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Shows that changed over the seasons.

Discussion in 'TV Shows' started by Mysto, Feb 18, 2018.

  1. Message #41 of 72 Feb 24, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2018
    MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    If Friends (aka Full House 2) had known when to leave, it never would have come on the air to begin with. It is an insult to the likes of truly great shows such as Cheers, Mary Tyler Moore, and especially St. Elsewhere*, to lump such an embarrassingly bad, obnoxious, painfully unfunny, and often quite offensive show in with them.

    Actually, I was thinking of Mary Tyler Moore this morning in the context of the fact that she also returned to TV in early 1986 in a CBS show just called Mary. But her show didn't even outlive Valerie Harper's ill-fated character on her formerly eponymous NBC show!** And put that in the context of Betty White co-starring in the studio-saving mega-hit Golden Girls*** along with Cloris Leachman replacing former roommate Charlotte Rae on the Facts of Life that fall, buying it another two years. And her male co-stars had had hits after MTM ended, two of which ended in 1986, one with Ted Knight's death, the other because…well, all ships must dock eventually, and even The Love Boat is no exception. But there's a sad irony that so many cast members had hits after it except for her when it was her show to begin with.

    And regarding the Battle for Control of the Hogans, Edie McClurg also pushed out Christine Ebersole.

    *Has anyone asked Chad Allen how he feels about a character he played being the name of a theory about a unified TV universe?
    **If it had been a success, that would have left Katey Sagal unavailable for Married with Children. That as much as anything else would have changed the course of TV history. A recast show might not have lasted as long, and thus the controversy that put Fox and the show on the map may not have happened.
    ***Before that, Disney hadn't had a narrative TV series hit since Guy Williams played Zorro! Even that was only on for two years. The battle over ownership between them and ABC kept it off the air and soured Walt on the network his company would go on own three decades after he died.
     
  2. B-ROLL

    B-ROLL Screenwriter

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    You neglected to mention Ed Asner in Lou Grant in another switch from comedy to "drama" a la Trapper John MD which cast a different actor in the role based on a character from M*A*S*H ... (John Amos was in Good Times, MTM {and Roots} all at the same time as well)
     
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  3. Message #43 of 72 Feb 24, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2018
    MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    Only because it was already off the air by 1986. That particular season forms some of my first first-hand memories of actually watching TV, and it was the last year before Fox became the first successful "fourth network" to break the ABC/CBS/NBC triopoly.

    Yes and no. Matthew didn't come on until season 6, the New York season. Joey had already been part of the mix since season 3, when series co-creator Mort Lachman cleaned house backstage with all new writers and producers. Dolph Sweet's death, which had been eerily foreshadowed in earlier episodes involving Chief Kanisky getting shot in the hand and donating a kidney to a brother who was never mentioned again after he married an ex-prostitute in season 2, upended their plans to draw conflict out of Jonathan being married to Julie. Even the last episode of season 4, aired three days after his death, ended with "to be continued," suggesting that. And whereas Chief Kanisky used to be the force of reaction when Nell was the force of reason, without him, Nell became the force of reaction to Addy as the voice of reason. Even with Officer Simpson still stopping by occasionally, whatever passed for police work that they actually showed in the early years had disappeared. Samantha was the only Kanisky daughter to survive the move to New York, yet her role got cut in half when they sent her to college.* They even had Nell's mother and the rest of her family move there with her, but only Rosetta LeNoire actually showed up again. Lynne Thigpen was in Hello, Again so she was unavailable, and Hakeem, who played the son of the man her character married, was on Kids Incorporated, so he was also pre-occupied. And by that time, Hal Cooper had stopped directing it, and he turned the reins over to younger directors.

    Likewise, Kate & Allie, which had the same production company, but was actually shot and set in New York, moved to Washington, D.C. and had one of them get married, so it, too, lost its edge for different reasons, not because anybody died.**

    And thanks to Shout! Factory, you can now see just how much Diff'rent Strokes suffered without Willis and Kimberly around. I think even Arnold was missing from some of those shows because Gary Coleman needed another kidney operation. How do you write for a show when half your cast is either in the hospital, in trouble with the law, or just plain "in trouble"?

