August 24, 2015

What's on TV: Monday, August 27, 1979

The new television season should be starting in just a couple of weeks, so if you can hang in there a little longer, you'll be rewarded with new, fresh shows, right?  Right?

At any rate, we're back to the Twin Cities this week, so let's look at how things have changed since last week's look, and how they remain the same.


KTCA, Channel 2 (PBS)

Morning


07:45a
A.M. Weather

08:00a
Sesame Street

09:00a
Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood

09:30a
The Electric Company

10:00a
Paint Along with Nancy Kominsky

10:30a
Turnabout

11:00a
Studio See

11:30a
Sesame Street

Afternoon


12:30p
Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood

01:00p
The Electric Company

01:30p
People and Causes

02:00p
Over Easy (guest Bobby Short)

02:30p
Dick Cavett (guest Oscar Peterson)

03:00p
Firing Line (guests Dorothy Fuldheim, Ben Stein)

04:00p
Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood

04:30p
Sesame Street

05:30p
The Electric Company

Evening


06:00p
Once Upon a Classic

06:30p
The MacNeil/Lehrer Report

07:00p
Dick Cavett (guest Stephen Spender)

07:30p
The Explorers

08:00p
Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood Special

09:00p
Bill Moyers’ Journal (guest Nes Ammin)

10:00p
Ripping Yarns

10:30p
Masterpiece Theatre (I, Claudius part 12)

11:30p
Poldark

Yes, the Ben Stein that appears on William F. Buckley Jr.'s Firing Line is the same Ben Stein who would later go on to host Win Ben Stein's Money.  Who would have guessed? Poldark and I, Claudius - two mainstays of '70s PBS.  And, some would argue, still two of the best that the network's had to offer.  By the way, note the Sesame Street broadcasts; did you see the story a week or two ago about the new episodes being broadcast first on HBO?  That would have been unthinkable back in 1979.


WCCO, Channel 4 (CBS)

Morning


06:00a
CBS News Monday Morning (Bob Schieffer)

07:00a
Allan’s Window

07:30a
Captain Kangaroo

08:00a
Phil Donahue (guest Bob Mackie)

09:00a
The Joker’s Wild

09:30a
Whew!

09:55a
CBS News

10:00a
The Price is Right

11:00a
The Young and the Restless

11:30a
Search for Tomorrow

Afternoon


12:00p
Midday

12:30p
As the World Turns

01:30p
The Guiding Light

02:30p
M*A*S*H

03:00p
The Joker’s Wild

03:30p
Mike Douglas (co-host Carroll O’Connor, guests Gary Coleman, Linda Clifford, Ali MacGraw)

05:00p
News (local)

05:30p
CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite

Evening


06:00p
News (local)

06:30p
Family Feud

07:00p
The White Shadow

08:00p
M*A*S*H

08:30p
WKRP in Cincinnati

09:00p
Lou Grant

10:00p
News (local)

10:30p
Marcus Welby, M.D.

11:30p
Bonanza

12:30a
News (local)

01:00a
Phil Donahue (guest Bob Mackie)

02:00a
News (local)

04:00a
News (local)

For regular readers of the Twin Cities listings, you'll notice a couple of things about the morning schedule.  First, most of the kids' shows are gone: Siegfried, Clancy & Willie, Carmen.  The sole remaining local show is Allan's Window, which is hosted by Allan Lotsberg, who played Willie Ketchum on Clancy.  Network-wise, Captain Kangaroo has also been cut back, to 30 minutes. Second, Dr. Reuben K. Youngdahl's five-minute daily religion program is also gone, replaced by Phil Donahue and The Joker's Wild.  I'd call that a trade-down. 


KSTP, Channel 5 (ABC)

Morning


06:00a
News (local)

06:20a
Country Day

07:00a
Good Morning America (guest Dizzy Gillespie)

09:00a
Twin Cities Today (guest Frank Blair)

10:00a
Laverne & Shirley

10:30a
Family Feud

11:00a
The $20,000 Pyramid (guests Robert Walden, Susan Lucci)

11:30a
Ryan’s Hope

Afternoon


12:00p
All My Children

01:00p
One Life to Live

02:00p
General Hospital

03:00p
Movie – “Duel in the Sun” (B&W)

05:00p
Hogan’s Heroes

05:30p
ABC World News Tonight (Reynolds/Robinson/Jennings)

Evening


06:00p
News (local)

06:30p
Just for Kicks

07:00p
Monday Night Baseball (Teams TBD)

10:00p
News (local)

10:30p
Police Story

12:40a
News (local)

01:10a
Doctor Who

01:40a
Thrillseekers

02:10a
Movie – “If I Were King” (B&W)

05:00a
To Be Announced

Twin Cities Today, which still survives in some iteration or other, is a local talk show that features appearances by national guests.  Today, for example, it's former Today newscaster Frank Blair.  Of interest to me is the 1:10am broadcast of Doctor Who, one of the few examples of a non-PBS broadcast of the show.  I think Channel 5 only ran through the Tom Baker episodes; the show wouldn't really take off in the Twin Cities until a few years later, when it ran on Saturday nights on Channel 2.


