The New People


In the fall of 1969, in an attempt to draw viewers away from Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In on NBC, ABC introduced a brand new Monday night lineup, including two forty-five minute programs scheduled back-to-back from 7:30-9PM. The second of these programs was a drama called The New People, about a group of college students trying to build their own society after being stranded on an island. Cancelled after only seventeen episodes, the series nevertheless left a lasting impression on those who watched it. Some 35 years later, when ABC premiered Lost in 2004, The New People saw a small surge in popularity due to similarities between the two shows.

ABC Revamps Its Monday Line-Up

When ABC announced its 1969-1970 schedule in early March of 1969, its entire Monday line-up had been canceled. Gone were The Avengers (an import from Britain), Peyton Place (which had been cut back to one half-hour episode a week in February of 1969), The Outcasts and The Big Valley. In their place were four new programs: The Music Scene, The New People, The Survivors and Love, American Style.

Both The Music Scene and The New People were forty-five minutes in length, which ABC hoped would prevent viewers from switching over to other networks [1]. In total, ABC added 12 new shows to its schedule, in place of 12 shows that it cancelled. The network, which had ended the 1968-1969 season in third place with an average 15.6 Nielsen rating, had high hopes for its new programming, its Monday line-up, and the 1969-1970 season as a whole [2].

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The Music Scene was a musical-variety show with a rotating stable of hosts that showcased contemporary rock and pop acts. The Survivors (its full title was Harold Robbins’ The Survivors) was an ambitious novel-for-television starring Lana Turner and George Hamilton, based on a concept written by novelist Harold Robbins. Love, American Style was an anthology series focusing on romance stories.

And The New People? An ABC press release proclaimed:

“It is today, this time, this decade. But for a stranded group of young people on a remote island in the South Pacific, it is the Year One. Theirs, by a sudden thrust of circumstance, is a New World. Can they create a better one?” [3]

All four programs were part of ABC’s “program balance” that combined shows catered to younger audiences with “older” skewing programs like The Lawrence Welk Show [4]. The network was actively courting “the 16 to 35 [or] 40-year-old market,” according to American Broadcast Companies, Inc. president Leonard H. Goldenson, who explained that “most of these people are young parents, most of them are large families [5].

“I actually never got to see the show much back in the ’60′s because it came on a broadcast station that we could only get occasionally, but I did catch a few.  [ ... ] Thanks for remembering the show in this way and for reminding me of it!”
Terry

During an ABC affiliates convention in May of 1969, Elton Rule, president of ABC-TV, stated that the network was looking to win time periods “one by one, day by day, time period by time period” [6]. Stressing its prospects for Monday, the network explained the unusual 45-minute running lengths of The Music Scene and The New People as an attempt to counter the “almost automatic inclination” of viewers to watch NBC’s Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In from 8-9PM on Monday nights [7].

The Music Scene, running from 7:30-8:15PM, would be followed by a three-second station break and then a “powerful action tease” for The New People that would transition viewers from one show to the other, bypassing entirely Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In [8]. Or so ABC hoped.

All Eyes On Monday

Broadcasting magazine called ABC’s Monday line-up the network’s “crap shoot, the big gamble, the go-for-broke night,” with everything resting on The Survivors [9]. Both The Music Scene and The New People were, for all intents and purposes, written off in the face of NBC’s Laugh-In and CBS’s Here’s Lucy. Love, American Style was likewise given little chance of succeeding.

Cast of The New People
Cast of The New People – September 13th, 1969
Copyright © TV Guide, 1969 [1]

All four programs were originally scheduled to premiere on Monday, September 22nd, 1969. In late August, however, ABC decided to hold The Survivors and Love, American Style until the following week due to increased competition from NBC [10]. The network didn’t want to risk diluting the premieres of The Survivors and Love, American Style.

Obviously, ABC was expecting a lot from its Monday programs, which were expensive to produce but also relatively expensive for advertisers. The per-minute price for advertisements in The New People was $43,000, tied with Love, American Style, while The Music Scene was at a slightly lower $42,000 and The Survivors a higher $49,000 [11]. By comparison, ABC’s returning Mod Squad rose from $38,000 to $46,000, an indication of its ratings strength. The highest price seen for fall 1969 was $65,000 — for NBC’s Laugh-In, CBS’s Mission: Impossible and Mayberry RFD, also on CBS.

