ABC Afterschool Special

ABC Afterschool Special

Life can be both complicated and confusing for a kid, but the ABC television network broadcast an enduring series of TV movies in the 70s (and well beyond) to help clear things up and impart a few life lessons on our youth. Love them or hate them, the ABC Afterschool Special delivered messages on everything from proper nutrition to the dangers of drug and alcohol, even what to do when dad lives in a downtown hotel. Continue reading...

The Greatest American Hero

The Greatest American Hero

Despite the earnestness of the theme song (which went to number one on the singles charts), The Greatest American Hero never took itself too seriously. William Katt starred as mild-mannered high-school teacher Ralph Hinkley, who, while on a desert field trip with his Whitney High students, was chosen by aliens to don a costume and fight bad guys (now that's a field trip!). Witnessing this first encounter was FBI agent Bill Maxwell, who happened to be stranded in the same part of the desert. Continue reading...

Boy Meets World

Boy Meets World

Sitcoms based around a child are often faced with the daunting challenge of how to handle the inevitable aging of their star. Some absurdly try to hide the fact or even ignore it, but one particular show took a refreshingly new approach – let the kid grow up and follow him on his course into adulthood. As a result, Boy Meets World managed to remain both fresh and popular through its entire run. Continue reading...

Taxi television series

Taxi

Welcome to The Sunshine Cab Company, where the career aspirations of the taxi-driving employees sit as idle as a yellow cab parked along a deserted curb, just hoping to be noticed. And through their trials and tribulations, their triumphs, and more often, their failures, this collection of cab drivers delivered some of the most memorable and uproarious moments in the history of television sitcoms. Continue reading...

The Bionic Woman

The Bionic Woman

America caught its first glimpse of female superhero Jaime Summers when she appeared on a special two-part episode of the popular prime-time series, The Six Million Dollar Man, circa 1975. The long-lost love interest of Steve Austin, Jamie and her bionic boyfriend hoped to rekindle that high school romance. Then, she became crippled in a tragic parachuting accident and a distraught Steve pleaded with his boss, Oscar Goldman, to use some high-tech healing power on his lady friend. Continue reading...

Hardy Boys Nancy Drew Mysteries

The Hardy Boys / Nancy Drew Mysteries

The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew were both stars of their own series of popular children’s books, each of which had almost fifty years of sleuthing under their belts by the time ABC decided to televise their adventures in 1977. The result was The Hardy Boys / Nancy Drew Mysteries, a show that appealed to any youngster with an interest in private investigation, or any teen who simply happened to have a crush on one of the teenage stars. Continue reading...

Home Improvement

Home Improvement

Tim Allen enjoyed a rapid rise in stardom in the late 80s/early 90s as a stand-up comedian. He owed his success to a hilarious routine that revolved around power tools and the primeval grunting males that covet them in their never-ending quest to be the king of all home repairs. Network execs at ABC thought that made for an interesting premise for a sitcom, and the foundation was laid for Home Improvement. Over the next decade, the series rose in popularity like a mighty skyscraper under swift construction. Continue reading...

Growing Pains

Growing Pains

A family-based sitcom is dangerous territory. If the kids are annoying, if the writing falls flat, if the family doesn’t seem real – all can lead to a quick demise. But every once in a while a show like Growing Pains comes along and proves that when everything clicks, the rewards can be substantial. This 80s series, which would go on to become one of the longest-running and most watched of the decade, seemed to have it all – clever humor that could elicit an unexpected guffaw, a cast of likable characters of all ages, and a family that never seemed too “Hollywood.” Growing Pains captured the trials and tribulations of raising a family, while never easing up on the laughs. Continue reading...