THE WEEK OF JANUARY 14 - 20
As I just mentioned, a year after the May 1977 debut of STAR WARS on our movie screens, the entire world had gone space-opera crazy. Now don't get me wrong -- as an 11 year old boy I was immediately captivated by STAR WARS and saw it 14 times in the movie theatre in 1977. However, I was never really a science fiction fan as much as a horror fan with a sci-fi minor. So the de facto obliteration of the horror genre for the next half-decade was something of a minus for me. That's why it's so nice to see the first cover posted here is a horror-themed one produced by the great Charles Addams proclaiming the apparently novel idea of a night-time Super Bowl game. Nowadays, that seems like a given but apparently in its first years the Super Bowl was played during daylight hours. The mind boggles.
THE WEEK OF JANUARY 28 - FEBRUARY 3
I can vividly recall that back in Maple Surple days, before moving to Claytown, I always watched the new show THE LIFE AND TIMES OF GRIZZLY ADAMS. I was a big fan of it. Briefly. But apparently I quickly forgot about it after the first season and never watched it after that. In fact, I'm rather shocked to see that it was still airing in 1978; a year or two after I'd assumed it had been cancelled. Still -- a nice painted cover though, which has the slick look of a greeting card.
THE WEEK OF FEBRUARY 4 - 10
In 1978, my grandparents moved from their big ole house in Pennsauken to an apartment only a block away from us in Claytown. Now, I could ride my bike over to visit them every day if I wanted to and I still stayed over weekends quite often. I can't fathom it now but we always watched THE LOVE BOAT which was followed by FANTASY ISLAND; two fairly new shows. Both shows were basically the same: a haven for weekly guest stars -- one took place on a boat and one on an island. I'd never think of watching either of them today but back then we watched weekly. However, this great "Saturday morning cartoon-looking" cover art made it a must for this post.
THE WEEK OF APRIL 15 - 21
This was also the heyday of TV mini-series with the likes of ROOTS or SHOGUN being huge ratings winners. I watched them all, like everyone else at the time, and they were new and exciting television. A particular favourite of mine was BACKSTAIRS AT THE WHITE HOUSE which, apparently, didn't get a TV GUIDE cover. However, another favourite was HOLOCAUST -- I even bought and read the paperback book. I haven't seen it since 1978 but I'd like to rewatch it again, especially since it's come out on DVD in the last couple years, to see if it's as good as I remember. And it even had Meryl Streep in it.
THE WEEK OF JUNE 10 - 16
Along with the STAR WARS phenomenon, CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND brought a huge resurgence in the UFO phenomenon. So big, in fact, that it made the cover of the TV GUIDE. What a terrific cover painting!
THE WEEK OF JULY 1 - 7
Speaking of FANTASY ISLAND, here's another great painted cover with something of that "Bill Sienkiewicz-y" style mentioned in an earlier post.
THE WEEK OF JULY 29 - AUGUST 4
The great Jack Davis lends his talents to a portrait of the "Not Ready For Prime-Time Players" who, by this time, were huge. I was too young to stay up that late when SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE first went on the air in 1975 but, by this time, I was watching it every weekend. I also seem to dimly recall that they were either showing reruns or else airing "best of" compilation shows in syndication. It probably goes without saying that the original comic genius of the assembled talent in that first five years has never been surpassed.
THE WEEK OF DECEMBER 16 - 22
Another odd example of a show I watched every week is EIGHT IS ENOUGH. Never seen it since then and have no particular wish to. Except for one episode. There exists in my memory a dim flicker of a Halloween episode in which an actor looking very VERY much like a PSYCHO-era Anthony Perkins menaced the family during a power outage. The episode does exist; I've looked it up. It aired on January 24, 1979, in fact, and I'd sure like to see THAT one again.
So that's it for 1978. Join us next time for the end of the decade (and this series of posts).