October 21, 2019

What's on TV? Wednesday, October 21, 1981

As you all know by now, I don't venture into the TV Guides of the 1980s very often, but this week's listings offer the perfect opportunity to point out one of the major differences between today's TV and that of the past, even when we're only talking about 40 years ago. (And trust me, 1981 doesn't seem like it was that long ago, but you know what they say about time going by faster as you get older.) Back then, however long ago it was, there was only one network late-night talk show left: Carson had long since vanquished Bishop, Griffin and Cavett, driving the latter two to syndication and PBS, respectively. CBS made a go of it for a long time with their late night reruns and movies, although WCCO never showed them; ABC likewise followed Nightline with reruns, though I don't know if what we see were comes from the network or KSTP. Somehow it all seems much quieter, doesn't it? As for the morning shows, ABC's Good Morning America has taken on NBC's Today; CBS has its morning news, although WCCO never carried that, either. And, as I point out below, they don't even have a good substitute for it.

You're probably guessed that this week's listings are from the Twin Cities. And remember, comment approval may be slow this week while I'm on secret assignment.





 2  KTCA (PBS)

MORNING

     6:15
COLLEGE FOR WORKING ADULTS

     6:45
WEATHER

    7 AM
ISSUES IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE

     7:30
MISTER ROGERS—Children

    8 AM
SESAME STREET (CC)—Children

    9 AM
NOVA (CC)

  10 AM
WHY IN THE WORLD

   10:30
ELECTRIC COMPANY—Company

  11 AM
PEOPLE OF THE FIRST LIGHT (CC)—History
         
   11:30
SESAME STREET (CC)—Children

AFTERNOON

   12:30
MISTER ROGERS’ NEIGHBORHOOD—Children

    1 PM
DICK CAVETT
Guest: Sidney Lumet

     1:30
OVER EASY (CC)

    2 PM
MASTERPIECE THEATRE (CC)
“A Town Like Alice,” Part 3

    3 PM
VICTORY GARDEN—Thomson

     3:30
MISTER ROGERS—Children

    4 PM
SESAME STREET (CC)—Children

    5 PM
ELECTRIC COMPANY—Children

     5:30
STUDIO SEE—Children

EVENING

    6 PM
OVER EASY (CC)
Guest: Harriet Nelson

     6:30
MacNEIL, LEHRER REPORT

    7 PM
NIGHTTIMES: SPORTSLINE

     7:30
DICK CAVETT
Guest: Jacqueline Bisset

    8 PM
HUNTER AND THE HUNTED—Documentary
Special

    9 PM
WORLD—Documentary

  10 PM
BUTTERFLIES—Comedy

   10:30
OMEGA FACTOR—Drama

   11:20
SPY!—Drama

   12:20
NIGHTTIMES: SPORTSLINE

Hugh Downs' guest on the 6:00 p.m. version of Over Easy is Harriet Nelson, of Ozzie and Harriet fame, who talks with Hugh about her adjustments to widowhood; Ozzie had died in 1975.


 4  WCCO (CBS)

MORNING

    6 AM
MOVIE—Comedy BW 
“Loose in London” (1953)

    7 AM
NEWS

     7:30
CHARLIE ROSE
Guest: Sissy Spacek

    8 AM
PHIL DONAHUE

    9 AM
HOUR MAGAZINE
Guests: Phyllis George, Gregory Harrison

  10 AM
PRICE IS RIGHT—Game

  11 AM
YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS—Serial

AFTERNOON

   Noon
NOON REPORT

   12:30
AS THE WORLD TURNS—Serial

     1:30
SEARCH FOR TOMORROW

    2 PM
GUIDING LIGHT—Serial

    3 PM
JOKER’S WILD—Game

     3:30
JOHN DAVIDSON
Guests: Gary Coleman, Ricky Schroder, Missy Gold, Glenn Scarpelli, Larry Wilson, Marjabelle Stewart

    5 PM
NEWS

     5:30
CBS NEWS—Dan Rather

EVENING

    6 PM
NEWS

     6:30
PM MAGAZINE

    7 PM
MR. MERLIN—Comedy

     7:30
WKRP IN CINCINNATI

    8 PM
MOVIE—Drama
“A Few Days in Weasel Creek” (Made-for-TV; 1981)

  10 PM
NEWS

   10:30
CAROL BURNETT AND FRIENDS—Comedy

  11 PM
WKRP IN CINCINNATI

   11:35
MOVIE—Comedy-Drama
“The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings” (1976)

     1:45
NEWS

     1:55
MOVIE—Drama BW 
“Shadow of a Doubt” (1942)

     2:15
NEWS

    4 AM
NEWS

WCCO used to have quite a robust morning schedule: cartoons and local kids' shows, Captain Kangaroo, and the local news. A Bowery Boys movie, 30 minutes of news, and Charlie Rose interviews seems like a bit of a comedown, don't you think?


