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 8th, 1989
Vol. 37, No. 27, Issue #1893
On the Cover: An assortment of TV stars and personalities
This week’s issue includes just four articles:
- Reviewing the Past Season: The Best and Worst, by Dick Friedman and Mike Lipton
- Does Patti D’Arbanville Need a 7th Tattoo? by Lawrence Eisenberg
- Sally Jessy Raphael, by Doug Hill
- Presenting the All-Star Screwball Team, by Tim McCarver with Ray Robinson
As the cover declares, the lengthy review of the 1988-1989 TV season in this issue is “an irreverent look” at the best and worst of television. Categories include Wittiest Newsroom Ensemble Since Mary, Lou, Murray, Ted and Sue Ann Ankled WJM, The Yuppie Blues (or Don’t Worry, They’re Still Happy) Award, Most Smashing Tabloid-TV Show Since Geraldo Got Hit by That Chair, Best New Excuse for Showing Up Late to Work, Still the Sexiest Performance Since Fawn Hall Stormed Capitol Hill, and Great Moments in Western Culture Award. In other words, this is not a serious examination of the 1988-1989 TV season.
However, it does feature a two-page look at TV ratings from the 1988-1989 season: prime time series, specials, theatrical movies, miniseries, soap operas, sports, TV-movies, morning news shows, evening news shows, and network averages. The list of prime time series includes 83 shows that aired six episodes or more between September 19th, 1988 and April 16th, 1989. It’s not a complete list, however, because while three FOX shows (Married with Children, America’s Most Wanted, and 21 Jump Street) are on it, several other lower-rated FOX shows aren’t. Low-rated shows from the other networks are likely missing as well.
After seeing the title, I had to read the one-page profile of Patti D’Arbanville and her tattoos. She plans to get one more in honor of her son but that’s it. “I don’t think a man should go out with a woman who has more than seven tattoos.”
I skipped the articles about Sally Jessy Raphael and eccentric baseball players.
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 Bea Arthur’s days at New York’s Dramatic Workshop, Sherman Hemsley’s grouchiness, John Davidson’s plans to take a year off when he turns 50 in 1991, and more. Alan Carter shares stories about Barbara Crampton, James Wicek, and Vincent Irizarry in Soaps. Mel Durslag’s Sports View tackles baseball with Bob Costas and Home Run Derby on ESPN.
The Video Cassette Report features a list of which pay-cable channels have exclusive rights to some of the most popular movies released on videocassette. Cheers ‘n’ Jeers praises the “resurgence” of NBC’s Hunter, laments Showtime’s “maddening” movie schedule, applauds “The International Rock Awards” on ABC, and thanks the makers of VCRs.
[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 the following categories: On the Grapevine, and Soap Opera Guide.]
There are no news reports this week but there is a excerpt from The Acting President: Ronald Reagan and the Supporting Players Who Helped Him Create the Illusion That Held America Spellbound by Bob Schieffer and Gary Paul Gates.
On the Grapevine also contains two reports, one in which fashion designer Nolan Miller critiques prime time TV fashion and another about the next season of Tour of Duty.
[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 eight letters respond to an article about The Wonder Years, published in the June 10th issue. Here are two:
I think that anyone who has a pleasant memory of junior high school will have five unpleasant ones to match. After watching the first episode, I immediately felt like doing my homework or covering some school books.
I am tired of reading about how original The Wonder Years is. It’s merely an updating of the premise Jean Shepherd has been using in his movies, books and PBS specials about his boyhood for many wonderful years of his own.
William M. S.
See my review of the January 7th, 1989 issue for the Channel Directory to the Toledo-Lima Edition.
- Wimbledon Tennis (NBC, Saturday/Sunday at 9AM)
- [Cable Close Up] Movie: A Fish Called Wanda (HBO, Saturday at 8PM)
- [Cable Close Up] Movie: Bill Durhama (Showtime, Saturday at 8PM)
- [Cable Close Up] Great Expectations (Disney, Sunday at 8PM)
- Golden Years? (PBS, Monday at 10PM)
- Baseball All-Star Game (NBC, Tuesday at 8:15PM)
- Struggle for Democracy (PBS, Tuesday at 9PM)
- Prince’s Trust Gala (TBS, Wednesday at 8:05PM)
- CBS News Special: The Moon Above, The Earth Below (CBS, Thursday at 9PM)
- [Cable Close Up] Paris Live! (A&E, Friday at 7PM)
Do You Remember…?
