entertainment

The Worst TV Shows of the 1970s

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The 1970s are famous for a lot of good reasons: music, fashion, historical events, films, and of course, TV shows. Shows like ‘MASH’, ‘Happy Days’, and ‘The Jeffersons’ were watched across the country, and became almost a staple in every household. However, there were also many 70’s shows that were absolutely cringe-worthy!

Many shows made it to TV, but only a few became truly popular. And there’s a very good reason for that since some of these shows were not only ridiculous, they were downright offensive. So instead of compiling the best of the 70s, which you probably already know too well, we decided to take a trip down memory lane and remember the worst TV shows of the decade. Get ready to be shocked!

Mobile One

An adventure show that aired on September 12, 1975, 'Mobile One' was a very short-lived ABC series. Lasting only until December of that same year, due to low ratings, 'Mobile One' starred Jackie Cooper, Julie Gregg, and Mark Wheeler. But even this highly talented cast wasn't enough to keep the show on the air.

ABC released the show as a competitor to NBC'sChico and the Man' and CBS's M.A.S.H", but clearly, there was never any competition. 'Mobile One' was axed after 13 episodes.

The Immortal

An ABC drama series from 1970, 'The Immortal' starred a handsome Christopher George as a hunky race car driver called Ben Richards. The reason why Richards was 42 but looked 20 was because he had a special type of blood that made him impervious to aging. Unfortunately, that all ends after he donates blood to save his older and wealthy employer, who decides to use Richards as a "fountain of youth" once he realizes the young man's power.

The series lasted 15 episodes, and even though it evolved into a more thrilling cat-and-mouse game played by Richards and the wealthy man's bounty hunter, the show still wasn't good enough to keep from being cancelled. It was pulled off the air in January 1971.

The series lasted 15 episodes, and even though it evolved into a more thrilling cat-and-mouse game played by Richards and the wealthy man's bounty hunter, the show still wasn't good enough to keep from being cancelled. It was pulled off the air in January 1971.

Struck by Lightning

CBS released 'Struck by Lightning' in September 1979, and it canceled it one month later. The series' plot was inspired by the Frankenstein story, and it followed Jeffrey Kramer, who played a science teacher and inherits an old, creepy-looking Victorian Inn. Right before selling it, Kramer discovers that Frank, the Inn's handyman, is actually Frankenstein's monster.

Out of the eleven episodes produced, only 3 were aired, since American audiences heavily disliked the show. In England, however, it was slightly more successful, with all eleven episodes being aired in 1980.

In the Beginning

Norman Lear became famous after producing hit TV shows like 'All in the Family' and 'The Jefferson's Fame'. Unfortunately, he didn't have the same success as a producer for 'In the Beginning'. It was a controversial show about a very conservative priest and a liberal nun, and out of 9 produced episodes, only five were ever aired.

The priest, played by McLean Stevenson, had a very odd relationship with Sister Agnes, portrayed by Priscilla Lopez. Despite their conversations being quite entertaining, the comedy wasn't enough to keep viewers' attention. Barely a month after it was released, CBS pulled it off the air.

Who's Watching the Kids?

Wanting to create a series based on the personal and professional lives of two Vegas showgirls, famous producer Gary Marshall just didn't make the cut with his 1978 show, 'Who's Watching the Kids?'. As you can probably guess by the title, the series was about two Vegas performers that tried their best to handle work and family responsibilities.

Linda Goodfriend and Caren Kaye lived together in a small Las Vegas apartment and worked in the same club. And their co-stars, Jim Belushi and Scott Baio, also added a comedy factor to the show. However, none of this was enough to keep the show running; viewers were not very impressed by the story, and NBC pulled it off the air after only eleven episodes.

The Ernest Angley Hour

Ernest Angley is an American Christian pastor and televangelist that had a one-hour weekly show back in the '70s, called 'The Ernest Angley Hour'. Although it had a decent start, things started to take a wrong turn when Angley was accused of leading a cult and being abusive to its members.

