U is for Underdog, The Untouchables and Unsolved Mysteries #atozchallenge

U

STATEMENT THAT APPEARS AT THE BEGINNING OF ALL A-Z 2016 PAGES:

Welcome to the A-Z Classic TV Shows Theme Songs and Intros! Last year I did an A-Z Musical Tour of My Life and featured tons of classic rock music. I had so much fun with it that this year I decided to present classic television shows theme songs and intros. These are shows that I remember from my youth during the 60s and 70s…with an occasional 80s show thrown in. Each show is introduced with information (gathered primarily from my favorite go-to for info, Wikipedia) or associated memories, followed by a video of the TV show’s theme song intro. At first glance, the posts may seem long because of the number of videos included but it’s really laid out in a way that will enable you to scroll through and read, watch or hear just what you want and then either move on to the next A-Zer or linger and go back in time with all the fun theme song intros you’ll find here. Please leave a comment and share your favorite classic TV shows. By all means, bookmark my blog so you can come back! I hope you enjoy my collection. Now, let’s get started with…

U is for Underdog:

There aren’t many TV shows that start with the letter U, and at first I couldn’t think of any in the classic genre so I decided to include the classic cartoon Underdog as my pick for the letter. Because I used a cartoon, I decided to go back and add in the Flintstones, the Jetsons, Rocky & Bullwinkle, Scooby Doo, the Pink Panther and the Archies for their respective letters. After all, classic cartoons rule too!

 "Underdog (animated TV series)" by Source (WP:NFCC#4). Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia

“Underdog (animated TV series)” by Source (WP:NFCC#4). Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia

Underdog is an American animated television series that debuted October 3, 1964, on the NBC network under the primary sponsorship of General Mills and continued in syndication until 1973 (although production of new episodes ceased in 1967), for a run of 124 episodes.

Underdog, Shoeshine Boy’s heroic alter ego, appears whenever love interest Sweet Polly Purebred is being victimized by such villains as Simon Bar Sinister or Riff Raff. Underdog nearly always speaks in rhyming couplets, as in “There’s no need to fear, Underdog is here!” His voice was supplied by Wally Cox.

Underdog started out as an advertising icon for General Mills cereals: In 1959, handling the General Mills account as an account executive with the Dancer Fitzgerald Sample advertising agency in New York, W. Watts Biggers teamed with Chet Stover, Treadwell D. Covington, and artist Joe Harris in the creation of television cartoon shows to sell breakfast cereals for General Mills. The shows introduced such characters as King Leonardo, Tennessee Tuxedo, and Underdog. Biggers and Stover contributed both scripts and songs to the series. When Underdog became a success, Biggers and his partners left Dancer Fitzgerald Sample to form their own company, Total Television, with animation produced at Gamma Studios in Mexico. In 1969, Total Television folded when General Mills dropped out as the primary sponsor (but continued to retain the rights to the series until 1995; however, they still own TV distribution rights through The Program Exchange). Interesting, huh?

So just who was this character Underdog?  Underdog was an anthropomorphic superhero. The premise was that “humble and lovable” Shoeshine Boy, a cartoon dog, was in truth the superhero Underdog. George S. Irving narrated, and comedy actor Wally Cox provided the voices of both Underdog and Shoeshine Boy. When villains threatened, Shoeshine Boy ducked into a telephone booth, where he transformed into the caped and costumed hero, destroying the booth in the process when his super powers were activated. Underdog almost always spoke in rhyme:

When Polly’s in trouble (or When help is needed), I am not slow,
For it’s hip-hip-hip and AWAY I GO!!!

Underdog’s most frequent saying when he appeared was:

There’s no need to fear–
Underdog is here!

The majority of episodes used a common template as the final scene. A crowd of people looking up into the sky would say, “Look in the sky!” “It’s a plane!” “It’s a bird!” After this, an old woman wearing glasses would exclaim, “It’s a frog!” Another onlooker would respond, “A frog?!?” To this, Underdog replied with these words:

Not plane, nor bird, nor even frog,
It’s just little old me … [at this point, Underdog would crash into something, then sheepishly finish] Underdog.

Underdog usually caused a lot of collateral damage. Whenever someone complained about the damage, Underdog replied:

I am a hero who never fails;
I cannot be bothered with such details.

The villains almost always managed to menace Sweet Polly Purebred (voiced by Norma MacMillan), an anthropomorphic canine TV reporter, as part of their nefarious schemes; she was a helpless damsel in distress most of the time and had a habit of singing in a somewhat whining tone of voice, “Oh where, oh where has my Underdog gone?” This she would sing, to the music of the song “Oh Where Has My Little Dog Gone”, whenever in jeopardy. Recurring villains included:

Simon Bar Sinister, voiced by Allen Swift, is a mad scientist with a voice reminiscent of Lionel Barrymore. He has an assistant named Cad Lackey. A Bar Sinister is a diagonal line, running from top right to bottom left on medieval family crests, indicating the person is a bastard by birth; this was a clever inside joke typical of animation writing at the time.
Riff Raff, also voiced by Allen Swift, is an anthropomorphic wolf gangster based on noted actor George Raft. His gang consists of Sandy the Safecracker, Mooch (the underworld syndicate’s top gunman), Spinny Wheels (who drives the gang’s getaway car), Dinah Myte (the underworld syndicate’s greatest bomb tosser), Nails the Carpenter, Needles the Tailor, Smitty the Blacksmith, the Witch Doctor, and other unnamed members.
Other villains included The Electric (Slippery) Eel, Battyman, Tap-Tap the Chisler, and Overcat. Underdog also regularly faced enemies from alien worlds, such as the Marbleheads from Planet Granite, the Magnet Men of the Magnet Planet, the aliens from the Planet of Zot, and the Flying Sorcerers of the Saucer Planet.

 

 

Then I remembered another U classic: The Untouchables!

U is for The Untouchables:

The Untouchables is an American crime drama that ran from 1959 to 1963 on the ABC Television Network, produced by Desilu Productions. Based on the memoir of the same name by Eliot Ness and Oscar Fraley, it fictionalized Ness’ experiences as a Prohibition agent, fighting crime in Chicago in the 1930s with the help of a special team of agents handpicked for their courage, moral character, and incorruptibility, nicknamed the Untouchables. The book was later made into a film in 1987 (also called The Untouchables) by Brian De Palma, with a script by David Mamet, and a second less-successful TV series in 1993.

