Lightly Syndicated Or Did I Miss The Boat

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Frank Soyke, May 17, 2013.

  1. Frank Soyke

    Frank Soyke Screenwriter

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    I was thinking about the bunch of once popular shows I had no exposure to before until I was an adult. My question is this. Were these shows poorly syndicated in the very late 70's early 80's or did I just ignore them?
    Here's a list: before 87, I had not seen a single episode of:

    The Fugitive, Invaders, Route 66, Defenders, Burke's Law, The Warner Detective shows, Ben Casey, Peter Gunn, Rawhide, Have Gun, Will Travel, Run For Your Life, NYPD, Richard Diamond, Time Tunnel. Land Of The Giants, Laredo, I Spy, Nanny and The Professor, Love That Bob, Mr. Novak, Judd, Twelve 0' Clock High, The Avengers, Name Of The Game, Cheyenne

    and only a handful of: The Untouchables, Mannix, Room 222, Cannon, Kolchak.

    So was I dense or were they just not there? LOL
     
  2. Frank Soyke

    Frank Soyke Screenwriter

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    I do know that some of it was regional as well. For example, although very popular in some markets, no-one in my area ran Welby, Medical Center, Casey, or Kildare. Who knows why. Maybe they had something against medical shows here. I had to go to my gradparents to watch The Untouchables as well. Strangely enough, it was run on their local PBS station of all things. And although immensely popular, The FBI was only run on weekends here for about 2 years.


    By the way, nobody beat me up too bad, but I have to come clean that I've still never seen a single episode of Casey or Kildare.
     
  3. AndyMcKinney

    AndyMcKinney Cinematographer

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    of the shows the OP mentioned, I only saw Welby in local, over-the-air reruns. Of course, my market didn't have an independent station until around 1985 or '86, so that severely limited choice. Several of the shows mentioned, however were on basic cable channels in the '80s (Route, Ben Casey, have Gun, I Spy are ones that readily come to mind).

    I was exposed to The Invaders, and Land of the Giants (among other shows not mentioned here) via the tape-trading circuit back in the day.

    Kolchak, as many would remember, was part of CBS's "Late Movie" line-up in the '80s, so although not by syncication, I did see it.

    The neighboring market to mine (Louisville) did have one independent station, and they ran a ton of stuff I could only dream of. Imagine the kinds of shows in a market with two independents (all this before secondary network affiliations ate away at programming hours).

    Also, off-network reruns of then-current shows weren't quite as plentiful, and also, werent' being sold to stations in two separate runs (look at Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother and Two and a Half Men as current examples: many stations play two separate runs of repeats these days, so that's a full hour of the same TV series on the schedule versus a half-hour in years past. If a local station picks up two or three of these sitcoms, that's their whole early evening schedule filled with only three TV shows). Often times, they're sold "weekend" packages, too, so that's even more time eaten away.
     
  4. Frank Soyke

    Frank Soyke Screenwriter

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    Some of ones I mentioned I'm not sure have ever been syndicated in the past 30 years, namely Richard Diamond, NYPD, Mr. Novak and The Defenders. Any help on this one?
     
  5. Richard V

    Richard V Cinematographer

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    I don't think any of those have been syndicated for decades, except maybe NYPD, I vaguely remember that one from TNT or WTBS.
     
  6. Richard V

    Richard V Cinematographer

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    Love that Bob, Ben Casey, Peter Gunn, HGWT, The Avengers, and others were heavily rerun in the 60's and 70's before the advent of cable TV. Tweleve O'Clock High was on The History Channel in the 90's I think.
     
  7. Neil Brock

    Neil Brock Cinematographer

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    NYPD was sold in the 70s locally and in the 80s ran on MSG Network as well as Nostalgia Channel. Mr. Novak ran overnights on TNT but was never syndicated. The Defenders was syndicated when it first went off network but hasn't been sold anywhere since the 60s.
     
  8. Ron Lee Green

    Ron Lee Green Supporting Actor

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    Of all the shows on your list, I can only recall seeing 4 in the mid '70s and early 80s: Peter Gunn, The Untouchables, Nanny and the Professor and Room 222. The other shows I'm not sure as I was a kid and I had zero interest in the more adult-oriented shows. Maybe they were on and I just wasn't aware of them because I was young and tended to like the silly sitcoms on the 60s.
    Old TV Guides are a good resource to see what was airing in your area during the 70s and 80s. Maybe you can buy an old TV Guide from your area/market, and look through it to see what your local stations were airing at the time. I know some ebay sellers will list what area their TV Guide is from.
    I would like to add that I did not get to watch Petticoat Junction until I was an adult.
    It was rerun on a local station when I was a kid--but it was opposite Bewitched on another channel, and I had to choose between the two--and Bewitched won everytime.
    This was before cable and VCRs became a household item (I didn't get a VCR until 1983), so I'm sure I missed seeing a lot of shows if they were on at the same time as my favorite shows.
     
