Monday nights on NBC in the fall of 1984 were a mixed bag. It all started off with a special called the NBC ALL-STAR HOUR , the biggest party of the year! This hour-long clip show featured over 100 stars and a million laughs. That's 16,666 laughs per minute! Holy shit - that's one funny show!!! As I mentioned yesterday, TV's BLOOPERS & PRACTICAL JOKES premiered earlier in the year and became a big hit for the network. Combining elements stolen for Allen Funt's CANDID CAMERA with clips of actors goofing up their lines, this cheaply produced show was co-hosted by the late Ed McMahon and the formerly ageless Dick Clark.ABC's knock-off FOUL-UPS, BLEEPS & BLUNDERS followed, paving the way for all sorts of horrible shows including LIFE'S MOST EMBARRASSING MOMENTS, AMERICA'S FUNNIEST HOME VIDEOS, TOTALLY HIDDEN VIDEO and PUNK'D. BLOOPERS continued on NBC in various timeslots until the late 1990s, occasionally showing up as a special thereafter.
NBC MONDAY NIGHT AT THE MOVIES followed at 9PM, with a assortment of theatrical film premieres and original TV-movies. Many of NBC's movies from this period were created to give TV stars the opportunity to stretch their acting muscles by taking on meatier roles. Witness HIGH SCHOOL USA (which actually aired as a special on a Friday night).
Here sitcom stars Nancy McKeon (FACTS OF LIFE), Michael J. Fox (FAMILY TIES) and DIFF'RENT STROKES costars Todd Bridges and the late Dano Plato teamed up with Nick at Nite regulars Dwayne Hickman and Bob Denver (both of DOBIE GILLIS), Elinor Donahue (FATHER KNOWS BEST) and Tony Dow (LEAVE TO BEAVER). Hilarity ensued.
ONE DAY AT A TIME star and future weight-loss guru Valerie Bertinelli played a horny nun who found herself falling in love with a priest (David Morse) in SHATTERED VOWS. I need to see this one for sure!
SILVER SPOONS brat and future animal killer Ricky Schroeder took on a dramatic role in MY LIFE, YOUR LIFE. I believe this aired under the title A REASON TO LIVE. DAYS OF OUR LIVES / ELECTRA WOMAN & DYNA GIRL star Deidre Hall played his mom. Peter Fonda played the dad.
Former CHARLIE'S ANGEL and K-Mart designer Jaclyn Smith took on the role of history's most famous nurse in FLORENCE NIGHTINGALE. This historical epic ran three long hours!
DYNASTY diva Joan Collins teamed up with KNIGHT RIDER star and future drunken reality-show judge David Hasselhoff in something called THE CARTIER HEIST. I think it was a comedy. Other made-for-TV movies and miniseries airing during the season included:• I DREAM OF JEANNIE: 15 YEARS LATER - Barbara Eden returned, Larry Hagman did not. Wayne Rogers was a poor substitute Major Nelson.
• THE BURNING BED - the amazing film that made people finally take the late Farrah Fawcett seriously as an actress.• A.D. - 12 hours of the Roman Empire with a cast that included the great Susan Sarandon along with Ava Gardner and James Mason!• EVERGREEN - 6 hours of Lesley Ann Warren as a Polish immigrant flocked by Armand Assante and Ian McShane. Is it me, but weren't Assante and McShane in just about EVERY miniseries in the 1980s??? Tomorrow: the Tuesday-night line-up!