 5  KSTP (ABC)

MORNING

    6 AM
COUNTRY DAY—Gary Schendel

     6:30
NEWS

    7 AM
GOOD MORNING AMERICA—David Hartman

    9 AM
TWIN CITIES TODAY
Guests: The Lettermen, The Lockers

  10 AM
LOVE BOAT

  11 AM
FAMILY FEUD—Game
         
   11:30
RYAN’S HOPE—Serial

AFTERNOON

   Noon
ALL MY CHILDREN—Serial

    1 PM
ONE LIFE TO LIVE—Serial

    2 PM
GENERAL HOSPITAL—Serial

    3 PM
MATCH GAME
Dick Martin, Elaine Joyce, Richard Paul, McLean Stevenson, Brett Somers, Holly Hallstrom

     3:30
HERE’S LUCY—Comedy

    4 PM
HAPPY DAYS AGAIN—Comedy

     4:30
HOGAN’S HEROES—Comedy

    5 PM
NEWS

     5:30
ABC NEWS—Frank Reynolds

EVENING

    6 PM
NEWS

     6:30
ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT—Magazine

    7 PM
WORLD SERIES
Special: Game Two from the American League city

   10:15
NEWS

   10:45
NIGHTLINE—Ted Koppel

   11:15
STARSKY & HUTCH—Crime Drama

   12:15
LOVE BOAT

     1:25
ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT—Magazine

    4 AM
FILM

     4:30
ABBOTT AND COSTELLO BW 

    5 AM
TO BE ANNOUNCED

None of the pomp and ceremony that used to signal the World Series in TV Guide; just a note that the game's being played in the home of the American League rep. Of course, as I mentioned on Saturday, there wasn't much reason to get worked up about this baseball season.


 9  KMSP (Ind.)

MORNING

    6 AM
700 CLUB—Religion

    7 AM
FRED FLINTSTONE & FRIENDS—Cartoon

     7:30
GREAT SPACE COASTER—Children

    8 AM
KROFT SUPERSTARS—Children

     8:30
CASPER—Cartoon

    9 AM
RICHARD SIMMONS—Health

     9:30
MORNING STRETCH WITH JOANIE—Exercise

  10 AM
PRISONER: CELL BLOCK H—Drama

   10:30
DARK SECRETS OF HARVEST HOME—Drama
         
   11:30
NEWS

AFTERNOON

   Noon
TIC TAC DOUGH—Game

   12:30
BULLSEYE—Game

    1 PM
MIKE DOUGLAS
Guest host: Stuart Damon. Guests: Bill Hayes, Gloria Loring, Elizabeth Allen, Barb and Steve North, James Mizell

    2 PM
LEAVE IT TO THE WOMEN
Panel: Geraldine Papel, Phyllis Schlafly, Mary Murphy

     2:30
DICK VAN DYKE—Comedy BW 

    3 PM
POPEYE—Cartoon

     3:30
SCOOBY DOO—Children

    4 PM
BRADY BUNCH—Comedy

     4:30
LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE

     5:30
GOOD TIMES

EVENING

    6 PM
BARNEY MILLER—Comedy

     6:30
ALL IN THE FAMILY

    7 PM
GUNSMOKE—Western

    8 PM
NEW YOU ASKED FOR IT—Rich Little

     8:30
PEOPLE’S COURT

    9 PM
NEWS

  10 PM
RHODA—Comedy

   10:30
SATURDAY NIGHT
Guest host: Buck Henry. Musical guest: Gordon Lightfoot

   11:30
SANFORD AND SON—Comedy

     Mid.
BEST OF SULLIVAN
Guests: Jackie Gleason and Art Carney, the Temptations

    1 AM
MERV GRIFFIN
Guests: Ann Jillian, Rip Taylor, Brian Kerwin

    2 AM
NEWS

I'm sure the Honeymooners bit with Jackie Gleason and Art Carney on Best of Sullivan was probably a riot. Midnight is no time for a show like that to be on, though; us senior citizens who remember Sullivan can't stay up that late. . .


