A Year in TV Guide: 1989 is a year-long project to review all 52 issues of TV Guide magazine published during 1989. Every week, I’ll share my thoughts about the issue of TV Guide published exactly 30 years earlier. My goal is to examine what was written about television three decades ago while highlighting the short-lived and forgotten TV shows on network television during 1989.
June 24th, 1989
Vol. 37, No. 25, Issue #1891
On the Cover (left to right): Tristan Rogers and Edie Lehmann, by Tony Costa; James DePaiva and Jessica Tuck, by Lucille Khornak
This week’s issue includes six articles:
- The Hottest Love Stories on Daytime Soaps, by Connie Passalacqua
- Wimbledon Scouting Report, by Billie Jean King as told to Herma Rosenthal
- Nancy Stafford of Matlock
- On Empty Nest, It’s Dinah Manoff vs. the Dog, by Bill O’Hallaren
- Shows to Watch and Grow Thin, by Doreen Virtue
- Covering the Environment: Is TV News Getting all the Dirt? by Edwin Diamond and Rebecca Mead
I had a tough time finding anything of interest in this week’s issue. I read the article about TV news and the environment and the article about Dinah Manoff of Empty Nest. “Everyone wants to know about the damn dog,” she complains. “What is the dog, John Travolta? Should I say I get nervous when I’m around him, he’s so attractive?” Having never seen Empty Nest, I don’t know anything about the dog in question.
I also skimmed the article about TV shows that will help you diet (Married with Children, Roseanne, thirtysomething) and those that will help you gain weight (The Golden Girls, The Cosby Show, Empty Nest, 227).
I skipped the articles about love stories on soap operas and tennis, plus the one-page profile of Nancy Stafford.
TV Guide Insider
[TV Guide Insider includes the following features: Grapevine, Soaps, Sports View, Video Cassette Report, and Cheers ‘n’ Jeers.]
Lawrence Eisenberg’s Grapevine includes tidbits about Jonathan Silverman’s journals, Jay Leno’s college job performing comedy in strip clubs, and more. Alan Carter shares stories about the 16th Annual Daytime Emmys, cosmetic surgery on ABC’s Loving, and Thaao Penghlis in Soaps. Mel Durslag’s Sports View tackles the prime-time debut of the NBA draft on TBS and the state of the NFL when commissioner Pete Rozelle took office in 1960.
Prices from the Video Cassette Report for movies on VHS: Bird ($89.95), Buster ($89.99), Dirty Rotten Scoundrels ($89.98), Pelle the Conqueror ($89.99), Torch Strong Trilogy ($89.95). Cheers ‘n’ Jeers praises Quantum Leap‘s premise and cast, criticizes TV stations that break into programing for local news, laments Linda Ellerbee’s decision to become a spokeswoman for Maxwell House coffee, and applauds ABC News for having a sense of humor.
[There is no review in this issue.]
The Program Section
[The Program Section includes the following features: TV Guide Plus, This Week, This Week’s Movies, Four-Star Movies, This Week’s Sports, Channel Directory, Pay-TV Movie Guide, TV Crossword Puzzle, Letters, and Horoscope.]
TV Guide Plus
[This week’s TV Guide Plus section includes a lengthy summer preview and the regular Soap Opera Guide.]
A four-page “summer survivor’s guide” runs down network and cable programming for the summer: weekly series (including scripted shows on NBC and CBS), miniseries, TV-movies, specials, and sports.
[Although TV Guide published the first and last names of those who wrote letters, for privacy reasons I will only be sharing the first name and the first letter of the last name.]
Three of the seven letters respond to an article about women worth watching on television published in the the May 27 issue. Here are two:
Jane O’Reilly is right to single out Murphy Brown, Kate & Allie and China Beach as shows featuring intelligent and admirable women worth watching. Designing Women, however, is a misnomer. It should be called Whining Women. While her goal might be to avoid stereotyping, Linda Bloodworth-Thomason’s creation of Julia Sugarbaker fits every feminist cliche in the book: she’s loudmouthed, shrill, self-righteous and humorless.
