The ABC Wednesday Night Movie Promotional Spot

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William Asher’s Bikini Beach, produced by American International Pictures, was released theatrically during the summer of 1964. The third of seven “Beach Party” movies, Bikini Beach starred–like most of the others–Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello. According to DuMont in the comments below, the movie had its broadcast debut on Wednesday, November 24th, 1968 as part of The ABC Wednesday Night Movie. It was repeated on Wednesday, July 9th, 1969. This is a promotional spot that was likely used for both airings.

11 Replies to “The ABC Wednesday Night Movie Promotional Spot”

  1. Asher’s involvement in these films also accounts for then-wife Elizabeth Montgomery’s cameo at the end of “How To Stuff A Wild Bikini” in which she’s Samantha in all but name!

  2. It was a great cameo. I’m a big fan of the “beach party” movies and their loosely related spin-offs. Eric Von Zipper is such a wonderful character.

  3. My favorite AIP “Beach Party” film–hands down–is “Beach Blanket Bingo.” You have Frankie and Annette; Linda Evans as Sugar Kane (singing TWO songs); Paul Lynde at his bitchy best; Earl Wilson and Buster Keaton for the adults; Harvey Lembeck’s Eric Von Zipper for the slapstick; Bonehead and the mermaid; and last–but not least–Donna Loren singing one of the best “Beach Party” songs ever, “It Only Hurts When I Cry.”
    A classic. BBB is the “Citizen Kane” of the franchise!

  4. This looks more like a “preview”, seen after the opening title {“Tonight, on ‘THE ABC WEDNESDAY NIGHT MOVIE’…”}, than a promo [in those days, their movie previews were filmed, instead of prepared on tape as they are now].

  5. This summer airing was an encore airing.

    BIKINI BEACH actually got its broadcast network premiere on Wednesday November 24, 1968 as part of ‘The ABC Wednesday Night Movie’. In its premiere airing, it garnered a 16.8HH/29% rating.

    1. Not bad overall…I’m sure the second hour did better–the first was up against BEVERLY HILLBILLIES and GREEN ACRES

  6. Yes, this IS a “promo” (and because it was on film, it could be used twice in the same season [during the weeks of 11/24/68 and 7/9/69]). The way it was set up, it could have also been used as a “preview”, after the opening title, when it was shown on the “WEDNESDAY NIGHT MOVIE”. The network didn’t “convert” to tape for their movie titles and previews until the early ’80s. ABC had an exclusive agreement with American-International to present the “Beach Party” movies in the late ’60s through the mid-’70s (and this extended to WABC-TV’s local movies in New York, as well).

  7. I remember that graphic with the stars that closes this spot was used as the opening title on “The A.B.C. Sunday Night Movie” beginning with the 1967-68 season (which premiered “Ride The Wild Surf” the day before Thanksgiving 1967), and they kept it until 1971. Also, that 8-note brass motif that closed the title remains one of the best television themes of all time!

  8. Annette Funicello was also with Walt Disney Productions (now The Walt Disney Company) when she co-starred with Tommy Kirk in THE MISADVENTURES OF MERLIN JONES and its sequel THE MONKEY’S UNCLE, both directed by Robert Stevenson (MARY POPPINS). Both Merlin Jones film later were shown on Walt’s WONDERFUL WORLD OF COLOR. William Asher was also directing several episodes of BEWITCHED during its eight year run on ABC. Asher also moved his job as production consultant to producer. He and Sidney Sheldon (I DREAM OF JEANNIE) also developed THE PATTY DUKE SHOW for United Artists.

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