Saturday, September 19, 2009

NBC Fall 1984 - Saturdays

Saturday mornings on NBC 25 years ago were not exactly the hey day of kids' TV. Yes, favorites such as SMURFS and ALVIN & THE CHIPMUNKS were all there, surrounded by new shows like SNORKS, PINK PANTHER & SONS (ugh!), KIDD VIDEO, GOING BANANAS and reruns of shows like MR. T. ans SPIDER-MAN & HIS AMAZING FRIENDS. Nothing much to write home about.At night time, old reliable DIFF'RENT STROKES was back at 8PM, as future DESIGNING WOMEN and UN-WORKOUT star Dixie Carter joined the show as Mr. Drummond's new wife. She had an annoying bowl-cut sporting son played by the unfortunately named Danny Cooksey. NBC dropped the once-hit at the end of this season, with ABC rescuing it and pairing it with WEBSTER for it's final and eighth year.
At 8:30, the incredibly talented Nell Carter was back for a fourth season of the incredibly mediocre GIMME A BREAK. The show sailed along for another three years weathering the death of co-star Dolph Sweet and the addition of Rosie O'Donnell. Child star Joey Lawrence later became quite a hunk.
At 9PM, it was time for PARTNERS IN CRIME. I love Lynda Carter and I like Loni Anderson a lot. Then I should have really liked PARTNERS IN CRIME - shouldn't I have?
This "high concept" mystery series told the story of Carole (Lynda) and Sydney (Loni), who had nothing in common but an ex-husband! Carole is a former society matron, who is now flat-broke and trying to make a go at it as a photographer. Sydney is a con-man's daughter, a thief and she also plays the bass! When their shared ex is murdered, he wills his private investigation agency to them both! Of course after they solve his murder, they decided to become private eyes together. What a wacky idea for a TV series - TWO fishes out of water and one Odd Couple! I remember being excited when this show was announced (I must have been high) - and then being embarrassed about watching it. Luckily the curvaceous co-stars escaped this mess to do better work. Lynda went on to great small roles in films like SUPER TROOPER and SKY HIGH and, er Loni resurfaced in continuing rolls on shows like NURSES, THE MULLETS and SO NOTORIOUS , but I'll always treasure her for starring in THE JAYNE MANSFIELD STORY.
At 10PM, came HOT PURSUIT, the tale Jim (Eric Pierpoint) and Kate Wyler (Kerrie Keane), an upper-middle class couple that gets in over their head when Kate is framed for murdering her boss and sentenced to prison. Turns out, the grieving widow (the fabulous Dina Merrill) orchestrated the murder using a look-a-like for Kate! Jim and Kate then go on the lam to bring the widow Estelle to justice. This FUGITIVE-like series was fun to watch, but never made it through the season. Tomorrow: Sundays and Specials!


Pax Romano said...

At least back in 1984 they still ran cartoons on Saturday morning, I mean do we really need The Today Show-light on Saturdays?

And that Lynda Carter and Loni Anderson pic, jeez, who did their makeup, Tammy Faye?

As for Gimme' a Break - I miss Nell Carter, she was such a firecracker (and a great vocalist, listen to her work on the soundtrack to the film Hair sometime).

laura linger said...

Joey Lawrence looks like he should be the lead role in the original Broadway cast of ANNIE. Like he could have replaced Sarah Jessica Parker.