TV Guide #2: Jan 13-19, 1979

These star-studded sweeping dramatic miniseries were all too common at the close of the decade.  I'm reminded of Will Ferrell's "Spoils of Babylon", a funny-ish sendup of these shows.  Take note: before Caruso's cocky sunglasses-removal shtick, there was Robert Vaughn in Centennial.

I didn't scan the cover - it's just a picture of three network news chiefs looking really curmudgeonly and boring.  However, inside the front cover is Mr. Lou Rawls "easin' into evening" selling big round bottles of Bud.  Puts me in good spirits just looking at it.

The White Shadow took itself ever so seriously.  Hee Haw Honeys was a Hee Haw spinoff starring Kathie Lee Gifford as one of the titular Honeys.  As you can imagine, it left a lot to be desired... you're probably better off just having a quick smoke whilst staring at your Light Fountain.

Was there a profession cooler than stuntman in the 1970s?  Truck drivers ran a close second, but even before The Fall Guy, stuntmen were tops.

I can't picture Playboy magazine being allowed to advertise in today's TV Guide - am I wrong on this?  Also note: Jan Brady (Eve Plumb) starring on this week's Fantasy Island.

That is a badass advertisement - almost looks like a Frazetta.  I'm sure there's a full color version of this out there somewhere, and I want it hanging above my fireplace.

Men were obsessed with the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders back then. This lousy special had 48% share of the national television audience.  The girls made appearances on shows like Donny & Marie and had several TV specials of their own.  They were a damn empire in the 1970s.  (Take note that Yankee shortstop Bucky Dent makes an appearance!)

Seeing Robin Williams just makes me sad.  It's still just a bit too fresh.   I will say Make Me Laugh was my favorite show on television this year.  I loved seeing the comedians try and make contestants laugh - it was an amazing show (or at least that's how I remember it 36 years later).

That giant ventriloquist dummy is the stuff of nightmares.  

The double feature to the right demonstrates how damn awesome TV was back then.  I would argue it was far better, but I'd probably be in the minority.  

Then again, it did have its share of duds.  I can't imagine sitting through 2 full hours of Eight Is Enough!  I loved The Incredible Hulk - my one gripe is that, for a kid of the 70s, there was too much Bixby, not enough Ferrigno. 

Watch a little One Day at a Time, then catch Magic Johnson and Kareem - this was livin'.  (No idea what this "KAZ" is about.)

I have only a vague memory of this and can only find crummy barely-watchable clips on YouTube.  I remember it being simply godawful, but would still love to see a good quality version.  The cast is listed on the next page...

Today, superheroes are popular on the big screen, but in the late 1970s, they ruled the small screen: Wonder Woman, The Incredible Hulk, The Six Million Dollar Man, Bionic Woman, Isis, Shazam, Electra Woman and Dyna Girl, Superfriends, The Amazing Spider Man, The Man from Atlantis, and....

And we'll end with an advertisement for a technology that would explode in just a couple years.  No longer would we be at the mercy of the networks - soon, we'd be making our own selection of what movies to watch, and the television experience would never be the same.


  1. These posts really take me back to being a kid in the 70's. Thanks!

  2. I just knew I was going to be a stuntman. In fact, I still harbor secret plans to do it.

  3. Amazing - this really dislodged a lot of memories!

    That BSG ad is fantastic. I know that episode pretty well - the ad oversells it just a tad...

  4. I remember those Lou Rawls Bud commercials and I used to sometime sing, "You'll Never Find, Budweiser like mine!" And it was surprising that the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders movie wasn't on the network that was once known as the Cowboys Broadcasting System.

  5. That BSG ad is, indeed, a Frazetta piece: http://zenade.angelfire.com/galacticaf/Franzetta04.jpg

  6. Beautiful. Love old TV Guides. Like travelling through time.

  7. I also have no recollection of "Kaz". However, I did notice the "Kaz" ad had a pic of Patrick O'Neal, or, as I call him, the poor man's Peter Lawford. When I was younger, I would get those two mixed up, as they both had the same look and kind of sounded alike.

    1. KAZ was a great show that never got a chance. On at 10 pm in most markets it was one of those "poor kid, thrown in jail, becomes a lawyer and gets himself set free. Hired by a POSH law firm he is the only lawyer without an Ivy League education.

    2. Lacey, would you happen to know if anybody ever released the Ron Liebman show KAZ? Been looking for it for years...

  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

  9. Love seeing these old pages--I was a sophmore in high school when this issue came out & holy cow, I remember that Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader movie being "real" must-see tv! Jesus, 4 blank videocassettes cost 100 bucks! (I didnt know anyone who owned a vcr at the time though)

  10. If you're a glutton for punishment (or just like wonderfully awful stuff like me), you can get the "Challenge of the Superheroes" special here:


  11. I think I use to watch The Hardy Boys on Sunday nights around that time (1979.)

  12. Some context on Bucky Dent's appearance...
    While Bucky Dent was good looking, he was arguably the "least great" starter of the 1978 World Series Champions, and he batted ninth. However, he hit a clutch home run in the one-game playoff with the Boston Red Sox that year, and he was the World Series MVP. He did make the all-star team three times, but 1978 was clearly his big year, and he got some mainstream popularity for a short time after that.

  13. My only complaint is that you did not post the entire guide. I bounced from coast to coast all my life but never lived in a "Central Timezone" area. Everything on these pages started an hour earlier than I grew up with and I wanted to see what TV was like AFTER 10 pm.

    Thank you anyway for he great post.

  14. The BSG ad is Frazetta. The signature is cropped off on the right.

  15. I enjoyed reading through this...these listings came less than a year before I was born. One slight correction...Magic Johnson hadn't joined the Lakers until the following season (1979-80).