Saturday, July 22, 2006

TV Reunion Movies

Keeping in this television mood that I have gotten into lately, I was wondering, of all the reunion movies that are really pilots for hopefully a new TV series from the old series, how many of them are really made into new series?
In 1977 Father Knows Best did at least two reunion movies. I say at least because in what I have read in Unsold Pilots said that the first one had two sequels but only mentioned one. The first one was the whole family getting together for Mom and Dad’s 35th anniversary. The second one had a bit more drama as it looked like Jim and Margaret Anderson would be spending Christmas alone and would have to sell their house. I didn’t see either one but I doubt that they were alone on Christmas and didn’t have to sell their home.
In 1978 the king of all reunion movies was aired. Rescue From Gilligan’s Island. The title says it all but it wasn’t really a full reunion. Tina Louise was finally getting her own acting career underway since the show went off, mostly in hair and skin commercials. She wanted too much money so they recast her part. It was a monster in the ratings. It was mostly because the public had waited at least 10 years to see them get off that island. The ending set up the series as on an anniversary of their voyage they set out to sea again and get stranded on the same island again. They did two more movies with people coming to the island like some spies and the Harlem Globetrotters. That is what the series was to be about. The stories would revolve around the problems the guest had who were staying at the resort that the castaways had built. The new series thankfully never got off the ground. I think it would have been a big flop. I remember seeing the first reunion movie and I was very happy to see they finally got off that island. I also remember thinking “Not again!” when they got stranded again. The only reason to watch the first movie was as a reward for being a loyal viewer all those years. I didn’t want a new series. If I want to see Gilligan’s Island I can watch the repeats.
Some of the reunion movie I never heard of till I read Unsold Pilots by Lee Goldberg. I have already told you in a previous posting about the one for Cannon called the Return of Frank Cannon. I never saw the ad for it or I know I would have watched it. There is Murder in Peyton Place. The characters that were played by Ryan O’Neal and Mia Farrow are killed and everyone wants to know why. I never heard of this movie either. My Mom must not have either or she would have watched it. I am too young to remember the show it was based on. I think it came on after my bedtime. Also, I never heard of The Return of Marcus Welby or The Return of the Mod Squad so I didn’t watch them either and I guess most of the country didn’t since no new series came out of either one.
I did see The Return of Sam McCloud in 1989. McCloud was now a Senator and visiting overseas in England. He gets his old friends from the New York police department to come to England and help him solve a murder. The movie kept the fish out of water story in the movie. You know having a cowboy in England. Considering the Joe Broadhurst and Chief Clifford were also in England that was multiplied by 3. However, you can’t keep them in England and this movie proved that the old McCloud charm didn’t work as well anymore so I think it was wise that a new series never came to be. Still with Dennis Weaver now gone I was glad that I got to see good old Sam one more time before he went to ride his horse into the sunset.
There was the Return of the Beverly Hillbillies. The less said the better.
There was also The Return of the Greatest American Hero, The Return of the Man From U.N.C.L.E., The Return of the Six Million Dollar Man and the Bionic Woman and finally Return to Green Acres. The only ones out of those mentioned above that still looked like you could get a series out of them were the Greatest American Hero and the Six Million Dollar Man. Mostly because the leads would be new actors. The Greatest American Hero would now be a Heroine with Mary Ellen Stuart in the role. The new 6 Million Dollar Man would have been the son of Steve Austin played by Tom Schanley. Neither one came to series.
In 1987, only a year after the series was canceled, we had Still Crazy Like A Fox. At least they weren’t returning since they were still here in recent memory at that time. Harry Fox and his family were vacationing where almost every hopeful crime drama series revival wants to start…London, England. While there Harry Fox is accused of murdering a Duke and has to clear his name. It was offered to the networks and to syndications as a series but they both turned it down.
In 1979 and 1980 there were two Wild, Wild West reunion movies. Robert Conrad and Ross Martin both times came back to their signature roles of West and Gordon. In the first film they fought the son of their arch enemy Dr. Loveless. The new Dr. Loveless was played by Paul Williams. The next mad scientist they went up against was played by Jonathan Winters. Now THAT would be one I would like to see on DVD or on some cable station sometime. With Mr. Winters in it the blooper reel might be more entertaining then the movie.
As far as becoming a series it is Still The Beaver who hit the home run in 1983. All the kids from the series are grown up, married and have kids of their own. Only Beaver is the one who left town but now returns as a single Dad to raise his two sons in Mayfield. It became a successful series on the Disney Channel and then moved to WTBS before it entered syndication.
The Brady Bunch at least got on base when A Very Brady Christmas from 1988 became a series in 1990. Instead of a new sit-com it became an hour long lighthearted family drama. It aired as a midseason replacement in Feburary 1990. It aired Friday night at 8pm. This is what killed them as the audience for the Brady Bunch had grown up and were not home at that time. Airing it at 9 or 10pm would have been better. The show was canceled in one month.
So in looking back the ratings for a reunion movie might be good but chances are slim to none that an old series will see new life pumped into it again. You could get a series of movies. Look what happened to Perry Mason and Columbo. But don’t try for a new weekly series unless your lead character is Beaver Cleaver. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, July 20, 2006