A powerful, hard-hitting action drama, and a landmark crime series, The Untouchables won series star Robert Stack an Emmy Award for Best Actor in a Dramatic Series in 1960.

The series originally focused on the efforts of a real-life squad of Prohibition agents employed by the U.S. Department of the Treasury and led by Eliot Ness (Robert Stack), that helped bring down the bootleg empire of “Scarface” Al Capone, as described in Ness’s bestselling 1957 memoir. This squad was nicknamed “The Untouchables”, because of their courage and honesty; they could not be bribed or intimidated by the Mob. Eliot Ness himself had died suddenly in May, 1957, shortly before his memoir and the subsequent TV adaptation were to bring him fame beyond any he experienced in his lifetime.

The pilot for the series was a two-part episode entitled “The Untouchables” originally aired on Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse on April 20 and 27, 1959. Later retitled “The Scarface Mob”, these episodes, which featured Neville Brand as Al Capone, were the only episodes in the series to be more-or-less directly based on Ness’s memoir, and ended with the conviction and imprisonment of Capone. CBS, which had broadcast most of Desilu’s television output since 1951 beginning with I Love Lucy, was offered the new series following the success of the pilot film. Chairman William S. Paley rejected it on the advice of network vice president Hubbell Robinson. ABC agreed to air the series, and The Untouchables premiered on October 15, 1959. In the pilot movie, the mobsters generally spoke with unrealistic pseudo-Italian accents, but this idiosyncratic pronunciation was dropped when the series debuted.

The weekly series first followed the premise of a power struggle to establish a new boss in Capone’s absence (for the purpose of the TV series, the new boss was Frank Nitti, although this was contrary to fact). As the series continued, there developed a highly fictionalized portrayal of Ness and his crew as all-purpose crime fighters who went up against an array of gangsters and villains of the 1930s, including Ma Barker, Dutch Schultz, Bugs Moran, Vincent “Mad Dog” Coll, Legs Diamond, Lucky Luciano, and in one episode, Nazi agents.

The terse narration by gossip columnist Walter Winchell, in his distinctive New York accent, was a stylistic hallmark of the series, along with its melancholy theme music by Nelson Riddle and its shadowy black-and-white photography, influenced by film noir.

Controversy

Robert Stack as Eliot Ness with Gloria Talbot. 1962

Robert Stack as Eliot Ness with Gloria Talbot. 1962

The show drew harsh criticism from some Italian-Americans including Frank Sinatra, who felt it promoted negative stereotypes of them as mobsters and gangsters. The Capone family unsuccessfully sued CBS, Desilu Productions, and Westinghouse Electric Corporation for their depiction of the Capone family. Early in the first season, the character of “Agent (Rico) Rossi”, a person of Italian extraction, was added to Ness’s team.

On March 9, 1961, Anthony Anastasio, chief of the Brooklyn waterfront and its International Longshoremen’s Association, marched in line with a picket group who identified themselves as “The Federation of Italian-American Democratic Organizations.” In protest formation outside the ABC New York headquarters, they had come together to urge the public boycott of Liggett & Myers Tobacco Company (L&M) products including Chesterfield King cigarettes, which sponsored The Untouchables. They expressed displeasure with the program, which to them vilified Italian-Americans, stereotyping them as the singular criminal element. The boycott and the attendant firestorm of publicity had the effect Anastasio and his confederates wanted. Four days after the picket of ABC, L&M, denying that they had bowed to intimidation, announced it would drop its sponsorship of The Untouchables, maintaining their decision was based on network-scheduling conflicts. The following week, the head of Desilu, Desi Arnaz (who had attended high school with Capone’s son Albert), in concert with ABC and the “Italian-American League to Combat Defamation”, issued a formal three-point manifesto:

There will be no more fictional hoodlums with Italian names in future productions.

There will be more stress on the law-enforcement role of “Rico Rossi”, Ness’s right-hand man on the show.

There will be an emphasis on the “formidable influence” of Italian-American officials in reducing crime and an emphasis on the “great contributions” made to American culture by Americans of Italian descent.

The series also incurred the displeasure of the powerful director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, J. Edgar Hoover, when the fictionalized scripts depicted Ness and his Treasury agents involved in operations that were actually the province of the FBI. The second episode of the series, for example, depicted Ness and has crew involved in the capture of the Ma Barker gang, an incident in which the real-life Ness played no part. The producers agreed to insert a spoken disclaimer on future broadcasts of the episode stating that the FBI had primary responsibility for the Barker case.

The Untouchables was considered one of the most violent television shows when it aired and was described by the National Association for Better Radio and Television “not fit for the television screen”.

In an article titled “The New Enemies of ‘The Untouchables'” Ayn Rand argued that the persistent, superficial attacks received by The Untouchables were due to its appeal and its virtues: its moral conflict and moral purpose.

There are a ton of Untouchables episodes available on YouTube. Here’s a sample intro:

 

U is for Unsolved Mysteries:

Here’s another U show that starred Robert Stack. This is a later show than most of my others but it started in the 80s so I’m going to include it here. Besides I’ve always liked this show.

Unsolved Mysteries is an American television program, hosted by Robert Stack from 1987 to 2002 and later by Dennis Farina starting in 2008. The show was broadcast first as specials in 1987, then as a regular series on NBC (1988–1997), CBS (1997–1999), Lifetime (2001–2002), and Spike (2008–2010). Lifetime once again airs the revived version of the series, but only in reruns.

This is cool: Although the show is not in production, Cosgrove-Meurer Productions maintains a website for the show, featuring popular accounts and still unsolved crimes (murder or missing persons), with a link to an online form should a viewer have information on an unsolved crime.

Currently, the show maintains a YouTube page where viewers can submit their own mysteries. If accepted, Unsolved Mysteries will post a video of the viewer describing the mystery.

History of the show:  Unsolved Mysteries used a documentary format to profile real-life mysteries and featured re-enactments of unsolved crimes, missing persons cases, conspiracy theories and unexplained paranormal phenomena (alien abductions, ghosts, UFOs, and “secret history” theories). Actors portrayed the victims, perpetrators and witnesses. In most cases, however, victim’s family members and police officials were also featured in interview segments interspersed throughout the dramatizations.

