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List Your Favorite SUMMER REPLACEMENT Shows!


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#1 of 24 Professor Echo

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Posted July 03 2011 - 11:51 AM

Now that summer is upon us, I thought it would be an appropriate time to honor the concept of the Summer Replacement Show and for folks to  list their favorites, both past and present.


The concept of a series only running in the summer, usually in place of a regularly run series that had the summer off, has been around since the very early days of network television. It continues today, though in recent history the summer series have been promoted not as seasonal afterthoughts nor just a collection of unsold pilots, as some past threadbare examples were, but as equally polished as any of those run during the rest of the year. Still, whatever the reason, they are  presented during a time of year when fewer people are at home and watching television and, one presumes, just were not ready for a more prominent showcase.


So what are the ones you remember enjoying the most?


I'll start off with the most obvious choice: THE PRISONER, which made its U.S. debut on Saturday nights in the summer of 1968.  After that I would vote for CORONET BLUE, which though filmed in 1965, never aired until Monday evenings in the summer of 1967.



#2 of 24 Joe Lugoff

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Posted July 03 2011 - 02:32 PM

Well, at the risk of showing my age, I'll mention some from the '50s and '60s. When I was a kid, I liked MY LITTLE MARGIE, and that began life as the first summer replacement for I LOVE LUCY, back in 1952. I actually used to like those VACATION PLAYHOUSE things where they showed unsold pilots. Of course, it was quickly obvious as to exactly why they were unsold. I have memories of various game shows without remembering anything specific. Back in those days, I was totally undiscriminating. I tended to like everything. Those days are long gone. Now I tend to dislike everything! Here's another obscure one I just thought of: On NBC, the summer of 1961: GREAT GHOST TALES. To this day, I remember one episode where a girl's stuffed tiger would come alive at night and kill people. Well, these things happen.

#3 of 24 Gary OS

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Posted July 04 2011 - 01:22 AM

I'm probably not going to be able to contribute anything meaningful in this thread, unfortunately.  I can remember a few mid-season replacement shows that went gold (for me, at least).  Wonder Years is right there at the top.  But that's not technically a summer replacement show.  Growing up in the 70's I'm at a loss for any that really stuck with me at the time.  Maybe you guys can throw some out from that decade, or perhaps the 80's.  But I can't think of anything that I could call a "favorite" in any way, even a summer replacement show type of way.  I'm probably forgetting some obvious ones, but unless I can include the Olympics or maybe Sonny and Cher (and that one would be a stretch as a "favorite" for me), I just don't remember anything in that category from the 70's that I liked a lot.


Gary "I remember Buffalo Bill being a summer show the year I graduated, and it was OK, but nothing like the shows you guys mentioned" O.


"Do not challenge supernatural unless armed with sword of truth"
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#4 of 24 Gary OS

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Posted July 04 2011 - 01:30 AM

     Quote:

Originally Posted by Professor Echo 

I'll start off with the most obvious choice: THE PRISONER, which made its U.S. debut on Saturday nights in the summer of 1968.  After that I would vote for CORONET BLUE, which though filmed in 1965, never aired until Monday evenings in the summer of 1967.



Originally Posted by Joe Lugoff 

Well, at the risk of showing my age, I'll mention some from the '50s and '60s.

When I was a kid, I liked MY LITTLE MARGIE, and that began life as the first summer replacement for I LOVE LUCY, back in 1952.

I actually used to like those VACATION PLAYHOUSE things where they showed unsold pilots. Of course, it was quickly obvious as to exactly why they were unsold.

I have memories of various game shows without remembering anything specific. Back in those days, I was totally undiscriminating. I tended to like everything. Those days are long gone. Now I tend to dislike everything!

Here's another obscure one I just thought of: On NBC, the summer of 1961: GREAT GHOST TALES. To this day, I remember one episode where a girl's stuffed tiger would come alive at night and kill people. Well, these things happen.



Whenever I read these type of nostalgic posts from either of you, I just sigh at the fact that I wasn't born 5 to 10 years earlier than I was.  I missed out on so many of those during their initial run, and have always considered the 50's and 60's the greatest era for TV ever.  Wish I had been able to watch those shows at the time instead of via rerun.



Gary "Joe, good to see you posting" O.


