This month’s spotlight is on short-lived CBS sitcom Struck By Lightning, which premiered in September 1979 and was effectively cancelled three weeks later along with another new sitcom called The Last Resort. The two were replaced initially by movies and specials and later by Young Maverick. CBS refused to officially call either series cancelled and The Last Resort did return to the air in December. Struck By Lightning, however, never did.
The series starred Jack Elam as Frank, aka Frankenstein’s Monster (without any makeup to make him look more monstrous). Jeffrey Kramer co-starred as Ted Stein, a science teacher who inherited the ancient inn where Frank served as character, complete with a basement laboratory. Ted was shocked to learn he was descended from Dr. Frankenstein and expected by Frank to produce the special serum that had been keeping him alive for centuries. The opening credits to the series have been uploaded to YouTube:
Critics didn’t like the series itself but loved Elam’s portrayal of Frank. Viewers didn’t seem to care one way or the other and the series ranked at the bottom of the Nielsen chart during its brief run.
There seems to be a lot of confusion about how many episodes were produced, at least online. Some websites list six while others state there were 11. There were in fact 13 episodes in all, ten of which never aired on CBS. I’ve confirmed this using a number of contemporary articles as well as records registered with the U.S. Copyright Office. At least some of these episodes were broadcast internationally.
Read the full spotlight here.