February 9, 2015

What's on TV? February 11, 1981

This week we're back in the Twin Cities, back in the '80s.  It is, all in all, a fairly unremarkable day in the midst of the sweeps weeks, with the three-hour conclusion of East of Eden and the sensationalist movie A Gun in the House, which I hope you read about in my Saturday report.  So let's get started, and what better way to kick things off than with a 6:15am broadcast of Domestic and International Conflict?  Great way to get the day started, don't you think?  Ought to put us in a fine mood!





KTCA, Channel 2 (PBS)

Morning


06:15a
Domestic and International Conflict

06:45a
A.M. Weather

07:00a
Children of the 21st Century

07:30a
Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood

08:00a
Sesame Street

09:00a
The Electric Company

09:30a
New Voice

10:00a
3-2-1 Contact

10:30a
The Electric Company

11:00a
Up and Coming

11:30a
Sesame Street

Afternoon


12:30p
Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood

01:00p
Dick Cavett (guest Anthony Burgess)

01:30p
Over Easy (guest Yul Brynner)

02:00p
Masterpiece Theatre – “Danger UXB, Part 6”

03:00p
Crockett’s Victory Garden

03:30p
Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood

04:00p
Sesame Street

05:00p
The Electric Company

05:30p
3-2-1 Contact

Evening


06:00p
Over Easy (guest Jessica Mitford)

06:30p
The MacNeil/Lehrer Report

07:00p
Sportsline with Jim Klobuchar

07:30p
Dick Cavett (guest Dame Janet Baker)

08:00p
National Geographic

09:00p
Musical Comedy Tonight II

10:30p
Non Fiction Television

11:30p
Happy Birthday, Martin Luther King

12:30a
Sportsline with Jim Klobuchar

Here, you can really see the shift from the programming KTCA offered back in the '60s and early '70s.  Whereas the school hours used to be dominated by classroom programming, today we have the "new" kind of educational shows, many of them run over and over.  Afternoons are filled with repeats of earlier prime-time broadcasts, and the evenings are made up of documentaries and entertainment shows.  Not saying it's bad, just different.


WCCO, Channel 4 (CBS)

Morning


06:00a
CBS Morning News (Charles Kuralt)

07:00a
News (local)

07:30a
Alice

08:00a
Phil Donahue (guests from the Jewish Defense League)

09:00a
Hour Magazine

10:00a
The Price is Right

11:00a
The Young and the Restless

Afternoon


12:00p
Midday (local news)

12:30p
Search for Tomorrow

01:00p
As the World Turns

02:00p
The Guiding Light

03:00p
The Joker’s Wild

03:30p
John Davidson (guests Johnny Mathis, Jack Klugman, Ann Jillian)

05:00p
News (local)

05:30p
CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite

Evening


06:00p
News (local)

06:30p
PM Magazine

07:00p
Enos

08:00p
Movie – “A Gun in the House” (parental discretion advised)

10:00p
News (local)

10:30p
Carol Burnett and Friends

11:00p
Movie – “Hitler’s Gold”

01:15a
News (local)

01:45a
News (local)

04:00a
News (local)

Does anyone really remember John Davidson's show?  He was hired by Group W as the replacement for Mike Douglas, who was probably skewing to the wrong demographic by this time.  Of course, Mike went out and got his own syndicated deal, and stayed on the air.  I don't know that Davidson ever caught on.  Of course, since he was fresh-faced and wholesome, I never liked him.  Thought he smiled way too much.