    *Meanwhile, the kids on The Nanny stayed for all six seasons of their show, but became the least used parts of the show. After This is Spinal Tap but before this, Fran was Kate's bridesmaid on Silver Spoons when she married Edward Stratton III. That always makes me chuckle considering how her real-life marriage to her own show's co-creator played out so many years later.
    **With the possible exception of Rock Hudson. See also: McMillan and Wife becoming just plain old McMillan.
     
  4. sjbradford

    sjbradford Agent

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    Judith Kahan, not Edie McClurg, replaced Christine Ebersole on Valerie. Both of them played a close friend of Valerie’s; Ebersole in season 1 and Kahan in season 2. McClurg played Valerie’s next-door neighbor, beginning in season 2. When Sandy Duncan replaced Valerie Harper as the show’s lead in season 3, Kahan was dropped.

    “The Facts of Life” is the show that had the most changes. Season 1 takes place in the dorm, with Mrs. Garrett as housemother to seven girls; seasons 2-4 have Mrs. Garrett as the school dietician, watching over four students who work in the school cafeteria paying off damage to the school van; seasons 5-6 have the same four girls working for Mrs. Garrett in her gourmet food shop; season 7 has Mrs. Garrett and the girls as partners in a gift shop, and seasons 8-9 have Mrs. Garrett’s sister living with the girls, mostly after the gift shop is closed.
     
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  5. Message #45 of 72 Feb 24, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2018
    MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    Judith Kahan also was on one of Norman Lear's short-run shows, All's Fair, with Bernadette Peters and Richard Crenna. Her husband, Steven Kampmann, was also pushed off of Newhart for Peter Scolari.


    The acquisition of Embassy by Coca-Cola affected that to some extent; with the shop gone, they increased the number of kitchen scenes.* Mackenzie Astin had already joined the cast** while Edna's Edibles was still standing—Geri Jewell's contract was not renewed—and around that same time they brought on Ryan Cassidy, who got pushed out for George Clooney.

    One of Facts' producers who had been there since day one, Jerry Mayer, ended up on Punky Brewster when it was in first-run syndication and Columbia got the rights to it, and it was then that Henry Warnimont gave up photography — even after having gone into debt to reopen his studio after it burned down — for a restaurant at that same mall.

    *Considering how many scenes had been in the Eastland kitchen once Jo came on board, that wouldn't have given me a pause. Only trouble is, Silver Spoons also did the same once they got rid of the living room train set.
    **Since Andy apparently had no interest in going to Eastland after it went co-ed, he barely had anything to do in the finale!
     
  6. Message #46 of 72 Feb 25, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2018
    Stan

    Stan Producer

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    Love Edie McClurg, the woman is hilarious.

    Whatever the issue was with Valerie Harper, the show just went down hill when she left and Sandy Duncan stepped in.

    As for "Facts of Life", really awful from day one. Surprised it lasted as long as it did.

    "The Love Boat", mentioned above, as cheesy as it was, I really enjoyed it. It's pretty bad looking at the repeats, but at the time it was fun.
     
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  7. Message #47 of 72 Feb 25, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2018
    MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    The issue with Valerie Harper was over money, both per episode and for profits of the show, and creative control. Her husband, Tony Cacciotti, a former personal trainer and actor in the movie Thank God It's Friday with almost no prior production experience, was also the producer. They wanted 35% of the profits.

    Also around the same time all this went down was the merger of Lorimar with Telepictures between seasons 1 and 2. They tried to make her look like the instigator, and Tartikoff took the production company's side while other former co-stars stood beside her. Viewers for Quality Television stayed neutral because they all but admitted they just didn't think the show was good enough for them to be bothered to take sides. Both parties sued each other for huge sums of money. The fact that they used her name and gave it the ungainly on-screen title Valerie's Family — The Hogans made things worse because they were still using her name without her actually being in the show.