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                                             ...CHARLIE CHAN ON TREASURE ISLAND
 

 


#5 of 24 Professor Echo

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Posted July 04 2011 - 07:48 AM

Gary, I think that's the trouble with most summer replacement shows, they are hard to remember because theoretically they were buried in the summer months for a reason. Some managed to transcend that and be memorable to this day, but how many just aired in the dog days and then disappeared without a trace? Outside of the two I mentioned, I am having trouble remembering many more. Joe's era precedes mine, so the opportunity for more interesting and innovative shows might be more expansive than it was when I was a little kid in the 60's,  but my guess is that he too would be hard pressed to remember many of them.


Mostly I recall that musical variety shows played during the summer months, things like THE GLEN CAMPBELL GOODTIME HOUR and THE GOLDIGGERS show, which replaced THE DEAN MARTIN SHOW for a few years. Or, as Gary mentioned, SONNY & CHER, which I liked a lot.


As I was thinking about it though, I did remember another great one:  NORTHERN EXPOSURE started out as a summer replacement series.



#6 of 24 Walter Kittel

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Posted July 04 2011 - 07:51 AM

I was very fond of Swingtown on CBS in the summer of 2008. The 70's recreation was the hook that got me watching the show; but the characters and the season long story arc kept me watching. I know I'm in the minority on this show; but I really enjoyed all aspects of this series. - Walter.
Fidelity to the source should always be the goal for Blu-ray releases.

#7 of 24 Professor Echo

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Posted July 04 2011 - 07:53 AM



Originally Posted by Walter Kittel 

I was very fond of Swingtown on CBS in the summer of 2008. The 70's recreation was the hook that got me watching the show; but the characters and the season long story arc kept me watching. I know I'm in the minority on this show; but I really enjoyed all aspects of this series.

- Walter.


My gf LOVED that show, Walter!




#8 of 24 Bob Gu

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Posted July 04 2011 - 03:42 PM

In the Summer of 1960 I remember the summer replacements for the Perry Como Show: HAPPY a comedy about the thoughts of a baby,(The adult cast was headed by Ronnie Burns.), and TATE, the interesting western about a one-armed gunfighter, that has been released on DVD. The British spy/ international man of mystery shows,were all summer and/or mid-season replacements: DANGER MAN April-September 1961, SECRET AGENT April-September 1965 (returned in December-September 1966), MAN IN A SUITCASE May-September 1968, THE AVENGERS ran mostly during the summers March-September 1966, January-September 1967, January-September 1968, NBC ran the color SAINTs May-September 1967, Feb-September 1968, April-September 1969. I'll sneek THE BARON in too January-July 1966. The already mentioned CORONET BLUE, plus BRENNER, and WHISPERING SMITH were shows that were in production for fall premieres but were held back or cancelled due to changes in whoever was running the network's programming wanting to put their own stamp on the schedule. So they were shown during the summer to recoup their losses. In the early seventies CBS brought back THE WILD WILD WEST and LANCER for summer runs. GUNSMOKE showed reruns from five seasons back. One thing that was great during the summer, in those one TV pre-airconditioning evenings, was that Mom and Dad were outside catching the breeze on the front porch and the older siblings were out. So the TV was left for me to watch what I wanted, without having to bargain with the rest of the family.

#9 of 24 Garysb

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Posted July 04 2011 - 05:33 PM

The one hour specials that Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz did as a continuation of I Love Lucy were packaged with new openings and called the Lucy - Desi Comedy Hour on CBS in the summer of 1962. These shows ran as a summer replacement series in prime time from 1962 to 1967 except for 1966 when it did not air. CBS also ran a summer replacement program called Vacation Playhouse which consisted of failed pilots . If they had something like that today we might have been able to see the Wonder Woman pilot.

#10 of 24 bretmaverick2

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Posted July 05 2011 - 01:26 AM

I remember a few variety shows that ran as summer only replacement type shows. ABBA, I believe had one of these shows. And I am thinking that David Letterman was a cast member!! And I think the husband and wife from the group The Fifth Dimension also had a short summer series. It seems to me that a lot of semi popular pop groups had short summer variety type series.