About The New People

The premise of The New People was a simple one. A group of roughly forty American college students were on a cultural exchange tour in Southeast Asia, sponsored by the State Department. The tour was cancelled because the students were too radical and outspoken and the State Department ordered them back to the United States. While flying home, their plane met encountered a severe storm and crashed on an island somewhere in the South Pacific. The following day, the “new people” began to explore.

“I remember the series ‘The New People’ from my childhood (I was born in 1959). I have never met anyone who knows what I am talking about when I mention it, so it was a relief to find this website!”
Boadacea_Cat

The survivors soon learned the name of the island: Bomano, an unused Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) testing site. An entire town had been built on the island, complete with food, weapons and other supplies. There were, however, no people (aside from creepy test dummies) and chances of rescue were slim. The plane’s radio had been destroyed in the crash and, more importantly, nobody had any idea where they were — let alone how to contact help.

Killed in the plane crash were the pilots and several of the students. The only surviving adult was Mr. Hannichek (played by Richard Kiley) a mortally wounded State Department official who did his best to maintain order. During the first episode, a racist student gleefully smothers a signal fire just as a rescue plan is flying over in order to trap an African-American student on the island forever, not realizing he is also stranding himself and everyone else. That rescue plane would report the island clear and no additional planes would be sent out.

Hannichek uses what little strength he has left to stop a mob from killing the racist student and then dies. His death leaves the students alone on the island, forced to fend for themselves without the experience and advice of adults, yet eager to create a society free of the problems that had plagued the one they left behind.

“I was only 7 years old when it was on, but my big brother (17) watched it and, consequently, so did I. I vaguely remember the theme song and the intro scenes, but not a whole lot else. Still, it’s nice to have met up with someone who can help spark my fuzzy memories!”
Janet

Of the forty students who took part in the exchange tour, only six were regularly featured. Among them were Stanley Gabriel (played by Dennis Olivieri), Ginny Loomis (played by Jill Jaress) and George Potter (played by Peter Ratray), who was once a ruthless marine, now a pacifist and the unofficial and sometimes protested leader of the new people. Rounding out the main cast were Susan Bradley (played by Tiffany Bolling), the disenfranchised daughter of a senator, Gene “Bones” Washington (David Moses) a man of color unable to foresee a better world for himself, and Robert “Bob” Lee (Zooey Hall), a loner and a Southerner.

Richard Kiley as Mr. Hannichek
Richard Kiley as Mr. Hannichek

Several other supporting characters were featured in numerous episodes, including Jack, Laura and Sally (played by Clive Clerk, Elizabeth Berger and Elaine Princi). For the most part, the characters were stereotypical: there was the brainless football player, the outspoken female, the African-American sick of being treated unfairly, and the stoic Marine with feelings, the only level head of the group.

Throughout the series, the “new people” attempted to set up, and keep going, their new and hopefully better, civilization. They dealt with death, pregnancy, sexism, racism, drugs and violence. Episodes ranged fighting about building a shower for the women to a murder casting a shadow over the new society.

A two-part episode aired in late November and early December involved power dynamics between the sexes: while one woman tries to keep a domineering man from forcing her to marry her, another accuses one of the men of rape. Problems with racism and sexism continually plagued the survivors — and brought up questions of law and societal respect again and again.

Critical Response

Television critics were split in their reviews of The New People, either hating it or suggesting that it needed work to succeed. Kay Gardella of The New York Daily News fell into the first camp, calling the series “preachy,” while Paul Molloy of The Chicago Sun-Times wrote that he “found the premiere a total bore” [12]. Morton Moss of The Los Angeles Herald-Examiner suggested the series “was loaded with slogans and abstractions masquerading as flesh-and-blood,” while The San Francisco Examiner‘s Dwight Newton wrote that “the series seems to be as stranded as its young people.”

Tiffany Bolling as Susan Bradley
Tiffany Bolling as Susan Bradley

On the other hand, Terrence O’Flaherty of The San Francisco Chronicle called The New People the “most fascinating program idea of the new season” but warned that the “characters will need to display more humor and honor.” Likewise, Jack Gould of The New York Times noted that series “began with many cliche contrivances but has an interesting potential” [13]. Russ Marabito of Family Today predicted that “if future episode match it [the pilot] ABC will have a winner,” and Percy Shain of The Boston Globe wrote that the show had “a viewing momentum that should make it popular, particularly among the young.”

