Glory is a fan of 70s TV entertainment and enjoys writing about the popular and not-so-popular shows and TV movies of that decade.
To the Short-Lived and Forgotten
Here is a listing of 45 short-lived and possibly easily forgotten 70s television shows. With photos, trivia, plotlines, cast lists, and more, we take a fond look back at those shows that just didn't catch the viewing audience's attention for one reason or another.
Either poorly cast, shoved into the wrong time slot, saddled with unbelievable plotlines, and more, there are more 70s shows that fit into this category, but a page this size simply can't list them all. If you can think of one we missed (and you probably can), feel free to write about it in the comments.
So, let's get started with our journey back to 1970s television, shall we?
Adam's Rib was a situation comedy that began its run on ABC on September 14, 1973, and lasted until December 28, 1973. It starred Ken Howard as Adam Bonner and Blythe Danner was his wife, Amanda. The show was based on the classic big screen film of the same name that starred Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn. As in the movie, the TV show had Adam as an assistant D.A. and his wife as a partner in a law firm. Their jobs often pitted them against each other. This conflict didn't stop in the courtroom, and they were often on opposite sides of issues in their home life, too.
Dena Dietrich, famous for her Chiffon/Mother Nature commercials of the 70s, was Amanda's secretary. Handsome Edward Winter played Kip Kipple, Amanda's law firm partner. Ron Rifkin was Assistant D.A., Roy Mendelsohn. Norman Bartold were District Attorneys, and these two were always the good old boys on Adam's side.
Both Ken Howard and Blythe Danner were successful stage actors before taking their roles on the series. Ken won an Tony in 1970 for his work in Child's Play; Blythe is a two-time Tony winner, first in 1968 for The Miser and in 1970 for Butterflies Are Free.
The American Girls
The American Girls was billed as an adventure drama series. It aired on CBS beginning September 23, 1978 and lasted until November 10, 1978.
Priscilla Barnes played Rebecca Tomkins and Debra Clinger played Amy Waddell, two beautiful reporters who worked for The American Report, a TV news program. Rebecca was the more experienced reporter, a city girl who was witty, sexy, and sophisticated, while Amy, a small-town girl, was fresh out of college and had a lot to learn. The pair traveled all over the country in a van that was equipped with the latest technology that allowed them to report stories even from the most remote locations. David Spielberg was their producer, Francis X. Casey, and the news programs anchor/host Jason Cook was played by William Prince.
The American Girls aired in a 9-10 pm time slot up against ABC's ratings winner The Love Boat, so it's easy to see why the show didn't have much of a chance.
A bit of trivia for you: Debra Clinger did a stint on Saturday morning TV as Super Chic on The Kroftt Supershow in 1977. She was part of the singing group who hosted the show Kaptain Kool and the Kongs.
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Bearcats! ran on CBS for one season beginning on September 16, 1971, and ending on December 30, 1971. This action-adventure show was set in 1914 and concerned the adventures of Johnny Reach (Dennis Cole) and Hank Brackett (Rod Taylor), who traveled around the American Southwest in a Stutz Bearcat. The guys were mercenaries of sorts, taking on a variety of dangerous jobs for rich clients, and their fee was determined at the end of their missions. The more dangerous the job, the more it would cost. How else would the guys pay for their Bearcat!?
Despite the fact that CBS hyped this show, it was up against the highly popular Flip Wilson Show on NBC and ABC's popular Alias Smith and Jones. I don't know, maybe a better name for the series would have helped?
The Andros Targets
The Andros Targets began on CBS on January 31, 1977 and lasted until July 9, 1977. James Sutorius played Mike Andros, a newspaper reporter for the The New York Forum who focused much of his attention on seeking to expose corruption in a big city, corruption that was often hushed up by the powers that be. He was helped in his fight against corruption by his sidekick and assistant, Sandi Farrell (Pamela Reed). It also starred Roy Poole, Alan Mixon, Ted Beniades, and Jordan Charney.
