The 1970s were a great time for television, and there were many classic series that premiered in the decade. However, for every show from the decade that is to stand, there are others that the public forgot about… and for good reason! Join Facts Verse as we take a look at the worst sitcoms of the 70s.
Supertrain premiers on the NBC network in 1978, and lasts for a few months before perpetrate the air in 1979. At the time of the show’s premiere, it is the most expensive series that had ever been produced for television. The show’s gimmick premise made it incredibly expensive to produce. The entire series set on its titular train, which there’s a bullet train powered by nuclear energy.
With all of the money that the NBC network sink into Supertrain, they have high hopes for the series. They put nearly as much money into advertising as they did into production, hoping that audiences would tune in to watch the futuristic series. Sadly, the performance of the series’ debut was abysmal, and things only got worse from there. When it became apparent that the series wasn’t going to go up in the ratings anytime soon, the NBC network attempted to overhaul the series with a new cast.
Despite the NBC network’s desperate attempts to keep Supertrain on its track, the show ended up being pulled after only three months and become one of the worst TV sitcoms of the 70s. NBC apparently lost many millions of dollars in the ordeal and nearly had to file for bankruptcy as a result of the show’s underperformance. Today, most audiences have likely never heard of Supertrain. Though it was the most expensive show of its time, its effects are lacking compared to today’s premium streaming series.
In 1979, the ABC network premiered a spin-off of its then-recent hit Three’s Company titled The Ropers. The show centered on the landlords from the prior series. The characters of Stanley and Helen Roper written off of Three’s Company so that they could be given their own series. Sadly, The Ropers wasn’t a success. Though the show ran for two seasons, few people tuned in, and it ended up to canceled and become one of the worst TV sitcoms of the 70s. The characters of Stanley and Helen worked well enough on Three’s Company, but they failed to keep the interest of the audience all on their own.
Me and the Chimp
Although it worked for Clint Eastwood and Ronald Reagan, many Hollywood stars have had a very hard time looking presentable when trying to act next to a monkey. The 1972 series Me and the Chimp suffered as a result of this rule, has since gone down as one of the most ridiculous and poorly conceived shows of the decade. I and the Chimp revolved around the premise of a dentist and his family living with a chimpanzee that failed the space program. In the years since the series’ ill-fated debut, it has become more notable as a joke than as a television program. The show only lasted for one season before the cancellation and become part of the worst TV sitcoms of the 70s.
Holmes & Yoyo
Holmes & Yoyo was an incredibly odd comedy series that ran on the ABC network for one season, from 1976 to 1977. The show’s premise revolved around a detective that given an android partner, and the pair proved to be an odd couple. The show maligned upon its premiere and didn’t perform very well in the ratings. Like the aforementioned series, the show has become known more for being a punch line than for its actual content.
All That Glitters
In 1977, a show called All That Glitters premiered that was ahead of its time in many ways. The show was a parody of daytime soap operas, making it one of the first comedy series to have storylines that carried on from week to week. Even though the show had a fairly novel premise, it ‘s not become a big hit with either critics or audiences. No one much seemed to care for the series’ sense of humor at the time. It pulled from the air after only three months. Not long after the show removed from the air, the series Soap would premiere. Soap debuted later the same year and featured a strikingly similar premise. However, Soap proved a much bigger hit with both critics and audiences, who simply found it to be funnier.
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The Andros Targets
The Andros Targets was an unsuccessful thriller series that premiered in 1977 to little acclaim. The series only ran from January to July of that year before the network pulled the plug. The show aired on the CBS network and failed to strike a chord with audiences.
The Flying Nun
Though The Flying Nun may have been a success with audiences at the time, the series certainly hasn’t aged very well. Besides the fact that the series seems especially dated, its star has also shared that she had a fairly miserable time working on the program. The titular star of The Flying Nun was future movie star Sally Feld, who had just come off the success of the previous series Gidget before taking the role.
According to Sally, there was nothing she would rather have been doing less at the time that she was filming The Flying Nun than dressing up like a nun and pretending to fly around. Sally had quite a bit of fun filming the series Gidget but found herself miserable on the set of The Flying Nun. She had taken her role in the latter series as a result of her not wanting to stay out of work for too long after the end of Gidget. Thankfully, Sally would go on to leave The Flying Nun behind and achieve stardom on the big screen.
The Flying Nun ran for three seasons before coming to an end in 1970. Over the course of the show’s run, 82 episodes were produced. Today, the show stands as an oddity, though most modern audiences likely won’t make it past more than a couple of episodes! Over the course of the 1970s, Sally Fields would go on to become a movie star, making the series more notable than it would be otherwise.
During the run of the hit 1970s series M*A*S*H, supporting star McLean Stevenson made the choice to leave the show because he didn’t want to play second fiddle to star Alan Alda. Many balked at the star’s decision, and even he himself doubted that he would be able to find another show to star on as high in quality as M*A*S*H was. The actor went on to star in a variety of series, none of which were big successes. His biggest failure was arguable Hello, Larry, which premiered in 1979. The show featured Larry as a talk show host relocating from Los Angeles to Portland, Oregon.
Mr. T and Tina
Before actor Mr. T would rise to prominence throughout the 1980s in the hit series The A-Team, there was another, and far less popular, Mr. T. He is the titular Mr. T of Mr. T and Tina, which was an unsuccessful spin-off of the series Welcome Back, Kotter. The spin-off revolved around the character of Taro Takahashi, also known as Mr. T. The Japanese character appeared on Welcome Back, Kotter for an episode, and the producers liked him so much they decided to give him his own show! Sadly, audiences didn’t feel the same enthusiasm. Besides Mr. T, the other titular character in the series was Tina, who was a nanny played by actress Susan Blanchard.
The Brady Bunch Hour
After The Brady Bunch came to an end, the ABC network tried to capitalize on the success of the show by giving the cast its very own variety show. The result was The Brady Bunch Hour, which featured the cast of The Brady Bunch performing a series of musical skits. The cast apparently hated their time on the show, except for Robert Reed. Apparently, although Robert Reed hadn’t much enjoyed his time on The Brady Bunch, he enjoyed the singing and dancing aspects of The Brady Bunch Hour. The show only lasted for a year and has since come to be viewed as a joke in the canon of The Brady Bunch.
After the success of National Lampoon’s Animal House towards the end of the 1970s, there were other pieces of media that attempted to recreate that film’s unique college atmosphere. One such piece of media was the television series Co-Ed Fever, which performed so abysmally that it was canceled after only one episode. The show has gone down in infamy for its lack of success and one of the worst TV sitcoms of the 70s, though that’s likely the only interesting thing about it!
Hee Haw Honeys
Most audience members have likely heard of Hee Haw, but fewer will be familiar with Hee Haw Honeys. The series premiered in the late 1970s as a gender-swapped version of the original Hee Haw. It featured Kathie Lee Gifford and Misty Rowe, as well as a number of musical guests that stopped by over the course of its one-year run before its lack of success in the ratings eventually saw it come to an early end. Some notable musical guests that were featured in the series include Conway Twitty and Loretta Lynn.
Although the 1970s certainly brought us a great deal of classic television series, there were plenty more that have just been lost to time. Now it’s time to hear from you: did you know that movie star Sally Fields hated playing her titular character on the series The Flying Nun and did you know that a failed 1970s series called Supertrain was the most expensive show ever produced upon its premiere? As always, like this video to show your support, subscribe and hit the notification bell if you’d like to be among the first to know when more Facts Verse videos are on their way!