The Boob Tube #54: Broadcasting Magazine TV Ads

Broadcasting Magazine "The Newsmagazine of the Fifth Estate" was where TV shows were bought and sold.  Once it reached that magic syndication number, a television show was sold like any other merchandise, with its promotional material landing in this trade magazine.  Let's have a look at some ads from 1980s issues...

Yes, your childhood memories were bought and sold on the cheap in the pages of Broadcast Magazine.

The Romanos: Their trials and tribulations, on sale now.

Was Susan Noon really a rising star?  Can't say as I've heard of her.

142 Markets Sold -  but that's just a little bit more than the law would allow.

Three's Company devastates Wheel of Fortune and literally murders Tic Tac Dough.... dear God, I don't want to even think of what it does to Love Connection!

The brand new USA network mentions one of the greatest shows of all time in its ad: the legendary Night Flight.

Never a big fan of Benson.

When it comes to syndicated shows, these three are the power lifters, the ones who had been in constant rotation for the past decade and still going strong.  Still, nothing will ever compare to The Brady Bunch when it comes to rerun ubiquity.

I wonder what this hubbub was all about.  Did the new microprocessor controlled console system live up to the hype?

Loved me some H&M back in the day; and the theme song rocked.

Hated this show; no idea how it was so popular.

Sorry, but Saber Rider and the Star Sheriff's just doesn't ring a bell.

A phenomenal advertisement for Card Sharks, which you may remember from a recent Miniskirt Monday.  I don't know about you, but I'm all in on this one.

Small Wonder wasn't just bad, it was insanely awful.  Jeannie Borin should be ashamed.

The one where Monroe gets raped by a van full of women will be a special treat in syndication.

The fact that Small Wonder experienced even a little popularity is an indictment upon our once great nation.

Funny, I don't remember Topper having so much cleavage.

Wow.  How did Terra Hawks pass me by?  This looks brilliant.

[Insert Cosby rape joke here.]


  1. Read this edited ()scathing) review on the IMDB "Small Wonder" page:
    *June, 2015: It's been almost five years since I first typed the above remarks and after re-reading them I realize that I had indeed made several mistakes, namely the placement of a comma after tune-in and and (though I'm tempted to add a semi-colon, but can't quite justify it), not to mention adding the word good between the words pretty and shows. I was drinking then and clearly didn't proofread. I have since corrected these errors. I stand behind my original thoughts, tone and expletives.

  2. voiceofthe70sJanuary 16, 2016

    I didn't realize "In Search Of" actually went on for nine seasons. That was a good show and definitely part of the pervasive 70s interest in mysterious phenomena.

    I don't think "The New Dick Van Dyke Show" ever caught on in syndication. Certainly not like the original Dick Van Dyke show which still goes strong to this day. Believe it or not, Dick Van Dyke also had a variety show in the mid 70s called "Van Dyke and Company" which actually won an Emmy, though it is now completely forgotten.

  3. Broadcasting reminds me of magazines marketed by Thoroughbred breeding organizations. You know the ones that run advertisements like "Soggywelfare is standing at stud at Pancake Ready Farms just outside of Lexington. Soggywelfare has sired five grade 1 stakes winners since finishing his brilliant 2 million dollar earnings career across all distances. Sign-up your mare now because 78% of Soggywelfare's time has already been spoken for. In Broadcasting it's: Three's Company out rates Tick-Tac-Dough, devastates Wheel of Fortune. Listen to words used to sell Hardcastle and McCormick - hit, proven, male demographics, flexibility, powerful, winning chemistry.
    I find the One Day At A Time ad to be particularly intriguing (RIP Pat/Schneider)with its obvious promotion of Valerie over MacKenzie and boastful comments of vanquishing the opposition in all the key demos.

  4. I love this post with all my being. Such greatness, mixed with some not-so-greatness and that makes it all the greater! THANK YOU!

  5. I do like the "Topper" ad pitching the show as newly relevant. And I really like that Neil, the alcohol-loving ghost of a St. Bernard, has a drink.

  6. I think The Cosby Show would be a tough sell nowadays, unless to those looking for some revealing hidden clues during Dr. Huxtable's morality speeches.