O’Reilly relinquished all legitimacy as a critic of female TV characters with her comment that Lucy Ricardo was dumb. I’d like to see Cagney and Lacy mastermind the theft of John Wayne’s footprints from Grauman’s Chinese Theater!
Palm Springs, Cal.
See my review of the January 7th, 1989 issue for the Channel Directory to the Toledo-Lima Edition.
- [Cable Close Up] Movie: Traveling Man (HBO, Sunday at 9PM)
- American Masters (PBS, Monday at 9PM)
- [Cable Close Up] NBA Draft (TBS, Tuesday at 7:35PM)
- Wiseguy, “Stairway to Heaven” (CBS, Wednesday at 9PM, Repeat)
- Daytime Emmy Awards (NBC, Thursday at 3PM)
Do You Remember…?
Saturday, June 24th, 1989
10PM CBS (11) (2D) (7) (10) (15) WEST 57TH (CC); 60 min.
Scheduled: A 1988 report on drug trafficking by Los Angeles gangs; an April profile of Michael Keaton; a February piece on Columbus (Ohio) Zoo director Jack Hanna. (Repeat)
Sunday, June 25th, 1989
8PM ABC (24) (2) (6) (7D) (21) HAVE FAITH (CC)
Mac (Joel Higgins) is repeatedly called to perform last rites for a lonely nursing-home resident (Eric Christmas); Father Gabe (Stephen Furst) is in the hot seat when an arsonist confesses. (Repeat)
Monday, June 26th, 1989
8:30PM CBS (11) (2D) (7) (10) (15) HEARTLAND (CC)
Gus (Devin Ratray) proves that chivalry isn’t dead–nor is the male ego–when he quits the wrestling team to avoid grappling with a girl. (Repeat)
10:30PM CBS (11) (2D) (7) (10) (15) DOCTOR, DOCTOR(CC)–Comedy
Mike (Matt Frewer) could use a cure-all: his novel “Panacea” gets rave reviews but doesn’t sell, and an on-air incident involving a jelly doughnut and the Heimlich maneuver mars his first day as a TV doctor.
Tuesday, June 27th, 1989
8PM CBS (11) (2D) (7) (10) (15) SUMMER PLAYHOUSE (CC)–Adventure; 60 min.
The “B-Men” are high-schoolers (James MacDonald, David Arnott) who take up bounty hunting as an extracurricular activity after “relying on their wits” to nab a serial killer.
Wednesday, June 28th, 1989
8PM CBS (11) (2D) (7) (10) (15) HARD TIME ON PLANET EARTH (CC)–Adventure; 60 min.
A reporter tries to help Jesse (Martin Kove) find the power-depleted Control after he suffers a misadventure at Disneyland and is taken home by a child, whose father thinks Control may be a national-security threat. (Repeat).
9:30PM ABC (24) (2) (6) (7D) (21) ROBERT GUILLAUME (CC)–Comedy
Edward (Robert Guillaume) would like to date Ann (Wendy Phillips), but she still seems to be emotionally tied to her ex (Frederick Coffin). (Repeat)
Thursday, June 29th, 1989
9PM CBS (11) (2D) (7) (10) (15) CAVANAUGHS (CC)
Return: The Cavanaugh clan is back, but Irish eyes aren’t smiling when Kit (Christine Ebersole) cuts in on Mary Margaret (Mary Tanner) and her dirty-dancing teacher.
9:30PM CBS (11) (2D) (7) (10) (15) COMING OF AGE (CC)
Return: Dick’s old pilot buddies gather in Phoenix for ground school, but the reunion reminds Dick (Paul Dooley) of his “clipped wings” and retirement.
The best part of this issue was the “summer survivor’s guide” in the program section. Now I know what new and returning scripted network shows to be on the look for as the summer of 1989 continues.
That’s it for this issue. Check back next week for my review of the July 1st, 1989 issue of TV Guide. As always, hit the comments with any thoughts or reactions.