#11 of 24 Gary OS

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Posted July 05 2011 - 01:43 AM

I really believe my problem in contributing to this thread has to do with when I was born.  Almost all the great memories and shows you guys are mentioning were products of the 50's or 60's.  I can't reach back with any clarity until the early to mid 70's, and as I and a few others have mentioned, the only things that come to mind are variety type shows (and most were not very memorable).  Wish I could help with what I believe is a very interesting thread idea, but I'll have to be content with just reading more so than contributing.



Gary "even if I was born ten years earlier, I'm not sure my mind would remember things with the clarity some of you do - I'm jealous" O.


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#12 of 24 JoeDoakes

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Posted July 05 2011 - 04:10 AM

I really believe my problem in contributing to this thread has to do with when I was born.  Almost all the great memories and shows you guys are mentioning were products of the 50's or 60's.  I can't reach back with any clarity until the early to mid 70's, and as I and a few others have mentioned, the only things that come to mind are variety type shows (and most were not very memorable).  Wish I could help with what I believe is a very interesting thread idea, but I'll have to be content with just reading more so than contributing.



Gary "even if I was born ten years earlier, I'm not sure my mind would remember things with the clarity some of you do - I'm jealous" O.

Me too. Generally, I cannot remember which shows were summer replacements and which weren't. There are two exceptions to that. First, one summer I remember watching Bob Crane's show in which he played a teacher. After that, I think that they showed a Gladdis Knight and the Pipps Variety Show. I have fond memories of watching them and I was disappointed that they did not continue.

#13 of 24 Joe Lugoff

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Posted July 05 2011 - 05:10 AM

Gary "even if I was born ten years earlier, I'm not sure my mind would remember things with the clarity some of you do - I'm jealous" O.

Actually, if it weren't for my reference books, and now the capability to access old newspapers online, I would only have vague memories of television of half a century or so ago. I only know exactly what happened, and when it happened, due to years of reading about TV of the '50s and '60s, many years after the fact. For instance, CBS ran the 13 I LOVE LUCY episodes leading up to and set in their new home in Connecticut, as LUCY IN CONNECTICUT. I remember watching them, but if you held a gun to my head, I couldn't tell you when it was or what time it was on. Due to my handy dandy reference books, I can say it was the summer replacement for Jack Benny, and was on Sundays from 10 to 10:30 EDT from July 3 to September 25, 1960. After seeing that in a reference book, I could then think, "Oh, yeah, I did watch that on Sunday nights in the summer of 1960," where otherwise it could have been on Tuesdays in 1961 for all I knew. Of course, reference books can have errors, but I don't know what I'd do without them.

#14 of 24 AndyMcKinney

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Posted July 05 2011 - 06:08 AM

Here are a couple that were true Summer replacement series (i.e. not mid-season ones): Whose Line Is It Anyway? (US version): it started out as a six-week summer series and was successful enough to be quickly promoted to a regular show. At one point, ABC scheduled as many as 39 new episodes a season, a number that has been pretty much unheard of since TV's golden age. Of course, it was because it was very cheap to produce, but it was excellent counter-programming to Friends. Roar: the TV show that introduced Heath Ledger to American audiences. Those are the only two that instantly spring to mind. There are others that are "borderline-summer" (i.e. they aired in March/April/May, so are more tail-end-of-Spring rather than summer, otherwise I'd be mentioning stuff like Profit, No Soap Radio and Police Squad.)

#15 of 24 Professor Echo

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Posted July 05 2011 - 10:20 AM



Originally Posted by Gary OS 

I really believe my problem in contributing to this thread has to do with when I was born.  Almost all the great memories and shows you guys are mentioning were products of the 50's or 60's.  I can't reach back with any clarity until the early to mid 70's


I remember a sitcom on ABC from the Summer of 1972 that I really enjoyed. It was called THE CORNER BAR and starred ex-Dead End Kid Gabriel Dell as the owner/bartender of a tavern in New York City. It truly was the original CHEERS and featured a gay character as one of the regular patrons of the bar, which I believe was a first for television. It was successful enough to return the following summer, again in a limited run, but now Dell was gone and the bar had two new owners, played by Eugene Roche and Ann Meara, and it just wasn't as good.


The show was preceded on the same evening by another summer replacement sitcom called THE SUPER which starred Richard Castellano, then recognizable from playing "Fat" Clemenza in THE GODFATHER. He portrayed a janitor of a run down apartment building. I watched it, but have no memory of it at all.