“Over the years I have mentioned The New People show to people and just got blank stares. I must have been the only loyal fan in 1969 when I was 12 years old.”
Bob

The Chicago Tribune‘s Clarence Peterson, after opining that Richard Kiley gave “what must have been the longest death scene in television history,” summed up his feelings on the future of the series:

“So there they are–the spectrum of youth in America–all alone with plenty of food and shelter and even a piano, and presumably they’ll find some guitars around somewhere, and in the weeks to come they will find out what a society run by and for the younger generation will actually be like. That is, they will find out that script writers are very clever, very much in tune with what the younger generation thinks and feels, and, of course, clairvoyant.” [14]

In a survey of the new television season in early October, Jack Gould seemed to agree with Petersen’s contention that the series was perhaps trying to hard to reflect the reality of contemporary youth. He noted, after seeing the second episode, that The New People “has yet to sort itself out; it could be genuine drama but has the earmarks of older people trying to think the way the young think” [15].

The New People A Dud In The Nielsens

Due to their unusual run lengths, preliminary ratings breakdowns for both The New People and The Music Scene combined the last fifteen minutes of The Music Scene (from 8-8:15PM) with the first fifteen minutes of The New People (from 8:15-8:30PM). Thus, the best measure upon which to base comparisons between The New People and its competition was the last half-hour of the show, aired from 8:30-9PM.

Preliminary Nielsen ratings for New York City gave ABC a third-place ranking for the evening of Monday, September 22nd, when The Music Scene and The New People premiered. During the 7:30-8PM half-hour, The Music Scene drew a 10.4/19 rating, compared to a 14.9/26 rating for Gunsmoke on CBS and a 19.3/34 rating for My World and Welcome to It on NBC [16]. The 8-8:30PM half-hour saw ABC drop to a 10.0/16 rating, while Gunsmoke dipped slightly to a 14.8/23 for CBS and Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In surged to a huge 26.3/41 for NBC [17].

The last half-hour of The New People rose to a 10.7/15 rating, while CBS fell to an 11.9/17 with Here’s Lucy and NBC grew to a 30.9/43 with Laugh-In [18]. While the New York Nielsens only represented a fraction of the total audience, a poor showing in that city indicated that viewers across the country were not interested in The New People. The following week, the last half-hour of The New People improved to an 11.9/17 rating, although still a distant third behind CBS and NBC [19].

“I was so glad to find your website. “The New People” was a favorite show of mine. The new show “Lost” coming up in September on ABC, brought back memories, so I searched the web & found you. Too bad there’s not more videos or that there probably won’t be a DVD of the short season. Thanks for the memories.”
Sarah

“Fast” national Nielsens for the week of September 22nd through September 29th saw the premieres of both The Music Scene and The New People rating below a 14.0; NBC, however, saw its entire Monday line-up for that week (Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In and its two specials featuring Bob Hope and Flip Wilson) make the top ten [20]. National ratings for the following week saw The Survivors and Love, American Style premiered to 14.2 and 12.2 ratings, respectively [21].

All four of ABC’s Monday programs were in the bottom third of the Nielsen ratings for the week October 6th through October 13th (when the third episode of The New People was broadcast) along with six additional ABC shows [22]. In light of these disappointing performances, ABC announced in early November that it was canceling The Music Scene and The New People and moving The Survivors and Love, American Style [23].

The network would fill its Monday schedule with It Takes a Thief and The ABC Monday Night Movie (formerly The ABC Wednesday Night Movie). The final broadcast of The New People took place on January 12th, 1970. For ABC, the Monday makeover worked: ratings for January 19th saw the network jump almost seven points from the previous week, although it still placed third for the evening [24].

A total of seventeen episodes of The New People were aired. The final episode did little to conclude the series; it involved the survivors arguing over whether or not they should try to signal a ship sighted on the horizon. An earlier episode had involved several of the students trying to build a raft to escape the island — but they never did.

Rod Serling’s Involvement

One of the enduring mysteries of The New People, aside from “Did they get off the island?” (They didn’t) and “Will it ever be on DVD?” (Probably not) is how involved Rod Serling, famed creator of The Twilight Zone, was in its creation and production. Broadcasting magazine, in a January 20th, 1969 article about programs in development for ABC, called the show “Rod Serling’s The New People, being produced by Thomas-Spelling Productions” [25]. Both The New York Times and The Chicago Tribune, writing about ABC’s 1969-1970 schedule, stated that The New People was created by Rod Serling [26, 27].

