life: This is complete on DVD and bounced around some of the free streamers like Pluto and Roku Channel for a while, but has been MIA for a while, all for no apparent reason. Most times it appears, it is only for several seasons at a time, too, not the whole series.

UPDATE: I loaded Tubi mere hours after this post published, and the streamer has added the first 6 seasons of Facts.

Rhoda: This has always lagged behind The Mary Tyler Moore Show and even gets less respect in syndication. It's maybe the highest-profile MTM Enterprises show that didn't make it to Hulu (I think only the first season was there and is long gone) when the service made the deal before the Disney purchase of Fox to get MTM, Hill Street Blues, St. Elsewhere, White Shadow, and other shows.

Julia: It figures that even as streamers scrambled to celebrate Black history by adding catalog shows, they focused on recent stuff like Living Single. Meanwhile, Diahann Carroll's gentle groundbreaking sitcom gets no attention, and even obscure cable channel Aspire doesn't show it anymore. It's a Fox show owned by Disney, and prospects seem bleak unless the company gets really aggressive about licensing back catalog. It would have been a nice addition to Disney streaming and still would be--maybe if and when Disney gets full control and has incentive to add to Hulu again.

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