KMSP, Channel 9 (Ind.)

Morning


06:00a
700 Club

07:00a
Underdog

07:30a
Bullwinkle

08:00a
Popeye

08:30a
The Archies

09:00a
Dinah! (guests Burt Bacharach; Casey Kasem; Linda Clifford; Emmylou Harris; McGuinn, Clark and Hillman; Ricky Skaggs)

10:00a
Medical Center

11:00a
Perry Mason (B&W)

Afternoon


12:00p
Noon on Nine

12:30p
The Best of Groucho (B&W)

01:00p
The Bold Ones (The New Doctors)

02:00p
The Streets of San Francisco

03:00p
Casper the Friendly Ghost

03:30p
Krofft Superstars

04:00p
The Munsters

04:30p
Gilligan’s Island (B&W)

05:00p
The Brady Bunch

05:30p
Dick Van Dyke (B&W)

Evening


06:00p
Tic Tac Dough

06:30p
The Hollywood Squares (Martin Mull, Susan Ford, Mel Tillis, Stella Stevens, Candy Clark, Eileen Brennan, Wayland and Madame, George Gobel, Paul Lynde)

07:00p
Gunsmoke

08:00p
Dinah! (guests Andy Griffith, Suzanne Pleshette, Ken Murray, Dale Bard, Dennis Overstreet)

09:30p
News (local)

10:00p
Maude

10:30p
The Rockford Files

11:40p
Movie – “Sunday in New York”

01:30a
News (local)

Channel 9's programming is virtually a who's who of who was big on television in the late '70s - Martin Mull, Wayland and Madame, Mel Tillis, Suzanne Pleshette, Casey Kasem.  Screams '70s, both good and bad, doesn't it?


WTCN, Channel 11 (NBC)

Morning


06:00a
PTL Club

07:00a
Today (guest John Connally)

09:00a
Card Sharks

09:30a
The Hollywood Squares (guests Scott Baio, Dr. Joyce Brothers, George Gobel, Linda Gray, Mariette Hartley, Pamela Hensley, David Letterman, Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr., Dick Van Patten)

10:00a
High Rollers

10:30a
Wheel of Fortune

11:00a
Mindreaders (guests Barbara Rhoades, Joe Santos)

11:30a
Password (guests Greg Morris, Loretta Swit)

Afternoon


12:00p
Days of Our Lives

01:00p
The Doctors

01:30p
Another World

03:00p
Merv Griffin (guests Hermoine Gingold, Tovah Feldshuh, Roger Voudouris, Jason Serinus)

04:00p
At the Fair ‘79

05:30p
NBC Nightly News (Chancellor/Brinkley)

Evening


06:00p
News (local)

06:30p
State Fair Highlights

07:00p
Little House on the Prairie

08:00p
Movie – To Kill a Cop, Part 1

10:00p
News (local)

10:30p
The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (guests Goldie Hawn, Buck Henry, Dennis Dugan)

12:00a
The Tomorrow Show (guests Wendy and Michael Lusa)

01:00a
Bewitched

01:30a
That Girl

02:00a
The Dating Game

02:30a
Gomer Pyle, USMC

03:00a
The Lucy Show

03:30a
The Gong Show

04:00a
Loner

04:30a
Childrens’ Letters to God

05:00a
What’s New?

The Minnesota State Fair opened the previous week, and Channel 11 has always been one of the stations that's provided Fair coverage.  I don't know if they do these stand-alone shows nowadays, or if it comes more from the local news broadcasts, which are all done live from the studio at the Fairgrounds, a practice followed by all Twin Cities local news broadcasts.


KTCI, Channel 17 (PBS)

Afternoon


05:30p
Villa Alegre

Evening


06:00p
Dick Cavett

06:30p
The MacNeil/Lehrer Report

07:00p
Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood

07:30p
The Electric Company

08:00p
The MacNeil/Lehrer Report

08:30p
Over Easy

09:00p
Firing Line

10:00p
Dick Cavett

10:30p
ABC World News Tonight for the Hearing Impaired


At this point Channel 17 is still a half-day station, broadcasting mostly yesterday's reruns from Channel 2.  I don't think Minnesota Public Television has ever quite figured out what to do with Channel 17; sometimes it's been a home for original PBS programming that Channel 2 doesn't have room for, while at other times it's as it is today, reruns of what you've seen earlier on the big station.

