8/30/18

SITCOM FIZZLES OF THE SWINGING 70s



Dead On Arrival movies and TV shows have always held a special place in my heart. To see a super-flop is to remind all of us how bold and optimistic we are at the beginning of every enterprise, the best intentions so often leading to ultimate (and somehow pre-destined it would seem) failure. Thus the wonderful reel that I've posted above which shows the credit sequences of eighteen failed TV sitcoms of the 1970s. We see the bright and cheery front titles, many of them attempting in less than a minute to explain the contorted set-up of what will follow (and which most people seemed to have turned off halfway through). There are some real weirdies; a rehash of the Thorne Smith novel (and Hal Roach film) 'Turnabout'--developed by (of all people) a pre-'Hill Street Blues' Steven Bochco; a 'Bad News Bears' reboot, starring Jack Warden as Walter Matthau and featuring young Corey Feldman as a kid named 'Lupus'--(really? Would you name your son 'Lupus'?); an all-black 'Barefoot In The Park' (good intentions apparently gone awry); 'The Brian Keith Show', created by Garry Marshall, in which Bill Davis--er Brian Keith--plays a pediatrician in Hawaii (hmm...can we say 'location dependent deal for still-powerful network star who wants to live and work on Oahu instead of shooting another crappy show in Burbank?'); and strangest of all 'The Ted Knight Show',  in which the eponymous lead plays the head of an escort service. Whhhaaaaat? Yes, an escort service. It was the 70s after all but even for those decadent times the concept appears to have been too weird.

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