07th Dec2014

Top 5: Iconic TV shows of the 1970s

by Phil Wheat

Legendary TV producer and writer Glen A. Larson sadly passed away recently aged 77 – Larson was most famous for creating Battlestar Galactica one of the most spectacular and ambitious television programmes ever produced in the 1970s. And with Battlestar Galactica: The Complete Original Series being released on Blu-ray for the first time last month we’re remembering some of the most iconic TV shows of the 1970s.



Happy Days

  • Created by Garry Marshall, the series presents an idealised view of US life in the 1960s and was one of the highest-rated US TV shows in the 1970s.
  • ‘The Fonz’: Early episodes of the Happy Days revolve around Richie Cunningham (Ron Howard) and his friends but high school dropout and ladies man Arthur ‘The Fonz’ Fonzarelli (Henry Winkler) proved a favourite with viewers so more story lines were written to reflect this popularity.

Fun Facts!

  • Robin Williams appeared in the two episodes of Happy Days as the alien ‘Mork’ from the planet Ork which led to Williams’ famous breakout role in spin-off show Mork and Mindy.
  • In season 1 ‘The Fonz’ wore a blue jacket, he only started wearing his famous brown leather jacket in season 2. It now hangs in the Smithsonian Museum in Washington DC.

The Waltons

  • The Waltons is the story of John Walton Jr. (John-Boy) and his parents John and Olivia Walton and their seven children and John’s parents Zebulon ‘Zeb’ and Esther Walton.
  • ‘Goodnight John-Boy’: In the show’s signature scene the lights in the family house are turned off and the characters comment on the episode’s events before saying goodnight to one another in turn.

Fun Facts!

  • The ‘Walton House’ was located in the Warner Brothers Studios and ‘Walton’s Mountain’ was actually a slope of the Hollywood Hills directly south of the studios.
  • The Walton’s are based on creator Earl Hamner Junior’s real life family – he had 7 brothers and sisters.

Charlie’s Angels

  • Charlie’s Angels charts the adventures of three women working in a private detective agency in LA, initially starring Kate Jackson, Farrah Fawcett and Jaclyn Smith with David Doyle co-starring as ‘Bosley’ and John Forsythe providing the voice of their mysterious boss.
  • T&A: The show was a runaway success with audiences when it launched in 1976 but some critics labelled it T&A TV (‘Tits and Ass TV’) and believed the show lacked intelligence and substance and relied too heavily on scantily dressed ‘Angels’.

Fun Facts!

  • Drew Barrymore who starred in the movie remake of Charlie’s Angels owns the screen rights to the TV series.
  • Charlie’s Angels featured many famous guest stars over the years including Sammy Davis Jr, Christopher Lee, Tom Selleck and Kim Cattrall.

M*A*S*H

  • Adapted from the 1970 feature film, M*A*S*H follows a team of doctors and support staff stationed at the 4077th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital during the Korean War who are forced to create their own fun to escape from the horror of war.
  • Record-breaking: The show premiered in 1972 and to begin with struggled in the ratings but by the time it ended in 1983 the finale “Goodbye, Farewell and Amen” was the most watched television episode in U.S. television history (at the time) with a record-breaking 125 million viewers.



Fun Facts!

  • M*A*S*H was the first American network series to use the phrase “son of a bitch”.
  • Many young actors appeared as guest stars in the show before they rose to fame including Patrick Swayze, Laurence Fishbourne and Ron Howard.

Battlestar Galactica

  • Tells the story of the last battlestar, Galactica, which leads a rag-tag fugitive fleet on a lonely quest…to find a planet known as Earth. Battlestar Galactica stars included Lorne Green (Commander Adama), Richard Hatch (Captain Apollo), and Dirk Benedict (Lt. Starbuck).
  • The Ideology: All Battlestar Galactica productions share the same basic premise – in a distant part of the universe, a human civilisation has extended to a group of planets known as the Twelve Colonies, to which they have migrated from their home planet of Kobol. The Twelve Colonies have been engaged in a lengthy war with a cybernetic race known as the Cylons, whose goal is the extermination of the human race.

Fun Facts!

  • The daggit ‘Muffit’ was played by a trained chimp in costume.
  • The humans in the show had their own units for measuring time – a ‘micron’ (second), ‘centon’ (minute), ‘centar’ (hour), ‘secton’ (week), ‘sectar’ (month) and ‘yahren’ (year).

______

Battlestar Galactica: The Complete Original Series is out now on Blu-ray for the first time.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Off

Comments are closed.