Coming in October to Television Obscurities

This month was a big one for Television Obscurities, between the launch of A Year In TV Guide and my three-part special feature on the 1974 development season focusing on the ABC, CBS and, NBC pilots. I definitely hit the limit on what I can reasonably accomplish in a single month because I didn’t have time to finish revising my article on the history of the fall preview special. So that is getting pushed to October.

Compared to September, next month will be relatively light. Other than the aforementioned revised article I’m not planning much other than the regular columns, five A Year In TV Guide installments, and a spotlight on Thrills and Chills Everywhere. If I can swing it, I will also be publishing the fourth and potentially final part of my article on Kyle MacDonnell (I’m not quite sure yet whether a fifth part will be necessary).

Rosetti and Ryan Fall Preview

It’s Fall Preview Week at Television Obscurities. The 2014-2015 season is getting underway and to mark the occasion I’ll be posting fall previews for shows from the 1960s and 1970s all week long.

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Here’s a fall preview for NBC’s short-lived Rosetti and Ryan, a legal drama starring Tony Roberts and Squire Fridell. It ran for just six episodes during the 1978-1979 season. This preview is from the network’s “NBC For 77″ fall preview special, hosted by Tony Roberts.

The Road West Fall Preview

It’s Fall Preview Week at Television Obscurities. The 2014-2015 season is getting underway and to mark the occasion I’ll be posting fall previews for shows from the 1960s and 1970s all week long.

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Here’s a fall preview for NBC’s one season wonder The Road West, an hour-long Western starring Barry Sullivan. It ran for 29 episodes from September 1966 to May 1967. This preview is from NBC’s “Two In A Taxi” fall preview special hosted by Jack Burns and Avery Schreiber.

A Year in TV Guide: September 26th, 1964

A Year in TV Guide explores the 1964-1965 television season through the pages of TV Guide magazine. Each week, I’ll examine the issue of TV Guide published exactly 50 years earlier. The intent is not simply to examine what was on television each week but rather what was being written about television.

Week #2
September 26th, 1964
Vol. 12, No. 39, Issue #600
Western New England Edition

The Magazine

You might think that this issue would have included at least one article about the new TV season that got underway in September 1964. Perhaps an article highlighting a particular new show or speculating about ratings and the odds of survival for the new fall fare. There was nothing that in this issue. There was a preview of the 1964 football season and a look at Sophia Loren’s November ABC special, which perhaps goes to show where TV Guide‘s priorities lay.

As I mentioned last week, the 1964-1965 season officially kicked off on Monday, September 14th but the first two-week Nielsen NTI report didn’t come out until mid-October. There were early ratings reports available — overnight New York City Nielsens and 26-city Trendex ratings — but everything revolved around the national Nielsen reports. TV shows lived or died on the national Nielsen reports. As far as I can tell, TV Guide only discussed the national Nielsen reports.

Still, I’m a little surprised there wasn’t some discussion of the new season. The listings in this issue (Saturday, September 26th through Friday, October 2nd) covered most of the third week of the season.

Front Cover
Front Cover – Copyright 1964 Triangle Publications, Inc.

My copy of this issue is in pretty poor shape. The cover is severely creased and almost worn through in several places and barely attached to the spine. It definitely got used. The coupon worth 10 cents towards the purchase of a half gallon of Hood Coffee Toffee crunch ice cream was not used, however.

The editorial in this issue discussed Section 315 of the Communications Act of 1934 (aka the “equal time” rule). It suggested that Congress should enact legislation allowing radio and TV stations to only give equal time to candidates from major political parties. “A series of debates or joint appearances, featuring the two major candidates,” declared TV Guide, “is impractical for broadcasters so long as they must also give equal time to a great number of minor candidates.”

The only reason the 1960 Nixon-Kennedy debates were possible is because Congress suspended Section 315, which was not repeated in 1964. TV Guide hoped that if Congress acted after the 1964 election, perhaps future debates might be possible. (They would, but not until 1976).