  9. Peter M Fitzgerald

    Peter M Fitzgerald Screenwriter

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    I'm not a TV Guide collector, but I happen to have a couple of issues left over from the mid-1980s. I'll take one of them, a New York Metropolitan Edition for the week beginning Saturday, November 15, 1986 (ending Friday, November 21st), and list all the series being rerun in syndication in that span of time. Bear in mind that the guide covers not just the cable networks and local New York City stations, but also Long Island, Connecticut and northern New Jersey stations. I was living in just north of Danbury, CT (near Newtown) at the time, so I personally only got the CT and NYC stations (but nothing from Long Island).

    I'll list these as I find them chronologically in the daily line-up:

    BEN CASEY (local)
    BRANDED (local, CBN)
    THE GUNS OF WILL SONNETT (local, CBN)
    HERE'S LUCY (local)
    CISCO KID (local)
    SUPERFRIENDS (local)
    DAVEY & GOLIATH (local, CBN)
    JOSIE AND THE PUSSYCATS (local)
    LASSIE (local, Nick)
    WILD KINGDOM [could have been a latter-day new episode, but most likely a rerun] (local)
    DENNIS THE MENACE (Nick)
    GET SMART (TBS, local)
    HOGAN'S HEROES (TBS)
    VOYAGERS! (local)
    DANIEL BOONE (local)
    LONE RANGER (CBN)
    THE MYSTERIOUS CITIES OF GOLD (Nick)
    WONDERFUL WORLD OF DISNEY (local)
    GRIZZLY ADAMS (local)
    LARAMIE (CBN)
    CIMARRON STRIP (TBS)
    BLACK SHEEP SQUADRON (local)
    THE RIFLEMAN (CBN)
    WANTED: DEAD OR ALIVE (USA)
    FROM HERE TO ETERNITY (Lifetime)
    CASSIE & CO. (Lifetime)
    Q.E.D. (Showtime)
    WILD BILL HICKOK (CBN)
    PARTNERS IN CRIME (Lifetime)
    GUNSMOKE (CBN)
    DAKTARI (local)
    BONANZA (TBS)
    WAGON TRAIN (CBN)
    MISSION IMPOSSIBLE (local)
    MR. SOLO [THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E., maybe? No episode info is given, other than "Drama; 60 min."] (local)
    THE MONKEES (Nick)
    LAVERNE & SHIRLEY (local)
    BLAKE'S 7 (local)
    BIG VALLEY (CBN)
    AIRWOLF (USA)
    BOSOM BUDDIES (local)
    STAR TREK [animated] (Nick)
    M*A*S*H (local)
    BARNEY MILLER (local)
    GOOD NEIGHBORS (local)
    HARPER VALLEY P.T.A. (local)
    AGONY (local)
    ROUTE 66 (Nick, local)
    SANFORD AND SON (TBS, local)
    THE FUGITIVE (local)
    THE JEFFERSONS (local)
    THE DONNA REED SHOW (Nick)
    MISTER ED (Nick)
    THE SAINT (local)
    JACKIE GLEASON (local)
    RHODA (local)
    INSIGHT (local)
    THIS IS THE LIFE (local)
    PLASTIC MAN (local)
    BATMAN [Adam West] (local)
    THE ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN (local)
    THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW (TBS)
    LEAVE IT TO BEAVER (local)
    THE FALL AND RISE OF REGINALD PERRIN (local)
    FLIPPER (CBN)
    GENTLE BEN (CBN)
    KOJAK (local)
    THE GREATEST AMERICAN HERO (local)
    BUCK ROGERS (local)
    ALIAS SMITH AND JONES (CBN)
    I SPY (Nick)
    QUEST (CBN)
    THE SMOTHERS BROTHER SHOW [the b&w sitcom] (Nick)
    THE VIRGINIAN (USA)
    MY THREE SONS (Nick, local)
    BUFFALO BILL [the Dabney Coleman sitcom] (A&E)
    DOUGLAS FAIRBANKS PRESENTS (local)
    THE ODD COUPLE (local)
    THE HONEYMOONERS (local, TBS)
    BARNABY JONES (local)
    STAR TREK (local)
    THE NAKED CITY (local)
    CIRCLE OF FEAR (local)
    THE LUCY SHOW (TBS)
    THE BEVERLY HILLBILLIES (TBS)
    ROOM 222 (USA)
    GOOD MORNING WORLD (USA)
    THAT GIRL (USA)
    THE FLINTSTONES (local, TBS)
    SCOOBY DOO (local, TBS)
    I DREAM OF JEANNIE (local, TBS)
    BEWITCHED (local, TBS)
    THE BRADY BUNCH (local)
    THE MUNSTERS (local)
    THE DICK VAN DYKE SHOW (local)
    FATHER KNOWS BEST (CBN)
    FAMILY (Lifetime)
    GREEN ACRES (local, CBN)
    HAZEL (CBN)
    I LOVE LUCY (TBS, local)
    MY FAVORITE MARTIAN (local)
    THE GONG SHOW (USA)
    THE ABBOTT & COSTELLO SHOW (local)
    THE PARTRIDGE FAMILY (local)
    THE REAL McCOYS (local)
    ALL IN THE FAMILY (local)
    THE LOVE BOAT (local)
    THE DORIS DAY SHOW (CBN, local)
    MR. MERLIN (USA)
    PERRY MASON (TBS, local)
    DEATH VALLEY DAYS (local)
    THE PATTY DUKE SHOW (CBN)
    THE JETSONS (local)
    LIAR'S CLUB (USA)
    GILLIGAN'S ISLAND (local)
    SIX GUN HEROES (local)
    PLEASE DON'T EAT THE DAISIES (CBN)
    CANNON (local)
    VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA (local)
    THE FLYING NUN (CBN, local)
    WILD, WILD WORLD OF ANIMALS (local)
    THE COURTSHIP OF EDDIE'S FATHER (CBN)
    POLICE WOMAN (local)
    LOST IN SPACE (local)
    TAXI (local)
    DIFF'RENT STROKES (local)
    HART TO HART (local)
    BENSON (local)
    KNIGHT RIDER (local)
    FAMILY AFFAIR (local)
    HAPPY DAYS (local)
    WKRP IN CINCINNATI (local)
    THREE'S COMPANY (local)
    MAUDE (local)
    SKAG (A&E)
    FATHER MURPHY (CBN)
    CALL TO GLORY (Lifetime)
    THE BILL COSBY SHOW (CBN)
    THE WILD, WILD WEST (local)
    MONTY PYTHON'S FLYING CIRCUS (local)
    COMBAT! (local)
    THE ALFRED HITCHCOCK HOUR (USA)
    TALES OF THE UNEXPECTED [U.K.] (local)
    BURNS AND ALLEN (CBN)
    DRAGNET [1960s] (USA)
    YOU BET YOUR LIFE (CBN)
    THE TWILIGHT ZONE (local)
    THE JACK BENNY SHOW (CBN)
    DOBIE GILLIS (CBN)
    McCLOUD (local)
    MAKE ROOM FOR DADDY (local)
    LAST OF THE WILD (USA)
    ONE STEP BEYOND (local)
    THE SECOND HUNDRED YEARS (USA)
    CAROL BURNETT & FRIENDS (local)
    HELL TOWN (CBN)
    JASON KING (local)
    THE FARMER'S DAUGHTER (CBN)
    TEMPERATURES RISING (USA)
    BRING 'EM BACK ALIVE (CBN)
    BERRENGER'S (Lifetime)
    EMERGENCY! (local)
    THE GIRL WITH SOMETHING EXTRA (USA)
    KING'S CROSSING (Lifetime)
    HE AND SHE (USA)
    TWO MARRIAGES (Lifetime)
     