The concept was created in a series of three specials produced by John Cosgrove and Terry-Dunn Meurer, which were pitched to NBC in 1985 and shown in 1986 with the title, “Missing… Have You Seen This Person?” The success of the specials led Cosgrove and Meurer to broaden the program to include mysteries of all kinds.

The pilot of what eventually became Unsolved Mysteries was a special that aired on NBC on January 20, 1987 with Raymond Burr as host/narrator. Throughout the 1987-1988 television season, six more specials aired, the first two hosted by Karl Malden and the final four by Robert Stack.

In 1988, the show debuted as a weekly series on NBC. It declined in popularity after the 1993–1994 season. Until 2002, it was hosted by Stack. In its second season on CBS in 1999, Stack was joined by co-host Virginia Madsen. Episodes from 1994–1997 featured journalist Keely Shaye Smith and television host Lu Hanessian as correspondents in the show’s “telecenter”, where they provided updates on previous stories. A March 14, 1997 episode featured journalist Cathy Scott in the reenactment of rapper Tupac Shakur’s 1996 unsolved murder. The last original segment aired on September 20, 2002. Eight months later, on May 14, 2003, Robert Stack died of heart failure. In 2008, television network Spike revived the series with Dennis Farina as its host. Farina died from a pulmonary embolism in 2013.

The show was known for its eerie theme song composed by Michael Boyd and Gary Remal Malkin, and for Stack’s grim presence and ominous narration. The theme song was changed four times, in 1993, 1995, 1997, and 2001. When it was revived in 2008, the theme and incidental music used were changed to up-beat rock music.

Each episode of Unsolved Mysteries usually featured three or four segments, each involving a different story. The show’s host offered voice over narration for each segment, and appeared on-screen to begin and end segments and offer segues.

While the show was in production, viewers were invited to telephone, write letters or, in the newer broadcasts, submit tips through their website if they had information that might help solve a case. The segments all involved actual events, and generally fell into one of four categories:

Criminal cases: Accounts of abductions, suspicious deaths, homicides, robberies, claims of innocence, missing persons and other miscellaneous unsolved cases where the suspects were either unknown or could not be located.

Lost loves: Accounts of individuals trying to reunite with someone from their past; often involving closed adoption, people separated by circumstances, or an unknown “Good Samaritan” that saved someone’s life.

Unexplained/Alternative history: Alternative theories of history (including the theories that outlaws such as Billy the Kid and Butch Cassidy did not die as history recorded, that the Russian Grand Duchess Anastasia Romanov survived the 1918 regicide that killed her entire family, that the assassination of Louisiana senator Huey Long may have been an accident, that the assassination of Martin Luther King was in fact a conspiracy, and that Kurt Cobain may have been murdered).

Paranormal matters: Accounts of miracles, alleged UFO/alien encounters (including examination of the Roswell UFO Incident and the Phoenix UFO Incident, the UFO incident in Eupen, Belgium observed by NATO fighter jets, or scientific questions about life on Mars), ghosts, Bigfoot, or other inexplicable phenomena.

Viewers were given updates on success stories, where suspects were brought to justice and loved ones reunited.

Here’s a 1990 intro with Robert Stack, with the ominous theme song:

 

Did you watch any of these shows? Can you think of any other U shows? What are your favorite TV shows, past and present?

 

 

 

S is for the Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour, Starsky & Hutch, the Sixth Sense, Soul Train, Streets of San Francisco, Star Trek, The Six Million Dollar Man, S.W.A.T. and Scooby Doo, Where Are You! #atozchallenge

S

STATEMENT THAT APPEARS AT THE BEGINNING OF ALL A-Z 2016 PAGES:

Welcome to the A-Z Classic TV Shows Theme Songs and Intros! Last year I did an A-Z Musical Tour of My Life and featured tons of classic rock music. I had so much fun with it that this year I decided to present classic television shows theme songs and intros. These are shows that I remember from my youth during the 60s and 70s…with an occasional 80s show thrown in. Each show is introduced with information (gathered primarily from my favorite go-to for info, Wikipedia) or associated memories, followed by a video of the TV show’s theme song intro. At first glance, the posts may seem long because of the number of videos included but it’s really laid out in a way that will enable you to scroll through and read, watch or hear just what you want and then either move on to the next A-Zer or linger and go back in time with all the fun theme song intros you’ll find here. Please leave a comment and share your favorite classic TV shows. By all means, bookmark my blog so you can come back! I hope you enjoy my collection. Now, let’s get started with…

S is for the Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour

The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour is an American variety show starring American pop-singer Cher and her husband Sonny Bono. The show ran on CBS in the United States, when it premiered in August 1971. The show was canceled May 1974, due to the couple’s divorce, though the duo would reunite in 1976 for the identically-formatted The Sonny & Cher Show (a title sporadically used during the run of the Comedy Hour), which ran until 1977.

In 1971, Sonny and Cher had stopped producing hit singles. Cher’s first feature film, Chastity, was not a success, and the duo decided to sing and tell jokes in nightclubs across the country. CBS head of programming Fred Silverman saw them one evening and offered them their own show. The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour was originally supposed to be a summer replacement series, but high ratings gave Silverman sufficient reason to bring it back later that year, with a permanent spot on the schedule. The show was taped at CBS Television City in Hollywood.

The show was a Top 20 hit in the ratings for its entire run. Each episode would open with the show’s theme song, which would segue into the first few notes of “The Beat Goes On”. Every episode, Sonny would exchange banter with Cher, allowing Cher to put down Sonny in a comic manner. Comedy skits would follow, mixed in with musical numbers. Three of the regular cast members who regularly appeared in sketches were Teri Garr, Murray Langston (who later found brief fame as “The Unknown Comic” on The Gong Show), and Steve Martin (who also served as one of the show’s writers). At the end of each episode, Sonny and Cher would sing their hit “I Got You Babe” to the audience, sometimes with daughter Chastity Bono in tow.

Among the many guests who appeared on The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour were Carol Burnett, George Burns, Glen Campbell, Tony Curtis, Bobby Darin, Phyllis Diller, Farrah Fawcett, Merv Griffin, The Jackson 5, Jerry Lee Lewis, Ronald Reagan, Burt Reynolds, The Righteous Brothers, Dinah Shore, Sally Struthers, The Supremes, Teri Garr, Chuck Berry, and Dick Clark.

