1950's Saturday Morning Shows June Cleaver book

Peabody & Sherman cartoons on DVD Ripcord on DVD Thunderbirds on DVD Classic Commercials on DVD Tennesee Tuxedo on DVD Fractured Fairy Tales on DVD


Betty White Show / 1970s TV Shows
by Billy Ingram

Betty White Show / 1977 CBS sitcomOne of my favorite shows of the 1977 fall season - and there were some pretty decent shows that met their demise that year - was The Betty White Show.

Traditionally, the 'Queen of Television' title goes to Lucille Ball but since she's gone I believe the mantle has been passed to Betty White; no other TV star has enjoyed so much success over the last six decades.

Additionally, she's a true television pioneer. They threw Betty in front of the TV cameras in 1949 when very few people in the nation had a set that could receive the signal.

She remained a fixture on the new medium during the 1950s. During the 1960s and early-1970s she was mostly relegated to appearing on game and talk shows where her impressive game play and sparkling wit made her a highly sought after guest.

But there was little or no interest in her for primetime TV until she was cast as caustic Sue Anne Niven the Happy Homemaker on The Mary Tyler Moore Show in 1973. Her character caught fire and before long she became a regular, one of the biggest laugh getters on that series.

After The Mary Tyler Moore Show ended in 1977, and flush off the (initial) succesess of Rhoda and Phyllis, it was Betty's turn to star in her own series. The premise: Joyce Whitman (Betty) was the star of Undercover Woman, a send up of Angie Dickinson in Police Woman; the show is directed by her contentious ex-husband played by John Hillerman (Magnum P.I.), Georgia Engel from The MTM Show played her best friend.

Granted, this sitcom felt a diluted compared to the best of Mary's shows, the MTM team was stretched pretty thin by the fall of 1977. Many of their best writers had gotten production deals elsewhere and the studio had the one-hour drama, Lou Grant, debuting in the fall of '77 as well as The Bob Newhart Show, Rhoda, and The Tony Randall Show on the air (only Lou Grant survived the season).

Betty White Show 1970sFor Betty's show the writers fell back on too familiar patterns as you'll see in the episode above. The rhythm of the MTM Show is there but the jokes are strained with running gags that feel stale and worn out. Transplanting the Georgette character from Mary's show lent another air of familiarity. As the series wore on the network toned down the caustic banter betweened the two leads, thereby eliminating most of the humor.

It didn't help that this was the first MTM sitcom shot on videotape. Film was getting too expensive for the networks, they wanted all of their new sitcoms videotaped to save money. The result was a cheaper looking product and some worthy shows went down the chute because of it. (Newhart debuted in 1982, shot on videotape for the first season - after the show was a proven success, they moved over to film for the rest of the run.)

At its best The Betty White Show was a worthy vehicle for a great comedy star that could have evolved into something wonderful, taking potshots at the entertainment industry always provides an endless stream of comedy potential, but the production never found its footing and was cancelled after 14 episodes.

Did you know: Betty White won an Emmy in 1996 playing 'herself' as ego maniacal star on The John Larroquette Show.


Hot In Cleveland
Hot In Cleveland on DVD
I find it so amazing when a new series turns out to be better than I expected. That's happily the case with Hot In Cleveland season one now on DVD from TV Land.

First off the cast is impeccable - Jane Leeves (Frazier), Valerie Bertinelli (One Day at a Time), and Wendy Malick (Just Shoot Me!) make up the core ensemble. But when Betty White meanders into any scene the show is hers from that point on. And thank goodness otherwise this caustic comedy would mostly fall flat.

The premise is flimsy but who cares, it's a sitcom, I come for the laughs - three LA airheads descend on the Cleveland bar scene once they realize the local guys there find them attractive. On a lark, they move into a home that comes with a cantankerous caretaker in the form of Betty White.

Click here to read more about Hot In Cleveland on DVD!

TVparty is Classic TV on the internet!
Classic TV on the Internet!

THE BETTY WHITE SHOW

Betty White Show 1970s

Mary Tyler Moore show on DVDCarol Burnett Show on DVD
Mary Tyler Moore Show on DVD

Mary Tyler Moore Show Season 6 on DVD

Classic Commercials on DVD Peabody & Sherman cartoons on DVD

TV Blog

- Television Blog


 

Our huge catalog of
Classic TV Shows on DVD
Now you can own your favorite classic television programs!


Local Kid Shows / Movie Stars on TV / Saturday Morning Shows / Video Vault / TV Goodbyes / Fabulous Fifties / Unseen Scenes / Game Shows / Requested Forgotten TV Shows / The Super Sixties / The New * * Shows / 1980's Wrestling / TV Blog

TVparty is Classic TV on the internet!
Classic TV on the Internet!