The Andros Targets couldn't find an audience, and many critics said it was an unrealistic portrayal of an investigative reporter. The series was based on real life reporter Nicholas Gage.
Another Day was a comedy that aired beginning on April 8, 1978 and lasted until April 29, 1978. It starred David Groh as Don Gardner, a young businessman who was just getting by financially. His wife Ginny, played by Joan Hackett, was working to help ease the financial burden.
Adding to the family struggles were two kids: a son Mark played by Al Eisenmann and a daughter Kelly played by Lisa Lindgren. Rounding out the cast was Hope Summers as Olive Gardner who was the typical complaining mother-in-law who lived with the family.
Groh didn't want to do another comedy series so fresh after getting out of the series Rhoda. He was really looking for a gritty, realistic dramatic series, but CBS told him that viewers weren't into that kind of series at the time and apparently, audiences also weren't into this kind of comedy, as it was canceled after only four episodes.
This Aaron Spelling police drama aired on ABC for 13 episodes starting on January 17, 1974, and ending April 11, 1974.
Officers Don Burdick (Jim McMullan) and Gil Foley (Dirk Benedict) were chopper pilots who were the eye in the sky for officers on the ground chasing after bad guys, not unlike the 80s series Blue Thunder or Air Wolf, only their helicopter wasn't all tricked out with the latest technology.
Some critics likened the show to Adam 12 with rotary blades. Each half hour episode cost about $140,000 to produce (the average hour-long show at that time cost about $90,000 to produce). What caused the high price tag was that two choppers and two pilots were needed in order to get all of that aerial action on film. Even the director was given stunt pay wages as he had to fly in the chopper to direct the scenes.
David Cassidy: Man Undercover
David Cassidy: Man Undercover was a spin-off series from a two-hour Police Story movie. The movie was highly rated and earned Cassidy an Emmy nomination.
Cassidy willingly took three years off from the world of music and acting after The Partridge Family ended. NBC thought that maybe he was ready for a new series playing David Shay, a young, married undercover cop. It started on in November of 1978 and lasted for ten episodes before being canceled.
It co-starred Simon Oakland, whom you may recall played much-harried newspaper editor Tony Vincenzo on Kolchak; The Night Stalker series with Darrin McGavin, which was another great 70s show that didn't last as long as it should have!
Critics weren't kind to Cassidy or the show. Most saw it as Cassidy's attempt to revive his career which slumped, according to the critics, after The Partridge Family ended (they didn't like that show, either).
One critic likened the theme song (written and performed by Cassidy) as a "cross between 'Feelings' and the mating cry of a Siberian newt."
This medical drama series aired on ABC from January 23, 1974 until August 14, 1974.
Handsome James Franciscus played Dr. Benjamin Elliott, a successful New York City doctor who decided to drop out of the big city rat race and take on a new job as a doctor in Gideon, Colorado. Most of his house calls required a plane or four wheel drive vehicle, as his practice covered over 600 square miles.
Neva Patterson played Mags Brimble, the widow of the former town's doctor, who became Elliott's helper. Noah Beery played Barney Weeks, the owner of the town's general store, and Bo Hopkins played Elred McCoy, a bush pilot.
Franciscus went through medical drills to learn how to handle a medical bag, use instruments, and give shots so it would all look second nature to him (after all, he was playing a doctor!).
The show's focus wasn't really about medicine, it was about people and their struggles.
This was the fifth series for Franciscus and lasted for 14 episodes before being canceled. It has yet to be released on DVD.
Dog and Cat
Dog and Cat was a police drama that aired on ABC beginning March 5, 1977 until May 14, 1977.
A young Kim Basinger played Officer J.Z. Kane, a rookie cop who was partnered with long-time police veteran Det. Sgt. Jack Ramsey (Lou Antonio). This was a light-hearted look at police work and also starred Matt Clark as Lt. Arthur Kipling.