Saturday, July 8th, 1989
9:30PM NBC (13) (35) (4) (4D) (22) (33) KNIGHT & DAYE (CC)–Comedy
Debut: Jack Warden and Mason Adams star as an estranged radio team who get an offer from a San Diego station to return to the airwaves, although the static from their feud is as loud as ever.
[Another episode airs Wednesday in the series’ regular time slot.]
10PM CBS (11) (2D) (7) (10) (15) WEST 57TH (CC)–Newsmagazine; 60 min.
Scheduled: A March report on aspiring songwriters in Nashville; and a 1988 segment on successful efforts to save the Florida alligator from extinction. (Repeat)
Sunday, July 9th, 1989
7PM NBC (13) (35) (4) (4D) (22) (33) JIM HENSON (CC); 60 min.
Henson introduces an hourlong story about a talented British teen (Kieran O’Brien) whose dream comes true when the “Monster Maker” (Harry Dean Stanton), a master of special effects, hires him to help in his studio.
[New day and time.]
8PM ABC (24) (2) (6) (7D) (21) HAVE FAITH (CC)–Comedy
Monsignor Mac (Joel Higgins) prays for his own safety after he angers parishioners by shutting down the weekly bingo game. (Repeat)
Monday, July 10th, 1989
8:30PM CBS (11) (2D) (7) (10) (15) HEARTLAND (CC)–Comedy
Johnny comes down with a major case of puppy love for a farmer’s daughter, while Casey (Kathleen Layman) is doggedly determined not to care for another family pooch. (Repeat)
10:30PM CBS (11) (2D) (7) (10) (15) DOCTOR, DOCTOR (CC)–Comedy
While having a heart attack, Mike’s landlord persuades Mike (Matt Frewer) to buy his apartment house, despite Mike’s faltering TV career and medical partnership.
Tuesday, July 11th, 1989
8PM CBS (11) (2D) (7) (10) (15) SUMMER PLAYHOUSE (CC)–Drama; 60 min.
Nate Goodman (Jeffrey De Mann) arrives in New Orleans to head up a crisis center, and moves into “Elysian Fields,” the boarding-house residence of an assortment of eccentrics, led by the divorced proprietor and her lustful sister (Frances Fisher, Judith Hoag).
Wednesday, July 12th, 1989
9:30PM NBC (13) (35) (4) (4D) (22) (33) KNIGHT & DAYE (CC)–Comedy
When Everett (Mason Adams) loudly disapproves of Hank’s dalliances with younger women, Hank (Jack Warden) takes the cue and finds himself an older–much older–woman (Mary Jackson).
ABC (24) (2) (6) (7D) (21) ROBERT GUILLAUME (CC)–Comedy
While Edward and Ann (Robert Guillaume, Wendy Phillips) reflect on their first date together the night before, Pamela (Kelsey Scott) prepares for her first date ever.
Thursday, July 13th, 1989
9:30PM NBC (13) (35) (4) (4D) (22) (33) BABY BOOM (CC)
A day in the life: J.C. (Kate Jackson) waits to hear about a big account, Charlotte (Susie Essman) waits to hear about her raise and Fritz (Sam Wanamaker) waits to hear about a date (Gretchen Wyler).
Friday, July 14th, 1989
9:30PM ABC (24) (2) (6) (7D) (21) MORNING GLORY (CC)
Two talent bookers on a Pittsburgh morning talk show can pull a ratings coup-and save their jobs–if they can get a couple to return to the show after their 63-year marriage unraveled on TV the day before. A pilot not on ABC’s announced fall schedule.
Finally, a new summer scripted show debuts. I hadn’t heard of Knight & Daye before. It ran for just seven episodes. Two aired this week back in 1989, so I should find listings for it in the next five issues. NBC also burned off an episode of Baby Boom, almost seven months after pulling the sitcom from its schedule in December 1988. And ABC offered viewers yet another unsold sitcom pilot.
That’s it for this issue. Check back next week for my review of the July 15th, 1989 issue of TV Guide. As always, hit the comments with any thoughts or reactions.