  10. jcroy

    jcroy Screenwriter

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    (Here's my perspective from a different time period under very different circumstances).

    I had a similar experience of being "dense" in a "Did I Miss The Boat?" manner.

    I more or less stopped watching tv regularly sometime in the late 1980's. I ended up completely "missing the boat" on tv shows which came after that. Over the next decade or so, I only really watched reruns of Star Trek and sometimes Silk Stalkings. (Very little else besides cnn or the bbc news channels). Otherwise, I was essentially "out of the loop" for almost two decades. Whenever friends and/or acquaintances were talking about tv shows or movies, I had no clue what they were talking about most of the time (unless it was stuff from the late-1970's or early-mid 1980's).

    When I look at old prime time tv schedules, I hardly recognize anything from the late 1980's through to the 2000's.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lists_of_United_States_network_television_schedules#1990s

    I only started watching tv regularly again in 2007. (Initially watching reruns from the CSI and Law & Order franchises for several years). Eventually I was "discovering" how much good stuff I completely missed over those two "lost" decades, such as reruns of shows like Stargate SG-1, Star Trek stuff from the 1990's and Enterprise, etc ...

    By 2011, I was buying a lot of tv season dvd sets of shows which looked interesting to me. Mostly sci-fi, and some cop/forensics procedural shows. I came to the realization I completely missed the sci-fi "renaissance" on network tv and cable during the 1990's and 2000's. Most of the shows I picked up on dvd, I had never really watched previously, such as: X-Files, Stargate Atlantis, the revived Battlestar Galactica, Babylon 5, Quantum Leap, La Femme Nikita, Millenium, Andromeda, the revived Outer Limits, etc ...