Some interesting notes from the Hollywood and New York TV Teletype columns:

-Patricia Crowley has been signed to star in Please Don’t Eat the Daisies after negotiations with Eleanor Parker fell through

-Allan Scott has written an episode of Ben Casey called “A Thousand Words Are Mute” about a woman recovering from a stroke, based on his wife’s experience. It will feature his daughter, actress Pippa Scott.

-ABC’s overhaul of its daytime schedule will go into effect October 4th. The Tennessee Ernie Ford Show (12:30-1PM) will change its name to Hello, Pea-Pickers as well its format. A new soap opera, The Young Marrieds (3:30-4PM), will premiere. It is about three young couples in love and is set in the same city as General Hospital so crossovers are possible.

-David McCallum is the unofficial technical adviser for all things weapons on The Man from U.N.C.L.E., having spent two years as a small-arms expert in the British Army.

Included in this issue are five articles and a picture feature in which Jim Nabors has his hair cut Marine-style in front of the cameras for Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. There’s a picture of Nabors looking very sad about losing all his hair.

I admit to not reading much of “College Football Calls on the Specialists,” a three-page look at how the 1964 TV Guide All-American team will be chosen. The team will be published in the November 28th issue, so I have that to look forward to. Honestly, I don’t know anything about football other than the very basics of the sport and definitely don’t know anything about 1964 football. I made it about two paragraphs into this article before giving up. But it does prove that football has been popular on television for more than half a century, even if there are some viewers who just don’t get it.

“She Hopes the Prescription Works” is a four-page article about actress Stella Stevens, who hoped her five-episode arc on ABC’s Ben Casey will make her a Big Star. It apparently didn’t work. “Sophia Loren in Rome” is little more than a puff piece for the upcoming ABC special of the same name masquerading as a behind the scenes look at the production of the special in Italy. We learn that Loren loves to gamble and prefers to speak American English rather than British English. There are five pictures of her, all featuring different outfits.

“The Day the Irish Turned Orange” is an interesting two-page look back at the history of color television, with some fun tales about the problems facing color technicians in the 1950s. Red Skelton played a practical joke one night by putting on green makeup, worrying technicians and viewers alike. Colored polka dots were painted on 20 elephants during filming of the pilot episodes for The Greatest Show on Earth, because they were too grey and boring otherwise.

The fifth and final article, “There’s No Place to Hide,” is three-and-a-half pages about Dan Blocker, who also graced the cover of the issue. It mostly discusses his problems with fame and publicity. He couldn’t go to a baseball game without being mobbed by kids looking for autographs, for example. He didn’t like losing his privacy. He was so upset about it that in 1961 he apparently tried to go back to teaching.

From the perspective of a researcher, none of these articles are particularly useful. Most of them are more promotional than factual. I imagine readers in 1964 found them more interesting than I do 50 years later.

The “For the Record” column in the listings section contained three bits of news:

-Republican National Chairman Dean Burch filed a protest with the Fair Campaign Practices Committee regarding the famous “Daisy” political ad for President Lyndon B. Johnson. “This horror-type commercial is designed to arouse basic emotions and has no place in this campaign,” he said. The Democratic National Committee said it wasn’t sure whether the ad would be aired again.

-Samuel Goldwyn has forced British theater owners to allow American movies on British TV, by ignoring their threat of a ban and licensing movies anyway.

-The Hartford Pay-TV experiment is a success. According to Zenith/RKO-General, there are 5,000 subscribers paying $100 a year to watch movies and boxing matches as well as a backlog of applications for new subscribers.

The Letters page, also in the listings section, features five letters about the 1964 Miss America contest. One criticizes Miss Arizona for somehow managing to “plug a political candidate in her ventriloquism act.” Other letters discuss Jerry Lewis announcing his new children’s show on Pay-TV; NBC’s NCA football games in color; and the lack of reviews by Cleveland Amory lately (according to a note, Amory’s first review of the new season will appear in the October 10th issue).

The TV Listings

In addition to ads for more new and returning network shows, this issue also has some ads for local stations and programs. New shows premiering during the week included Mr. Broadway, My Living Doll, Gilligan’s Island, and Shenanigans. Returning for the new season are shows like Jackie Gleason’s American Scene Magazine, Mr. Ed, What’s My Line?, and That Was the Week That Was.

