New Article: Lucas Tanner

My latest article examines one season wonder Lucas Tanner (NBC, 1974-1975) starring David Hartman. I’ve been working on this article for years. I was only able to watch the pilot telefilm and two episodes of the weekly TV series. I also read the novelization of the pilot telefilm. Plus, I dug up reviews of the telefilm and the series premiere, Nielsen ratings, and more. I also found contemporary episode summaries for nearly every episode published in newspapers.

Here’s the brief summary for the article:

David Hartman starred in this one season wonder as an idealistic English teacher in a Missouri high school. Although the series ranked in the Top 20 when it debuted in September 1974, ratings soon cooled. NBC cancelled the show at the end of the 1974-1975 season after 22 episodes.

Do you remember watching Lucas Tanner during the 1974-1975 season?

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4 Replies to “New Article: Lucas Tanner”

  1. memories left to rest in peace;/// DAVID LIVED OFF THE LAURELS OF HIS OWN FATHER,, Paul;; who was originally a song and dance man in his youth;;;………{…i think MAYBERRY RFD WHICH STARTED ITS FIRST REVIVAL ON MeTV recently….),,,,,,.also cemented a hick image that may have been spun from Paul HARTMANNS appearance on one of the* country- hick * sit coms,,,,,,,now how many examples of these roots spawned a daytime talk show host genre later???…….DAVID HARTMANS talk show COMPETITION WAS ever so SLIGHT WITH PHIL DONAHUE.. and idiots like morton downey jr./ Stanley Siegel../ and even Doctor Phil????? so enjoy the nap!…pk

  2. I was an avid tv watcher in 1974 but just about every new show I liked was canceled. Born Free, Planet of the Apes, Sierra, and this show comes to mind. I liked it because it had people my age on it as it was a show about a high school teacher. Also, it helped that it came on after Little House on the Prairie which I loved. On the show, David Hartman’s kid neighbor was played by Robbie Rist (also the cousin credited with making The Brady Bunch jump the shark). He was always coming over to visit Lucas Tanner. Remember the Cincinnati TV critic writing that their friendship was the best part of the show. The show lost a big part of the audience from lead- in Little House, a top 20 show.

  3. Robbie Rist had an enormous influence on his best friend ADAM SHANKMANN.;. who..;s choreography/ diercetion on 2007s HAIRSPARY put him on the ‘map’,,…… wasn’t the BRADY BUNCH SUB/PLOT with their cousin a hint of ELTON JOHN at the very beginning of his career??????..unfortuneatly; Shankmann ended up jurying DANCE TV CONTEST m oronic stuff and the sequel to HAIRSRAY never too shape???

  4. I remember this show. Used to watch it with my mother. I was just beginning to enjoy drama on television, and I enjoyed this one, as well as “James at 15”.

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