11 WTCN (NBC)

MORNING

     5:30
WHAT’S NEW?—Nelson/Martin
Guests: Joan Rivers, Arvonne Fraser

    6 AM
JIM BAKKER—Religion

    7 AM
TODAY—Tom Brokaw
Guest: Viveca Lindfors

    9 AM
LAS VEGAS GAMBIT—Game

     9:30
BLOCKBUSTERS—Game

  10 AM
WHEEL OF FORTUNE—Game

   10:30
PASSWORD PLUS—Game
Sorrell Booke, Irlene Mandrell

  11 AM
HEALTH FIELD
         
   11:30
DOCTORS—Serial

AFTERNOON

   Noon
DAYS OF OUR LIVES—Serial

    1 PM
ANOTHER WORLD—Serial

    2 PM
TEXAS—Serial

    3 PM
WALTONS—Drama

    4 PM
LAVERNE & SHIRLEY & COMPANY—Comedy

     4:30
M*A*S*H

    5 PM
M*A*S*H

     5:30
NBC NEWS—John Chancellor

EVENING

    6 PM
NEWS

     6:30
FAMILY FEUD—Game

    7 PM
REAL PEOPLE

    8 PM
MOVIE—Mystery
“Friendships, Secrets and Lies” (Made-for-TV; 1979)

  10 PM
NEWS

   10:30
TONIGHT
Guests: George Carlin, Pat Boone, Brenda Boozer

   11:30
MARY TYLER MOORE—Comedy

     Mid.
BOB NEWHART—Comedy

   12:30
LOVE, AMERICAN STYLE

    1 AM
CHICO AND THE MAN—Comedy

Arvonne Fraser, one of the guests on What's New? with Nancy Nelson and Warren Martin, was, in addition to being the head of the Minnesota chapter of the National Organization for Women, the wife of Don Fraser, who represented Minneapolis in the U.S. House of Representatives, and would later become mayor of Minneapolis. My mother knew both of them back when she was working for Myers Printing, the official printer of the DFL, and liked them both, even though politically they were 180⁰ apart from her, That's how people were back then, although it might come as a shock to those today who can't separate ideology from any part of their lives.


17 KTCI (PBS)

AFTERNOON

    4 PM
MISTER ROGERS—Children

     4:30
ELECTRIC COMPANY—Children

    5 PM
PEOPLE OF THE FIRST LIGHT (CC)

     5:30
VILLA ALEGRE—Children

EVENING

    6 PM
COLLEGE FOR WORKING ADULTS

     6:30
DICK CAVETT

    7 PM
SOCCER MADE IN GERMANY

    8 PM
MacNEIL, LEHRER REPORT

     8:30
OVER EASY (CC)

    9 PM
NOVA (CC)

  10 PM
DICK CAVETT

   10:30
CAPTIONED ABC NEWS

I can't help it—whenever I see the captioned ABC News on KTCI, I think of this:


TV  

5 comments:

  1. Tonight's top story: Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead...but on the move again!!! http://famagusta-gazette.com/2019/10/21/spain-confirms-exhumation-of-francos-remains-on-oct-24/

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm surprised that KSTP still called its morning show TWIN CITIES TODAY. I'd think it would change the show's name to GOOD MORNING, TWIN CITIES after changing its affiliation from NBC to ABC. As an example, WATE-TV out of Knoxville, TN, which had the same NBC to ABC affiliation switch around the same time as KSTP-TV, changed its morning show's name from TODAY IN TENNESSEE to GOOD MORNING, TENNESSEE.

    I can't be sure, but it's pretty likely that LOVE BOAT and STARSKY & HUTCH were from the ABC network. ABC, like CBS, carried late night programming to go against Carson's show, and I think it specifically carried those shows, and they were and had been (respectively) on ABC prime time. LOVE BOAT was also on ABC daytime, so LB was as spread out on ABC as MASH used to be on CBS before it was syndicated in 1979. When TV Land carried LOVE BOAT weekdays, I found that was more than I could take of the show, especially being an hour long.

    Mitchell, you may remember a Twin Cities DJ named Charlie Bush, who had a show called CHARLIE HORSE not long after this time. I remember watching CHARLIE HORSE on WKRN-TV out of Nashville late summer 1982, and it was my first opportunity ever to see shows like DOBIE GILLIS and MY LITTLE MARGIE. This was a few years before the new (and then very good) Nick-at-Nite started carrying classic shows like Donna Reed's & Patty Duke's sitcoms.

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  3. An Aussie classic Prisoner Cell Block H at 10.00am on KMSP.
    It was always one hour episodes in Australia, not sure why it was half-hour episodes in the US. Maybe some sort of syndication thing?
    And the mid-morning timeslot is unusual too. Not exactly breezy daytime fare.

    Had there been any Aussie dramas on US TV before Prisoner? It might have been the first?

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    Replies
    1. Prisoner was syndicated as a half-hour show, mainly to make it more easier to syndicate. Each hour episode was produced so that there was some sort of cliffhanger halfway into the hour; this way, the show can be easily split up into the half hour format. Owing to syndication, "Prisoner" was all over the clock: WGN Chicago carried it at 10PM before moving it to 12 Noon; KRIV Houston also had it in the mornings (10AM, I think); KYW Philadelphia and WTVX West Palm Beach carried it in afternoons (5PM and 4:30PM, respectively); and many stations carried it only in late night (such as WTOG Tampa Bay, at 11PM).

      The only other Aussie drama to air in the US (to my knowledge) was at the same time as Prisoner: "The Sullivans". While that series picked up more stations than Prisoner, it did not have the same staying power in the US -- it began in fall 1980, but was off by spring 1981.

      Delete
  4. Jon: Yes, ABC's late night reruns continued for another year, replaced in late October of '82, by a short-lived talk show, 'The Last Word'.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for writing! Drive safely!