In the mid – late 80’s, professional wrestling, and the WWF in particular, was big business. A lot of the WWF superstars were becoming household names thanks to Vince McMahon and his traveling circus. Two of the better known superstars were “Rowdy” Roddy Piper and Jesse “The Body” Ventura. Piper had spent years as the biggest bad guy wrestler on the roster, while Ventura was well known as one of the voices of the shows as color commentator. Each broke out of the WWF world to become moderate successes in Hollywood. Piper had starring roles in B – Movies like Body Slam, Hell Comes to Frogtown, and They Live. Meanwhile, Jesse was becoming a solid back up man in action flicks with Running Man and Predator.
In 1991, they teamed up on the small screen in the pilot episode of Tag Team. The shows premise was simple. These two wrestlers couldn’t wrestle for a living anymore, so they decide to become cops. That decision was made after they used their wrestling moves to stop a robbery at a grocery store. It was a simple idea, but one that a television series could conceivably be based around.
As the air date for the pilot episode drew closer, Vince McMahon was hyping the debut of the show on his wrestling shows, and as a 13 year old wrestling fan, I was salivating. I marked the date and time on my calendar so I wouldn’t miss it. Here was another chance to inject more wrestling into my world, and I wasn’t going to miss it. Although I can’t recall what night of the week that this premiered on, I DO remember getting everything set up in my room for it. My chair was at the right angle, I had a frosty beverage at my side, and some sort of snack at the ready. I was pumped.
As I remember it, the episode was pretty good, and I thought it was really cool that these two wrestlers were going to be in a television show every week. Unfortunately, I wasn’t aware of just how exactly television worked at that time, and was quite disappointed when the show never aired again. The series wasn’t picked up, and the show was thrown into the huge pile of “could’ve beens” with hundreds of other series that were never picked up.
I listened to a podcast featuring Ventura and Piper a while back, and Ventura explained why the series wasn’t picked up. The two companies who were producing the show together, Disney and Corelco, got into a lawsuit with each other over something not even remotely related to the Tag Team series, and while in litigation, the show was left in limbo since neither side was doing business with each other at the time. When the lawsuit dust settled, too much time had passed and the Tag Team series was abandoned.
It’s a real shame, because the two had great chemistry together in the pilot, the premise was solid for an action/comedy show, and would have probably drawn decent enough ratings to keep the 13 – episode first season on the air. Whether it would have been picked up beyond that is anyone’s guess, but I know one 13 year old who would have watched religiously.
Check out the pilot and see what YOU think.
I miss what I call the “glory days” of TBS back in the late 80’s through the early 90’s. Those days when they would show cool old movies from the Turner collection, and the Walking Tall series is a great example. They always done a fine job of advertising their programming in TV Guide, and below is a great example. They were showing all three Walking Tall films in consecutive nights, and ran a different ad for each night in TV Guide that week. Check out the three ads below.
It’s time once again for another Retro Round Table, and this time, we’re talking about our favorite television shows from the 90’s. The 90’s was a great decade for fun shows. It seems to me that there were more good comedies and quirky shows than serious ones, but that’s why we do these round tables…to get more than my own opinion. I’m joined today as usual by Hoju Koolander from the SequelQuest Podcast, Jason Gross from Rediscover the 80’s, Eric Vardeman from Eric V Music, and this week
So let’s get to it, and see what everyone picked as their favorite television show of the 90’s…..
There is no doubt about it, I watched way too much TV from 1990-1999. Not only did I watch too much TV live, I was recording it on VHS and re-watching these programs over and over again. So much so that at multiple times I burned out the family VCR. Most likely due to TV overload, I pretty much stopped watching network TV once the world survived Y2K and the last 18 years have been a blur. So what was my favorite boob tube experience from the decade where Urkel and Baywatch reigned supreme? Based solely on laughs that have lasted a lifetime, I would have to go with the short-lived prime time kamikaze mission The Dana Carvey Show. After winning our hearts as the nerdy sidekick, Garth in Wayne’s World, Dana Carvey somehow landed a 30 minute sketch comedy show on the ABC network in 1996 that aired after wholesome family sitcom Home Improvement. When I tuned into the cold open sketch where he appeared as President Bill Clinton addressing the nation from the oval office, my mind was blown as Carvey had live puppies suckle from multiple lactating nipples and this shocking bit of comedy instantly gained my loyalty. Each week pushed more boundaries of good taste and it’s no surprise that the show was cancelled after 8 episodes. Since our VCR was broken I had to record the shows on audio cassette, adding my own laugh track as I watched the hilarity unfold in sketches like Oscars Best Foreign Film Award and Nightline with Bob Dole. For years I cherished those tapes until the glorious day when Shout! Factory finally released the entire series on DVD in 2009. Those infamous 8 episodes are the absolute highlight of my 90s TV watching experience and no doubt shaped the warped sense of humor that has my wife rolling her eyes on a daily basis.