  7. I've always found it interesting that conventional wisdom for the "magic number" of seasons required for syndication is three. However, three of the syndicated series that were the most ubiquitous when I was a kid only went for two seasons. Specifically, The Munsters, The Addams Family, and F Troop.

    That may have something to do with the fact that, in all three cases, they had more episodes in those two seasons than modern shows do. Respectively, 70, 64, and 65. And, in the case of F Troop, it's a bit deceptive since the first season was in black-and-white and the second one was in color. Offhand, that's the only two-season series I can think of with that designation.

    1. That figure, generally defined as 100 episodes, has never been carved in stone...79 original STAR TREKs, the "Classic 39" HONEYMOONERS. But in fact,one of the shows here, SILVER SPOONS (along with WEBSTER and PUNKY BREWSTER) made new episodes that never aired on network, going right into the syndication mix.

      There have been numerous dramatic series that didn't reach the mark that were syndicated, especially in once-weekly airing. Or they did so for other reasons, one of which can be seen here. In the July 1976 TV GUIDE posted here, one of the stations is airing an episode of a series that was cancelled after half a season a decade before, HAWK--which happened to be one of Burt Reynolds' pre-film stardom properties.

    2. Despite its network success (and long before any revelations about its star), THE COSBY SHOW didn't perform all that well in syndication--at least not at the level the stations who paid record fees for it expected, totaling well over $1 million per episode total.

  8. "Terrahawks" was produced by Gerry Anderson, who'd made such classics as "Thunderbirds", "UFO" and "Space:1999" - it was a return to using puppets, and while not quite up to the standards of his better-known works, is still worth watching.

    1. You are being VERY polite. This was to Puppets what Small Wonder was to Science Fiction.

  9. Fisk Ellington Rutledge IIIJanuary 18, 2016

    I was born in 1955. In 1958 we bought our first TV so we could watch the first TV showing of The Wizard of Oz. I remember this VERY well. I used to watch the thing a lot back then, and there were a bunch of shows in their first syndication: The Life of Riley (didn't get it), I Love Lucy (hated it), My Little Margie (confused but love it anyway), and the greatest; The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show.

    I didn't really understand the Burns/Allen show. It was never explained what they did for a living, but they greatly resembled my grandparents in both socio/economic level and the way that they interacted with their neighbors and friends.

    But that was definitely my favorite show because I was electrified by the way George Burns would break the fourth wall. That was absolute magic. And I adored Gracie. I don't know. I've always liked TV though. I like the almost infinite potential for stories that extend for years and years.

    My current favorite sitcom is You're the Worst. But there are a bunch more, both current and recent, that are super good; New Girl, Parks and Rec, The Office, It's Always Sunny, etc.

    1. Funny that you mention "I Love Lucy" because I've been watching it lately.

      When I was a kid (born 1965), I never really understood my mother's (born 1931) affinity for the show. Now that I'm 50, I totally get it. The show was so simple and, more importantly, so optimistic. While "The Honeymooners" definitely had its charm, it was actually pretty dark, whereas "I Love Lucy" was always so upbeat.

      Seriously, I cannot watch the ending of "Lucy Is Enciente" without tearing up. In particular, the very end is so incredibly real.


  10. Ah yes, the Filmation Ghostbusters cartoon, the reason why the movie cartoon called itself The Real Ghostbusters.

    1. But ironically the Filmation series was actually the REAL Ghost Busters (two words), updating the 1975 live-action series starring Forrest Tucker, Larry Storch and Bob Burns as Tracy, the beanie-wearing gorilla. The cartoon stunk, but the live-actions show was great fun with guest stars like Bernie Koppell, Ted Knight, Severn Darden, Lennie Weinrib and many more. As much as I love Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd's film, they did pretty much lift wholesale the '75 concept.

    2. Columbia Pictures bought the rights to use the name "Ghost(Busters)" for the film...when it became a big hit, Filmation decided to bring back its show as a cartoon--while Columbia wanted to do the same with its version. The case went to court, and in a Solomon-like decision, ruled that Filmation could call its show "The Original Ghost Busters" and Columbia's "The Real Ghostbusters"