On October 16, 2001 the WB network began airing Smallville. As its fans know it is still on today and will be part of the new CW network this fall. It takes a different look at the Superboy history. Yes Clark Kent, played by Tom Welling, still lives in Smallville and goes to school with Lana Lang and Pete Ross, played by Kristin Kreuk and Sam Jones III. He is raised by his foster parents Martha and Jonathan Kent, played by Annette O’Toole and John Schneider. A new character is introduced by the name of Chloe Sullivan, played by Allison Mack, who happens to be a cousin to Lois Lane, played later in the series by Erica Durance. Also, Lex Luthor, played by Michael Rosenbaum, is a friend of Clark’s in the early part of the series. They aren’t buddies from school. Lex is a little bit older then the others and is in Smallville running that branch of the family business. Unlike the other series or comic books we finally get to meet Lex’s Dad Lionel during the run of the series. This way we begin to understand why Luthor becomes the villain that he is in later years. He wants the love and support that Clark gets from his parents. However, Lionel wants to raise Lex to be a ruthless businessman. Many things about this series set it apart from the other Superman shows. First is that he is just discovering his powers. In the other shows he has already learned how to use his powers. Second he is not wearing glasses to disguise himself. It would be interesting to see what would happen when he does start to wear them. When he takes them off to become Superman won’t Lex recognize his old friend from his Smallville days? Also, Mr. Welling has not once put on the suit. He wears a blue T-shirt, blue jeans and a red windbreaker so you are reminded of the suit but the producers say that once the suit is on the series is over. I would imagine that would be one of the last scenes of the last episode when the series ends. I would say that you could have a new series called Metropolis but that would probably just turn out to be a remake of Lois and Clark. The first season was mostly how kryptonite would turn normal people in to supervillains. That was fun at first but got old. The second season started digging more into the characters and that has fueled the show since. It is also what has kept the comic book series going so long. Just as in the comic book Pete Ross knew Clark’s secret but he left the series saying the secret was too much for him to bear. Since then Chloe has found out and has stuck around. I guess she was a little bit stronger then Pete. This past season Clark’s Dad died of a heart attack. He had just one his first political office and since he died Mrs. Kent was asked to fill his place. Clark and Lana’s on again off again romance is off again as Lana is dating…LEX LUTHOR! Lois Lane is living with the Kents and is helping Mrs. Kent with her new career. To paraphrase the selling point from the producers of Lois and Clark, it’s Dawson’s Creek only Dawson has super powers. Along the way we have met other DC characters like Perry White, Bart Allen (Impulse but here he is called Flash), Cyborg, Aquaman who was to get a spin off series but that fell through and now TV Guide says the actor hired to play Aquaman is going to be Oliver Queen. Mr. Queen in the comic books is Green Arrow from the Justice League of America. Also, Jimmy Olsen is to start dating Chloe. That to me is a mistake. Jimmy is supposed to be at least 10 years younger then Clark and his friends. I guess you just have to let some things go for dramatic license. Even Christopher Reeve and Margo Kidder got occassional roles for a couple of years.
I have noticed that the less time the actor playing the lead in the Superman series spends in the red and blue tights the less chance he will get type cast. George Reeves was type cast the most but if he lived longer his fortunes may have changed. Chris Reeve from the movies did some good movies after his Superman run but even he had to do Superman 4 to jump start his career and pay the bills. Dean Cain seems the least type cast as Superman. He has done some TV movies and gotten the previously mentioned TV series Clubhouse. If this holds true Mr. Welling has no need to worry about his acting career. As I said before he hasn't put on the suit yet. He has already co-starred in the Cheaper By the Dozen remakes and the remake of The Fog. Posted by Picasa

Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman

On September 12, 1993 ABC premiered the first live action Superman TV series on network television. It was Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman. The series was seen as science fiction since Superman was one of the stars but it was really a romantic comedy. It was more like My Girl Friday or Moonlighting since its main focus was on the relationship between Lois Lane and Clark Kent. As a matter of fact that was one way it was sold to the network. They told them it was like Moonlighting only one of them has superpowers. Moonlighting was a hit show in the 1980’s and made a star of Bruce Willis. Can you imagine Bruce as Superman? The part of Lois Lane was played by Terri Hatcher and Clark (Superman) Kent was Dean Cain. Unlike in The Adventures of Superman in the 1950’s where his Dad had died and his Mom was a widow who was not heard from since the pilot episode, this series kept his foster parents alive. They were there to offer advice and support to Lois and Clark. The parts of Jonathan Kent and Martha Kent were played by Eddie Jones and K Callan. Lex Luthor was played by John Shea. In this series he and Lex didn’t meet in high school or college. Luthor never heard of Clark or Superman till he showed up for work at the Daily Planet. In the first year Lois is engaged to Luthor. By the end of the first season Luthor has nearly destroyed the Daily Planet and Lois leaves him at the alter. Luthor is seemingly killed but turns up later in the series bald; John Shea kept his hair early in the series, and ready to get revenge on Superman. DC decided that it was time for Lois to be told that Clark and Superman were the same and to get them married. The TV series thought that was a good idea too and plans were made for the wedding to occur in the comic books and on the show at the same time. Around year three the scripts took a down turn. Lois was replaced by a clone and no one could tell the difference. Even though the clone survived by eating frogs. Ratings dropped and they started to rush to get the scripts up to par. However, the producers must have thought those bad scripts weren’t too bad as they kept making references back to that period. While scripts did improve and the series ended with Clark and Lois finding a baby on their doorstep at the end of the fourth year there would be no season five as the show was canceled. The last show was aired on June 14, 1997.
Terri Hatcher as we all know went on to another hit show with Desperate Housewives. The same year Desperate Housewives appeared Dean Cain appeared in a new baseball drama called Clubhouse. Both shows were good and deserved to be hits but only Miss. Hatcher hit a home run. Ratings wise Clubhouse grounded out.
The above photo of Dean Cain came from this site. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Swamp Thing

Well here is a show that I almost forgot. I remembered it just in time for today’s posting. Swamp Thing is a DC owned character that starred in two movies, Swamp Thing and The Return of Swamp Thing. Dick Durock was the star of the movies as Dr. Alec Holland who becomes Swamp Thing. The female lead in the first movie was Adrienne Barbeau formerly of the TV show Maude and the original movie of The Fog. The first movie had a campy element but for the most part took itself serious. The sequel played it more for laughs. Heather Locklear of T.J. Hooker, Dynasty and Spin City was the damsel in distress this time. If you see the movie poster she is suppose to be screaming at Swamp Thing but she appears to be laughing. That was the first sign that the movie was slanted more towards comedy. Wes Craven directed the first film. The cable TV series aired on USA cable and ran from 1990 to 1993. Dick Durock provided the voice over of what Swamp Thing was thinking and each episode was introduced by him warning evildoers not to bring their evil to his swamp. Dr. Holland was an environmental scientist who became Swamp Thing (half man half plant) in an accident caused by the greedy Dr. Arcane. He lived in the swamp near Houma, Louisiana. Also living near the swamp was a teenage boy named Jim and his step-mother. Swamp Thing was always rescuing them from Dr. Arcane and sometimes they unknowingly helped Swamp Thing. Early on in the series there were some cast changes Jim was killed and a young man named Will, played by Scott Garrison, was introduced. Added to the cast was the mysterious Abigail, played by Keri Wuhrer who would go on to co-star in Sliders in a few years. Will and Abigail had an on again off again romance.
The series took its tone more from the first movie then from the second. It was more serious. While it could be fun to watch it was a bit weird for my taste. I tried to but just could not get into the series. Others must have liked it for it to last 72 episodes.
You can get the DVD of the movies at Amazon. If you click on the link on the left it will take you to Amazon and this site will get a small commission. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