Chevrolet has a full page ad promoting Bonanza, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., and Bewitched. Both Bonanza and The Man from U.N.C.L.E. ran without commercial interruption this week, followed by a special five-and-a-half minute commercial for Chevrolet’s new 1965 models. The commercial was filmed on the Bonanza set and features the casts of all three shows, in costume and in color. You can read more about the commercial here.

Chevrolet Ad
Chevrolet Ad – Copyright 1964 Triangle Publications, Inc.

There were at least fourteen sporting events on Saturday alone, ranging from water skiing and roller derby to tennis, horse racing and a snake hunt. Sunday has more sports, mostly baseball and football. And on Monday there’s an Olympic preview in prime time on NBC.

Here are the TV Guide close-ups for the week:

  • Davis Cup Tennis (ABC, Saturday at 4PM)
  • The Ed Sullivan Show (CBS, Sunday at 8PM)
  • The ABC Sunday Night Movie – Some Like It Hot (ABC, Sunday at 9PM)
  • The Bob Hope Show w/Fred Astaire and Barrie Chase (NBC, Friday at 8:30PM)

Programs available for purchase by subscribers to Zenith Radio Company’s Phonevision pay television experiment on Connecticut’s WHCT-TV (Channel 18):

  • Movie: Dr. No (Saturday at 6:30PM, $1.00)
  • Movie: Marnie (Wednesday at 9PM, $1.50)
  • Movie: The Moon-Spinners (Thursday at 7PM, $1.25)
  • Movie: The Fall of the Roman Empire (Tuesday at 7PM, $1.50)

Many of the movies this week were also available the previous week, suggesting that Phonevision didn’t have a huge catalog. I doubt many subscribers were paying to see the same movie week after week.

It was much easier to pick out local programming in this issue than the Fall Preview issue last week. There are some local ads mixed in with all the network ads. Many of them are for local movies, including one promoting WWLP (Channel 22), the NBC affiliate in Springfield, MA that showed a feature movie at 4:30 Monday through Friday with a different them each day of the week. There’s also an ad for Connecticut’s CBS affiliate WTIC-TV (Channel 3) and its after dinner movie on Monday at 7:10PM. This week it was A Prize of Gold (1955) with Richard Widmark.

WTIC-TV Ad
WTIC-TV Ad – Copyright 1964 Triangle Publications, Inc.

WHDH-TV (Channel 5), the CBS affiliate in Boston, was able to originate color programs at its studio. Weeknights from 6:-6:25PM the station aired a color program called Dateline Boston, followed by a five minute weather report, also in color. The station also had color news breaks throughout the day.

Other local programs of note: WWLP’s Top 22 Plus One Studio Dance Party, weekdays from 6-6:15PM; Starring the Editors, with newspaper editors from Massachusetts and Connecticut, Saturday at 7PM on WHNB-TV (Channel 30); “Connecticut Nurses,” a special on WHNB-TV commemorating the 60th anniversary of the Connecticut Nurses Association, Sunday at 6:30PM; and something called “Connecticut – What’s Ahead?” on WTIC-TV Wednesday at 8PM.

That’s it for this week. Hit the comments with your thoughts.

Love on a Rooftop Fall Preview

It’s Fall Preview Week at Television Obscurities. The 2014-2015 season is getting underway and to mark the occasion I’ll be posting fall previews for shows from the 1960s and 1970s all week long.

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Here’s a fall preview for ABC’s one season wonder Love on a Rooftop, which ran for 30 episodes during the 1966-1967 sesaon. Pete Duel and Judy Carne starred as newlyweds living in San Francisco. This preview was part of the network’s “7 Nights to Remember” preview special hosted by Batman and Robin, shown to station owners and executives at the network’s March 1966 affiliates meeting in Chicago.

The Reporter Fall Preview

It’s Fall Preview Week at Television Obscurities. The 2014-2015 season is getting underway and to mark the occasion I’ll be posting fall previews for shows from the 1960s and 1970s all week long.

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Here’s a fall preview for The Reporter, a CBS drama series starring Harry Guardino as a reporter working in New York City. It ran for just 13 episodes during the 1964-1965 season. This preview was aired during the network’s “Seven Wonderful Nights” fall preview special hosted by Buddy Ebson.

