TV Guide #7: October 21-27, 1978

Time for another stroll down couch potato lane.  This one's from 1978 - a year in which I evidently watched A LOT of television because I pretty much remember every show on every night.  WKRP had just come out and got the cover picture, but there's just a little article on Andy Travis.  The real joy, as usual, is looking at what's on each night - so, let's dive in...

So many memories, and so much joy are crammed into these few short hours on Saturday morning.  Superfriends, Godzilla, Ark II, Space Academy, The Krofft Superstar Hour, Fantastic Four, and, of course, Fat Albert - this one's about TV addiction.

If you can divert your attention away from the creepy ventriloquist dummy, you'll note Billy Carter is on tonight's Hee Haw.  On later: the Hee Haw Honeys (insert wolf whistle).

You'll note this Gilligan's Island special has no Howells and no Tina Louise (who developed a resentment against the show).

It's not "stewardess", it's "flight attendant".  Get it straight NBC.

Also, the Love Boat tonight is one not to miss: Billy Crystal, Marilyn McCoo (The 5th Dimension, Solid Gold), Robert Reed (Mr. Brady was constantly guesting during this period) and Todd Bridges (Diff'rent Strokes).

The SelectaVision basically acts as a TiVo - and you can store up to FOUR shows on your VHS tape.

Sunday morning was always dominated by religious programming (and this being a Utah TV Guide, it's naturally full of Mormon shows).  I remember watching Davey and Goliath as well as an animated show called Jot, which I'd love to see again.

This week's In Search Of.. is about human cloning.

A TV movie starring Linda Lavin and Kristy McNichol - I don't know how I missed this one. Just like in Alice, she's separated and makin' it on her own with a teenage kid.  I'll bet the level of drama was over the top; unfortunately, there'd be no Flo, Vera or Mel to lighten things up..

The whole Walking Tall thing was big in the blue-collar crazy 70s.  The real Pusser was supposed to take over the role, but he died in a car crash and it went to Svenson, a former bodyguard to the King of Sweden.  Look for Svenson's cameo in Inglourious Basterds (he's the only guy to be in both the original and Tarantino's version)..

An early role for Kim Basinger "who grows up fast as a nude model".  Before that it's People with guests ELO and Wonder Woman.  Hell yes.

Interesting that there'd be a special about the cannibalistic Donner Party, given that this is a Utah TV Guide, and this doesn't look great for Mormons.  Also, there's a creepy guy on this episode of Laverne & Shirley named "Eraserhead".  I wonder if that's where David Lynch got the inspiration?

I hate to sound like a broken record, but I am continually amazed at the level of variety - quality variety - with such a limited number of channels.  In interviews alone you've got Hugh Downs interviewing Henry Miller for God's sake and Merv Griffin with Les Brown and Eartha Kitt!

I don't miss fooling around with antennas, both indoor and rooftop were a pain in the ass.  Also, note the sparse offerings of Halloween specials this week.

I love me some Ann Dusenberry who was a stone cold fox in National Lampoon's Movie Madness (1982).  Also, the wonders of the bank tube are unfolding in 1978.

So, what do you choose this Wednesday night?  Ms. Dusenberry in the Dan Haggerty TV movie, an Erma Bombeck TV movie adaptation starring Burnett and Grodin, or Charlie's Angels?  I won't tell you my choice because I don't want to influence your decision.

I need to find Cotton Candy; I don't believe I've seen it, and it obviously demands my attention.

Nothing like having the bottom half of a nude woman in your TV Guide.

I've said this before: I love how they used to regularly play obscure horror movies that you would still have a hard time finding today.  Point of Terror is today's example.

Midnight Special was just freaking badass.  Tonight it's Paul McCartney and the Little River Band performing one of my all time favorite soft rock songs.


  1. Oh, Gilligan, Gilligan, Gilligan, The Howells were too in "Rescue from Gilligan's Island." Jim Backus and Natalie Schafer's names are third ad fourth billed in the cast list on the entry across from the ad's artwork. And Backus's name is also on the ad and Thurston and Lovey are prominently pictured on the ad. Tina Louise was the only cast member not to return. Backus did, however, only put in a short cameo appearance at the end of "The Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan's Island."

    Consider yourself duly bopped on the head by the Skipper's hat. :)

  2. On that Saturday, you can watch Billy Carter on Hee Haw and then at 7:30 you could catch Carter Country, set in a fictional town similar to Plains.

  3. Four shows on one VHS tape....wow. Didn't a blank videocassette cost $20-$30 in the late '70s? That's well over $50 in today's money.....for ONE VIDEOCASSETTE! You can still find 5-packs of blank VHS tapes at places like Walmart for under $10.

    1. And that was at LP which was four hours. My first VHS only had the two speeds and tapes WERE really expensive. Of course the machines were over a thousand dollars also. The first VHS rental place in my neighborhood had to rent you a machine as well.

  4. I love that NBC logo appearing in their ads. That is the first NBC logo I ever remember seeing. A couple of years later I would think "Where did that peacock come from?"

  5. I remember watching Katie: Portrait of a Centerfold when my parents were out one night. I was disappointed. They didn't even come close to showing anything. It was more about the aftermath and how she had to deal with everyone (EVERYONE. Every single person she met for the rest of her life) who saw her naked, including her parents.

  6. AnonymousJune 16, 2015

    They still air Davey And Goliath on Sundays here on the religious channel. For awhile, they were also showing Gumby And Pokey. Nick

  7. AnonymousJune 16, 2015

    I was at that Broncos-Colts game,Colts won 7-6,and I believe they blocked a field goal at the end to preserve the win

  8. I can see Kristy McNicol's bra!!

    The kinda miss TV antennas. I just liked the look of them on everybody's roof. You could tell who cared and/or who had more money because it would be larger, with more rods, and maybe even a motorized directional motor.

    I too would like to see Cotton Candy. Charlie Martin Smith is great, and of course Ron put his goofy little brother in it too.

    Ah, Erma Bombeck. Every mom's favorite humorist. The full version of Grass/Septic is on YouTube. I've added it to my growing Watch Later list.

  9. Cotton Candy is on Youtube.

    I use to get up at 6 am to watch cartoons. And now there are no cartoons at all.

  10. When we bought our built-in-1971 house in 2002, it still had the aerial antenna with a motor. We could rotate it with a knob inside the house.
    Alas, it was one of the first things to go when we bought the place.

    1. AnonymousJune 20, 2015

      How could you? :(

  11. I wanted one of those ventriloquist dummies so bad when I was a kid. I loved the Sword of Justice as a kid. The star was one of the first major TV star's I remember dying of AIDS.

  12. I remember the problems with Sunday morning TV as well. David & Goliath was the ONLY thing worth watching before 11:00 AM. Even the independent channels had "Hour of Power" etc.

  13. So I watched Grass/Septic today. I was hoping for so much more. At times I felt embarrassed for the actors and found myself forcing myself to laugh at jokes because I was trying to convince myself that things were much funnier than they actually were. And then there's a long part where things get unhappy and serious, which just made me uncomfortable, since it's supposed to be a lifelike comedy. I'd like the cast to go back in time and do this again, but with better directors and/or screenwriters.

  14. AnonymousJuly 01, 2015

    Well I'm really not sure how to say this............. Kim BASSinger? Kim BAYsinger? Kim BassinJER?