In 1988 DC Comics entered into the syndicated television world again with the adventures of Superman when he was known as Superboy. The same people who produced the Superman movies with Christopher Reeve produced this TV series so it looked pretty good. In the series Clark (Superboy) Kent, played by John Haymes Newton, was a journalism major at Shuster University. Also, attending was his high school girlfriend Lana Lang who was played by Stacy Haiduk. Also, hanging around on his way to being a criminal genius was Lex Luthor played by Scott Wells.
In 1989 at the beginning of the second season there were some cast changes. During the hiatus John Haymes Newton was stopped by police and found him under the influence of either drugs or alcohol (I forget which one right now.) I heard that he tried to play the star treatment by repeatedly asking the police “DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM?” Wanting to nip any future problems in the bud the producers quickly recast the Superboy part with Gerard Christopher who stayed with the series till the end. Officially I have read that John Haymes Newton quit in a contract dispute. Scott Wells had played Luthor as a 19 year old genius in the first year. The second season the part was recast with an older actor, Sherman Howard. It was explained that Luthor had undergone surgery that made him look older so he could be hidden from his arch-enemy Superboy. Where in the Adventures of Superman he only fought bank robbers, in Superboy the villains kept more in line with the comic book. On Superboy he fought aliens, vampires and even Mr. Mxyzptlk who was in the comic books. In 1990, I suppose in honor of the George Reeves series, the show changed its name to The Adventures of Superboy. Lana and Clark had now graduated and in a departure from the comic book instead of working for the Daily Planet they worked as Government Agents. This enabled them to come into contact with even more strange villains.
The series ended its run in 1991. A few years later when they were casting for Lois and Clark the New Adventures of Superman, Gerard Christopher tried out for the part of Clark. He almost got it till the producers found out that he had already played the part in The Adventures of Superboy. I guess they didn’t want anyone thinking that Lois and Clark was a spin-off of the show. I would say that Mr. Christopher was lucky as it may have typed cast him. However, when was the last time that you saw Gerard Christopher on TV or in the movies? I don’t mean that to be cruel. I met Mr. Christopher when he was in town for a convention. He was very nice man and if he is reading this I hope he isn’t offended.
For fans of the series or if you are curious what the series was like you can click on the Amazon link on the left to order the DVD set of season one. The photo of the comic book above is from this site. Posted by Picasa

Forgotten hits new series is starting!

