NBC sitcom Nancy celebrates its 45th anniversary today. It premiered on Thursday, September 17th, 1970 and ran for 17 episodes before succumbing to low ratings. Most critics didn’t like the show much but I do despite the fact that I’ve only seen one episode. My article on the series can be found here.
Nancy starred Renne Jarrett and John Fink as a young couple who meet and instantly fall in love. Their romance is complicated by the fact that she is the daughter of the President. Early episodes dealt with their engagement and the lead up to their wedding, which took place in an early November episode.
In addition to seeing one episode, I’ve also read and enjoyed the tie-in novel written by Jack Pearl and published by Pyramid Books in December 1970. And I own a photocopied script for the second-to-last episode (“Budget, Budget, Who’s Go the Budget?”) that aired on December 31st, 1970.
The original script, I believe, belonged to actor Ivor Francis, who had a small role in the episode as Watts, Third Assistant Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare. His name is written in pencil on the top right-hand corner of the script and all of his lines have been marked, although the markings are photocopied.
Based on all this, I’m fairly confident in saying that Nancy was a cute, if perhaps a bit sappy, show that was part of the wave youth and relevance that swept across the networks in the fall of 1970. Initial ratings were decent, and in fact Nancy was outperforming The Odd Couple on ABC, but the show simply couldn’t compete with The CBS Thursday Night Movie. NBC replaced it with Adam-12 at mid-season which was better able to counter-program the CBS movie block.
Had it not faced such strong competition, perhaps Nancy would have survived the season. NBC didn’t think it was a gimmick show and maybe it wasn’t but I’m not convinced it could have sustained itself for long, although adding a baby or the stress of a re-election campaign may have helped keep it going.
Did you watch Nancy back in 1970? If so, hit the comments with your recollections.