     Quote:

Originally Posted by Bob Gu 

In the Summer of 1960 I remember the summer replacements for the Perry Como Show: HAPPY a comedy about the thoughts of a baby,(The adult cast was headed by Ronnie Burns.), and TATE, the interesting western about a one-armed gunfighter, that has been released on DVD.

The British spy/ international man of mystery shows,were all summer and/or mid-season replacements: DANGER MAN April-September 1961, SECRET AGENT April-September 1965 (returned in December-September 1966), MAN IN A SUITCASE May-September 1968, THE AVENGERS ran mostly during the summers March-September 1966, January-September 1967, January-September 1968, NBC ran the color SAINTs May-September 1967, Feb-September 1968, April-September 1969. I'll sneek THE BARON in too January-July 1966.

The already mentioned CORONET BLUE, plus BRENNER, and WHISPERING SMITH were shows that were in production for fall premieres but were held back or cancelled due to changes in whoever was running the network's programming wanting to put their own stamp on the schedule. So they were shown during the summer to recoup their losses.

In the early seventies CBS brought back THE WILD WILD WEST and LANCER for summer runs. GUNSMOKE showed reruns from five seasons back.

One thing that was great during the summer, in those one TV pre-airconditioning evenings, was that Mom and Dad were outside catching the breeze on the front porch and the older siblings were out. So the TV was left for me to watch what I wanted, without having to bargain with the rest of the family.

Great post, Bob, it brought back some awesome memories. Since those great old British spy shows aired during the summer, I was allowed to stay up late and watch many of them. Being a BOND kid through and through, I couldn't get enough of that era's spy craze and remember many happy nights embroiled in international espionage and intrigue watching these shows with my two older brothers.


Great recollections by everyone so far. I was hoping people would contribute and help kick start my memory and inspire some good points of reference from all the summers since 1948.  Like GaryO, it's hard for me to remember and keep track of so many of these short-lived wonders.




#16 of 24 Charles Ellis

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Posted July 13 2011 - 05:24 AM

Does anyone (besides myself) remember 3 Girls 3 starring Debbie Allen, Mimi Kennedy, and Ellen Foley? This ran for two summers on NBC in the late 70s.
Bring "The continuing story of PEYTON PLACE" home on DVD: the one that started it all- from Dallas and Dynasty to Desperate Housewives and Gossip Girl!!! Starting this May, see the legendary saga starring Mia Farrow, Ryan O'Neal, Barbara Parkins, and Oscar-winner Dorothy Malone on DVD thru...

#17 of 24 Neil Brock

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Posted July 13 2011 - 07:27 AM

I was very fond of Swingtown on CBS in the summer of 2008. The 70's recreation was the hook that got me watching the show; but the characters and the season long story arc kept me watching. I know I'm in the minority on this show; but I really enjoyed all aspects of this series. - Walter.

Should have been on HBO or Showtime where you could have actually seen what the series was all about.

#18 of 24 Neil Brock

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Posted July 13 2011 - 07:31 AM

I'll start off with the most obvious choice: THE PRISONER, which made its U.S. debut on Saturday nights in the summer of 1968.  After that I would vote for CORONET BLUE, which though filmed in 1965, never aired until Monday evenings in the summer of 1967.

Agree as to those 2 being the most memorable. Coronet Blue was thrown on the schedule with no promotion, no fanfare and wound up with great ratings. CBS couldn't continue the show because Frank Converse was already signed for NYPD for the fall. Too bad CBS didn't have enough faith in the show to air it two years earlier. Also watched The Super and The Corner Bar and liked them both. Another ABC show of that ilk was Thicker Than Water with Richard Long and Julie Harris. Very funny show.

#19 of 24 LouA

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Posted January 16 2013 - 01:25 PM

The Charlie Farrell Show. It seemed to run every summer in the NY area from about 1956 to 1961 or so. An there were only about 10 episodes made. I also liked Happy with Ronnie Burns Doris Packer, and Yvonne Lime . There was also a show with Wayne and Shuster , but I can't remember the name .

#20 of 24 Richard V

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Posted January 17 2013 - 01:34 AM

I believe The Asphalt Jungle was a mid season replacement. I don't know if that technically counts as a summer replacement. It started in April and ended in late June. In any case, it was a great show that definitely should have, IMO, been renewed for its own time slot.
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