The show was scheduled to return for a fourth season in October 1974. However, Sonny and Cher separated that fall, resulting in the cancellation of the show.

 

 

S is for Starsky & Hutch:

Starsky & Hutch is a 1970s American cop thriller television series, which consisted of a 70-minute pilot movie (originally aired as a Movie of the Week entry) and 92 episodes of 50 minutes each. The show was created by William Blinn, produced by Spelling-Goldberg Productions, and broadcast from April, 1975 to May, 1979 on the ABC network. The series also inspired a theatrical film and a video game.

The series’ protagonists were two Southern California police detectives: David Michael Starsky (Paul Michael Glaser), the dark-haired, Brooklyn transplant and U.S. Army veteran, with a street-wise manner and intense, sometimes childlike moodiness; and Kenneth “Hutch” Hutchinson (David Soul), the blond, Duluth, Minnesota native with a more reserved and intellectual approach. Under the radio call sign “Zebra Three”, they were known for usually tearing around the streets of fictional “Bay City, California”. The vehicle of choice was Starsky’s two-door Ford Gran Torino, which was bright red, with a large white vector stripe on both sides. They used around four different cars for filming. Earlier shots had red wing mirrors usually for long shots or footage used in later episodes, close ups and later episodes had silver wing mirrors. The Torino was nicknamed the “Striped Tomato” by Hutch in the episode “Snowstorm”, and fans subsequently referred to the car by that nickname, too. However, this moniker didn’t come from the writers, it came from a real-life comment that Glaser made. In a segment titled Starsky & Hutch: Behind The Badge that was featured on the first season DVD collection, Glaser stated that when he was first shown the Torino by series producer Aaron Spelling, he sarcastically said to Soul, “That thing looks like a striped tomato!” In characteristic contrast, Hutch’s vehicle was a battered, tan, 1973 Ford Galaxie 500. It occasionally appeared when the duo needed separate vehicles, or for undercover work. However, the duo’s cover was often blown because Hutch’s vehicle had a bad habit; when its driver’s side door was opened, the horn would go off, instantly drawing attention. It was also noticeable due to the severely cluttered back seat, so cluttered that there was no room to transport both prisoners and the two detectives simultaneously.

The detectives’ main confidential informant was the street-wise, ethically ambiguous, “jive-talking” Huggy Bear (Antonio Fargas), who often dressed in a flashy manner and operated his own bar (first named “Huggy Bear’s”, and later, “The Pits”). The duo’s boss was the gruff, no-nonsense-but-fair Captain Harold C. Dobey (Bernie Hamilton in the series, and gravel-voiced Richard Ward in the pilot, only). Starsky and Hutch continued the 1960s trend in some prime-time, U.S. TV dramas of portraying African-Americans (e.g., Huggy Bear, Capt. Dobey) in a positive light.

Huggy’s immense popularity with viewers caused producers Spelling and Goldberg to consider giving actor Fargas his own TV series. The second-season episode “Huggy Bear and the Turkey” was the test pilot for a proposed spin off with Huggy and his friend, former Sheriff “Turkey” Turquet (Dale Robinette) becoming private investigators; however, this premise proved unpopular with viewers, and a spinoff never materialized. In the episode it was revealed that Huggy’s last name is Brown (no clue as to his first name was given, though). Two series characters were named for people from William Blinn’s past: Starsky was the name of a high school friend, and Huggy Bear was a local disc jockey.

Series creator William Blinn first used the name Huggy Bear on-screen for a character, also a confidential informant, in an episode penned by Blinn for the TV series “The Rookies”, during the 1973 second season, “Prayers Unanswered Prayers Unheard”, there played by actor Johnny Brown.

Regarding the show’s theme music: The first season of the show had a dark and ominous theme written by Lalo Schifrin that seemed to fit the hard action and violence of the season; the main title version was edited down from the chase climax cue of his score for the pilot episode (the climax contains the shot of Hutch leaping off a fire escape and landing on a car which appears in the opening titles of all subsequent episodes). The end credits featured a similar piece of ominous music.

The first season theme was replaced for the second season by a Tom Scott written theme entitled “Gotcha”. “Gotcha” is the best known of the show’s themes, and has been covered by several musicians, including the James Taylor Quartet and The Ventures. It also appears on the title screen of the Nintendo Entertainment System game Treasure Master, covered by Tim Follin. A version of “Gotcha” was featured on Scott’s 1977 album Blow It Out and is also on the album Best Of Tom Scott. For the third season, a more dramatic theme was used that highlighted the show’s move to more socially conscious and light-hearted stories. It was written by Mark Snow and released on an LP around 1979.

Here is the Season 1 intro:

Compare that theme music to the lighter version of later seasons:

 

 

S is for the Sixth Sense:

The Sixth Sense is an American paranormal thriller television series featuring Gary Collins and Catherine Ferrar. Based on the 1971 television movie Sweet, Sweet Rachel, the series was produced by and (largely filmed at) Universal Studios, and broadcast by the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) from January 1972 through December 1972.

Synopsis: Dr. Michael Rhodes (Collins), a professor of parapsychology, with his assistant Nancy Murphy (Ferrar), attempts to solve supernatural mysteries. Joan Crawford, Sandra Dee, Patty Duke, Cloris Leachman, Carol Lynley, Lee Majors, William Shatner, Jane Wyman and Jim Davis, among others guest starred in individual episodes. The series, which was broadcast during Saturday nights at 10 pm, had tough competition from CBS’s Mission: Impossible and NBC’s Banyon. Despite mediocre ratings, The Sixth Sense was renewed for a second season, mainly due to its well-known guest stars. Ratings continued to decline, and ABC canceled The Sixth Sense on November 14, 1972, broadcasting the remaining episodes through December 1972.

Interestingly, for syndication, The Sixth Sense was packaged with Night Gallery:

For its syndication release, The Sixth Sense was edited and included with Night Gallery hosted by Rod Serling. As The Sixth Sense was an hour-long show, and the syndicated version of Night Gallery was a half-hour show, the episodes were edited quite severely. Serling’s newly added introductions usually covered the introductory scenes and plot point set-ups that had been removed.

 

S is for Soul Train:

Soul Train was an American musical variety television program which aired in syndication from 1971 until 2006. In its 35-year history, the show primarily featured performances by R&B, soul, and hip hop artists, although funk, jazz, disco, and gospel artists also appeared. The series was created by Don Cornelius, who also served as its first host and executive producer.