TV's Embarrassing Moments / Action Shows of the Sixties / TVparty Mysteries and Scandals / Variety Shows of the 1970s / The Eighties / The Laugh Track / 1970's Hit Shows / Response to TVparty / Search the Site / Add Your Comments

Hit Shows of the Seventies: Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy / Gene Roddenberry in the 1970s / 1977-1978 Superhero & Science Fiction TV Shows / Patrick Duffy of Dallas Interview / Best Season of Dallas Ever? / TV Show Book Tie-Ins / Mary Kay Place Albums of the 1970s / Mary Kay Place Albums of the 1970s / That Girl & TV's Single Working Women / Star Trek Animated / Dark Shadows / Dark Shadows Movies / Dark Shadows Novels / Dawn Wells / Gavin McLeod / The Music Dark Shadows / 1970 TV Shows / Mike Wallace, Virginia Graham & Jim Longworth / Dick Clark / 1973 TV Shows / Thriller / The Jacksons TV Show / Fall Previews of the 70s / Lance Link, Secret Chimp / Star Wars Holiday Special / Alias Smith and Jones / 1977 Year in Review / Top Ten 1970-76 / The Rockford Files / All in the Family / Sam Hall (Dark Shadows) Interview / Actor Ed Nelson / Death of Archie / Battlestar Galactica / Wonder Woman / Network Jingles / Class of '74 / Happy Days / Good Times / Mr. Bill / Dinah! / Maude / Doris Day Show / Pamelyn Ferdin Interview / The Bicentennial Minute / Jingles & Catch Phrases of the 1970s / Early Cable TV 1970s / TV commercials for Women / TV Moms / Country Music TV Shows of the 1960s & 1970s / Betty White Show / Ron Palillo / Shirley Jones Interview / Tom Bosley / Rodney Dangerfield / How Sanford & Son Ended / Sanford & Son Spin-Off Grady / Great Memoirs / Virginia Graham Show / The "N" Word on TV / 10 Classic Comedy Routines You Have To Laugh At Before You Die / Hollywood Squares / 1970's Teen Idols & The Hudson Brothers / TV Stars with 3 Hit Shows / The Rookies / Unsold Pilots / Jackie Cooper / The Good Guys / Match Game / Make Room For Granddaddy / Mannix & Gail Fisher / Bette Midler in the 1970s / Bonus 1970's Stuff: Silent Star Marion Mack / Biff Burger / 1970s Fast Food Chains / Latin Casino / Beverly Hills Supper Club Fire / 1970's Daytime Talk Shows / The Fess Parker Show / Love, Loss & What I Watched

Classic TV Commercials / 1950's TV / 1960's TV / 1970's TV / Lucy Shows / Classic Cars / John Wayne / Gene Roddenberry / Rockford Files / Sea Hunt / Superman on DVD / Toy Gun Ads / Flip Wilson Show / Big Blue Marble / Monty Hall / Carrascolendas / Mr. Dressup / Major Mudd / Chief Halftown / Baby Daphne / Sheriff John / Winchell & Mahoney / Fireball X-L5 / Mr. Wizard / Captain Noah / Thanksgiving Day Specials / Disney's First Christmas Special / Saturday Morning Cartoons / The Magic Garden / Amahl & the Night Visitors / Holiday Toy Commercials / Lucy & Desi's Last Christmas Show / Joey Heatherton / Fat Albert / The Virginian / Bewitched / Death of John Wayne / 1974 Saturday Mornings / Chuck McCann / Rudolph Collectables / Shrimpenstein / Local Popeye Shows / New Treasure Hunt / 1966 ABC TV Shows / 1967 TV Shows / 1968 TV Shows / Ric Flair, Dusty Rhodes & Baby Doll / Fridays / TV Moms / Red Skelton / George Lindsay / Star Wars / KISS / Lancelot Link / Saturday Morning Cartoons / The Magic Garden / Wonder Woman / Classic Comic Books / Andy Griffith / Cher / TV Shows on DVD / Outtakes & Bloopers / 1967 TV Shows / Romper Room / ABC Movie of the Week / The Goldbergs / Daws Butler Commercials / Saturday Morning Commercials / Captain Kangaroo / Chicago Local Kiddie Shows / Boston Local TV / Philly Local TV / NYC Local Kid Shows / Amos 'n' Andy / Electric Company / Bette Davis / Judy Garland / Christmas Specials / Redd Foxx / Good Times / Sitcom Houses / What's Happening! / Winky Dink & You / Sonny & Cher / Smothers Brothers / Commercial Icons of the 1960s / Soupy Sales / TV Terrorists / Irwin Allen / The Untouchables / Carol Burnett Show / Batman TV Show / Green Hornet / Today Show History / Our Gang / Doris Day Show / 1970's Commercials For Women / Bill Cosby in the 1970s / The Golddiggers / Lola Falana / 1970s TV Shows / David Bowie on TV / Hudson Brothers / Jackie Gleason / Hollywood Squares / Match Game / Bob Keeshan / Gumby / The Flip Wilson Show / Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour / The Bobby Darin Show / The Richard Pryor Show / George Burns / Celebrity Commercials / Rudolph / Movie Posters & More! 

Diver Dan TV show on DVD Beulah TV show on DVD Match Game on DVD Route 66 season 2 on DVD All in the Family DVD Lancelot Link Secret Chimp on DVD Tennessee Tuxedo on DVD
Looking for classic TV on DVD?/See below:
Back to the menu
Contact Us / Survey
Other Cool TV Sites

TVparty! Television Blog

 

Back to the menu
Contact Us / Survey
Other Cool TV Sites