Kane and Ramsey tooled around in Kane's 1966 VW Bug that has a Porsche 9-12 engine in it.
"Dog and cat" is a slang term used to denote a male/female partnership. The series lasted for just six episodes before being canceled.
Firehouse was an adventure/drama series that aired on ABC beginning on January 17, 1974 and lasting until August 1, 1974.
James Drury played Capt. Spike Ryerson, an older firefighter who was a mentor and father figure to the other younger members of Engine Co. 23. Richard Jaeckel played Hank Myers, Michael Delano played Sonny Caputo, Brad David played Billy Dalzell.
The series was inspired by a bestselling book, Report from Engine Co. 28, written by a veteran firefighter.
Flatbush attempted to be a comedy series. It first aired on CBS on February 26, 1979 and lasted until March 12, 1979. The show followed the adventures of five high school graduates who lived in the middle class neighborhood of Flatbush in New York. Together, the five formed the Flatbush Fungos gang and they would roam their neighborhood looking for fun and excitement.
Joseph Cali played Presto, a cab driver. Adrian Zmed played Socks, the fashion plate of the group who worked at a local clothing store. Sandy Helberg was Figgy, who worked as a grocery store delivery person. Randy Stumpf was Joey, who worked as an apprentice plumber during the day and went to night school pursuing a law degree. Vincent Bufano played Turtle, who worked at his family's restaurant.
This show was not well received, especially by the real-life president of Flatbush who demanded that it be taken off the air because of its insulting use of stereotypes. I can't say for sure if CBS took his concerns seriously or not, but the show was canceled after only three episodes.
Flying High was an adventure show that first aired on CBS September 29, 1978 and lasted until January 23, 1979. It made it for one season, with 19 episodes filmed but only 15 actually aired.
Pat Clouse played Marcy Bowers, Connie Selleca was Lisa Benton, and Kathryn Witt was Pam Bellagio. These three beautiful characters had just recently graduated from flight stewardess school and were now working for Sunwest Airlines. The show focused on their adventures on the job and occasionally we got a glimpse into their private lives.
Howard Platt, as Captain Doug March, was the pilot who considered himself a ladies' man but was never able to make much of a romantic impression on the ladies. Ken Olfson played Raymond Strickland, the passenger relations agent who worked on the ground crew in Los Angeles where Sunwest Airlines was based.
The series was first broadcast on September 23, 1976 and lasted until October 28, 1976 before being canceled.
Ben Murphy played Sam Casey, a secret agent who worked for a government organization called INTERSECT. On a mission, Sam was contaminated with radiation from an underwater explosion which rendered him invisible. It was only through the dedicated scientists at INTERSECT that Sam was able to turn visible again, using a special watch they created. By turning the watch off, Sam could go invisible, but if he stayed invisible for more than 15 minutes in any 24 hour period, he would die.
Gemini Man was actually a revamp of the David McCallum series The Invisible Man that had aired the year before. Leslie Stevens, who had created such classic shows as The Outer Limits and had written episodes of McCloud and It Takes a Thief, was called into make the show into something that could be sustainable week after week. Gone was the permanent invisibility—Casey could turn his off and on at will. Casey was a swashbuckler, a hero, whereas, Weston (McCallum's character) was a dour scientist who was on the run from just about everyone.
Get Christie Love
Inspired by a TV movie, this series was very short-lived. It was TV's attempt at the blaxploitation genre that was so popular on the big screen. It is also significant because it is the second prime time show that had a black female in a lead role (the first being Diahann Carrol in Julia, 1968-1971).
Pretty Teresa Graves played Det. Christie Love, a tough-as-nails African American undercover cop who worked for the Special Investigations Division of the Los Angeles Police Department. Michael Pataki played Sgt. Pete Gallagher, her partner. Her first boss was Lt. Matt Reardon (played by Charles Cioffi—later in the show, he was replaced by Jack Kelly as Captain Arthur Ryan).
