45th Anniversary of Fall 1974

The 1974-1975 television season began 45 years ago tonight on Monday, September 9th, 1974. Two new shows debuted that night: Rhoda on CBS and Born Free on NBC. In all, the networks unveiled 24 new shows that fall. Most of them failed. Many were pulled off the air by mid-season. Others managed to hold on for the duration of the season.

Only a handful of the new shows introduced during Fall 1974 returned for the 1975-1976 season. Among them were Rhoda (CBS), Little House on the Prairie (NBC), That’s My Mama (ABC), and The Rockford Files (NBC).

Here’s a complete list of the news shows for Fall 1974. Shows marked with an asterisk (*) were not renewed for the 1975-1976 season.

New Shows for Fall 1974

Get Christie Love!*
Harry O
Kolchak: The Night Stalker*
The New Land*
Paper Moon*
The Texas Wheelers*
That’s My Mama
The Sonny Comedy Revue*

The Manhunter*
Paul Sand in Friends and Lovers*
Planet of the Apes*
Sons and Daughters*

Born Free*
Chicago Chico and the Man
Little House on the Prairie
Lucas Tanner*
Movin’ On
Police Woman
The Rockford Files

How many of these shows did you watch in 1974?

I’ve long been fascinated by the 1974-1975 season. One of my earliest articles was a three-part look at Fall 1974:

Fall 1974: ABC
Fall 1974: CBS
Fall 1974: NBC

Another early article took an in-depth look Sons and Daughters (CBS, 1974). I’ve also written spotlights on Sierra (NBC, 1974) and The Texas Wheelers (ABC, 1974; 1975). And I’ve examined The Fall 1974 That Wasn’t, which examines the impact of a court ruling blocking the FCC from returning a half-hour of prime time to the networks. As a result, the networks were forced to shuffle their schedule, cancelling or postponing a half dozen sitcoms.

Five years ago, to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Fall 1974, I wrote a three-part special feature about pilots developed for the 1974-1975 season:

1974 Development Season: ABC’s Pilots
1974 Development Season: CBS’s Pilots
1974 Development Season: NBC’s Pilots

Later this year, look for my article about one season wonder Lucas Tanner (NBC, 1974-1975) as my obsession with Fall 1974 continues.

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4 Replies to “45th Anniversary of Fall 1974”

  1. The NBC show you listed as Chicago & The Man is CHICO & The Man! He was played by Freddie Prinze, a Latino comic who committed suicide in 1977 and his son Freddie Jr. is a successful actor!

  2. One of my favorite shows from 1974 was “The Rockford Files.” It had a great theme song, but before the music began you heard a phone ringing, followed by Rockford’s answering machine greeting telling callers to leave a message. Each episode had a different message being left, and each one relayed bad news. It was a cute gimmick.

    While “The Rockford Files” was great for James Garner fans it wasn’t good for Garner. He did much of his own stunt work, and often spent summer breaks recovering from numerous knee surgeries, which were needed to repair damage done while filming the series.

  3. Weird that NBC, who later that decade almost went out of business for lack of successful shows, was the most successful this fall.

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