    ALF being on before it probably helped its ratings*, but they both went down together. Except unlike ALF, it got a one-year reprieve on CBS, which had almost as many bombs in the late 1980s as NBC did in the late 1970s**. Even though it might have been a better fit, ABC apparently didn't want it—they'd obviously been burned out on picking up NBC's leftovers after Diff'rent Strokes—even though they'd pushed out Just the Ten of Us for another Miller-Boyett show, Going Places, which didn't.***

    Valerie won $1.4 million and a cut of the profits. At no time was home video ever discussed because no one believed there'd be a market for TV shows in a format that wouldn't exist for another decade. If Warner ever actually does release it to disc, or even to a streaming platform, then they've got their legal work cut out for them.

    *And so did this.
    **Both periods of decline had Brady Bunch sequel series to go with them as well.
    ***They still might not have objected to giving Rich AIDS, considering that one Mr. Belvedere episode. The difference is, unlike the other shows that dealt with the subject first, except for St. Elsewhere with Mark Harmon's womanizing character, none of them had the nerve to give it to a character who hadn't been created just for that purpose.
     
  8. Stan

    Stan Producer

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    As this topic skews way off to the side :D

    "Thank God it's Friday" was awful, but Donna Summers' vocals were fantastic. I'll admit it, I loved disco and still do. She was the queen of disco. Lots of one hit wonders at that time, but she was the best.
     
  9. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    Donna Summer, of course, went on to play Steve Urkel's aunt.
     
  10. Stan

    Stan Producer

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    Had no idea. I'll have to watch for it when it comes back in repeats.

    The "Urkel" character shows how good actors can do things. Went from being a complete dorky nerd to normal roles in more traditional shows. Hasn't really had a major "series" since "Family Matters", but still shows up a lot.
     
  11. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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    To loosely connect this to some posts above, Donna Summer also played Steve Urkel's "Aunt Oona from Altoona" for a couple episodes on Family Matters. :lol:
     
  12. Stan

    Stan Producer

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    To even make this more loosely connected. Donna Summer allegedly made some awful anti-gay comments, effectively killing her career. Who knows, but her "diva" time came to an end.
     
  13. Ron1973

    Ron1973 Beverly Hillbilles nut extraordinaire

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    The Beverly Hillbillies started out as simple backwood peasants who knew nothing of modern trappings or society. Granny even made her own soap out of lye! They absolutely had no clue about modern society, even giggling at the thought of a telephone.

    As the series progressed, there were several mentions of Luke Short's General Store back home. In season 5, they knew of Gloria Swanson and how her movies were played in Bugtussle. Granny talked about wanting a party line telephone in that season, saying she used to sit at Luke's General Store all day and listen to the party line. She was also familiar with John Wayne by that season, though that could have come through being cultured in Beverly Hills.

    The biggest change, though, started with season 6 with Jed inheriting a castle. How a poor backwoods man could suddenly have kinfolks in England that he knew nothing about is on the weird side, especially ones that knew enough of him to leave a substantial inheritance such as a castle! Now how does THAT happen? Man, I wish I had some relative I never knew about leave me an inheritance! You also had the introduction of Roy Clark as "Cousin Roy" that season. Not once had ever been mentioned before, but all of a sudden he's wrote in to the storyline of how he courted Ellie Mae back in the hills. Jethro sure passed on an opportunity there to be Roy's agent. Roy went on to a little country show called Hee Haw. :laugh:

    Season 7 is where it started to go really weird. The season started with another trip to England (an angle dropped completely and never acknowledged again after that season) and then Jed finding out he was distant relation through Cousin Pearl to a Kate Bradley who lived in Petticoat Junction. Granny's doctoring services are needed to take care of Steve and Betty Jo's new baby. The Clampetts would visit Hooterville for Christmas and Thanksgiving that year, and Sam Drucker suddenly won a trip to Hollywood where Granny thought he was coming to court her. Dash Riprock made a one-off appearance on that episode, the last of the series for him. The season ended with Pat Boone going to buy the Drysdale mansion and doing an impromptu concert by the cee-ment pond.