Later, in reviewing the first episode, Clarence Petersen of The Chicago Tribune said that the first script had been written by Rod Serling [28]. However, writing credit for the first episode is given to someone named John Phillips. And according to the closing credits of the series, The New People was “Developed For Television By” Rod Serling. A March 2nd, 1969 article in The Los Angeles Times by Cecil Smith may help clear things up.

In it, Smith talks with Serling about The Night Gallery, a made-for-TV movie currently under production, written by Serling. Smith calls it “an unusual project in which three separate stories, each with an eerie, Twilight Zone flavor, are told” [29]. He tells Serling that it “sounds like a format for a series” to which Serling replies “after five years of my own show, I wouldn’t get involved in another series for $80 million” [30].

“What about The New People,” asks Smith, “this show about College kids running their own government with their own moral and political standards on a desert island? That’s your show” [31]. Serling disagrees: “That’s Aaron Spelling’s show. He brought me the idea and I wrote the pilot script. Beyond that, I have nothing to do with it. The show is somewhere between Gilligan’s Island and San Francisco State. It may work. But not with me” [32].

Thus, in Serling’s own words, his sole contribution to The New People was the script for the first episode. Why the writing credit is given to John Phillips remains a mystery.

The Theme Song

The memorable theme song to The New People, aptly titled “The New People,” was performed by The First Edition, with words and music by Earle Hagen. Other original music for the series was composed by George Romanis. For years, this article included an audio file of what was believed to be the opening theme song. But it wasn’t. Here’s what happened: only the pilot episode of The New People is circulating among private collectors (although all the episodes are held at UCLA’s Film & Television Archive) and it doesn’t include an opening theme or opening credits. It does have closing credits and a closing theme.

The audio file thought to be the opening theme was originally recorded using a reel to reel recorder way back in 1969 along with dozens of other television theme songs. While digitizing the audio cassette containing the contents of this reel to reel, another version of the theme was found, one that had been dismissed as a copy. Unfortunately, it is of very poor quality, but the lyrics match almost perfectly with those passed along by fan T.G. who, amazingly, recalled them decades after last seeing an episode of The New People.

Listen to the Opening Theme to The New People (Reel to Reel Version)

Here are the lyrics:

The New People,
Starting out alone.
Far away from home and friends.
They’re young people,
Young but still aware.
Young but old enough to care.
[T.G. has "Young with all they love to care" here]

What kind of world will they create?
Facing the problems of man.
Thousands of years haven’t solved them,
Yet all of them think they can.

The New People,
Starting from day one.
And for each of them,
Time has just begun.
The New People.
The New People.

Here’s the closing theme from the pilot episode and the lyrics:

Listen to the Closing Theme to The New People (Pilot Version)

The New People,
Starting out alone.
Far away from home and friends.
What kind of world will they create?
Facing the problems of man.
Thousands of years haven’t solved them,
Yet all of them think they can,

The New People,
Starting from day one,
And for each of them,
Time has just begun.

And here’s what was originally thought to be the opening credits. It is identical to the above closing theme with the exception of one line being omitted (“Far away from home and friends” after “Starting out alone”):

Listen to the Closing Theme to The New People (Reel to Reel Version)

The New People,
Starting out alone.
What kind of world will they create?
Facing the problems of man.
Thousands of years haven’t solved them,
Yet all of them think they can.

The New People,
Starting from day one.
And for each of them,
Time has just begun.

It appears, based on these audio files, that for some reason there were two versions of the closing theme song, one of which included an extra line. Perhaps it was only used during the pilot episode. If additional episodes are ever made available — or if someone can watch them at UCLA’s Film & Television Archive — the truth may finally be known.