Production was suspended following the 2005–06 season, with a rerun package (known as The Best of Soul Train) airing for two years subsequently. As a nod to Soul Train’s longevity, the show’s opening sequence during later seasons contained a claim that it was the “longest-running first-run, nationally syndicated program in American television history,” with over 1,100 episodes produced from the show’s debut through the 2005-06 season. Despite the production hiatus, Soul Train will continue to hold that honor until at least 2016, if and when its nearest competitor, Entertainment Tonight, completes its 35th season.

Soul Train has an interesting history:

The origins of Soul Train can be traced to 1965 when WCIU-TV, an upstart UHF station in Chicago, began airing two youth-oriented dance programs: Kiddie-a-Go-Go and Red Hot and Blues. These programs—specifically the latter, which featured a predominantly African-American group of in-studio dancers—would set the stage for what was to come to the station several years later. Don Cornelius, a news reader and backup disc jockey at Chicago radio station WVON, was hired by WCIU in 1967 as a news and sports reporter. Cornelius also was promoting and emceeing a touring series of concerts featuring local talent (sometimes called “record hops”) at Chicago-area high schools, calling his traveling caravan of shows “The Soul Train”. WCIU-TV took notice of Cornelius’s outside work and in 1970, allowed him the opportunity to bring his road show to television.

After securing a sponsorship deal with the Chicago-based retailer Sears, Roebuck & Co., Soul Train premiered on WCIU-TV on August 17, 1970, as a live show airing weekday afternoons. The first episode of the program featured Jerry Butler, the Chi-Lites, and the Emotions as guests. Cornelius was assisted by Clinton Ghent, a local professional dancer who appeared on early episodes before moving behind the scenes as a producer and secondary host.

Move to syndication

The program’s immediate success attracted the attention of another locally based firm—the Johnson Products Company (manufacturers of the Afro Sheen line of hair-care products)—and they later agreed to co-sponsor the program’s expansion into national syndication. Cornelius and Soul Train‍ ’s syndicator targeted 24 markets outside of Chicago to carry the show, but stations in only seven other cities—Atlanta, Cleveland, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and San Francisco—purchased the program, which began airing on a weekly basis on October 2, 1971. By the end of the first season, Soul Train was on in the other seventeen markets. When the program moved into syndication, its home base was also shifted to Los Angeles, where it remained for the duration of its run. Soul Train was part of a national trend toward syndicated music-oriented programs targeted at niche audiences; two other network series (Hee Haw for country music, and The Lawrence Welk Show for traditional music) also entered syndication in 1971 and would go on to have long runs.

Though Don Cornelius moved his operations west, Soul Train continued in Chicago as a local program. Cornelius hosted the local Chicago and Los Angeles–based national programs simultaneously, but soon focused his attention solely on the national edition. He continued to oversee production in Chicago, where Clinton Ghent hosted episodes on WCIU-TV until 1976, followed by three years of once-weekly reruns. The syndicated version was picked up in Chicago by CBS-owned WBBM-TV at its launch; the program moved to WGN-TV in 1977 and remained there for the balance of its run.

In 1985 Chicago-based Tribune Entertainment (WGN’s syndication wing) took over Soul Train’s syndication contract; the series would continue distribution through Tribune for the rest of its original run.

Later years

Don Cornelius ended his run as host at the end of the show’s 22nd season in 1993, though he remained the show’s main creative force from behind the scenes. The following fall, Soul Train began using various guest hosts weekly until comedian Mystro Clark began a two-year stint as permanent host in 1997. Clark was replaced by actor Shemar Moore in 1999. In 2003, Moore was succeeded by actor Dorian Gregory, who hosted through 2006.

Soul Train pulled into its last stop when production of first-run episodes was suspended at the conclusion of the 2005–06 season, the show’s 35th. Instead, for two seasons starting in 2006–07, the program aired archived episodes (all from between 1974 and 1987) under the title The Best of Soul Train. This was because in later years, Nielsen ratings dropped to below 1.0; in the process, some of the stations which had been airing Soul Train on Saturday afternoons started rescheduling the program to overnight time slots. The future of Soul Train was uncertain with the announced closing of Tribune Entertainment in December 2007, which left Don Cornelius Productions to seek a new distributor for the program. Cornelius soon secured a deal with Trifecta Entertainment & Media.

Here is a video of the various Intros the show used from the years 1971 to 2006:

 

S is for the Streets of San Francisco:

The Streets of San Francisco is a 1970s television crime drama filmed on location in San Francisco, California, and produced by Quinn Martin Productions, with the first season produced in association with Warner Bros. Television (QM produced the show on its own for the remainder of its run).

It starred Karl Malden and Michael Douglas as two detectives in San Francisco. The show ran for five seasons, between September 16, 1972, and June 9, 1977, on ABC, amassing a total of 119 60-minute episodes.

The show revolved around two police officers who investigated homicides in San Francisco. The center of the series was a veteran cop and widower, Lt Michael Stone, star # 2248, (played by Karl Malden), who had more than twenty years of police experience and was now assigned to the Homicide Detail of SFPD’s Bureau of Inspectors (ex: Detective Division). He was partnered with a young, plainclothes detective and energetic partner, Assistant Inspector Steve Keller (played by Michael Douglas), a college graduate, aged twenty-eight, who had no experience in the police force. Stone would become a second father to Keller as he learned the rigors and procedures of detective work. Eventually, Keller was promoted to full inspector. As the series went on, Douglas became a star in his own right. Mike’s daughter, Jeannie Stone (Darleen Carr), made occasional appearances.

 

 

S is for Star Trek (the original):

Star Trek is an American science fiction entertainment franchise created by Gene Roddenberry and owned by CBS and Paramount Pictures. Star Trek: The Original Series and its live-action TV spin-off series, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Voyager, and Star Trek: Enterprise as well as the Star Trek film franchise make up the main canon.

William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy

William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy

The first series, now referred to as The Original Series, debuted in 1966 and ran for three seasons on NBC. It followed the interstellar adventures of James T. Kirk and the crew of the starship Enterprise, an exploration vessel of a 23rd-century interstellar “United Federation of Planets”. In creating the first Star Trek, Roddenberry was inspired by Westerns such as Wagon Train, the Horatio Hornblower novels and Gulliver’s Travels. In fact, the original series was almost titled Wagon Train to the Stars.