KSTP, Channel 5 (ABC)

Morning


06:00a
Country Day

06:30a
News (local)

07:00a
Good Morning America (guests Alan and Marilyn Bergman)

09:00a
Twin Cities Today

10:00a
The Love Boat

11:00a
Family Feud

11:30a
Ryan’s Hope

Afternoon


12:00p
All My Children

01:00p
One Life to Live

02:00p
General Hospital

03:00p
Match Game (panelists Susan Howard, Gary Burghoff, David Doyle, Charles Nelson Reilly, Brett Somers, Marcia Wallace)

03:30p
ABC Afterschool Special (special)

04:30p
Happy Days Again

05:00p
News (local)

05:30p
ABC World News Tonight (Frank Reynolds)

Evening


06:00p
News (local)

06:30p
Tic Tac Dough

07:00p
East of Eden (conclusion) (parental discretion advised)

10:00p
News (local)

10:30p
Nightline (Ted Koppel)

11:00p
The Love Boat

12:10a
Police Woman

01:20a
Don Lane (guests Mark Wilson, Del Shannon, Ralph McTeil)

02:20a
The Little Rascals (B&W)

02:50a
Movie – “Four Desperate Men” (B&W)

05:00a
To Be Announced

Tonight it's the dramatic, three-hour conclusion of East of Eden.  I don't really know much about Don Lane, who has the 1:20am talk show, other than what I read on the always-reliable Wikipedia.  I'll bet our friend Andrew in Australia might know about him, though.


KMSP, Channel 9 (Ind.)

Morning


06:00a
7oo Club

07:00a
Fred Flintstone& Friends

07:30a
The Great Space Coaster

08:00a
Kroft Superstars

08:30a
Rocky & Friends

09:00a
Candid Camera

09:30a
Dick Van Dyke (B&W)

10:00a
Merv Griffin (guests Andy Gibb, Cliff Richard, Lonnie Shore, Danielle Brisebois)

11:30a
Mike Douglas (co-host Jeanne Cooper, guests Gil Gerard, LaWanda Page, Pat Cooper, Michael Levine)

Afternoon


01:00p
$50,000 Pyramid

01:30p
Let’s Make a Deal

02:00p
You Bet Your Life

02:30p
The Hollywood Squares

03:00p
Casper

03:30p
Popeye

04:00p
Scooby-Do

04:30p
Gilligan’s Island

05:00p
The Brady Bunch

05:30p
Good Times

Evening


06:00p
Barney Miller

06:30p
All in the Family

07:00p
Gunsmoke

08:00p
Toni Tennille (guests Tom Wopat, the Lou Ferrignos, Tom Dressen, Linda Hopkins)

09:00p
World of People

09:30p
News (local)

10:00p
Rhoda

10:30p
The Rockford Files

11:40p
Kojak

12:50a
Face the Music

01:20a
News (local)

So this is the top-rated independent station in the nation.  It really does play a lot like WTCN did in the '60s and '70s; what you don't see here is the sports programming that Channel 9 has, with North Stars hockey and University of Minnesota basketball.  I remember in the '70s, though, that Channel 11 had Merv Griffin on in the 8pm timeslot; I think he plays much better than Toni Tennille.


WTCN, Channel 11 (NBC)

Morning


05:30a
What’s New?

06:00a
Jim Bakker

07:00a
Today (guest Paul Newman)

09:00a
Las Vegas Gambit

10:00a
Wheel of Fortune

10:30a
Password Plus (guests Gene Rayburn, Wink Martindale)

11:00a
To Tell the Truth

11:30a
The Doctors

Afternoon


12:00p
Days of Our Lives

01:00p
Another World

02:00p
Texas

03:00p
My Three Sons

03:30p
Welcome Back, Kotter

04:00p
Chico and the Man

04:30p
M*A*S*H

05:00p
M*A*S*H

05:30p
News (local)

Evening


06:00p
NBC Nightly News (John Chancellor)

06:30p
Family Feud

07:00p
Real People

08:00p
Bob Hope (guests Barbara Mandrell, Cathy Lee Crosby, Charlene Tilton, Phyllis Diller, Dr. Joyce Brothers) (special)

09:00p
Quincy, M.E.

10:00p
News (local)

10:30p
Tonight (guests Charles Grodin, Loretta Lynn)

11:30p
Tomorrow Coast-to-Coast (guests Paul Williams, Wayland Flowers and Madame)

01:00a
Mary Tyler Moore

Tomorrow Coast-to-Coast: does anyone remember that?  Tom Snyder's original Tomorrow show was frequently great and almost always interesting in it's one-hour format, but then they brought in Rona Barrett and expanded the show to 90 minutes to make up for the lost half-hour when Carson cut back Tonight.  What a disaster.  I prefer not to think about it.