We are about to kick off a brand new TRIPLE Series here in FORGOTTEN HITS ... and, mark my words, you will clearly sense my displeasure and disappointment during the first phase of this new series. That's because in order to qualify songs for our up-coming FAVORITE FORGOTTEN B-SIDES SERIES we first had to determine which songs could NOT be on that list ... and, in order to do THAT, we had to first determine THE BIGGEST TWO-SIDED HITS OF ALL TIME ... and, as you'll see throughout this series, I've done nothing to hide my disappointment with some of these results. That's because some of the songs that made the list are SO undeserving of this honor when weighed against songs that did NOT make the list ... many of which constitute a virtual "Who's Who" list of great music that we all know and love. Unfortunately, because of their original chart positions, some GREAT music was left off the list while some songs that barely even qualify as FORGOTTEN HITS ... more like "Complete Unknowns" ... are prominently ranked in THE TOP 200. No matter how many times I tried to rework the list, the results came out the same ... fact is, (and these results pretty much prove it), some of us older folks (and / or many of our parents) were simply buying some REALLY crappy records back in the late '50's and early '60's!!! Now part of that just may be the fact that the selection of really GOOD music simply wasn't available at the time ... FAR more TWO-SIDED HITS occurred during the years 1955-1963 than any period thereafter ... when radio regularly played both sides of a record by a "name" artist. This frustration just grew and grew ... I rewrote the first four chapters of this series four or five times each ... before I finally just resigned myself to the fact that I would NEVER get this series off the ground if I didn't just give in to the statistical facts. After all, the point of the FAVORITE, FORGOTTEN B-SIDES SERIES was to introduce the list to some songs they may have never heard before ... might as well do that with THE TOP 200 TWO-SIDED HITS OF ALL TIME, too ... and, as long as I was able to offer "honorable mention" to some of the great music that was left off the list, I decided to proceed with an accurate countdown. (My only other choice was to call the list MY PERSONAL FAVORITE TWO-SIDED HITS ... and that simply wouldn't be a fair or accurate representation of music history ... no matter HOW distorted REALITY may seem once you see the final list!!! Or once again poll our audience ... and make it a list of "Fan Favorites" ... but we'd already announced that tactic for our FAVORITE, FORGOTTEN B-SIDES Series.) No, the ONLY way to do this right was to present a historically accurate list, ranked by the records' original chart performances themselves. So ... without further adieu ... and with a whole lot of disgruntled mumbling, kicking and screaming ... we FIRST present THE TOP 200 TWO-SIDED HITS OF ALL TIME. This series will be followed (FINALLY!!!) by our exclusive interview with PETER NOONE of HERMAN'S HERMITS. (I talked to PETER several times over a two month period right at the end of last year and into early January ... actually, it ties in perfectly as the "bridge" between our two new "bookmark" series as HERMAN'S HERMITS recorded some of the GREATEST B-SIDES I've ever heard ... yet only one (NO MILK TODAY) ever made the pop charts. This will be your chance to hear some of these FAVORITE, FORGOTTEN B-SIDES that I grew up enjoying ... and also get to know the REAL PETER NOONE. (And, in keeping with the overall "difficult" tone of putting this whole series together, let me tell you that this was the TOUGHEST interview I've ever done ... some questions were asked five or six times and STILL ignored ... many other times, despite whatever the subject matter may have been at hand, NOONE used this public forum as an opportunity to do some ALLEN KLEIN bashing ... questions and answers were often lost back and forth in transit ... and, on more than one occasion, obvious boredom had set in: PETER NOONE: "I didn't know you were going to be writing a book." (LOL) In any event, our interview with PETER NOONE will take us into our ALL-TIME FAVORITE, FORGOTTEN B-SIDES SERIES, with literally HUNDREDS of songs nominated by our FORGOTTEN HITS list members. So, sit back, relax and enjoy some GREAT new music ... some vaguely familiar, some mostly forgotten, and some never before heard ... this one's gonna take a while!!! (And it all kicks off tomorrow in FORGOTTEN HITS!)
P.S. If you know someone who would enjoy reading any of these new series that we have planned, have them contact me right away so that I can get them on-board before we get too far into it!!!P.P.S. One final plea ... if you're STILL not enjoying FORGOTTEN HITS WITH the music, this really would be the time to switch over. We will be featuring SO many songs over the next several months ... many of which I'm quite confident that you've never heard before ... that you'll truly be missing out on a lot without the capability to listen along as we go. (Besides, how ya gonna vote if you don't know what the songs sound like?!?!?) So, if there is ANOTHER email address that might be better-suited to this format, please let me know THAT right away as well. The success of our B-SIDES Series is directly dependent on your audience participation ... so let's make this a good one!!! (C'mon Guys ... I've been working on this for over six months now ... and want to see some of your responses!!!) Lemme know!!!