Most Star Trek stories depict the adventures of humans and aliens who serve in Starfleet, the space-borne humanitarian and peacekeeping armada of the United Federation of Planets. The protagonists have altruistic values, and must apply these ideals to difficult dilemmas. Many of the conflicts and political dimensions of Star Trek represent allegories of contemporary cultural realities. Star Trek: The Original Series addressed issues of the 1960s, just as later spin-offs have reflected issues of their respective decades. Issues depicted in the various series include war and peace, the value of personal loyalty, authoritarianism, imperialism, class warfare, economics, racism, religion, human rights, sexism, feminism, and the role of technology. Roddenberry stated: “[By creating] a new world with new rules, I could make statements about sex, religion, Vietnam, politics, and intercontinental missiles. Indeed, we did make them on Star Trek: we were sending messages and fortunately they all got by the network.”

Roddenberry intended the show to have a progressive political agenda reflective of the emerging counter-culture of the youth movement, though he was not fully forthcoming to the networks about this. He wanted Star Trek to show humanity what it might develop into, if it would learn from the lessons of the past, most specifically by ending violence. An extreme example is the alien species, the Vulcans, who had a violent past but learned to control their emotions. Roddenberry also gave Star Trek an anti-war message and depicted the United Federation of Planets as an ideal, optimistic version of the United Nations. His efforts were opposed by the network because of concerns over marketability, e.g., they opposed Roddenberry’s insistence that the Enterprise have a racially diverse crew.

 

 

S is for the Six Million Dollar Man:

The Six Million Dollar Man is an American television series about a former astronaut with bionic implants working for a fictional government office known as OSI. The series is based on the Martin Caidin novel Cyborg, which was the proposed title of the series during pre-production. Following three successful and highly rated television movies which aired in 1973, The Six Million Dollar Man was developed and aired on the ABC network as a regular series for five seasons from 1974 to 1978. The title role of Steve Austin was played by Lee Majors, who subsequently became a pop culture icon of the 1970s. A spin-off series, The Bionic Woman, ran from 1976 to 1978 (and, in turn, was the subject of a remake in 2007). Three television movies featuring both eponymous characters were also produced between 1987 and 1994.

The premise: When NASA astronaut Steve Austin is severely injured in the crash of an experimental lifting body aircraft, he is “rebuilt” in an operation that costs six million dollars. His right arm, both legs and the left eye are replaced with “bionic” implants that enhance his strength, speed and vision far above human norms: he can run at speeds of 60 mph (97 km/h), and his eye has a 20:1 zoom lens and infrared capabilities, while his bionic limbs all have the equivalent power of a bulldozer. He uses his enhanced abilities to work for the OSI (Office of Scientific Intelligence) as a secret agent. This job gets Austin into dangerous situations that require his bionics to get out of safely.

The show intro that I wanted to post was blocked for copyright issues but here is an alternate intro:

 

S is for S.W.A.T.

S.W.A.T. was an American action/crime drama series about the adventures of a Special Weapons And Tactics (S.W.A.T.) team operating in an unidentified California city. A spin-off of The Rookies, the series aired on ABC from February 1975 to April 1976.

Like The Rookies, S.W.A.T. was produced by Aaron Spelling and Leonard Goldberg.

S.W.A.T. stars Steve Forrest as the unit’s leader, Lt. ‘Hondo’ Harrelson, and Rod Perry as Hondo’s second-in-command, Sgt. David ‘Deacon’ McKay. The show also featured early starring roles by Robert Urich as Officer Jim Street, James Coleman as Officer T.J. McCabe, and Mark Shera as Officer Dominic Luca.

The series is known for its theme song which became a number-one hit single in 1976 for Rhythm Heritage. The title sequence that used that piece was also familiar with the principal characters responding to a muster signal, grabbing their weapons and running to their specially-equipped transport van driven by “Sam,” an uncredited, non-speaking role.

The show’s setting was rarely, if ever, specified and the shoulder patch the team members wore on their uniforms said, “W.C.P.D.”. Richard Kelbaugh, a former member of the LAPD’s S.W.A.T. team, was the technical advisor for the series.

 

 

S is for Scooby Doo, Where Are You!

Scooby Doo, Where Are You! is the first incarnation of the long-running Hanna-Barbera Saturday morning cartoon series Scooby-Doo. Created by Joe Ruby and Ken Spears, it premiered on CBS September 13, 1969, and ran for two seasons for a total of 25 episodes. Its final first-run episode aired on October 31, 1970.

Scooby Doo, Where Are You! was the result of CBS and Hanna-Barbera’s plans to create a non-violent Saturday morning program that would appease the parent watch groups that had protested the superhero-based programs of the mid-1960s. Originally titled Mysteries Five, and later Who’s S-S-Scared?, Scooby Doo, Where Are You! underwent a number of changes from script to screen (the most notable of which was the downplaying of the musical group angle borrowed from The Archie Show). However, the basic concept—four teenagers (Fred, Daphne, Velma, and Shaggy) and a cowardly, clumsy Great Dane (Scooby-Doo) solving supernatural-related mysteries—was always in place.

 

"Scooby-gang-1969" by Source. Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia

“Scooby-gang-1969” by Source. Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia

The plot varied little from episode to episode. The main concept was as follows:

The Mystery, Inc. gang is driving in the Mystery Machine, returning from or going to a regular teenage function, when their van develops engine trouble or breaks down for any of a variety of reasons (overheating, flat tire, out of gas, etc.), in the immediate vicinity of a large, mostly vacated property (ski lodge, hotel, factory, mansion, cruise ship, etc.).

Their (unintended) destination turns out to be suffering from a monster problem (ghosts, Yetis, vampires, witches, etc.). The gang volunteers to investigate the case.

The gang splits up to cover more ground, with Fred and Velma finding clues, Daphne finding danger, and Shaggy and Scooby finding food, fun, and the ghost/monster, who chases them. Scooby and Shaggy love to eat, including dog treats called Scooby Snacks which are a favorite of both the dog and the teenage boy.

Eventually, enough clues are found to convince the gang that the ghost/monster is a fake, and a trap is set (usually by Fred) to capture it; or, they may occasionally call the local sheriff, only to get stopped by the villain half-way.