    The series probably should have ended at that point, but instead they decided to go with another new angle with season 8. The Clampetts, sans Jethro who was busy becoming a protestor, decide to go home to Branson and Silver Dollar City. Shorty Kellems, portrayed by veteran actor, Shug Fisher, becomes a semi-regular member of the cast as owner of a hotel back home. Elvia Allman was found reprising her role as Elverna Bradshaw, last appearing in that role in season 1 as a foe of Pearl. The legendary Phil Silvers started appearing as "Honest John," a quite corrupt con man whose sole intention was to bilk(o) Jed. Suddenly the Clampetts are found in New York with Silvers, buying Central Park and other famous landmarks.

    Season 9? Can we pretend it didn't exist, please? Phil Silvers returned again, taking the Clampetts to Washington, D.C. Rich Little guest starred to imitate Richard Nixon at the behest of Mr. Drysdale. Mark Templeton mysteriously shows up portrayed by Roger Torrey, previously portraying his twin brother Matthew in season 8, a preacher who was going to "marry" Ellie. This is where it REALLY went off the rails. Mark was a Navy frogman, but Granny was assured he was part frog. Then after that angle was dropped, the Clampetts became embroiled in the women's lib movement with Granny and Ellie siding with Miss Jane. New Japanese characters were moved in the mansion with Jed and Jethro being spoiled. Towards the end of the show, Mike Minor appears, though not as his Steve Elliot character, but a conman living in Miss Jane's apartment building.
     
  14. Steve Armbrust

    Steve Armbrust Second Unit

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    In a much more recent example, the series Taken, in its first season last year, was about a man driven by the murder of his sister, who joins an intelligence team. I thought that season was quite enjoyable and had some things in common with the old military show, The Unit. However, this season, the whole team is scrapped, a new computer genius is brought in, and the whole show becomes just a procedural ala NCIS or Person of Interest (whose showrunner took over this season). Now, to me, it's a completely different show and totally boring. The only thing I enjoy about it is hearing Jennifer Beals talk.
     
  15. Vic Pardo

    Vic Pardo Screenwriter

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    1) Did the murders stop once Jessica Fletcher left Cabot Cove?

    2) Was there ever a national news story citing Cabot Cove as the per capita murder capital of the country?
     
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  16. Tony Bensley

    Tony Bensley Producer

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    LOL! :rolling-smiley:

    My sister and I used to joke about never wanting to attend any party that included Jessica Fletcher! :D

    CHEERS! :)
     
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  17. Message #57 of 72 Feb 28, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2018
    Vic Pardo

    Vic Pardo Screenwriter

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    "News Flash! Federal authorities have been called to Cabot Cove to investigate a rash of murders that began in 1984, with at least one person a week suffering violent death in a town with a population smaller than you'd find in a single city block of Manhattan. Curiously, none of the deaths have been drug trade-related and none seems to have involved the commission of felonies by armed criminals. Some have been determined to be domestic violence-related, although in each of those cases there had been no prior calls to local police and no prior criminal complaints lodged against a spouse. Aside from the murders, the town has been completely crime-free for decades. Federal agents are looking at the role of one of the town's citizens, Jessica Fletcher, a part-time author and retired teacher, who is reportedly the town's unofficial homicide investigator. Residents, who asked to remain anonymous, complained that the sheriff's office has been completely ineffective in prevention efforts and would not have solved any of these cases if not for Ms. Fletcher's intervention. Town hall meetings have been held and citizens have petitioned that all local officers be fired and replaced with law enforcement professionals hired from outside the state. The local paper has consistently refused to report on these meetings. Some citizens suspect that Ms. Fletcher herself is behind the wave of murders in order to provide material for an ongoing series of mystery novels she has had published, but federal agents are quick to dismiss such rumors."
     
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  18. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    That would also call to question the competence of Sheriff Tupper.
     
  19. BobO'Link

    BobO'Link Producer

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    Which is why I have little interest in this series on DVD past season 5, although I do want it finished for you, and many others, who'd like to have it all. I'd still likely purchase through S7 just for the Hooterville crossover stuff and some of the guest stars.
     
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  20. Ron1973

    Ron1973 Beverly Hillbilles nut extraordinaire

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    Season 7 was all that it ever went up to in syndication anyway that I remember until WREG switched from 16mm to tape. Once they were running tape transfers instead, they picked up with what they never showed before.
     

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