Cicely Tyson was scheduled to play the role of Christie Love, but when her movie The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman ran over schedule, they called in Teresa. There was some speculation that Cicely had changed her mind about the role because of her work in the Pittman movie and that she didn't want to dilute the impact and importance of that film by doing Christie Love.
The series has never been released onto DVD, but the TV movie has. Also worth mentioning is that Teresa had a lovely singing voice and began her career in the entertainment field as a member of the group the Doodletown Pipers.
Sadly, Teresa died in 2002, at age 54, from injuries sustained in a house fire.
Does anyone else think that Teresa looked like Whitney Houston?
Gibbsville was a drama set in 1940s Pennsylvania. Jim Malloy (John Savage) was a cub reporter at the Gibbsville Courier, partnered with veteran reporter Ray Whitehead (Gig Young), who is now back at the Courier trying to salvage his career after losing a bout with the bottle.
This NBC series started on November 11, 1976, and finished December 30, 1976. The characters for this series were based on author John O'Hara's writings. Gibbsville is actually set in Pottsville, PA, where author John O'Hara grew up.
Frank D. Gilroy, a Pulitzer-Prize-winning playwright, wrote and directed the television movie that was the pilot for this series.
Thirteen episodes of the series were produced, but only six made it onto the air.
Grady was a spin-off from the successful sitcom Sandford and Son. It began its run on NBC December 4, 1975, and lasted until March 4, 1976.
Whitman Mayo, who had starred as starred as Grady Wilson, one of Fred Sanford's neighbors and friends on Sanford and Son, moved to Watts, a neighborhood of Los Angeles, so he could spend more time with his daughter, Ellie (Carol Cole) and her family.
When Redd Foxx walked out on the series Sanford and Son, instead of shutting down production, the producers gave Grady (Whitman Mayo) the opportunity to step into the limelight while Foxx was gone. He did so well filling in for Foxx (much to Foxx's dismay) that he was offered his own series.
Highcliffe Manor ran on NBC from April 12, 1979 to May 3, 1979 and was meant to be a spoof of the old gothic horror tales.
Helen Black (Shelley Fabares) was a recently widowed lady who has inherited a huge stone mansion that sits on a cliff off the coast of Massachusetts. It was the home of a "think tank" of sorts, populated with a wide assortment of strange characters. They all want to get rid of Helen so they can get on with their plans of cloning all the world leaders.
Also starring Audrey Landers, Jenny O'Hara, Ernie Hudson, and Stephen McHattie.
Many critics complained about the laugh track.
NBC ordered six episodes, but only three aired.
Holmes and Yoyo
Holmes and Yoyo was a comedy series that began its run on ABC September 25, 1976 and lasted until December 11, 1976. Richard B. Shull played Det. Alexander Holmes, an accident-prone police officer who managed to send every partner he ever had to the hospital. The police department decided to try out a new robotic police officer in the guise of Det. Gregory "Yoyo" Yonovich (John Schuck) as Holme's partner. Schuck was pulling double duty, playing on the successful detective series McMillan and Wife while working on this series.
Only a few knew that Yoyo was a robot, as he was very lifelike. One of the running gags on the show was having Officer Maxine Moon (played by Andrea Howard) making passes at Yoyo, with very little success.
This has made many lists as being one of the worst TV series ever produced. It was scheduled against the successful series The Jeffersons on CBS and the first half of Emergency on NBC. Producers and network executives hoped it would pull viewers, especially children, away from its competition because of the slapstick silliness of the show.
The Immortal, based on the 1964 novel The Immortals by James Gunn, began its life as a successful made-for-television movie that aired as an ABC Movie of the Week on September 30, 1969. The series began on September 24, 1970 and lasted until January 14, 1971.