If a trap is used, it may or may not work (more often than not, Scooby-Doo and/or Shaggy falls into the trap and/or they unwittingly catch the monster another way). Invariably, the ghost/monster is apprehended and unmasked. The person in the ghost or monster suit turns out to be an apparently blameless authority figure or otherwise innocuous local who is using the disguise to cover up something such as a crime or a scam.

After giving the parting shot of “And I would have gotten away with it too, if it weren’t for you meddling kids” (sometimes adding “…and your stupid dog!”), the offender is then taken away to jail, and the gang is allowed to continue on the way to their destination.

 

 

Lots of S shows! Did you used to watch any of these shows? Are there other shows beginning with the letter S that should be here? What are your favorite TV shows, past and present?

 

R is for Room 222, Rhoda, The Rifleman, The Rockford Files, The Rookies and Rocky & Bullwinkle #atozchallenge

R

STATEMENT THAT APPEARS AT THE BEGINNING OF ALL A-Z 2016 PAGES:

Welcome to the A-Z Classic TV Shows Theme Songs and Intros! Last year I did an A-Z Musical Tour of My Life and featured tons of classic rock music. I had so much fun with it that this year I decided to present classic television shows theme songs and intros. These are shows that I remember from my youth during the 60s and 70s…with an occasional 80s show thrown in. Each show is introduced with information (gathered primarily from my favorite go-to for info, Wikipedia) or associated memories, followed by a video of the TV show’s theme song intro. At first glance, the posts may seem long because of the number of videos included but it’s really laid out in a way that will enable you to scroll through and read, watch or hear just what you want and then either move on to the next A-Zer or linger and go back in time with all the fun theme song intros you’ll find here. Please leave a comment and share your favorite classic TV shows. By all means, bookmark my blog so you can come back! I hope you enjoy my collection. Now, let’s get started with…

R is for Room 222: I used to love this show! It’s not running in syndication. Sometimes I wish they’d bring some of these old shows back.

Room 222 was an American comedy-drama television series produced by 20th Century Fox Television that aired on ABC for 112 episodes from September 17, 1969, until January 11, 1974. The show was broadcast on Wednesday evenings at 9 (EST) for its first two seasons before settling into its best-remembered time slot of Friday evenings at 9, following The Brady Bunch and The Partridge Family, and preceding The Odd Couple and Love, American Style.

In 1970 Room 222 earned Emmy Awards in three categories: Outstanding New Series, Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series (Michael Constantine), and Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series (Karen Valentine).

The series focused on an American history class at the fictional Walt Whitman High School in Los Angeles, California, although it also depicted other events at the school. Located in Room 222, the class was taught by Pete Dixon (Lloyd Haynes), an idealistic African American schoolteacher. Other characters featured in the show were the school’s compassionate guidance counselor, Liz McIntyre (Denise Nicholas), who was also Pete’s girlfriend; the dryly humorous school principal, Seymour Kaufman (Michael Constantine); and the petite and enthusiastic Alice Johnson (Karen Valentine), a student teacher. Also shown was Patsy Garrett as Mr. Kaufman’s secretary, Miss Hogarth. In addition, many recurring students were featured from episode to episode.

Pete Dixon delivered gentle lessons to his students in tolerance and understanding. Students admired his wisdom, insight, and easygoing manner. The themes of the episodes were sometimes topical, reflecting the current political climate (the late 1960s and early to mid-1970s such as the Vietnam War, women’s rights, race relations, and Watergate). However, most plots were timeless and featured themes still common to modern-day teenagers. For example, the 1971 episode titled “What Is a Man?” deals with a student who is the victim of anti-gay harassment and the 1974 episode titled “I Didn’t Raise My Girl to Be a Soldier” deals with parent–teenager issues.

The show featured many actors who went on to become major stars, such as Bruno Kirby, Bernie Kopell, Cindy Williams, Teri Garr, Jamie Farr, Rob Reiner, Anthony Geary, Richard Dreyfuss, Chuck Norris, Kurt Russell, and Mark Hamill. In addition, former child stars David Bailey, Ricky Kelman, Flip Mark, and Michael Shea each made appearances on the series late in their respective careers.

 

 

 

R is for Rhoda:

Rhoda is an American sitcom starring Valerie Harper which aired a total of 109 half-hour episodes over five seasons, from 1974 to 1978.[1] The show was a spin-off of The Mary Tyler Moore Show, in which Harper between the years 1970 and 1974 had played the role of Rhoda Morgenstern, a spunky, weight-conscious, flamboyantly fashioned Jewish neighbor and native New Yorker in the role of Mary Richards’ best friend. After four seasons, Rhoda left Minneapolis and returned to her original hometown of New York City. The series is noted for breaking two television records, and was the winner of two Golden Globes and two Emmy Awards.

Rhoda was filmed Friday evenings in front of a live studio audience at CBS Studio Center, Stage 14 in Studio City, Los Angeles, California.

Emmy Awards:

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series—Valerie Harper, 1975

Outstanding Continuing Performance by a Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series—Julie Kavner, 1978

Golden Globe Awards:

Best TV Show, Musical/Comedy—1975

Best TV Actress, Musical/Comedy—Valerie Harper, 1975

Collectively, Rhoda garnered a total of 17 Emmy nominations and 7 Golden Globe nominations.

Season 1 Intro Theme:

Season 2 Intro Theme Song:

 

 

R is for the Rifleman:

The Rifleman is an American Western television program starring Chuck Connors as rancher Lucas McCain and Johnny Crawford as his son, Mark McCain. It was set in the 1870s and 1880s in the town of North Fork, New Mexico Territory. The show was filmed in black-and-white, half-hour episodes. The Rifleman aired on ABC from September 30, 1958, to April 8, 1963, as a production of Four Star Television. It was one of the first prime time series on American television to show a widowed parent raising a child.

 "Chuck Connors Johnny Crawford The Rifleman 1960" by ABC Television - Licensed under Public Domain via Commons.

“Chuck Connors Johnny Crawford The Rifleman 1960” by ABC Television – Licensed under Public Domain via Commons.

The series centers on Lucas McCain, a widowed Union Civil War veteran. McCain had been a lieutenant in the 11th Indiana Infantry Regiment, and he had received a battlefield commission at the Battle of Five Forks just before the end of the war.[3] Having previously been a homesteader, McCain buys a ranch outside the fictitious town of North Fork, New Mexico Territory, in the pilot episode. He and his son Mark had come from Enid, Oklahoma, after his wife died, when Mark was 6 years old.