Angley claimed that he could heal any ailment by simply placing his hand on a person's forehead. But not many people believed it anymore once he was accused of inappropriate behavior and harassment. Finally, in 1996, Angley confessed to an assistant that he had had physical relations with a man that worked for his church in Ohio. Ironic, since Angley was openly vocal about it homosexuality being the greatest sin known to man.

Big Hawaii

Another NBC show from the '70s that barely lasted two months was 'Big Hawaii'. Released in 1977, the show came out shortly after a pilot film, 'Danger in Paradise, which aired on May of that same year. Starred by Cliff Potts, John Dehner, and Lucia Stralser, 'Big Hawaii' followed the story of the wealthy Fears family, who owns the lavish Paradise Ranch in Hawaii.

Drama ensues, but unfortunately, it wasn't exciting enough to keep the show from being cancelled after just 12 episodes, out of which only 9 aired.

Highcliffe Manor

Inspired by the 1966 Gothic soap opera 'Dark Shadows', NBC's Highcliffe Manor' was released in 1979, and it definitely had promise. The show was a horror-themed sitcom that featured Shelley Fabares, Ernie Hudson, Audrey Landers, Jenny O'Hara, and Stephen McHattie, and each episode lasted 30 minutes.

Fabares played Helen Blacke, a widow who recently inherited a lavish mansion in Massachusetts that's filled with paranormal characters that want to get her out of the house. Even worse, the strange characters were also planning to take over the world and create chaos by cloning world leaders. As interesting and entertaining as this all sounds, the show was canceled after only six episodes due to low ratings. Guess some things are just better on paper.

The P.T.L Club

Best known as 'The Jim and Tammy show', the 1974 TV show 'The P.T.L. Club' was a Christian program hosted by a religious couple; its name stood for "Praise the Lord". Luckily, viewers quickly discovered this show had nothing to do with God, and everything to do with scams and money.

The show was basically designed as a scam to steal people's money, and even though it lasted 14 seasons, mainly because it only aired in the Christian PTL satellite network, everything fell apart in the late 1980s. One of the show's hosts, Jim Bakker, was accused of abuse and convicted for fraud and conspiracy.

Lucan

Based on a successful TV movie, 'Lucan' was an adventure series released in 1977 by ABC. A young and handsome Kevin Brophy played Lucan, a young man that had been raised by wolves during the first ten years of his life. After being rescued by a doctor, played by John Randolph, and taught how to live in modern society, Lucan is wrongly accused of a crime and runs away again.

The whole series, which lasted all of 11 episodes, was a cat-and-mouse game between Lucan and the cop that's chasing him, Prentiss. The fact that the boy was raised in the wild certainly gives him some edge to surviving on his own, but even with all that excitement and adventure, the show got canceled after a year.

Gemini Man

Based on H.G. Wells' 'The Invisible Man', NBC's 1976 TV show, 'Gemini Man', had high hopes of success. The story revolved around Sam Casey (Ben Murphy), a secret agent who could become invisible at any time thanks to a special watch he wore. If Casey remained invisible for more than fifteen minutes within a 24-hour period, he would die.

But unfortunately, out of 11 produced episodes, only 5 made it to air after the show was abruptly cancelled. Viewers weren't impressed by the plot or Casey's lead role of a semi-superhero.

On Our Own

American sitcom 'On Our Own' followed the lives of two roommates and co-workers who lived in New York and worked at a prestigious advertising agency. The show was shot at CBS studios in New York City, which was a rare occurrence back in the '70s since most shows were shot in Hollywood.

A good cast, including Bess Armstrong, Lynnie Greene, Gretchen Wyler, and Dixie Carter, and an entertaining plot that followed the lives of single working women in New York wasn't enough to guarantee this show a second season. This comedy series was cancelled almost a year after its release.

