Revised: NBC Saturdays, 1984-1985

Back in 2006 I published NBC Saturdays, 1984-1985, a look of NBC’s attempts to craft a successful Saturday line-up during the 1984-1985 season. It was a concept I thought had a lot of promise, examining in-depth how one night on one network evolved over the course of an entire season. I can still remember pouring over issues of TV Guide making a log of exactly what aired each Saturday from September 1984 to April 1985. But truthfully, the resulting article fell short. It was a cursory look at the many changes NBC made as it tried to find shows that could compete with the other networks.

Today, only somewhat coincidentally on the seventh anniversary of it’s original publication date, I’ve finished revising the article. It’s now a far more comprehensive account of exactly how just about every show NBC tried on Saturdays failed to attract viewers. Here’s the new summary:

Among the new shows NBC premiered at the start of the 1984-1985 season were Partners in Crime and Hot Pursuit, a pair of dramas scheduled for Saturday evenings. It was a night that had been troubling the network for years. Over the course of the 1984-1985 season, NBC tried a number of line-ups on Saturday evenings, shuffling and reshuffling shows in an attempt to compete with ABC and CBS. But nothing really worked and the evening remained a sore spot for the network. Still, NBC ended the 1984-1985 season in second place behind CBS, the first time in a decade it wasn’t the lowest-rated network. Most of the shows it tried on Saturday were cancelled either during the season or after it, including Spencer, Double Trouble, Under One Roof and Berrenger’s.

It’s a much longer article, from roughly 1,200 words to almost 4,200. I’m proud of this revised version so I hope you’ll take a few minutes to check it out.


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