Works Cited:

1 “ABC’s fall lineup.” Broadcasting. 3 Mar. 1969: 9-10.
2 For the period September 23rd, 1968 through April 20th, 1969, ABC averaged a 15.6 rating, compared to a 20.3 for CBS and a 20.0 for NBC, according to an article in the May 5th, 1969 issue of Broadcasting magazine (page 9).
3 Cray, Douglas W. “A.B.C., TV’s Question Mark, Pins Much on New Season.” New York Times. 21 Sep. 1969: F1.
4 Ibid.
5 Ibid.
6 “A gung-ho ABC pitch to TV affiliates.” Broadcasting. 2 Jun. 1969: 26-27.
7 Ibid.
8 Ibid.
9 “Next season’s make-or-break shows.” Broadcasting. 18 Aug. 1969: 38-42.
10 “Staying away from specials.” Broadcasting. 25 Aug. 1969: 9.
11 All figures from “The asking price of network minutes.” Broadcasting. 10 Mar. 1969: 30-34.
12 All review excerpts, except where noted, quoted in “A second look at the new season.” Broadcasting. 29 Sep. 1969: 59-60.
13 Gould, Jack. “TV Review.” New York Times. 23 Sep. 1969: 95.
14 Petersen, Clarence. “TV Today: Bob Hope Special Too Bland to Be Funny.” Chicago Tribune. 23 Sep. 1969: B15.
15 Gould, Jack. “Please, Dear Mets, Don’t Go Away.” New York Times. 5 Oct. 1969: D21.
16 “Ratings race goes into first turn.” Broadcasting. 29 Sep. 1969: 59-60.
17 Ibid.
18 Ibid.
19 “Advantage of an early start.” Broadcasting. 6 Oct. 1969: 18-19.
20 “NBC-TV clings to Nielsen lead.” Broadcasting. 13 Oct. 1969: 46-47.
21 “CBS still second in National Nielsens.” Broadcasting. 20 Oct. 1969: 83.
22 “CBS takes lead in fast Nielsens.” Broadcasting. 27 Oct. 1969: 70-71.
23 Ferretti, Fred. “A.B.C.-TV Shuffling Programs in Ratings Bid.” New York Times. 8 Nov. 1969: 67.
24 “New shows help ABC boost ratings.” Broadcasting. 26 Jan. 1970: 83.
25 “ABC whistles ‘no money worries’ tune.” Broadcasting. 20 Jan 1969: 59-60.
26 Gent, George. “A.B.C. Plans to Replace 12 TV Programs in Fall.” New York Times. 1 Mar. 1969: 63.
27 Gowran, Clay. “TV Today: Fall Shows Over ABC Are Told.” Chicago Tribune. 3 Mar. 1969: C13.
28 Petersen, Clarence. “TV Today: Bob Hope Special Too Bland to Be Funny.” Chicago Tribune. 23 Sep. 1969: B15.
29 Smith, Cecil. “Rod Serling: the prolific TV writer has a ‘novel’ idea.” Los Angeles Times. 2 Mar. 1969: R2.
30 Ibid.
31 Ibid.
32 Ibid.

Image Credits:

1 From TV Guide, Eastern New England Edition, September 13th, 1969, Page 34.


Originally Published June 11th, 2003
Last Updated June 23rd, 2012

35 Comments

  • The episodes are all on VHS tape and the original reel films at the UCLA Archives. You can make arrangements for a viewing through the archive staff, but no copies are allowed.

    I am not going to directly suggest anything here, but you may want to remember much of this department at UCLA is run by the STUDENTS…

  • Laurie says:

    So glad I found this site- I NEW this show existed. Anytime I told anyone about it they thought I was crazy. No one remembered it.

  • David says:

    I watch this show when I was 7yrs old and have never forgotten it. I too could not find anyone who could remember it until now. A nice memory trip. Would love to see a few episodes for old time sake.
    David

  • Barry I. Grauman says:

    Rod Serling “gave” this series to producer Aaron Spelling, and had no involvement in it outside of writing the pilot episode. If he had been more involved, it might have been as trenchant as “THE LONER”…or “pretentious” and “preachy” as some of his later work was.

    I’m happy to hear the episodes exist SOMEWHERE. Perhaps someone at UCLA might be “convinced” to have them officially released in the near future.
    However, if you ever find yourself watching more than one episode, keep in mind that “THE NEW PEOPLE” has NOTHING in common with J.J. Abrams’ “LOST” (no conspiracies, no skullduggery, no “time travel”, etc.)

  • Ivy Shoots says:

    My 19-year-old just told me he’s afraid the US is going to collapse and have to be rebuilt in his lifetime, and I said, “That reminds me of a show I used to watch when I was a kid, The New People,” and started singing what I could remember of the theme song — “What kind of world will they create/Facing the problems of man/thousands of years haven’t solved them/Yet all of them think they can.” Ten minutes later, I find this website, complete with recordings of the song!