Holmes and Yoyo

Yet another police show, 'Holmes and Yoyo' barely lasted three months. Released by ABC in September 1976, it was pulled off the air in December of the same year. The story was about Detective Alexander Holmes and his robot partner, who was disguised as a detective called Gregory "Yoyo" Yonovich. The catch was that only very few people actually knew that he was a robot.

Unfortunately, TV Guide claimed it was one of the worst shows ever made, and that was it for 'Holmes and Yoyo'. Low ratings and viewership got the show cancelled in no time.

Young Dan'l Boone

'Young Dan'l Boone' was a TV show that aired on CBS in 1977, and it followed the life of famous American frontiersman, Daniel Boone before he got married. In his adventures as a young man, Daniel Boone is played by Rick Moses, but even a handsome actor like him couldn't save the show from abrupt cancellation.

After only 8 episodes, of which only 4 were aired, CBS pulled the show off the air after low ratings and generally bad reviews.

The San Pedro Beach Bums

Just by its name, you can probably guess what 'The San Pedro Beach Bums' was about. That's right, it was about five young friends that shared a houseboat in Southern California. Released by ABC in 1977, the show had a decent cast, with names like Stuart Pankin, John Mark Robinson, and Christopher Murney.

However, this story about a group of young, carefree men living it up in San Pedro, California didn't have enough substance to keep audiences engaged. It was cancelled in under three months, with just 10 episodes making it to air.

Rosetti and Ryan

The 1977 legal drama, 'Rosetti and Ryan', starred Tony Roberts and Squire Fridell as two very different attorneys practicing law. Unfortunately, the series was canceled after a short month, with only 6 episodes ever airing.

Even though NBC thought a legal drama with two likable characters had all the ingredients to become a hit show, this wasn't the case, and they canceled the show soon after its premiere.

Dusty’s Trail

This show had it rough from the very start, as no network wanted to release it. 'Dusty's Trail' was a cheap attempt to copy 'Gilligan's Island', but set it in the old west. CBS finally picked it up, and the show was released in 1973, to very bad audience reviews.

The cast wasn't properly matched, the production and the script were weak, and it was just an overall failure. This is why it's a real mystery that it lasted for 26 episodes and a whole year on the air. A cast that included talented actors like Jeannine Riley, Lori Saunders, and Bob Denver, wasn't enough to keep this show alive.

Co-Ed Fever

This CBS sitcom was such a disappointment that, out of the six episodes produced, only one ever aired. With a cast that included Alexa Kenin, Cathryn O’Neill, Heather Thomas, Tracy Phillips, and Jillian Kesner, 'Co-Ed Fever' followed the story of a group of young girls that lived in a dorm at Baxter College.

What's worse is that 'Co-Ed Fever' was meant to be one part of a three-part "frat house" comedy series, but the plot and production was so disastrous that all three of them were a flop.

Karen

Premiering on ABC in January 1975, 'Karen' was a comedy series that followed the life of Karen Angelo, played by Karen Valentine. Angelo was a single, hard-working woman with a job at a Washington D.C.-based organization called 'Open America'. The organization sought to expose corrupt politicians and lobby for civil rights, and Angelo was at the forefront.

Unfortunately, an interesting premise and good acting wasn't enough to keep the audiences' interest, so just six months after its release, ABC pulled the show off the air. A star-studded cast included Denver Pyle, Dene Dietrich, Oliver Clark, Aldine King, and more.

The Brady Bunch Hour

This one-of-a-kind, 1976 TV show was not only short-lived, but it also made TV Guide's list as one of the five worst TV shows ever created...many times. 'The Brady Bunch Hour' was basically a show about the Brady family starring in their own TV variety show, which ended up being a complete flop.

Apart from a weak storyline, the show featured a lot of song-and-dance routines that made it feel like a cheap musical more so than a show. With only 9 episodes being filmed, 'The Brady Bunch Hour' barely lasted a few months, and received awful reviews, before ABC pulled it off the air altogether.

Get Christie Love!