Handsome racecar driver Ben Richards (Christopher George) looks 25 but is really 42, thanks to his special blood which makes him immune to aging and disease. His problem started when he donated blood to save the life of aging millionaire Jordan Braddock (Barry Sullivan) who decided to imprison Richards so he could use him as his own personal fountain of youth. Richards managed to escape, but had to spend his life trying to stay one step ahead of a bounty hunter hired to bring him back into the wealthy man's clutches.
After it became a series, the character of Braddock was phased out and viewers were introduced to another wealthy man, just as evil: Arthur Maitland, played by David Brian. The series never came to a successful conclusion before being canceled.
Sadly, George died of a heart attack at age 54 (some sources list 52) on November 28, 1983.
In the Beginning
This very short-lived and easily forgotten McLean Stevenson series aired on CBS from September 20, 1978 to October 18, 1978.
It was an update of sorts of the classic 1944 film Going My Way that starred Bing Crosby. Stevenson played a conservative priest, Father Cleary, who always found himself at odds with Sister Agnes (Priscilla Lopez), who was very liberal in her attitude toward sinners. The comedy was their interactions with each other and the multitude of characters that came into the mission in Baltimore.
There were nine episodes filmed, but only five were broadcast. This was Stevenson's second attempt at a series since leaving M.A.S.H, the first being another short-lived venture called The McLean Stevenson Show.
After the series cancellation, Stevenson wanted to go on a bit of a personal hiatus but was coaxed by Norman Lear to start work on a new short-lived series, Hello Larry.
Stevenson claimed he never regretted leaving the series M*A*S*H because it was just time for him to find other opportunities.
Karen was a mid-season comedy replacement series starring Karen Valentine that began its run on ABC on January 30, 1975 and lasted until June 19, 1975.
Karen Angelo was a single woman who worked at an organization in Washington, D.C. called "Open America" that sought out and exposed crooked politicians and lobbied for citizen's concerns.
Denver Pyle, who would go on to work in The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams and The Dukes of Hazzard, starred in the pilot, but his character would be taken over by actor Charles Lane in the remaining episodes.
Also starring Dene Dietrich, Aldine King, Alix Elias, Will Seltzer, and Oliver Clark.
Lanigan's Rabbi was based upon the mystery novels of Harry Kemelman, and this short-lived 1977 series starred Art Carney as Police Chief Paul Lanigan who, along with his best friend Rabbi David Small (Bruce Solomon), investigates and solves crimes in a small California town.
The series was broadcast on a rotating basis on NBC's Sunday Mystery Movie that also boasted episodes of McMillian and Wife, Columbo, and McCloud. Only four episodes of this particular series managed to be shown before NBC canceled the Sunday Mystery Movie.
In the pilot movie for the series, our rabbi was played by Stuart Margolin, who couldn't continue with the series because of scheduling conflicts. Bruce Solomon was then cast to fill the role. You may recall had a role on Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman and his character ran away with Mary.
This 14 episode CBS series ran from September 16, 1977 to January 7, 1978, and is based on the feature film of the same name.
The world has been ravaged by nuclear war. The survivors live in a domed city where all their needs are met. It sounds like paradise, but the catch is that no one can live beyond the age of 30 because of the limited space and supplies. When it's time for termination, you can either take part in the "carousel" (the execution process) or you can become a "runner," who seek to find safety in the "Sanctuary" that exists beyond the walls of the city. That is easier said than done because runners are pursued every step of the way by Sandmen (police assassins).
Logan (Gregory Harrison), a Sandman, begins to question the system and meets Jessica (Heather Menzies), a woman soon destined for termination. Together they decide to try for the Sanctuary and spend the series being pursued by another Sandman determined to stop them from getting out of the city.
The series is on DVD, released in 2012.
Lucan was an adventure drama series that began its run on ABC on December 26, 1977 and lasted until December 4, 1978, for eleven episodes. It began its life as a successful made-for-television movie.