KTCI, Channel 17 (PBS)

Afternoon


05:30p
Villa Alegre

Evening


06:00p
Domestic and International Conflict

06:30p
Dick Cavett

07:00p
Soccer Made in Germany

08:00p
The MacNeil/Lehrer Report

08:30p
Over Easy

09:00p
National Geographic

10:00p
Dick Cavett

10:30p
World News Tonight (closed-captioned)


Channel 17 is the secondary PBS station in the Twin Cities, and as you can see, it's mostly reruns of Channel 2's shows (on a different night).  This station has struggled for its own identity, going back-and-forth between this kind of format and one in which the station has all-original ones, with many of the PBS shows that Channel 2 didn't pick up.  I loved Soccer Made in Germany, though - my first introduction to the Bundesliga (and Bayren Munich), and who did it better back then than Toby Charles?

7 comments:

  1. I agree with you on John Davidson and "Tomorrow". Davidson is one of those performers who keeps getting jobs even though he has no real fanbase. He's an example of what Hollywood "thinks" people want on their TVs. And seeing the intimate interviews of "Tomorrow" turned into your typical hooting and hollering studio audience show was so depressing.
    Love all the sitcoms, both in their variety (when's the last time you saw "Chico and the Man" or "Rhoda"?) and in their time sweep. I mean "Alice" airs at 7:30 am!

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  2. One of my favorite Quincy M.E.'s from the "social issue" years was the one that aired this night: "Scream to the Skies"; some really hilarious Superhero Quincy stuff in the opening 15 minutes.

    Chico and the Man really needs to be a little better known these days.

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  3. My gosh, what an absolute trip it is to see this schedule! It may be from 35 years ago, but looking back at it, it seems like only a decade ago instead.

    I was a big fan of watching The Dick Cavett Show on PBS and many of the National Geographic episodes as that series was huge for PBS before cable came into existence.

    I would have the TV on at breakfast and have one eye glued to Charles Kuralt for 'Morning' and then later when Bill Carlson did 'The Morning Report', just before I had to head out the door. If I recall correctly, I think what got WCCO involved in a local morning newscast was around 1978 or 79, there was a fairly long strike at the Minneapolis Star/Tribune and a few days into it, they began this new morning 30 minute newscast. I tried looking on Google for exact details, but came up empty handed. My day wasn't finished until I had a chance to watch Carol Burnett & Friends.

    Our house wasn't much for watching KSTP/ABC. My Dad would get home from his 2nd shift job in time for a cup of coffee and something small to eat with my Mom and they never missed Nightline. I would catch a few promos for the Don Lane Show, as always, voiced by the late Jimmy Valentine who was one of KSTP's announcers who had an incredibly distinctive voice and speech pattern. Never got to see an episode of it, but it looked like alot of fun and because it was an import, it seemed like something so exciting. My Dad and I always stayed up on Saturday nights at 10:30 to catch The Benny Hill Show, when KSTP aired it. I'll catch bits of shows on YouTube and I still laugh like hell at what I watch.

    As a kid, I watched alot of KMSP for the reruns of shows I never caught before or just because they had a favorite series of mine and I could watch it again. It was a rare treat to be home on a day off from school and be able to catch a late 1950's kinescope film of Groucho Marx doing 'You Bet Your Life'. He was still funny without Chico, Zeppo, Gummo and Harpo.

    We also were not big WTCN/NBC watchers. Only thing I recall sometimes watching was Tom Snyder on 'Tomorrow', depending on his guests. I was a very crafty and quiet kid to avoid being detected by my folks in order to be up that late and watch it. Metromedia still owned the station then and it really showed in their news programs.....almost no budget to speak of and very cheaply done in terms of production, graphics, news helicopter, etc... Nothing would change until Gannett bought it in 1983.