Breaking Point Fall Preview

It’s Fall Preview Week at Television Obscurities. The 2014-2015 season is getting underway and to mark the occasion I’ll be posting fall previews for shows from the 1960s and 1970s all week long.

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Here’s a fall preview for ABC’s Breaking Point, a medical drama set at a Los Angeles psychiatric clinic that ran for 30 episodes during the 1963-1964 season. The series took place in the same universe as Ben Casey. It was produced by Bing Crosby Productions. This preview was part of the network’s “What’s New On ABC” fall preview special, hosted by Edie Adams.

1974 Development Season: NBC’s Pilots

Every year, the television networks order pilot episodes for dozens of potential series to premiere in the fall. Only a select few will be picked up. The rest will remain unsold. This three-part special feature examines the 96 pilots developed for the 1974-1975 season, drawn from a list published in the March 4th, 1974 issue of Broadcasting magazine, which included limited information on cast and key creative personnel.

Additional details have been drawn from a variety of sources including Lee Goldberg’s wonderful Unsold Television Pilots Vol. #1, 1955-1976 as well as contemporary newspaper articles and TV listings.

Introduction

NBC had a total of 34 pilots in contention for the 1974-1975 season, only two fewer than ABC but 12 more than CBS. Like ABC, the network was skewed in favor of drama pilots, ultimately picking up eight: Born Free, Little House on the Prairie, Lucas Tanner, Petrocelli, Sierra, Movin’ On, The Rockford Files, and Amy Prentiss (a new segment of The NBC Sunday Mystery Movie.). A ninth pilot would led to a short-lived mid-season replacement called Archer.

(A tenth drama series, Police Woman, was not included in Broadcasting‘s list. A spin-off of NBC’s Police Story starring Angie Dickinson. The first season finale of that series, broadcast in March 1974, served as a backdoor pilot for Police Woman.)

The network only picked up a few sitcoms: Chico and the Man, Sunshine, and The Bob Crane Show. The latter two were pushed back after a court rule forced the FCC to delay its changes to the Prime Time Access Rule until September 1975. They premiered in March 1975.

You can read all about NBC’s Fall 1974 here.

Park Ranger (half hour; adventure)
Universal in association with Mark VII Productions

Fate – Picked up! The series was renamed Sierra and expanded to a half-hour before it premiered on Thursday, September 12th. James G. Richardson and Ernest Thompson starred as rangers with the United States National Park Service working in the fictional Sierra National Park. NBC cancelled the series after just four episodes but allowed all 11 episodes produced to air. The 90-minute pilot telefilm was not broadcast until December 1974, a few weeks after the series went off the air.

For Better, For Worse (half hour; comedy)
Aaron Ruben Productions; with Jack Weston, Marge Redmond

Fate – Unsold. Weston and Redmond played a married couple who have spent decades threatening one another with divorce. Aired in August 1976.

Doctor Domingo (half hour; doctor)
Universal in association with Harbour Productions; Desi Arnaz

Fate – Unsold. Arnaz starred as a doctor suspicious of a pilot’s death in the middle of a flight. Aired as an episode of Ironside (“Riddle at 24,000″) in March 1974 during that show’s seventh season.

Availability: Although Season 7 of Ironside has not been released on DVD in the United States, it was released in Australia and New Zealand (Region 4), with “Riddle at 24,000″ included.

Home Free (half hour; comedy)
Playboy Productions; with Jane Alexander, Laurence Luckenbill, Rex Eberhardt

Fate – Unsold. Alexander played a parole officer and Luckenbill her husband, a lawyer. Retitled “Someone to Watch Over Me” and aired in December 1975 as part of a 90-minute block of unsold pilots from the 1974-1975 season under the umbrella title “The Owl, the Pussycat and Friends” (the other pilots were “Moose” and “The Owl and the Pussycat”).

My Wife Next Door (half hour; comedy)
Concept II Productions

Fate – Unsold. Based on a British TV series. James Farentino and Julie Sommars starred as a couple in the middle of a divorce who accidentally rent adjoining beachfront apartments. Aired in December 1975.