8 comments:

  1. The WTCN overnight lineup is fascinating; looks like a proto-Nick at Nite. How long did they air vintage sitcoms overnight, and was this practice fairly common for 24 hour stations at the time? You wonder what exactly "Loner" and "Children's Letters to God" are, since I've never seen them in a 70s listing before.

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  2. Regarding HBO & Sesame Street, television was so vastly different in 1979 with only 3 networks and some fledgling cable channels like HBO & ESPN, that I don't think anyone would ever have conceived of a move like what is now going to take place. The big 3 and PBS ruled the airwaves and cable was very much a novelty and didn't program anything of serious competition. I can see the move by Children's Television Workshop to HBO now simply because of that inescapable 5 letter word.....M-O-N-E-Y! If it can benefit CTW in producing more children's programming of the high quality that is found on Sesame Street, then God bless 'em! PBS will still retain their loyal viewers as HBO expands into new territory. HBO is really a top tier, high class network that has given the Big 3 more than a run for their money with excellent programming of all kinds and has the hardware to back it up.

    I still think to this day that The Phil Donahue Show was the best topical talk program on commercial TV. The best overall talk program was The David Susskind Show on PBS, with Dick Cavett's PBS show close behind.

    I can remember KSTP being the most adventurous in airing British programming during the late 1970's through the mid 1980's. I recall watching the Tom Baker episodes of Doctor Who, The World at War (the best documentary ever about WW2), The Benny Hill Show and there were even 2 Australian imports that they aired.....Prisoner: Cell Block H and The Don Lane Show (Australia's version of the Tonight Show). When two of the major networks began to program overnight news programs (CBS Nightwatch, NBC News Overnight), KSTP dropped the imported shows and went into overnight movies.

    Did Dinah Shore have two programs going on at the same time? I see the daytime show is 60 minutes and the evening show is 90 minutes. I couldn't find anything on websites which answered that question. If so, that was a lot of TV programming to pump out weekly!

    Any idea of whatever happened to former KMSP news anchor Tony Burden and sportscaster Dave Sheehan? I believe weathercaster Ernie Martz still lives here in the cities?

    Wow, WTCN programmed a total of 2 hours per day of State Fair related shows. I don't remember any of that, so I have no idea if they were good or not? I think the only station that does State Fair programming outside of the silly and watered down newscasts is KSTP with their Twin Cities Live talk/variety program. KMSP did some programming way back when they were an Independent station, but I don't think KSTP or WCCO did anything outside of their newscasts, with the possible exception being WCCO's Midday with Bill Carlson.

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    Replies
    1. In regards to "Dinah" those are just two different tapes of the same series. "Dinah" gave stations the option of airing hour long or full length episodes; "Merv Griffin" and "Mike Douglas" offered the same option. And since pre-satellite syndicated shows were "bicycled" (sent tapes/films around until all markets were reached) a station could just hold on to one of the tapes a little longer than usual.

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    2. Thanks for the information about that. I was aware that in pre-satellite days, kinescopes/films/videotapes were sent as you mentioned, but I wasn't aware that production companies would tailor shows for the option of different run time lengths.

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    3. IIRC during the state fair WCCO nowadays does a one hour show at 4 PM before the 5 PM newscast taking reruns of Ellen off the air during the period of the state fair. Until this past year(I think) WCCO did not do a show like this on labor day due to the fact that through 2014 CBS had the US Open Tennis Tournament and on Labor Day CBS would be showing tennis until 5 PM CT. That changed this year with ESPN getting the US Open contract.

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  3. To answer Scott's question; not much recent can be found about either Dave Sheehan or Tony Burden, but I'll try to mention something about them.

    Apparently Dave Sheehan went to Houston to work for a short time at then-independent (now FOX station) KRIV before dropping off the map.

    Burden was actually trying to rebuild his career by the time he got to the Twin Cities. Burden had previously been lead anchor and news director for the ABC affiliate in my area (Norfolk's WVEC) before being forced out after being busted for marijuana possession in the summer of 1977 (former ABC News correspondent Jim Kincaid replaced Burden and went on to become something of a local legend in the Tidewater/Hampton Roads {both terms get used almost interchangeably} news circles).

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    Replies
    1. Something is better than nothing! Much appreciated, Jacob!

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  4. I don't think CBS had yet cut back "Captain Kangaroo" to a half-hour, but WCCO may have decided against running the first half-hour of "Kangaroo" in favor of a local program.

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