7

TV intros never stop coming


 

I love finding TV intros on YouTube that weren’t there before. You’d think they were all there already, but sometimes a new one turns up. Or a new channel, like this one, which collects obscure intros from the ’60s and ’70s.

Like this show, which I’ve mentioned before: Paul Sand in Friends and Lovers, the 1974 show where James L. Brooks, Allan Burns and MTM Enterprises tried to make Paul Sand a star. (This is the one that CBS seemed so unsure about that their promo was built around the idea that no one knew who Sand was.) It was also about an orchestra musician, so the theme sounded a bit “classical,” which might have been one of the mistakes. Despite the inherent comedy of a guy lugging his cello around, the opening makes it seem like the show is going to be highbrow.

This sitcom adaptation of Thorne Smith’s Turnabout – not exactly the most sustainable of weekly premises – is notable because: a) The credits are animated. b) They got Sterling Holloway to narrate the animated credits. c) Look who developed it – and I don’t mean Michael Rhodes.

Another lesser-known MTM comedy, maybe the least known, was a vehicle for Bob Crane, one of his last major projects before his death. Like all MTM sitcoms of the era, it tried to balance the protagonist’s work life with his home life, the twist being that the wife was the breadwinner while the protagonist went back to medical school. Crane felt the show bombed because the characters in the school scenes were too dull for him to play off.

I heard of The Girl With Something Extra only in a book on TV sitcoms, which named it as one of the worst of the mid-’70s. Produced by Screen Gems and created by Canada’s own Bernard Slade (in one of his last TV projects before he chucked it and became a successful playwright instead), it’s mostly known as the show that Sally Field is even more embarrassed about than The Flying Nun, but you have to give some props to Screen Gems: years after their type of show (Bewitched, Gidget, Flying Nun, Partridge Family) was on the wane, they were still going at it.

Another Screen Gems production, which is most famous for having been forcibly combined with another failed show: Screen Gems and ABC had this show, a hospital comedy, and The Paul Lynde Show, and when they weren’t working, they brought Lynde onto this show. But it’s mostly just the other hospital comedy that premiered in the fall of 1972.

Finally, you learn something new every day: I was unaware that Shirley MacLaine starred in a TV series. This was in the early ’70s when her movie career wasn’t so hot, and even more than now, a TV series was seen as a good bet for a fading movie star (Jimmy Stewart also starred in his own show around this time). There is no word on whether the show – which both MacLaine and producer Sheldon Leonard wound up hating – presented her as “adorkable.”


 
Filed under:

TV intros never stop coming

  1. uh, Cleavon Little from Blazing Saddles!?!?!?!?!?!?

    Cool; cool-cool-cool.

  2. Thanks for linking to these. I hadn’t seen any of them except The Bob Crane Show. So much fun.

    It always puzzles me to see John Davidson as an actor rather than just some bland guy appearing on television.

    • Mort Sahl’s great comment about John Davidson:  $100 haircut on a 2 cent head.

  3. OMG! thank you for turning me on to THIS youtube channel.. you popped into my GOOGLE alerts cuz of PAUL LYNDE… an Love your column!  EG

  4. I only vaguely remember SHIRLEY’S WORLD, but part of the problem with it may have been that two Americans (MacLaine and Leonard) were suddenly thrown in with a lot of folks from UK television (the show was produced by Lew Grade’s ITC company).  Talk about being thrown in to the deep end and expected to perform perfectly.  On both sides of the equation.  (In the 1960’s, Grade was the go-to fellow for summer-replacement series on American TV — DANGER MAN (retitled SECRET AGENT) and its unofficial sequel THE PRISONER popped up on CBS, and THE SAINT and THE CHAMPIONS were shown on NBC.)

    • Sir Low Grade

Sign in to comment.