Television

ABC After School Specials

ABC After School Specials

1 9 7 2 – 1 9 9 5 (USA) Sixty minute specials, both dramatic and documentary, for young people, ABC After School Specials were broadcast on occasional weekday afternoons. After School Specials aired for more than 20 years providing a regular dose of drama to pre-teens and teens during the school year in the hours after school and(…)

ABC Afternoon Playbreak

1 9 7 3 – 1 9 7 5 (USA) Irregularly scheduled 90 minute drama specials for the afternoon viewing audience. Presentations included: The Things I Never Said with Diana Hyland and Joseph Campanella (31 Oct 1973),The Last Bride Of Salem with Bradford Dillman (who won an Emmy for his performance) and Lois Nettleton (8 May 1974), Heart In Hiding with(…)

ABC Comedy Hour, The

1 9 7 2 (USA) 13 x 60 minute episodes The ABC Comedy Hour screened between 12 January 1972 and 5 April 1972, and starred top impressionists of the day – Frank Gorshin, Rich Little, George Kirby, Joe Baker, Marilyn Michaels and Charlie Callas. Newcomer Fred Travalena replaced Charlie Callas in the company in mid-series. Collectively the(…)

ABC Monday Night Comedy Special, The

1 9 7 7 (USA) The ABC Monday Night Comedy Special (broadcast between May and September 1977) was an umbrella title covering an assortment of films for proposed series that did not make the schedule, and leftovers from shows that had been cancelled. Included was a John Byner sitcom, an unusual rock music show (30 minutes of(…)

ABC Movie of the Week, The

1 9 6 9 – 1 9 7 5 (USA)

ABC Rocks

1 9 8 4 – 1 9 8 5 (USA) One year after the debut of NBC’s Friday Night Videos (network television’s first attempt to respond to the popularity of cable television’s MTV), this was ABC’s entry into the fray with a half hour of music videos every Friday from midnight to 12.30am. Each weekly show consisted of(…)

ABC Saturday Superstar Movie

1 9 7 2 – 1 9 7 4 (USA) Comedy, adventure, and science fiction themed Saturday morning fare in the form of hour long animated movies, pilots and specials from various production companies. ABC Saturday Superstar Movie was the first anthology of original cartoons designed for network airing. SHOWS INCLUDED The Brady Kids on Mysterious(…)

Abigail and Roger

1 9 5 6 (UK) 9 x 20 minute episodes The comedy adventures of an engaged couple living separately (this was the 1950s) in London’s bedsitter land, with the humour arising from their differing attitudes to life . . . Shorthand typist Abigail was an outspoken and capable individual who could cook, drive a car, mend a(…)

Abigail’s Party (1977)

Abigail’s Party (1977)

The best British television comedy of 1977 was not exactly written. Abigail’s Party was the BBC’s first full-length play where much of the dialogue was improvised. The Mike Leigh production, screened as part of Play For Today, starred Leigh’s then-wife Alison Steadman as Beverly, nouveau riche Queen Bee in a ghastly orange dress alternately stinging and sweetening her neighbours while(…)

About Britain

1 9 5 2 – 1 9 5 4 (UK) Following on the success of London Town, Richard Dimbleby presented About Britain – a similar series presenting “journeys to people and places of yesterday and today”. Episodes included ‘The Lake District’, ‘Scotland – Down The Clyde’, ‘North Wales’, ‘Bath – The Queen of the West’, ‘The Heart of England’, ‘Edinburgh’(…)

About Face

1 9 8 9 – 1 9 9 1 (UK) 12 x 30 minute episodes This series of twelve unconnected sitcoms placed the spotlight on the many talents of Maureen Lipman, as she played twelve different and varied leading roles with different guest stars in each episode. During the run, Lipman played a South London telephonist,(…)

About The Home

1 9 5 1 – 1 9 5 8 (UK) About The Home was an essential part of afternoon viewing for many British women in the 1950s. The long-running programme was designed to help housewives improve their domestic skills such as cookery and needlework, although other items covered included shopping, deportment and even puppy-training. Hope improvement tips(…)

Abracadabra

1 9 6 2 (UK) Quiz show hosted by Canadian Roy Ward Dixon and his wife Shirley. The basic idea was to answer a general knowledge question and then pick a letter to complete a word and win up to £125. There was also a “Money Pot” of coins that the contestant could dip into and(…)

Absolutely

1 9 8 9 – 1 9 9 3 (UK) 24 x 30 minute episodes This anarchic and surreal sketch show – a sort of latter day Monty Python in tartan – derived from the Scottish school of alternative comedy. The show starred Morwenna Banks, Jack Docherty, Moray Hunter, Gordon Kennedy and John Sparkes. Although it featured skits, animation and spoofed-up songs, its(…)

Absolutely Fabulous

1 9 9 2 – 2 0 1 2 (UK) Developed from a sketch on French and Saunders, this tale of rich bitches Edina ‘Eddy’ Monsoon (Jennifer Saunders) and Patsy Stone (Joanna Lumley) – 1960s firebrands who never grew up – took the public by storm. Single mother Eddy had her own PR/fashion business and behaved very badly(…)

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