Kevin Brophy played Lucan, a young man who had spent the first 10 years of his life out in the wild being raised by wolves. He was rescued by kindly Dr. Hoagland (John Randolph) who took him under his wing and, over the course of the next 10 years, spent his time teaching Lucan the ways of civilized society. When a fire at Hoagland's lab kills a man, Lucan is blamed for the death. He takes to the road, not just running from a cop named Prentiss (Don Gordon), but also to seek out his real identity and to find his parents.
Living in the wild for the first years of his life did have advantages, and Lucan was able to use the skills learned from the wolf pack in order to evade his pursuer, Prentis, and anyone else who was a threat to him.
Lucas Tanner was a drama that began its run on NBC September 11, 1974 and ended on August 20, 1975, with 22 episodes.
David Hartman played Lucas Tanner, a successful baseball player and sportswriter who gives it all up when his wife and son are killed in an accident. He decides he wants to start a new chapter in his life, so he moves to St. Louis and gets a job as a teacher at Harry S. Truman Memorial High School. He has a hands-on, friendly, and approachable style that makes him popular with his students, but not so popular with his fellow teachers, who like the old-school method of teaching.
Robbie Rist played Glendon Farrell, a little boy who lived near Tanner and would come over just to talk.
The Manhunter was a detective drama that began its run on September 11, 1974 on CBS and lasted until April 9, 1975. It starred Ken Howard as Dave Barrett, an ex marine who lost his best friend during a bank robbery.
Set during the Depression years of the 1930s, when Dave gave up his farm life to take on the role of a private detective with a mission: to arrest as many gangsters as he could. His mission took him all over the country.
Also starring Hilary Thompson as his sister Lizabeth, Ford Rainey as his father James, and Claudia Bryar as his mother Mary.
The series was up against the popular ABC series Get Christie Love and NBC's Petrocelli.
Notable guest stars: Greg Morris, Claudia Jennings, Sam Elliot, Mark Hamil, Monte Markham, Denver Pyle, and Joan Van Ark.
Mobile One was an adventure series that began its run on ABC September 12, 1975 and lasted until December 29, 1975.
Jackie Cooper played Peter Campbell, a veteran news reporter who covered news from his mobile news unit called KONE, which was new technology at the time. Julie Gregg played Maggie Spencer, his producer, and handsome Mark Wheeler played Doug McKnight, the cameraman who rounded out this cast.
Mulligan's Stew was a comedy drama series that began its run in October of 1977 and lasted until December of 1977.
Lawrence Pressman played Michael Mulligan, a high school teacher and football coach married to Jane (played by Elinor Donahue). They had three children of their own and suddenly found themselves taking in Michael's sister's four children when she and her husband are killed. The Mulligan children and their new adopted siblings have a tough time adjusting to each other, as each family had raised their children with different values and morals.
The differences of the children—and the interactions and troubles that came about because of these differences—is what producers hoped would provide the comedic and dramatic elements.
Nashville 99 aired on CBS from April 1 to April 22, 1977. It was a replacement series for The Sonny and Cher Show that had been pulled from the schedule.
The series was really more of a vehicle for Claude Akins, who played Lt. Stonewall Jackson whose badge number was 99. Jerry Reed played Detective Trace Mayne, whose character offered up the comedic relief as well as the musical interludes.
There were only four episodes filmed, and it was never picked up as a regular series.
Chet Atkins, Ned Beatty, Pat Hingle, Don Johnson, Johnny Paycheck, Jeannine Riley, Ray Stevens, Mel Tillis, and Tammy Wynette made guest appearances on the four episodes.
The New Land
The New Land was an adventure series that began its run on ABC September 14, 1974 and lasted until October 19, 1974. It was based on the feature film The New Land (also called The Emigrants) that starred Max von Sydow and Liv Ullman.
Swiss immigrants to the US, Anna Larsen (Bonnie Bedelia) and her husband Christain (Scott Thomas), were trying to build a life together with their children in the wilderness near Solna, Minnesota.
The show lasted for six weeks, airing six of the 13 episodes before getting hit with the cancellation axe.
