Monday, January 13, 2014

Retro TV Monday - This week in TV Guide: January 10, 1976

Thought we'd stay with the 70s for another week, see what happens.  Will I live to regret it, or be pleasantly surprised?  Stay tuned.

This is another TV Guide from my own personal subscription, meaning it has my name on the mailing label and serves as a constant reminder of the programs I wasn't able to see while living in the world's worst town.  Shows like Happy Days, starring our cover boys, Ron Howard and Henry Winkler.  Oh sure, I'd heard of Happy Days, was aware that it was a hit, but the only time I might be able to see it was when we traveled back to the Twin Cities on vacation.  It seemed a lot more exotic then than it does now.

Last week I wrote about ABC's penchant for "prestige" dramas, and mentioned the acclaimed Eleanor and Franklin.  Well, that's the ABC Theatre two-part presentation on Sunday and Monday nights. The movie, which stars Jane Alexander and Edward Herrmann, will go on to win nine Emmys, a Golden Globe, and a Peabody, and spawn a sequel - The White House Years - that will air the following year. However, ABC doesn't have the Prestigious Presidential Biography category all to itself; NBC counters on Monday night with part five of Sandburg's Lincoln, starring Hal Holbrook in the title role.  That series, part of the ongoing Bicentennial celebration, was aired in six episodes over a year and a half, beginning in September 1974 and concluding in April 1976.  I won't spill the beans on the surprise ending...

Continuing our political theme, first lady Betty Ford appears on Saturday's episode of The Mary Tyler Moore Show, playing herself.  Probably just as well that I missed that one.  I didn't miss the replay of John Wayne's Swing Out, Sweet Land though.  The star-studded 90-minute special, which had originally been broadcast in 1970* and was being repeated as "A Bicentennial Salute," featured Lorne Greene and Jack Benny as George Washington and friend, Rowan and Martin as the Wright Brothers, Bing Crosby as Mark Twain, Bob Hope and Ann-Margaret as entertainers at Valley Forge - well, you get the idea.  Surprisingly, it's available on DVD (under the title John Wayne's Tribute to America), and it's actually not bad.  Mind you, it's not great, either.  But who am I to judge - see for yourself and make up your own mind:

*Come to think of it, that's probably the airing I remember.

Read the rest here.  

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