The beautiful Teresa Graves played detective Christie Love in ABC's 1974 show, 'Get Christie Love!'. The show might have not been a hit, but it went down in history for being the first-ever prime time TV show that had a black female in a lead role. Detective Love was a tough police officer who worked for the LAPD's Special Investigations Division.

Unfortunately, the show was cancelled after just one season, but Graves did a fine job in each of them. Other cast members included Jack Kelly, Michael Pataki, Charles Cioffi, and more. Still, it wasn't enough to keep this crime-drama show from being canceled just a short months after its release.

Mrs. Columbo

Kate Mulgrew played Kate Columbo in the 1979 TV series, 'Mrs. Clumbo'. Created as a spin-off of the earlier, far more popular show 'Columbo', 'Mrs. Columbo' had a big budget and quite a decent production, but the characters just weren't good enough.

NBC cancelled the show after just 13 episodes, realizing the story wasn't interesting enough and receiving very low ratings coupled with intense criticism.

The Fitzpatricks

'The Fitzpatricks' was an American drama series that aired on CBS in 1977. The coming-of-age story followed a traditional, Irish-catholic family of six that lived in Michigan. But, despite its moral lessons and cheery actors, viewers weren't impressed.

After just thirteen episodes, the show was pulled off the air in January 1978, proving a failure against its same time-slot competitors from other networks, 'Happy Days' and 'Laverne & Shirley'.

Supertrain

'Supertrain' was released by NBC in 1979, and it included a talented cast that included Nita Talbot, Robert Alda, Aarika Wells, Michael Delano, Edward Andrews, and more. The story followed a modern, nuclear-powered bullet train that was so advanced it could travel from NYC to California in just 36 hours, which was incredible back in the '70s.

'Supertrain' was one of the most costly American TV shows ever produced, but even that wasn't enough to keep the network from cancelling it after just nine episodes.

Flying High

Another 'Charlie's Angels' copycat was the 1978 show, 'Flying High'. The story centered around the private lives of three gorgeous women that worked as stewardesses for Sunwest Airlines. With a beautiful cast that included Pat Clouse, Kathryn Witt, and Connie Sellecca, the show had all the ingredients to make it an entertaining story.

However, viewers just weren't wowed by these ladies' adventures, and after much criticism of the show having stereotypical writing and production, it was canceled after a few months.

Hello, Larry

McLean Stevenson was a big celebrity back in the 1970s, mainly after starring on the hit TV show, 'MASH'. But his charisma and acting weren't enough to make the 1979 NCB show, 'Hello, Larry', a hit story. The script and production weren't good enough, but the show still somehow managed to last for two seasons.

The main character, Larry Adler, is a radio talk show host who moves to Portland with two teenage daughters. It could've been great, but it was just boring and not funny enough for viewers.

Doc Elliot

Long before 'E.R.' and 'Grey's Anatomy', there was 'Doc Elliot'. Released in 1973, this medical drama centered around Dr. Benjamin Elliot, played by James Franciscus, and his helper Mags Brimble, portrayed by Neva Patterson. Elliot was a famous New York doctor that decided to leave the city and move to the backwoods of Southern Colorado, where he made house calls by plane or off-road vehicles.

The extravagant cars and airplanes were supposed to draw more viewers to the show, but apparently, it wasn't enough to keep people interested. So, on August of 1974, the show was cancelled altogether.

The Oregon Trail

In September of 1977, NBC released an American western TV series called 'The Oregon Trail', which they thought would be critically-acclaimed and wildly successful. However, the opposite was the case - the show was cancelled after a month, with only 7 episodes out of the produced 13 being aired.

The show starred Rod Taylor, a widower that leaves his farm in Illinois in 1842 to reach the Pacific Northwest by taking the Oregon Trail. A cast that included Tony Becker, Darleen Carr, and Andrew Stevens, wasn't enough to save 'The Oregon Trail' from getting the axe.

1 Comments

  • Bubacarr

    Bubacarr

    3:24 PM, 16-03-2021

    We learned from that to get better ones now with the present generation

    Reply

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