Second Start (half hour; comedy)
MTM Productions; with Bob Crane, Trisha Hart, Harold Goule, Todd Susman, Rae Allen

Fate – Picked up! Originally scheduled for Fall 1974, this sitcom was pulled after an appeals court forced the FCC to delay relaxing the Prime Time Access Rule until September 1975. Crane starred as an insurance salesman in his 40s who decides to quit his job and go to medical school. Retitled The Bob Crane Show, it premiered in March 1975 and was off the air 13 weeks later.

Moose (half hour; comedy)
Lorimer Productions

Fate – Unsold. According to contemporary television listings, Scott Jacoby, William James Madden, and George O’Hanlon starred in this sitcom pilot as three teenagers growing up in 1950s Chicago. In Unsold Televisio Pilots: Vol. 1: 1955-1976, Lee Goldberg states that this pilot was set in a small town prior to the start of World war II. Either way, it aired in December 1975 as part of a 90-minute block of unsold pilots from the 1974-1975 season under the umbrella title “The Owl, the Pussycat and Friends” (the other pilots were “Someone to Watch Over Me” and “The Owl and the Pussycat”).

Chico and the Man (half hour; comedy/drama)
Wolper Productions; with Jack Albertson, Freddie Prinze

Fate – Picked up! James Komack created this sitcom, which was a breakout hit and ranked 3rd for the 1974-1975 season, thanks in part to airing after Sanford and Son.

The Owl and the Pussycat (half hour; comedy)
Screen Gems; with Buck Henry

Fate – Unsold. Based on the 1970 film starring George Segal as an aspiring writer and Barbara Streis as an aspiring actress (and hooker) who become friends. For this sitcom pilot, Buck Henry and Bernadette Peters took over the lead roles. Aired in December 1975 as part of a 90-minute block of unsold pilots from the 1974-1975 season under the umbrella title “The Owl, the Pussycat and Friends” (the other pilots were “Moose” and “Someone to Watch Over Me”).

Fraud (half hour; law enforcement)
Universal in association with Mark VII productions; Frank Sinatra Jr., Ed Nelson, Sharon Gless

Fate – Unsold. Nelson starred as an assistant district attorney combating fraud, with Gless and Sinatra, Jr. as agents under his command. Directed by Jack Webb, who later turned it into a March 1974 episode of Adam-12 titled “Clinic on Eighteenth Street.”

Availability: The version of the pilot used in Adam-12 is included in the Season 6 DVD set, released in January 2012 by Shout! Factory.

Sunshine (half hour; drama)
Universal; Cliff DeYoung

Fate – Picked up! Originally scheduled for Fall 1974, this sitcom was pulled after an appeals court forced the FCC to delay relaxing the Prime Time Access Rule until September 1975. DeYoung starred as a widower raising his wife’s 5-year-old daughter from a previous marriage. The sitcom premiered in March 1975 and ended 13 weeks later. Based on a November 1973 made-for-TV movie of the same name.

Bluffer’s Guide (hour; comedy)
Bob Hope Productions; with Bob Hope, David Niven

Fate – Unsold. Based loosely on the Bluffer’s Guides books published in England, this comedy pilot was executive produced by Bob Hope, who served as Master Bluffer, and was hosted by David Niven. It featured a slew of celebrities put into situations they have to bluff their way out of. For example: Carl Reiner was Shakespeare attempting to explain his next play; Merv Griffin had to sing while viewers were shown what he was thinking about; and Ed Asner attempted to handle telephone calls from his wife and two girlfriends at the same time. Other guests included Pat Harrington, Glenn Ford, Jack Benny, Sandy Duncan, Earnest Borgnine.

Born Free (hour; drama)
Screen Gems

Fate – Picked up! Based on Joy Adamson’s 1960 book of the same name (which was turned into a 1966 film starring Virginia McKenna and Bill Travers), this series starred Gary Collins and Diana Muldaur as wildlife conservationist Joy and George Adamson, wildlife conservationists living in Keyna with Elsa the Lioness, trying to protect the animals in their care.

Availability: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment released the entire series on DVD in August 2012.

