Last month I wrote about how the upcoming release of The Six Million Dollar Man on DVD would include the syndicated version of one episode because the original version as broadcast could not be found. The episode was the first half of a two-part story, the second half being the premiere of The Bionic Woman.
Or so the story went. It turns out that, for decades, fans of both shows have been remembering things incorrectly. “Welcome Home, Jaime — Part 1” did not air as an episode of The Six Million Dollar Man on Sunday, January 11th, 1976. It was broadcast on Wednesday, January 14th, 1976 as the premiere episode of The Bionic Woman.
As David Lambert explains in this TVShowsOnDVD.com article, network executives apparently originally planned on splitting the two-part premiere, with the first half airing as an installment of The Six Million Dollar Man and the second half as the first episode of The Bionic Woman, but later changed their minds.
Interestingly, while the Internet Movie Database, the Classic TV Archive, Wikipedia, TV.com and The Bionic Wiki all state that “Welcome Home, Jaime â€“ Part 1” aired as an episode of The Six Million Dollar Man on Sunday, January 11th, 1976, epguides.com correctly has it listed as the premiere episode of The Bionic Woman airing on Wednesday, January 14th, 1976 and has since July 2009.
Why the confusion? Faulty memory, for one, but the primary culprit is likely television listings and newspaper articles that went to print before the decision was made to air “Welcome Home, Jaime — Part 1” as the premiere episode of The Bionic Woman. Apparently, even creator Kenneth Johnson has had trouble remembering exactly how things played out. According to The Bionic Wiki he confirmed in 2005 that the two-part premiere was split between The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman. But in the TVShowsOnDVD.com article, he states that both parts were conceived as episodes of The Bionic Woman and that while there was a plan to split them they ultimately did air as episodes of The Bionic Woman.
I was able to find a variety of articles through Google News that address this confusion. For example, this January 11th, 1976 article in The Lakeland Ledger that does say the first half aired on Sunday, January 11th and the second half on Wednesday, January 14th.
But this January 13th, 1976 UPI article in The Florence Times — Tri-City Daily mentions the premiere of The Bionic Woman being the first of a two-part episode that will conclude on January 21st. This January 15th, 1976 article in The Pittsburgh Press refers to a “reported feud” between Lindsay Wagner and Lee Majors that may have played a part of shifting “Welcome Home, Jaime — Part 1” from The Six Million Dollar Man to The Bionic Woman.
Finally, this January 13th, 1976 article from The Deseret News actually addresses the confusion directly, saying “the network seems to have been involved in some bad communication.”