If you don't subscribe to their e-mail you can write them at Tell then that you got if from On My Mind's website. Posted by Picasa


Here is news for all fans of the show Riptide and Joe Penny, Perry King and Thom Bray. It is coming soon to DVD in September. Go to this website to learn more on the exact date. If you want to pre-order it you can click on the Amazon link on the left and pre-order it from Amazon. If you do that then this site gets a bit of the commission. Thanks in advance. Posted by Picasa

Monday, July 17, 2006

The Flash

This is the show that should have been a huge hit for DC Comics. The Flash starring John Wesley Shipp as Barry Allen ran from September 20, 1990 to July 19, 1991 on CBS. The special effects were top notch. As well as the acting, writing and directing. So what happened? My guess is that it was too expensive for them to produce given the special effects that it took to make it seem that the Flash was running at super speed. The 2 hour pilot looked good enough that it could have been release to movie theaters. It was one of the most expensive pilots ever made for television. In the pilot just as in the comic book mild mannered police scientist Barry Allen is working late in his Central City Police Dept. crime lab when a bolt of lightning smashes through and causes him to be soaked in chemicals. The chemicals cause his metabolism to speed up and he is able to run faster then the speed of light. He is so fast he is invisible to the naked eye. In the series Barry is single and not dating anyone. In the comic book he was dating Iris West who he later married. At first he tried to return to normal with the help of fellow scientist Tina McGee played by Amanda Pays. Later he decides if he can’t become normal again then he will use his powers to fight crime. Tina helps him and is the only one who knows that Barry is the Flash.
At first in the series the other characters in the show treat the Flash as an urban myth. As the show went on he started helping the police in a more public manner. Some officials didn’t like the help of a super powered vigilante but they usually were shown to be corrupt individuals. The writers of the series were either comic book fans or they really did their homework. There were many inside jokes like a character telling they were going to the Infantino Building on Fox Street. Infantino and Fox were two names of comic book creators who had worked on the comic book for awhile. As the series went on you could see the cost cutting moves that were made in the special effects. Near the end of the series Flash was rarely see running. He was usually only shown starting to run of slowing down to a stop. In one way it brought back the feeling that Batman had when it was on. It used the same villains from the comic book and got famous guest villains like David Cassidy as Mirror Master and Mark Hamill as the Trickster. In many ways this is the closest that any TV series has come to producing a show that looked like book that it was based on. In the end the show lasted 10 months and that was most likely to get out of it the money that was put into it. I don’t believe it was a ratings disaster. I think that it was canceled because of economics. John Wesley Shipp seemed doomed to be typecast thanks to that red suit. Thankfully he was cast as Dawson’s Dad in the hit show Dawson’s Creek. The Flash series also marked the last screen appearance of Robert Shayne who had played Inspector Henderson in the Adventures of Superman in the 1950’s. He was a blind newspaper sales men on the street corner who knew Barry Allen and would give him information that he could use as The Flash. Since Superman and Batman made successful transitions from TV to the movies and Wonder Woman looks like she will too, I hope they will do the same for The Flash.
The above TV Guide cover was used as that is the only one that the Flash was on. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, July 16, 2006

A Prayer To Ask Christ Into Your Heart

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever, believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved.John 3:16 and 17king james version
If you know in your heart that you need Jesus Christ in your life. Then pray this simple prayer.
Dear God,
I know that I am a sinner and need forgiveness. I believe that Jesus Christ shed His precious blood and died for my sin. I am willing to turn from sin. I invite Christ into my heart and life as my personal Saviour. Amen!
If you have done this then you now need to find a Bible believing and preaching church. The links section at the right or below depending on your browser has links to some local churches in my area. You can e-mail them if they are not in your area. They may be able to help you find one in your area. Posted by Picasa

Jerry Lewis Talk show

I was just searching the net and on my recent favorite site TV I read that in 1983 Jerry did 5 pilot episodes for a nightly talk show in 1983. They didn't say if the episodes were aired. To the best of my knowledge they were not. The guest were Frank Sinatra, Carol Burnett and William Shatner. The shows had to be entertaining on some level so I wonder why it didn't work out. This was not his first attempt at a TV series. In fact I think it was his fourth attempt at a live series. He did meet with some success in 1970 when his likeness was used on a Saturday morning series that I hope one day they will release on DVD.
His first attempt was most of his attempts have been of the talk show format. In 1963 ABC aired the 2 hour long Jerry Lewis Show from Sept. 21, 1963 to December 21, 1963. His guest were people like Jack Jones, Harry James, Kay Stevens and Sammy Davis Jr. ABC gave $8,000,000 to produce the show. A huge sum even by today's cost. The show got bad reviews and low ratings. ABC president flew from New York to the West Coast and met with Mr. Lewis and his writers to talk about ways to improve the show. The next few did improve but the ratings did not. The show was canceled. Most of the shows time slot went to The Hollywood Palace and that show ran for 6 years.
He did another talk show that ran on NBC from September 1967 to May 1969. The guest was for geared more to a youthful audience by booking young singers of the day and he preformed his many character like the Poor Soul and the Nutty Professor. The first season the segments were taped seperately and edited together. The second season the show was filmed entirely in front of live audience. After this he never ventured to do TV again until his 1983 attempt. Mr. Lewis fared better with his movies, plays and Telethons. Mr. Lewis and his friends personalities are just too big to be contained on the TV screen. Posted by Picasa

Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman is the TV series that officially made DC Comics into a TV mogul. It took it’s time in coming to series. In 1974 it was a made for TV movie with Cathy Lee Crosby in the title role. Now she was pretty and very good in the part but it she didn’t look like the book character. Also, it was set in modern times and she hardly ever wore the superhero costume and when she did it didn’t look like the one in the comic book. It looked more like something that an Olympic athlete would wear. It must not have done well in the ratings as it was not rushed into being a series. Of course it didn’t stop them. They did a series of specials by taking it back to the original model. In an interview I read back then, perhaps in the TV Guide issue shown above, network executives said that they wanted to cast someone in the series that could be tough and still feminine. One executive was heard to have said “Great we’re going to cross Godzilla with a dandelion.” Who they cast was Lynda Carter. She looked closer to the comic book version, so close you would have thought that Charles Moulton had her in mind when he created Wonder Woman. They also set the series back in the days of World War II when the comic book series had begun. Also, cast in the part of Steve Trevor was former Carol Burnett show straight man Lyle Waggoner. Like Batman this series had a campy attitude to it but took itself a little bit more serious. Like the Adventures of Superman there was rarely a time when she fought any super powered villains. Usually she fought Nazi spies but on some occasions she did fight super powered aliens.
It didn’t start out as a series. It was first a series of movie specials. On December 18, 1976 it aired on ABC on Saturday at 8pm as a TV series. The ratings for the show were pretty good. Among my circle of friends and relatives who were young teenage history buffs it was a must see since it combined the beautiful Lynda Carter and the WWII atmosphere. Ratings must not have been as good as ABC hoped because the show was not on the air in February and March. It returned in May and ran till July of 1977 on ABC and was canceled. In September of 1977 it returned to the air but on CBS on Friday nights at 8pm. With the new network changes were made. It was set in modern times. Wonder Woman worked for the Government when it was on ABC and she still did when I was on CBS. Lyle Waggoner still played Steve Trevor but he was now Steve Trevor Jr. the son of the Steve Trevor that Wonder Woman knew in the 1940’s. As an Amazon she aged a lot slower then we mere mortals so she looked as young as she did back then. Now ratings must have improved with the changes as it lasted longer on the air. However, the stories seemed even more campy then they were a few months ago. Two things made this complete. First was she had a talking computer named I.R.A. A talking computer was science fiction way back then. Second was that when on ABC Wonder Woman, when dressed as Yeoman Diana Prince, had the thin disguise of wearing glasses. Here on CBS, the tiffany network, she didn’t wear them as Diana Prince. Yet still no one knew she was Wonder Woman. The woman wasn’t even trying to hide it now. Just how smart were these government agents anyway. As you can tell by now I quit watching when it was on CBS. I don’t know many people who did continue to watch but a lot more must have. On ABC the run of the show is measured in months. On CBS it is measured in years. It was on CBS from September 1977 till September 11, 1979. The show made a star out of Lynda Carter. While she never had another hit series she made a good living in the made for TV movies for years. She still appears from time to time as I recently saw her in a movie on the SCI-FI network. After the series Lyle Waggoner eventually found his way to making a living selling mobile homes to studios as dressing rooms for the stars of TV shows and movies.
The above TV Guide is one that I remember delivering to local customers back in the 1970's. It was near the end of my "career" with that company. I kept a copy for years but eventually lost it. It brought back some nice memories when I saw this cover again. Posted by Picasa