Little House on the Prairie (hour; comedy)
NBC Productions; with Michael Landon, Karen Grassele

Fate – Picked up! This long-running family drama was another hit for NBC, ending the 1974-1975 season in 13th place. Based on Laura Ingalls Wilder’s “Little House” books, the series ran for nine seasons and 203 episodes, ending in May 1982. Landon starred as the patriarch of the Ingalls family. The pilot telefilm aired in March 1974.

Availability: The entire series is available on DVD but the pilot telefilm was only included in the deluxe remastered DVD and Blu-ray sets released in March 2014.

Remember When (hour; comedy)
Danny Thomas Productions; with Jack Warden, Nan Martin, William Schallert, Jamie Smith Jackson, Margaret Willock, Bobby Benson

Fate – Unsold. Set in Hartford, CT during World War II, this pilot followed a family with four sons in combat learning to live with both the constant worry as well as the wartime restrictions faced by those on the homefront. Warden starred as the family’s uncle. The two-hour pilot telefilm aired in March 1974.

Archer (hour; detective)
Paramount; with Peter Graves

Fate – Picked up! Based on novelist Ross Macdonald’s detective Lew Archer character, Graves starred the title character whose investigation into the disappearance of a man years ago results in the murder of the missing man’s son. The pilot telefilm aired in May 1974 under the title The Underground Man. A reworked version of the pilot was turned into a short-lived detective series called Archer starring Brian Keith, which ran from January to March 1975.

The Black Pearl (hour; adventure)
Universal in association with Mark VII Productions; with Keil Martin, Ralph Bellamy, Jack Kruschen

Fate – Unsold. Martin starred as a stockbroker who inherits the ship his grandfather used to search for sunken treasure. He decides to continue his grandfather’s quest for sunken treasure. The pilot telefilm aired in January 1975 under the title The Log of the Black Pearl.

Amy Prentiss (hour; police)
Universal in association with Harbour Productions with Jessica Walter

Fate – Picked up! A segment of The NBC Sunday Mystery Movie., only three episodes of this series aired during the 1974-1975 season. A two-part episode of Ironside broadcast in May 1974 served as the pilot for the series, which starred Walters as the San Francisco Police Department’s first female chief of detectives.

The Law (hour; lawyers)
Universal; with Judd Hirsh, John Beck, Herb Jefferson, George Wynner, Bonnie Franklin, Barbara Baxley, John Hillerman, Gary Busey.

Fate – Unsold. Hirsh starred as a dedicated Los Angeles deputy public defender trying to prove a farm boy innocent of the cruel murder of a football player. The two-and-a-half-hour pilot telefilm aired in October 1974.

The Healers (hour; doctor)
Warner Bros.

Fate – Unsold. John Forsythe starred as the director of a medical research center plagued with low funding, dealing with the loss of key staff members, and a doctor’s use of an untested drug to try to save a dying child. The pilot telefilm aired in May 1974.

Twice in a Lifetime (hour; comedy)
Martin Reckin Productions; with Ernest Borgnine, Della Reese

Fate – Unsold. Borgnine starred as a retired Navy cook who buys an old tugboat hoping to get back to sea but runs into a dishonest dock foreman. The pilot telefilm aired in March 1974.

Night Games (hour; lawyers)
Paramount; with Barry Newman, Susan Howard, Albert Saimi

Fate – Picked up! Broadcasting noted that the series would probably be called Petrocelli if it was picked up and that’s exactly what NBC decided to call it. The legal drama starred Newman as an Italian-American lawyer who leaves his job in Boston to work as a defense attorney in Arizona. The series premiered on Wednesday, September 11th and performed well enough to be picked up for the rest of the season and renewed for the 1975-1976 season but was cancelled after that. The pilot telefilm, Night Games aired in March 1974. Newman had earlier played Petrocelli in a 1970 film called The Lawyer.

