by Billy Ingram
An off-course airliner goes down on a mysterious island where the survivors find themselves in eerie, bizarre surroundings.
Lost? No, The New People, an ABC series that ran from September 22, 1969 to January 12, 1970.
The similarities to Lost are many. Like Lost, the survivors found food and shelter, although of a more conventional nature here, and a cache of guns. Like Lost, a character sabotages the only hope of rescue early on. And like Lost, the show sported a multi-cultural cast (a bit of a rarity at the time) rife with racial tensions.
THE FALL PROMO FOR THE NEW PEOPLE:
Like Lost's John Locke, The New People had Mr. Hanacheck (played by Richard Kiley), a know-it-all who becomes the de-facto leader - except here he dies in the first episode leaving our college aged miscreants to fend for themselves, Lord of the Flies style.
Here the similarities end. On The New People the doomed airplane is filled with young people, mostly flower power hippies. After the crash, the castaways discover an entire city populated by department store dummies, a town fully outfitted with cars, food, drink and everything needed to sustain life. They've even got dune buggies to race. Turns out the town was set up in order to measure the effects of a nuclear explosion. Why the government needed to test the effects of a bomb blast on dune buggies was just one more unanswered mystery.
The series was developed for TV by Rod Serling and was an Danny Thomas / Aaron Spelling production although it appears Serling had little or nothing to do with the writing. Too bad, because the premise was a strong one.
The New People was mostly an opportunity to play out societal tensions for a prime time audience, it's what they called a 'relevant' drama at the time.
More than anything the production reinforced stereotypes of 1960's hippy dippy college kids as violent anarchists, reflecting the campus unrest going on over the Viet Nam war.
The core cast included Tiffany Bolling, Zooey Hall, David Moses, Dennis Olivieri and Peter Ratray. Guest stars over the series run included Susan Howard, Tyne Daly, Billy Dee Williams and Richard Dreyfuss.
Many of the young people in the cast were interchangeable with guest stars coming in each week to play various castaways that were never seen again.
Typical plots: one of the unmarried girls becomes pregnant with the island's first baby and is overcome with guilt; several people disappear so the hippies venture to the other side of the island to discover who else might be living on the island of Bomano. Come to think of it, weren't those plotlines on Lost?!?
The format was somewhat unique, the show ran for 45-minutes. Although, with fewer commercial breaks than we are used to today, the actual running time was about what we're used to in a modern day hour-long drama.
The New People aired on Monday nights at 8:15 following another 45-minute show meant to appeal to young folks, Music Scene. Neither show caught on and both were gone by mid-season.
The Closing Theme Song.
THE NEW PEOPLE
Links on this page are to video clips.
The New People
17 episodes aired from September 22, 1969 until January 12, 1970. Produced by Aaron Spelling (Dynasty).
There were two Dell comic books and a novel based on the series.
Theme song by The First Edition.
Episode 12 featured a character that grew some potent pot that sends everyone on a bad trip. Bummer, man!
Thanks to A.J. McWhorter at Television Archives!
Lost Kid Shows / Movie Stars on TV / Saturday Morning Shows / Video Vault / Classic Christmas Specials / Fabulous Fifties / Unseen Scenes / Game Shows / Requested Forgotten TV Shows / The Super Sixties / The New * * Shows / 1980's Wrestling / TV Blog
|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|
|Classic TV Commercials / 1950's TV / 1960's TV / Punk Book / / 1970's TV / TV Games / Honey Boo Boo / Lucy Shows / 2012 Emmy Awards / 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 / 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 / The Carpenters / Route 66 / Bozo / The Carpenters Christmas Specials / Local Kid Shows / Death of TV's Superman / Wonderama / Sesame Street / Bob Hope Specials / Little Rascals / 1980's Retro Gay T-Shirts / 1980's TV Wrestling / Fess Parker / Howdy Doody / TV Blog / Lost In Space / Pinky Lee / 1980's LA Punk Rock / Alex Toth Book / 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 / Lucy's Lost Christmas Special / Classic Christmas Toy Commercials / Cricket On The Hearth / 1950's Holiday Shows / Amahl and the Night Visitors / A Christmas Carol on TV / The Yule Log / Celebrity Commercials / Rudolph / Movie Posters & More!|