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  4. I needed some extra time to check my references - I don't have this particular issue.

    Some researched notes, as they presented themselves:

    - Your PBS stations were no more respectful of the network's schedule than the ones we have in Chicago were (or are, comes to that).

    - The local network affiliates did quite a bit of scrambling of their daytime slates:

    Ch4 (CBS) used Hour Magazine in place of reruns of The Jeffersons and Alice (the latter delayed to 7:30 the next AM), and Joker's Wild in place of One Day At A Time
    reruns.

    Ch5 (ABC), as noted in another past post, bypassed Edge Of Night in favor of Match Game. Their loss - Edge was really good at this point; Henry Slesar was coming to the end of his tenure as head writer along about now, and his last few stories were among his best.

    Ch11 (NBC) seems to be missing two games, Blockbusters and Card Sharks.
    I say 'seems to be" because Blockbusters is supposed to go in between Las Vegas Gambit and Wheel Of Fortune at 9:30 (I'm pretty sure Gambit wasn't an hour).

    - For the record, the regular Wednesday night lineup on ABC was:
    7:00 : Eight Is Enough at the end of its run.
    8:00 : Aloha Paradise, an Aaron Spelling self-knockoff with Debbie Reynolds running a Hawaiian resort hotel.
    9:00 : Vegas, winding down; Dynasty started up that spring.

    - The Bob Hope special preempted Different Strokes and The Facts Of Life.
    Give the choice, I would have preempted Real People, which holds a high position on my all-time most-hated list.
    But hey, that's me ...

    - In Chicago, The Don Lane Show aired nightly in prime time on ch32 (9:00 pm).
    I remember liking this show a lot; Don Lane, a New Yorker, and his on-stage sidekick Bert Newton, a native Aussie, were huge boosters for "Oz", showcasing local stars like Diana Trask alongside of visiting artists from GB and US as well.
    During the US syndication run, Bert Newton won a "Gold Logie", the biggest award in Australian TV. Don Lane threw the whole show to Newton, who spoke quite eloquently about Australia's emerging role in the world's entertainment.
    The Don Lane Show didn't catch on in US syndication as much as the Nine Network hoped it would, which is kind of a shame; as I said before, I really enjoyed it.
    Oh well ...

    Now the moment of truth - does this one go through, or not?

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    Replies
    1. You got it! Congratulations! :)

      Delete
    2. (eeep my comment got vacuumed up as well! So here goes again...)

      Mike I'm suitably impressed with your knowledge of things Australian TV and The Don Lane Show.

      The show was hugely popular and like you say certainly brought a touch of Hollywood and British showbiz down under with lots of interviews and performances of overseas artists. Improvements in satellites also led to the show being one of the first in Australia to take advantage and do lots of live via satellite interviews. It must have cost a pretty penny but I'm sure it was worth it when the ratings numbers would come out.

      Sammy Davis Jnr was also a fan of the show and apparently while touring Australia, on one night he made a surprise visit to Don while the show was in progress.

      The Don Lane Show wrapped up in 1983 and while Australia has various other 'tonight' shows since then (including Lane's short-lived Late Night Australia in 1988) I don't think any have matched the success of The Don Lane Show. The success of the show led to a DVD release of highlights a few years ago.

      I hope you don't mind me posting a link Mitchell but here is the obituary I wrote after Don Lane's passing in 2009: http://televisionau.com/2009/10/don-lane.html

      Delete
  5. I agree with you about John Davidson. I never liked him, he always seemed so... smarmy too me. This post and your comments reminded me of what may be the only time I made a point to watch Davidson's show. Sometime in 1980 I'd heard that Ringo was to be one of his guest's. I remember that Ringo and wife Barbara Bach were on (plugging their movie "Caveman") and weren't too interested in being on this show. Davidson soon loses all control and can never get the former Beatle to answer any of his Beatle questions. For the heck of it, I just checked You Tube, and what do you know, here it is. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eer7hlOsFaE

    ReplyDelete

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