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.
July 1st, 1989
Vol. 37, No. 26, Issue #1892
On the Cover (clockwise from top left): Virginia Madsen, by Bob Marshak; Tom Selleck, by Gene Trindl; Michael J. Fox and Don Harvey, by Roland Nevey
This week’s issue includes seven articles:
- TV Favorites Go for It in Movies, by Kenneth Turan
- Why Robin Givens Has Rolled with the Punches and Still Loves Tyson, by Mary Murphy
- The Most Dangerous Jobs in TV, by Howard Polskin
- Sportscaster Marv Albert Can Play Rough, by Loren Feldman
- Paul Rodriguez of The Newlywed Game, by Jane Marion
- Can You Trust TV as a Baby Sitter? by Susan Littwin
I can understand why readers in 1989 would be interested in an article about their favorite TV stars appearing in movies during the summer months. It doesn’t interest me thirty years later. I did read the article about the most dangerous jobs in TV, which include TV news helicopter pilot, grizzly-bear trainer, foreign correspondent, and stuntman. I also read the article about TV as a baby sitter even though the studies and information referenced are thirty years out of date.
I skipped the articles about Robin Givens and Marv Albert, plus a one-page profile of Paul Rodriguez.
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 Stepfanie Kramer’s thoughts on beauty and the TV industry, Kim Delaney’s first experience in Hollywood, and more. Alan Carter shares stories about Christopher Norris, Millee Taggart, and Tom Wiggin in Soaps. Mel Durslag’s Sports View tackles baseball announcer Al Michaels.
Prices from the Video Cassette Report for movies on VHS: The Accidental Tourist ($89.95), Heartbreak Hotel ($89.95), The Last Temptation of Christ ($89.95), Options ($89.98), Split Decisions ($89.95), Tapeheads ($89.95), Upper Crust ($79.95). Cheers ‘n’ Jeers laments “dull cliffhangers” on nighttime soaps, praises Tracey Gold’s work on Growing Pains, criticizes Entertainment Tonight for featuring too many segments involving nudity, and applauds Glenn Davis for not wanting to be associated with Budweiser.
[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
[TV Guide Plus includes news reports and the following categories: On the Grapevine, and Soap Opera Guide.]
The In the News banner may be gone but TV Guide Plus still features news reports. There are four this week, including one about former CNN anchorwoman Mary Alice Williams reportedly being unhappy at NBC and another about Johnny Carson’s reaction to a new biography written about him.
On the Grapevine also contains four reports. Jaclyn Smith and Telly Savalas will join Burt Reynolds and Peter Falk in The ABC Mystery Movie this fall, with Savalas returning to the role of Kojak. Also, Martin Milner and Kent McCord will star in a made-for-cable movie called Nashville Beat on The Nashville Network on October 21st.
[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.]
Two of the eight letters respond to a collection of “memos” written by Rebecca Howe of Cheers, published in the the May 27 issue. Here they are:
I really enjoyed the series of memos from Rebecca Howe to the Cheers gang [“Cheers Free-for-All: Rebecca Commits Memo-cide,” May 27]. It was as adorable and funny as Cheers itself!
I haven’t watched Cheers in over two years. Judging by Rebecca Howe’s memos, I haven’t missed anything.
See my review of the January 7th, 1989 issue for the Channel Directory to the Toledo-Lima Edition.
- Wimbledon Tennis (NBC, Saturday at 12:30PM)
- A Capitol Fourth-1989 (PBS, Tuesday at 8PM)
- In Performance at the White House (PBS, Wednesday at 9PM)
- [Cable Close Up] Into Madness (HBO, Thursday at 9:30PM)
Do You Remember…?
Saturday, July 1st, 1989
10PM CBS (11) (2D) (7) (10) (15) WEST 57TH (CC); 60 min.
Scheduled: A May profile of Jerry Lee Lewis. Also: 1988 reports on a Montana man who tried to save his financially ailing farm by growing marijuana; the signing of Paulina Porizkova by Estee Lauder. Correspondents: Steve Kroft and Karen Burnes. (Repeat)
ABC (24) (2) (6) (7D) (21) A MAN CALLED HAWK (CC)–Crime Drama; 60 min.
Hawk’s cousin Jesse (Keith David) comes to his most capable kin for help when a jealous mobster puts out a contract on Jesse for romancing his girlfriend. (Repeat)
Sunday, July 2nd, 1989
8PM ABC (24) (2) (6) (7D) (21) HAVE FAITH (CC)
Mac’s friend (John Ritter), a seminary dropout, goes through a midlife crisis of faith, while a woman (Miriam Byrd-Nethery) insists she’s seen a miraculous light in her bathroom window. (Repeat)
Monday, July 3rd, 1989
8:30PM CBS (11) (2D) (7) (10) (15) HEARTLAND (CC)
A piece of an airliner falls out of the sky and kills one of the Staffords’ sheep, and while Tom and Johnny pause to consider their mortality, B.L. (Brian Keith) takes the airline for a ride. (Repeat)
Tuesday, July 4th, 1989
8PM CBS (11) (2D) (7) (10) (15) SUMMER PLAYHOUSE (CC)–Comedy; 60 min.
1. “Coming to America,” suggested by the 1988 film, places irresponsible Prince Tariq of Zamunda (Tommy Davidson) and his assistant (Paul Bates) in the house of a frugal family in Queens, N.Y. 2. In “Shivers,” a divorced father (James Eckhouse) and his two children move into a house haunted by three Revolutionary guards.
Wednesday, July 5th, 1989
8PM CBS (11) (2D) (7) (10) (15) HARD TIME ON PLANET EARTH (CC)–Adventure; 60 min.
Jesse (Martin Kove) tries to mediate between parents and their teenage daughter, who’s in a burglary ring run by two cops out to make a big score off her father. (Repeat).
9:30PM ABC (24) (2) (6) (7D) (21) ROBERT GUILLAUME (CC)–Comedy
It’s with great trepidation that Edward and Ann (Robert Guillaume, Wendy Phillips) embark on their first date, and with good reason: it’s destined for disaster.
Thursday, July 6th, 1989
9PM CBS (11) (2D) (7) (10) (15) CAVANAUGHS (CC)
From 1988: Pop and his brother “The Weasel” (Barnard Hughes, Art Carney) recall, through flashbacks, their romantic competition for the same young woman. (Repeat)
9:30PM CBS (11) (2D) (7) (10) (15) COMING OF AGE (CC)
For three weeks, party pooper Dick (Paul Dooley) is forced to improvise on meals and chores around the house while Ginny (Phyllis Newman) and their friends rehearse for the Dunes Theater Club production of “Oklahoma!”
Friday, July 7th, 1989
8PM CBS (11) (2D) (7) (10) (15) ADVENTURES IN BABYSITTING (CC)–Comedy
Bedlam precedes bedtime when Chris the baby sitter (Jenny Guthrie) leads the kids in her care on a daring escape during a convenience-store holdup. This pilot, based on the 1987 movie, is not on CBS’s announced fall schedule.
9:30PM ABC (24) (2) (6) (7D) (21) GIRL’S LIFE (CC)
Brooke Adams plays radio psychologist Meg Robbins, who has a “great life” as she turns 35, but no date, until she accepts a dinner invitation from a listener. A pilot not on ABC’s announced fall schedule.
Viewers this week had not one, not two, not three, but four unsold sitcom pilots to watch. And plenty of repeats, too.
That’s it for this issue. Check back next week for my review of the July 8th, 1989 issue of TV Guide. As always, hit the comments with any thoughts or reactions.