In Tandem (hour; comedy)
D’Antoni Produtions; with Claude Akins, Frank Converse

Fate – Picked up! Akins and Converse starred as big rig drivers hauling anything anywhere. The series was renamed Movin’ On before it premiered. It was renewed for the 1975-1976 season but cancelled after that. The pilot telefilm aired in May 1974.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (hour; drama)
20th Century-Fox; with Diana Baker, James Olson, Nancy Malone, Michael Wixton

Fate – Unsold. Based on Betty Smith’s 1943 novel of the same name, which was turned into a 1945 movie directed by Elia Kazan and starring James Dunn and Dorothy McGuire, about life in a poor Brooklyn neighborhood in the early 1990s. In the pilot, Cliff Robertson starred as a kind but alcoholic father with Diane Baker as his wife, forced to support the family. The pilot telefilm aired in March 1974.

Honky Tonk (hour; period western)
MGM Television; with Richard Crenna

Fate – Unsold. Based very loosely on the 1941 Clark Gable/Lana Turner movie about a con man, Richard Crenna starred as Candy Johnson, a young con man out West in the 1880s. The pilot telefilm aired in March 1974.

Punch and Jody (hour; comedy/drama)
Metromedia Producers Corp.; with Glenn Ford, Ruth Roman, Pamela Griffin

Fate – Unsold. Glenn Ford starred as a circus performer who discovers he has a 16-year-old daughter (played by Griffin) when his ex-wife dies and names him guardian. The pilot telefilm aired in November 1974.

The Girl on the Late, Late Show (hour; adventure)
Screen Gems; with Don Murray, Laraine Stephens

Fate – Unsold. Murray starred as the producer of a talk show investigating the mysterious disappearance of an actress from the 1950s, with Gloria Grahame as the actress he’s searching for. The pilot telefilm aired in April 1974.

The Imposter (hour; detective)
Warner Bros.; with Paul Hecht, Nancy Kelly

Fate – Unsold. Hecht starred as a former Army intelligence officer paid to impersonate a contractor receiving death threats. He uses his acting and disguise skills to uncover a larger conspiracy. The pilot telefilm aired in March 1975.

Lucas Tanner (hour; school)
Universal; with David Hartman

Fate – Picked up! Hartman starred as a high school English teacher whose teaching style often put him at odds with his fellow teachers. He had the support of his principal, however. The series premiered on Wednesday, September 11th to decent ratings and was picked up for the remainder of the 1974-1975 season but was cancelled at the end of the season. The pilot telefilm aired in May 1974.

Vector (hour; medical)
Universal in association with Mark VII Productions; with Robert Urich, Maureen Reagan

Fate – Unsold. Robert Urich (as Robert York) and Maureen Reagan starred as epidemiologists working to track down health risks to the public, including mysterious rashes and an accident at a soap factory. The pilot telefilm aired in January 1975 under the title The Specialists part of an NBC Double Feature with another unsold pilot called Target Risk.

American Bag (hour; comedy)
Beards-Blye Productions; with Dennis Weaver

Fate – Unsold. Weaver hosted this variety show pilot which satirized the country’s social and political problems, helped by a cast that included Gabe Kaplan, Dena Dietrich, McLean Stevenson, and Nina Wayne. Aired in February 1974.

Hamburger (hour; comedy)
Beards-Blye Productions

Fate – Unsold. Another variety show pilot that saw the return of Sid Caeser to television after some 15 years. Much like Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In, it was a fast-paced mix of sketches, animated sequences, blackouts, and music. Also appearing were Jim Nabors, Charles Nelson Reilly, Robby Vinton, Charlie Callas, Mickey Dolenz, William Conrad, and others. The pilot aired as a special in April 1974 called “Hamburgers.”

The Rockford Files (hour; detective)
Universal in association with Cherokee Productions; with James Garner

Fate – Picked up! Yet another success for NBC, this crime drama starred Garner as a private investigator in Los Angeles. It ranked 12th for the 1974-1975 and remained on the air until January 1980. The pilot telefilm aired in March 1974.

Target Risk (hour; action/adventure)
Universal; with Bo Svenson

Fate – Unsold. Svenson starred as a bonded courier whose girlfriend (played by Meredith Baxter Birney) is kidnapped by jewel thieves who want him to help steal $2 million worth of diamonds. The pilot telefilm aired in January 1975 as part of an NBC Double Feature with another unsold pilot called The Specialists (aka Vector).