– Hoju Koolander
You can follow along with all of Hoju’s retro shenanigans on his twitter feed, @hojukoolander, read a lot of his his fine writing on a variety of retro topics at Retro-Daze, keep up with him at PopGeeks, and listen to his awesomely fun pod cast at SequelQuest Podcast where he and his cohorts craft sequels that we never got to movies that we loved! Be sure to check out his latest piece over at Retro-Daze, Retro Magazine Round: Black Belt!
Through the many years of television, there have been thousands of TV shows created. Usually only the cream of the crop last for multiple seasons, and go on to live vividly in the memories of the people who enjoyed them. There are also the shows that captured people’s imaginations, and even though they didn’t last too long, are still widely remembered. Then there are those shows that only ran a few episodes or a short season or two, but were so good, they’ve not totally faded from memory yet. These are the shows I’m talking about. Shows that are worth seeking out if you’ve never watched them before. Here’s five of these shows that are nearly lost to time.
The Man From Atlantis
The Man From Atlantis only lasted for one season of 13 episodes, and ran on NBC during the 1977-1978 season. The series actually began as a series of 4 made for television movies, and based on the ratings success of these movies, a TV series was given the green light.
The Man From Atlantis starred Patrick Duffy (Bobby Ewing on Dallas) as an amnesiac man who is given the name of Mark Harris, and he’s believed to be the only surviving citizen of the lost civilization of Atlantis. He has extraordinary powers, such as the ability to breathe underwater, and endure extreme depth pressures. He also has superhuman strength, and his hands and feet are webbed. His weakness though is that his eyes are unusually sensitive to light.
Yesterdayland Archives | Man From Atlantis
Following his discovery, he is recruited by The Foundation of Oceanic Research, which is a government agency that conducts top-secret research and explores the depths of the ocean in a sophisticated submarine.
The Man From Atlantis was an early attempt at a superhero television show, coming along in the same time frame as Wonder Woman, The Six Million Dollar Man, and The Bionic Woman. It enjoyed a few brief runs in syndication, but episodes of this show haven’t seen the light of day in years.
The annual TV Guide Fall Preview issues always feature the shows that their writers and critics think may be big hits, and shows that the networks themselves have high hopes for. As with anything else in life, there are usually more misses than hits. I’ve always enjoyed pulling out old copies of these issues and stepping back in time to see what what shows were featured each year. I’m scanning in my collection so you can join in and see what the experts and critics thought of the debuting shows each season. This time, it’s 1984. Enjoy!
2017 is about to come to an end, and 2018 is right around the corner. If you’re like the majority of folks in this world, you’ll spend your New Year’s Eve watching a countdown show from Times Square. But, if you’re like a select few of us, you’ll watch a countdown show from a year in the past! To help you out with this, I’ve got three old specials uploaded to my Youtube channel for you to enjoy this New Year’s Eve.
First up, you can roll back the clock 35 years and watch MTV’s New Year’s Eve Rock ‘n’ Roll Ball from 1982! It features Martha Quinn as the host, and has performances by Flock of Seagulls, The Producers, Duran Duran, and more!
Now we jump forward 10 years to 1992 and MTV’s New Year’s Eve Special with host Hammer, and featuring Bell Biv Devoe, EMF, Marky Mark and the Funk Bunch, Naughty by Nature, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Guns ‘n Roses, and a special appearance by Cindy Crawford!
And last but not least, it’s the Fox New Year’s Eve Live from 1992 that features Penn & Teller, Sam Kennison, and Guns ‘n Roses.
Well there you have 3 classic News Year’s Eve celebrations to choose from for your viewing pleasure. But heck, why choose? Just watch all three back to back and kill a few hours this New Year’s Eve and live it up, old school.