The Oregon Trail
The Oregon Trail ran on NBC from September 21, 1977 to November 30, 1977 and starred Rod Taylor as Evan Thorpe, a widower who decided to pack up his kids— Andrew (Andrew Stevens), William (Tony Becker), and Rachel (Gina Smika Hunter)—and head for a better life in the Oregon Territory. Joining a wagon train, he finds himself the captain when then original leader proves to be unfit for the job.
Fellow traveler Margaret Devlin (Darlene Carr) was Evan's romantic interest on this trip. Luther Spraque (Charles Napier) was a hardened scout who had no patience for the "citified" folks traveling on the Oregon Trail.
Notable guest stars: Claude Akins, Bill Bixby (who directed two episodes), William Shatner, Stella Stevens, and Robert Pine.
The complete series was released onto DVD in 2010.
Paris, a police drama, began its run on CBS on September 29, 1979 and ended on January 15, 1980 with James Earl Jones as Woody Paris, a police captain who also taught a course in criminology at a local college. Paris was the head of a special Metro Squad that was designed to work on solving the really tough cases.
Lee Chamberlain played Woody's understanding and supportive wife, Barbara. Hank Garrett was Deputy Chief Jerome Bench who was Paris' boss. Working with Paris were four young police officers: Stacey Erickson played by Cecilia Hart, Charlie Bogart played by Jake Mitchell, Willie Miller played by Mike Warren, and Ernie Villas portrayed by Frank Ramirez.
Project UFO aired on NBC from February 19, 1978 to August 30, 1979. The series was created by Jack Webb of Dragnet fame and based on the real-life program started by the United States Air Force in an attempt to explain UFO sightings and encounters. While most of their investigations proved that in most instances the sightings were either faked or cases of mistaken identity, there were about 30% that could not be satisfactorily explained. It is these cases that the show dramatized.
The series was produced by Colonel William T. Coleman, the real-life head of Project Bluebook. Even though this show lasted for two seasons, lots of folks seem to have forgotten about it.
During the first season, the two investigating Air Force Officers were Major Jake Gatlin (William Jordan) and Staff Sgt. Harry Fitz (Caskey Swain). In the second season, Jordan was replaced by Edward Winter as Captain Ben Ryan.
Roll Out began its life on CBS October 3, 1973 and ended on January 4, 1974. The setting was World War II, and we got to watch the exploits of the men of the 5050th Trucking Company. The series was based on the 1952 film Red Ball Express.
Stu Gilliam played Cpl. Sweet Williams, one of the drivers for the unit that specialized in getting supplies to the soldiers at the frontline. Hilly Hicks played co-driver Pfc. Jed Brooks. The unit was commanded by Capt. Rocco Cavalli, played by Val Bisoglio. Mel Stewart played career military man Sgt. B.J. Bryant.
When the men weren't delivering supplies, they found their fun at a nightclub near their base which was run by Madame Dalacort played by Penny Santon. This series was based on a real transportation unit that existed during WW2.
The Sixth Sense
The Sixth Sense (not to be confused with the big screen Bruce Willis movie of the same name) starred Gary Collins as Dr. Michael Rhodes, a parapsychologist, who worked at a major university. This ABC series started on January 15, 1972 and lasted until December 23, 1972, with a total of 25 episodes.
Each week we were treated to stories about ghosts or ESP and how the good Dr. worked to solve mysteries that centered around these events. It was a popular enough series that it drew some popular stars of the day to do guest spots, folks like Lee Majors, Stephanie Powers, June Allyson, Joan Crawford, Mariette Hartley, and Steve Forrest, to just name a few.
The Sixth Sense has never been released onto DVD but has been shown in syndication with Rod Serling's Night Gallery. Both shows were highly (and badly) edited, each going from a 60 minute show to 30 minutes for this venture.