    (Previously, I thought sci-fi tv and movies were unrealistic "space operas" and kind of a joke).

    Kinda odd "discovering" so much good stuff I completely missed, when I was around age 40 and going through a mid-life crisis. (I suppose one could say it's better late than never).
     
  11. Frank Soyke

    Frank Soyke Screenwriter

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    It's funny you mention TV Guides, because they were the first things I collected classic TV wise before I had access to videotaping. I started around 76 nd keep goiing weekly till about 98. Since old issues were reasonably cheap then (not anymore) , I then began to work backward and ened up being virtaully complete from 61-98 with quite a few from the 50's as well. I don't mention this to brag. Just to state that these things are one heck of a resource. I pull one or two out weekly for some type of research or another. Plus the great artwork, and interviews with classic stars now long gone. Not to sound too Seinfeldesque, but The Fall Previews really are the Best.
     
  12. Harry-N

    Harry-N Cinematographer

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    Much is market dependent. As mentioned, some markets struggled to support three network channels, let alone any independent stations. Larger markets were the ones where syndicated shows flourished as those stations had tons of time to fill.

    Another factor is drama vs. comedy. For some reason, stations loved (and still do) to run a half-hour comedy, particularly in that prime 7P to 8P dinner-hour slot. The latest and greatest sitcoms generally are found there in most markets. Currently, it's HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER and BIG BANG THEORY and TWO AND A HALF MEN that are ruling that particular roost. Hour-long shows got shunned just because of their length. If a show starts at 7 and lasts an hour - and you don't happen to like it - you'll probably switch to something else. If the show is a fairly innocuous sitcom, you're likely to stick around for the easy-to-take half hour.

    Harry
     
  13. Vahan_Nisanain

    Vahan_Nisanain Supporting Actor

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    I remember Neil Brock saying a few times that Room 222 was last seen on USA Network in the 80's. Actually, it was TVLand in the 90's. I take it he didn't have TVLand back then.

    Also, when Room 222 was first syndicated shortly after cancellation in the mid-70's, one unaired episode from the 5th and final season was added to the rotation.
     
  14. Ron1973

    Ron1973 Beverly Hillbilles nut extraordinaire

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    TV Land wasn't on all cable systems back then so it's entirely possible. For my part, they could dump the thing off Directv anytime.....
     
  15. Mark-P

    Mark-P Producer

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    Back in the old days it wasn't unheard of for a show not to be sold into syndication once it left the airwaves, especially if it was cancelled with less than 100 episodes done.
     
  16. Richard V

    Richard V Cinematographer

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    Isn't that still considered the "gold standard" when syndication value is determined?
     
  17. Vic Pardo

    Vic Pardo Screenwriter

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    You have to take into consideration that a lot of stations stopped running most b&w shows after the early 1970s, with only a handful of well-known classics like "I Love Lucy," "The Honeymooners," and "Twilight Zone" continuing to get regular rotation and a few others like "The Addams Family" that my daughter remembers seeing when she was a child (late '80s/early '90s).
    Of the shows you list, the only one I remember seeing in syndication in the late '70s/ early '80s is "The Untouchables."
     
  18. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    I'd imagine that it probably is for a regular syndication deal but with cable channels always looking for content, not making it to 100 shows isn't the end that it used to be.
     
  19. JoeDoakes

    JoeDoakes Cinematographer
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    I definitely saw Nanny and the Professor in syndication in the 1970s. I think that they even showed up in cartoon form on a Saturday Morning Movie. I think I also recall I Spy back then and perhaps Route 66. As for the Avengers, I think reruns of it were on local PBS stations thoughout the 1970s. I first heard of Love that Bob from CBN and Peter Gunn about the same time. Many of those other shows I didn't hear about till years later.
     
  20. DeWilson

    DeWilson Cinematographer

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    The Fugitive, Invaders, Route 66,Rawhide, Have Gun, Will Travel, Run For Your Life,Time Tunnel. Land Of The Giants,I Spy, Nanny and The Professor,Twelve 0' Clock High, The Avengers, Name Of The Game,The Untouchables, Mannix, Room 222, Cannon, Kolchak. were all still in syndication in the 1980's - it just comes down to what station managers wanted to pick up for their local market.

    Between 1987-1991 or so The 20th Century Fox shows you mentioned were run heavily on a station outside of Boston, WHLL-27 - They also ran Julia (!), Ghost and Mrs. Muir, Batman,Lost in Space, Voyage to the Bottom of The Sea, Fantastic Voyage,Journey to The Center of The Earth, Return to the Planet of The Apes,
     

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