ABC Fall 1978 Posters: Monday

To promote its Fall 1978 line-up ABC commissioned a series of seven posters–one for each night of the week–depicting characters from its new and returning shows. Check back every day this week for a look at one of these posters. Today we’ll examine the Monday poster.

Monday on ABC in the fall of 1978 featured two half-hour sitcoms and two hours of football:

  8:00PM Welcome Back, Kotter
  8:30PM Operation Petticoat
  9:00PM Monday Night Football

Monday Night Football started its season on September 4th with a game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Baltimore Colts. The fourth and final season of Welcome Back, Kotter premiered the following week, September 11th, with a special hour-long episode airing from 8-9PM. The second season of Operation Petticoat was scheduled to debut on September 18th but an address by President Carter and subsequent analysis forced ABC to pre-empt network programming from 8-9PM. Operation Petticoat opened its second season on September 25th.

Here’s the ABC poster for its Monday lineup:

Color poster for ABC's Monday lineup
ABC Fall 1978 Posters: Monday

Football–both players and announcers–takes up the bulk of the poster. The cast of Welcome Back, Kotter is well represented but only the submarine from Operation Petticoat is included, unless you count the tiny figures atop the sub.

Here’s a closer look:

Close-up image of the cast of Welcome Back, Kotter

Fans of Welcome Back, Kotter know that the show underwent significant changes during Season 4. Gabe Kaplan appeared in only a handful of episodes but is nevertheless front and center on the poster. Likewise, John Travolta was no longer a series regular but made numerous special guest appearances throughout the season. Also, John Sylvester White (Mr. Woodman) looks like he’s growing out of Kotter’s arm.

And another close-up:

Close-up image of ABC Sports badge

Can anyone chime to confirm whether this is an accurate representation of the ABC Sports logo in 1978?

Check back tomorrow for a look at the Tuesday poster.


4 Comments

  • Rogers Cadenhead says:

    This photo of Howard Cosell shows him in a gold jacket with that logo:

    http://image2.findagrave.com/photos/2007/111/7960_117723159374.jpg

    The ESPN Monday Night Football crew wore gold jackets during part of the season opener this year in tribute to the late Frank Gifford.

    I don’t know who’s playing quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings in that drawing. Fran Tarkenton was starting back then, but he’s No. 10, not 13. He’s got a receiver open behind that Los Angeles Rams tackler, which is pretty amazing since the guy has only one leg.

  • Jon says:

    Did ABC ever have a hit in its pre-MNF timeslot? I know both Kotter & Petticoat died in that timeslot, Petticoat in just about a month. The part of the country west of Central time had to move these shows either after MNF (and that could only happen in Pacific time) or to another night altogether. I know that ABC killed off Nanny and the Professor in this timeslot back in 1971.

  • Bob says:

    ABC also dumped the last season of “THE SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN” in the 8 pm slot the previous year.

  • Mike Doran says:

    In its first season, Operation Petticoat had been a “bubble show”.
    It had a huge regular cast for a half-hour show – eighteen running characters!
    ABC’s renewal ordered a drastic reduction in the cast, and new producers were brought in to effect this.
    What the new guys did was to alter the format and fire all but three of the original cast: Melinda Naud (one of the nurses, who had a “friend in a high place” in ABC management), and two of the sailors, Richard Brestoff and Jim Varney (yes, that Jim Varney – knowwhutImean?).
    These three, along with about a half-dozen newcomers, reported to a delayed production that really never had a chance.

Leave a Comment