The Snoop Sisters
The Snoop Sisters starred Helen Hayes and Mildred Natwick as elderly sisters who had a knack for mysteries. The series lasted for only four 90-minute episodes and was inspired by, of all things, an ABC TV movie Do Not Fold, Spindle or Mutilate from 1971 which starred Hayes and Natwick in different roles.
The series, starting in 1972 and ending in 1974, was part of the NBC Mystery Movie and was shown on a rotating basis, sharing its time slot with Banacek, Tenafly, and Faraday and Company.
The series also made quite a bit of stir with guest star Alice Cooper, a popular 70s rock star, in an episodes titled The Devil Made Me Do It. Cooper's character was called Prince.
It was released onto DVD should you wish to watch it again or for the first time!
Struck by Lightning
Struck by Lightning was a very short-lived series that ran on CBS from September 19, 1979 to October 3, 1979. A grand total of three episodes aired before it was pulled from the schedule. Eleven episodes had been filmed, and eventually they did run the entire series in England in 1980.
What happens when science teacher Ted Stein (Jeffrey Kramer) discovers that he has inherited the rundown Victorian Brightwater Inn? Well, he decides to sell it. . . that is until he discovers that the handyman, Frank, is really Frankenstein's creature. Frank is a little scary to look at, but in in fact he is kind, sweet, and a little bit clumsy. Also starring Mille Slaving, Bill Erwin, Richard Stahl, and Jeff Cotler.
This 60-minute comedy drama aired on NBC for just nine episodes beginning on February 7, 1979 and ending on May 5, 1979. It has the distinction of being one of the most expensive television flops of all time, with the set costing $2 million dollars.
Supertrain was a high-speed nuclear-powered train that zoomed between New York and Los Angeles in 36 hours. It had all the comforts of home: a pool, shopping center, and restaurant. It was the Love Boat on rails and each week, a guest star or two would have some problem to work through before the end of the episode.
In 2002, TV Guide came up with their list of the 50 Worst TV Shows of All Time and Supertrain ranked #28.
It starred Edward Andrews as Harry Flood, Harrison Page as George Boone, Robert Alda as Dr. Dan Lewis, Patrick Collins as Dave Noonan, Nita Talbot as Rose Casey, Aarika Wells as Gilda, Bill Nuckols as Wally, Michael Delano as Lou Atkins, and Charles Brill as Robert.
Sword of Justice
Sword of Justice aired on NBC from September 10, 1978 to July 11, 1979 and starred Dack Rambo as Jack Martin Cole, a rich playboy who was sent go prison on a false embezzlement charge. While in prison, he learns how to pick locks, tap phones, crack safes, and more. When he is released, he becomes an avenger, going after white collar criminals like the ones who framed him. He always left a calling card: the three card from an ordinary deck of cards.
The series lasted for nine episodes and costarred Bert Rosario and Alex Courtney. It is not been released onto DVD.
Three for the Road
This drama series ran on CBS from September 14, 1974 to November 30, 1975 and starred Alex Rocco as Pete Karras, a freelance photographer who, after his wife's death, sells the family home, buys an RV, and travels the country with his two sons, John (Vincent Van Patten) and Eddie (Leif Garrett).
Each week, the trio met all kinds of average, every-day types of people on their travels and would somehow get mixed up in their lives. The show lasted for one season, with 13 episodes filmed, but only 11 were aired.
Even though the series was short-lived, both Van Patten and Garrett became 70s male teen idols.
Folks like Larry Hagman, Stephanie Powers, Dean Stockwell, Tim Matheson, and Christopher Stone did guest stints.
The Texas Wheelers
This ABC comedy aired from September 13, 1974 to July 24, 1975.
Character actor Jack Elam starred as Zack Wheeler, a lovable lay-about father who found himself saddled with taking care of his four children, Truckie (Gary Busey), Boo (Karen Obedlear), Doobie (Mark Hamill), and T.J (Tony Becker) after their mother dies.
There were eight episodes filmed, but only four managed to air before the series was canceled, as it was scheduled opposite NBC's The Rockford Files.