    Thanks for all this. Now I think I’ll search for The Young Lawyers…

  • Gordon Webb says:

    I’m researching Serling’s involvement in this… and have a copy of one of Serling’s scripts for the pilot. It differs from the video considerably, and I’ve been unable to find out who John Phillips is. Any new clues after this article was written??

  • Rob Cowart says:

    Thanks for this web page!! I have talked about this show with my wife and kids for 25 years but until today could not remember the name of it!! The dune buggy scenes confirmed my best memories of the show. Sure it was TOTALLY PREACHY to the late 60′s youth (I was 12) about how they were no better than their predecessors but it had nice looking folks in a lovely local. Typical Hollyweird formula. The theme is timeless. I would love to see (endure?) the 17 episodes someday. I will have to return to LA to see them I guess. Thank you!!

  • Cee Jay says:

    Can someone say ‘Lost 1969′

  • José says:

    I use to watch this show in Uruguay, at the begining of the 70`s. I was a fan!. I would like to know where can i find this VHS tapes…No one know this series today

  • RGJ says:

    José, I had no idea The New People was shown in Uruguay. I do believe someone once told me it was aired in Australia, so it was seen outside the United States. I wonder where else it was broadcast.

  • rnj1 says:

    I, too, thought I was hallucinating, making up a program about kids on a desert island. And to make matters worse, whoever I told about it would look at me with an even weirder look when I told them I thought it was only a 45 minute show, back to back with another 45 minute show that starred David Steinberg. How nice to have proof. What a fabulous trip down memory lane, a la click-clacks and Weebles. Thanks.

  • carol says:

    WOW, I had the same experience with many people acting as if I had dreamed this up. I was 13 years old when this show aired and I loved it and thought the theme song was so cool…just decided to do a search this morning and found this site, how great is the internet ? Thank you to this site for proving I’m not demented ! Let’s hope somehow they release this show, how fun would that be? I thought about this show the minute I started watching LOST.

  • TD says:

    I think that LOST may have been ripped off by this show. It seems too similar to be a coincidence.

  • joe d says:

    I had the same problem the other people had with no one but me remembering this show..The one thing that did stick with me was the theme song.Im disappointed that its not available on DVD.Maybe some day.

  • Kate says:

    I was 9 when this show aired and I loved it and it was very much with the times. It captured that feeling that we as a society were all on the edge of a “new world.” (ha! I say now). I was so bummed it was taken off the air. I’ve remembered snippets of the theme song all these years and here it is! Thank you!

  • The Mutt says:

    C’mon, TD. People stranded on an island is a story as old as stories, so I don’t think it’s fair to say Lost ripped off The New People, any more than it ripped off Gilligan’s Island or The Odyssey. That said, when I first heard about Lost, the first thing that popped into my head was The New People.

    I remember the show very well. (I was eleven.) It desperately wanted to be cool and hip, but it was populated by Dragnet Hippies and always came across like what old dudes thought the “kids today” were into.

    It’s hard to imagine that a network today would greenlight a drama so blatantly political and divisive.

    If Rod Serling had stuck with the show, we might have had Lost 30 years early.

  • attis says:

    Hay,

    i lik very much your effort for this serial.

    i was fun because it broadcasting in Greece also.

    i think that lost owns alot in this serial. like it owns alot at Jules Verne misterious island

    a big salut my friend

  • mark says:

    Is there any way I can get copies of any of the episodes? I have searched on line with no luck. I remember the series but missed much of it.

    Mark Nowak
    compudyne2000@yahoo.com

    • Fantomex says:

      As said above, you have to be involved with UCLA in order to see the show on VHS tape or on 16mm film.

  • Bret says:

    This is so funny! I didnt realize this was even here! Same thing for me. No one knew what I was talking about when I brought up the new people but, believe it or not, I always had the theme song stuck in my head! And by the way, it was my favorite show at the time even though I was only 8

  • Michelle says:

    I still sing this song from time to time. I really loved the show!

  • Sheree says:

    I used to watch this show, because I was in love with Tiffany’s brother Billy (real life-they lived in Fort Lauderdale). Laugh-In killed it.

