Saturday, September 18, 2010


In the fall of 1977, Prime Time dominance was ABC-TV's to loose.

From it's inception in 1953 until the 1976 television season, the so-called alphabet network was a perennial loser in ratings and reputation.

The joke was "How do you end the Viet Nam War? Put it on ABC and it will be cancelled in 13 weeks!"

It enjoyed sporadic hits over the intervening years, that ranged from OZZIE & HARRIET TO THE ODD COUPLE, THE LONE RANGER TO MAVERICK, GENERAL HOSPITAL TO MARCUS WELBY M.D., and 77 SUNSET STRIP to BURKE'S LAW. BATMAN, THE FLINTSTONES,AMERICAN BANDSTAND, THE WIDE WORLD OF SPORTS AND MONDAY NIGHT NFL FOOTBALL also brought viewers and value, to what critics derided as "half a network," but never the throw weight to grow a successful schedule.

That changed in the Bicentennial year, when ABC established itself as a kinetic, diverse, sexy, smart, channel choice.Bolstered by strong local stations, it defeated NBC and CBS to win the largest nighttime audience in network television.

The network's evening schedule boasted heavy duty hits, like CHARLIE'S ANGELS(jiggle tv), HAPPY DAYS(family tv)and WELCOME BACK, KOTTER (sweathog tv).Network executives also produced evocative, energetic, upbeat promotion that helped them reach the pinnacle of Prime Time.They knew that engaging a similar strategy would be the only way to preserve that position.

With their dignity, jobs and millions of dollars, on the line, ABC-TV's promotion department placed a very volatile bet on a 1976, top 40 hit from a band called Orleans to carry the networks corporate flag into broadcast battle.

The creative result was striking television that helped ABC-TV stay in first place for the 1977 television season.

So, as the American broadcast networks launch their new Fall schedules, this week, please watch the clip posted below from the DANF62465 YOU TUBE site, and enjoy a classic promo that moved the audience and rocked the television industry. Enjoy!!!!!!

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