 

 

 

R is for The Rockford Files:

The Rockford Files is an American television drama series starring James Garner that aired on the NBC network between September 13, 1974, and January 10, 1980, and has remained in syndication to the present day. Garner portrays Los Angeles-based private investigator Jim Rockford with Noah Beery, Jr., in the supporting role of his father, a retired truck driver nicknamed “Rocky”.

The show was created by Roy Huggins and Stephen J. Cannell. Huggins created the television show Maverick (1957–1962), which starred Garner, and he wanted to recapture that magic in a “modern day” detective setting. He teamed with Cannell, who had written for Jack Webb productions such as Adam-12 and Chase (1973–1974, NBC), to create The Rockford Files.

The series theme music by composers Mike Post and Pete Carpenter was released as a single and went to #10 on the Billboard Hot 100, remaining on the chart for 16 weeks and won a Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Arrangement for 1975.

Producers Roy Huggins and Stephen J. Cannell devised the Rockford character as a rather significant departure from typical television detectives of the time, essentially Bret Maverick as a modern detective.[6] Rockford had served time in California’s San Quentin Prison in the 1960s due to a wrongful conviction. After five years, he was pardoned. His infrequent jobs as a private investigator barely allow him to maintain his dilapidated mobile home (which doubles as his office) in a parking lot on the beaches of Malibu, California.

In contrast to most television private eyes, Rockford wears low-budget “off the rack” clothing and does his best to avoid fights. He rarely carries his Colt Detective Special revolver, for which he has no permit, preferring to talk his way out of trouble. He works on cold cases, missing persons investigations, and low-budget insurance scams, and repeatedly states that he does not handle “open cases” to avoid trouble with the police; he has been a P.I since 1968; his usual fee is $200.00 per day plus expenses.

Here’s an extended Intro theme song of The Rockford Files:

 

 

R is for The Rookies:

The Rookies is an American crime drama series that aired on ABC from 1972 until 1976. It follows the exploits of three rookie police officers working in an unidentified city for the fictitious Southern California Police Department (SCPD).

The series began as an ABC Movie of the Week airing on March 7, 1972, which also served as the pilot for the series.

The success of Joseph Wambaugh’s book, The New Centurions, as well as NBC’s ratings success with Adam-12, had sparked interest at the time in a more realistic depiction and storytelling of the typical uniformed police officer. Although various incidents during the late 1960s and early 1970s, particularly in California, had sparked controversy and negative feelings towards police officers in general, The Rookies tried to better humanize the character of a police officer and show the struggles that new, younger men and women (who were often Vietnam-era military veterans and/or college graduates) faced in their lives as law enforcement persons sworn to serve and protect the public.

The TV showfeatures five rookies newly arrived at a police academy in southern California: cadets Jared Whitman (Robert F. Lyons), Kevin Lassiter (Jeff Pomerantz), Mike Danko (Sam Melville), William “Willie” Gillis (Michael Ontkean), and Terry Webster (Georg Stanford Brown), all coming from different backgrounds including the military, college, and social work. The cadets’ training sergeant was Eddie Ryker, played by Darren McGavin. (In the series, Sgt. Ryker had been recently promoted to lieutenant and was played by Gerald S. O’Loughlin.) The character of Jill Danko also appeared in the movie pilot, but was played by another actress, Jennifer Billingsley, and the part was recast for the series with Kate Jackson as Jill Danko, a registered nurse.

Synopsis

The Rookies TV series centers around three rookie officers, Danko, Webster, and Gillis, and their superior officer/mentor, Lieutenant Ryker. The show was produced by Aaron Spelling and Leonard Goldberg. Each episode showcased highly dramatized versions of police cases and activities, often intertwined with the off-duty lives of the officers and their significant others. Mike Danko was the only rookie in the series who was married. Although filmed in and around Los Angeles, the actual setting of the show was kept deliberately vague, and, in a TV Guide article about the show, “SCPD” was said to stand for “Southern California Police Department.”

 

 

R is for Rocky & Bullwinkle:

The Rocky & Bullwinkle Show (known as Rocky & His Friends during the first two seasons and as The Bullwinkle Show for the last three seasons) is an American animated television series that originally aired from November 19, 1959, to June 27, 1964, on the ABC and NBC television networks. Produced by Jay Ward Productions, the series is structured as a variety show, with the main feature being the serialized adventures of the two title characters, the anthropomorphic moose Bullwinkle and flying squirrel Rocky. The main adversaries in most of their adventures are the Russian-like spies Boris Badenov and Natasha Fatale. Supporting segments include Dudley Do-Right (a parody of old-time melodrama), Peabody’s Improbable History (a dog and his pet boy Sherman traveling through time), and Fractured Fairy Tales (classic fairy tales retold in comic fashion), among others.

Rocky & Bullwinkle is known for quality writing and wry humor. Mixing puns, cultural and topical satire, and self-referential humor, it appealed to adults as well as children. It was also one of the first cartoons whose animation was outsourced; storyboards were shipped to Gamma Productions, a Mexican studio also employed by Total Television. The art has a choppy, unpolished look and the animation is extremely limited even by television animation standards at the time. Yet the series has long been held in high esteem by those who have seen it; some critics described the series as a well-written radio program with pictures.

Rocky and Bullwinkle

The lead characters and heroes of the series were Rocket “Rocky” J. Squirrel, a flying squirrel, and his best friend Bullwinkle J. Moose, a dim-witted but good-natured moose. Both characters lived in the fictional town of Frostbite Falls, Minnesota, which was based on the real life city of International Falls, Minnesota. The scheming villains in most episodes were the fiendish, but inept, agents of the fictitious nation of Pottsylvania: Boris Badenov, a pun on Boris Godunov, and Natasha Fatale, a pun on femme fatale. Boris and Natasha were commanded by the sinister Mr. Big and Fearless Leader. Other characters included Gidney & Cloyd, little green men from the moon who were armed with scrooch guns; Captain Peter “Wrongway” Peachfuzz, the captain of the S.S. Andalusia; and the inevitable onlookers, Edgar and Chauncy

 

Did you ever watch these shows? Can you think of any other shows that should be here? What are your favorite TV shows, past and present?