  • Rodney says:

    Yes I can remember watching this in Tasmania. There was also a tie-in paperback novel which I found a year or so later in my local comic swap shop…but I found it a bit heavy going so I traded it back later for a Gold Key Tarzan. (or maybe a Ripley’s Believe it or not…) We were very envious of you American kids and desparately wanted to sell the high quality greeting cards to earn a walkie-talkie set or a dragster bike

  • Ray says:

    I”ve remembered the show for years but forgot the name! I was only nine but loved the it! Seeing the clips here was fantastic! I hope to be able to watch all of the episodes again soon!

  • Neville Ross says:

    If anybody wants to see this show on DVD, they have to vote for it at the TV Shows On DVD website. That’s the best way to ensure that Paramount/CBS will listen to you.

  • Ricky says:

    I stumbled across this website by accident and what a blast from the past! I remember The New People quite well from being 13 at the time and a big Mod Squad fan, also a Spelding show. I remember several lines / bars of the NP theme and several scenes as being quite vivid in my mind. The storm on the plane!!! The scene where the med student is taking water from a lagoon because it swirls past the roots of a tree that gives quinine (gross!). Driving the car into the surf to leave it to rust after all of the racing throughout the fix-the-cars episode. The baby!!! The guns!!! The whole show had kind of a vivid frantic intensity – lots of angst, bordering on melodramatic. But most of all, the lead in from the preceeding show Music Scene – “C’mon, let’s get out of here, this place gives me the willies!” and they would walk away from the camera, turn into ghosts, and disappear…and BAM here came the action clip from this week’s New People. All intended to grab you by hte lapels so you wouldn’t turn over to NBC and Laugh In which started 15 minutes later….

    Those were the good old days.

  • Jim says:

    I remember this show because my brother worked at the local ABC affiliate at the time, but I don’t recall watching it… I do remember The Music Scene, which I did watch occasionally (although I was a big fan of My World and Welcome To It, which was on at the same time, so I must not have watched it too often). But when we did watch Music Scene, I’m sure we turned the TV to NBC at 8, because we NEVER missed Laugh-In. My dad worked for the local NBC affiliate as a news reporter and anchor, and he had met and interviewed Rowan & Martin a few years before, so he was a big fan of theirs.
    Little did ABC know that the solution to all their Monday-night woes was just around the corner. Monday Night Football would arrive the very next season.

  • Tim says:

    Thought your readers might be interested to know the UCLA Film & Television Archive will be screening a very rare (never broadcast) print of the original hour long pilot episode of The New People, on Sept. 8, 2012 @7:30pm, as part of a Rod Serling retrospective. Apparently Serling was so unhappy when ABC execs cut the show down to 45 min., he had his screenwriting credit changed to the pseudonym “John Phillips” on the shortened version.

  • Lawrence says:

    My dad was a farmer who routinely fell asleep in front of the TV. So months after Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, when The New People came on TV, I, at 11 years old, would switch the TV channel to 7, KABC Los Angeles, and watch it while dad snored. Mom was busy doing dishes, so nobody ever “caught” me looking at the show. I probably would have been punished for watching rebellious teenagers. In 8th grade, 1971-72, I asked Mrs. Gibbs, my English teacher, for a book to read. She suggested Lord of the Flies. Once I read it, only then did I realize the premise for The New People was similar, but jacked up with the addition of chicks, alcohol, and gassed up automobiles. I forget if the teenagers or early 20s college students found guns and ammo. Probably.

  • ds says:

    This is great. I too mention this show to people and they think I’m nuts. Glad to have proof now.
    Being 9-10 at the time I barely remember the show but I’m sure nothing else was on at the time.

    For some reason the show Person’s Unknown reminded me of this show, but that like this show faded just as fast.

  • Patricia says:

    I loved this show as well! I even vaguely remember the theme song. “The new people living on our” own or something like that! Nobody I know remembers the show either.

  • Patricia says:

    Oh I see the words and link above!! I was just so excited to see this web page!

  • Wanda says:

    The first time I ever saw Richard Dreyfus was on THE NEW PEOPLE. Episode 13 as stated on another web site.

  • Steve says:

    I was born in 1962 and I remember watching this on UK TV around the late 60′s or very early 70′s, only found out what it was called a year or two back and saw the intro today. I remembered the kids, the atomic test town and the dune buggies. Great stuff !

  • Steve Sybesma says:

    Please post the theme music to Harold Robbins’ The Survivors if you have it.

    That would really take me back. I can find that nowhere, but I look occasionally. You are the closest I’ve come to finding it.

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