If you’ll notice, there’s a bunch of new television programs coming on these days. This, of course, is a throwback to the days of three networks and was called "the new season." Although that term is still heard from time to time, in these days of new shows coming and going at all times of the year on hundreds of cable channels, the networks seem a bit superfluous and the term season should probably be replaced by the British "series." That’s as in "FAWLTY TOWERS ran for two series. They were made several years apart so they weren’t really "seasons" in this context.
That said, here’s some nostalgia from TV GUIDE—the schedule for the new Fall season of 1977-78, now thirty years gone. Let’s reminisce, shall we?
Saturday nights were tough that year and my family alternated, watching all of these series on alternate weeks. THE BIONIC WOMAN offered ok plots and fx with Lindsay Wagner as the thinking man’s sex symbol. I had her poster right next to Farrah’s. Well, Farrah’s six or seven to be honest (and one of Linda Blair!) FISH was Abe Vigoda’s kinda funny BARNEY MILLER spin-off and didn’t last the whole season. I particularly liked THE TONY RANDALL SHOW, this being the one in which he portrayed a judge. CAROL BURNETT had too much "Eunice" I think by this point so we tended to watch LOVE BOAT at our house.
Sunday I just watched THE SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN and ALICE regularly with NBC very much dependent on what was on Disney and the BIG EVENT as to whether we watched at all.
Mondays we watched nothin’ at 8. Nada. CBS and ABC’s offerings didn’t last long and we may have watched whatever replaced them. I did particularly enjoy Patrick McGoohan’s quirky HOUSE-like medical show, RAFFERTY and THE BETTY WHITE SHOW, this one being a caustic showbiz parody with Caren Kaye and the great John Hillerman.
Tuesdays found us on ABC for HAPPY DAYS and LAVERNE AND SHIRLEY, then switching to CBS for M.A.S.H., my favorite show at that time, and ONE DAY AT A TIME. We picked up on SOAP, though, about halfway through the season (a time change perhaps?) and it became one of my all-time faves also. We alternated at 10 with my mother enjoying FAMILY and I, myself, preferring LOU GRANT (which I believe moved to Mondays).
Wednesday was ABC all the way for EIGHT IS ENOUGH, CHARLIE’S ANGELS and Robert Blake’s BARETTA. BIG HAWAII didn’t stand a chance at our house.
Thursday brought another fight with me preferring WELCOME BACK KOTTER and WHAT’s HAPPENING but my mother usually winning with THE WALTONS. BARNEY MILLER we all agreed on and Victor French’s CARTER COUNTRY got watched just because the other two nets were already halfway into hour shows. At 10, we watched the short-lived ROSETTI AND RYAN while it lasted. I remember it as being an amusing and intelligent lawyer show featuring Tony Roberts and TV commercial mainstay Squire Fridell. TV GUIDE picked it as a possible winner but it wasn’t.
Friday was another of those nights where it depended on the family’s mood. All of these series were watched at one time or another. Despite the fact that I’m on record as to THE ROCKFORD FILES being another all-time favorite, I think I skipped it that year to watch LOGAN’S RUN. SWITCH with Eddie Albert, Robert Wagner and Sharon Gless was also big at our house that year.
Ah, memories. This year, I’m looking forward to…maybe…and strangely enough…THE BIONIC WOMAN. I saw the pilot (as I’m sure many of you have on the Net) and found the villain to have more charisma than our heroine. Did quite like Miguel Ferrer, though. That’s really about it for this "season." Sigh. Things change.