Tonight’s TVS… in 1984 

28 January 2016 tbs.pm/8350

The TVTimes gives us a run down of the programmes on TVS for Saturday 28 January 1984. Things worth noting include:

  • TV-am’s continued poor financial state keeps them off air until 6.25am, and even then the first half hour, pretending to be Good Morning Britain, is actually a cheap digest of the last 7 days.
  • Mork and Mindy at 10am had been an intelligent, witty, smart primetime hit show in the States but died a death in its latter seasons. This episode is from the fourth and final season and TVS treats it, rightly, as nothing but a kids show.
  • It being the weekend, TVS dispenses with the tiresome dual region business for a pan-regional run through the news headlines. Note how much needs to be packed in to 5 whole minutes: ITN news, ITN sports round-up and local news headlines. Deep breaths, guys.
  • Aww, original Fraggle Rock. Most of the episodes are lost: the Fulton Mackay inserts were seemingly not kept by TVS for reasons that defy explanation.
  • Episode 5 of season 2 of Knight Rider shows the limitations of the show: painted on jeopardy meeting high-concept descriptions. Nevertheless, it had another 63 episodes to run and was always worth a watch.
  • Two years behind ABC in the States comes the debut of TJ Hooker, a police procedural vehicle for William Shatner. It survived cancellation after its fourth season to transfer to CBS with a different episode length, but was cancelled after that. With 91 episodes of differing lengths, it’s a tough sell into syndication – 100 being thought to be the useful minimum. Mind you, Shatner’s other big series, a sci-fi drama in the late 1960s, only had 79 episodes and an episode of that is running somewhere in the world right now.
  • Are You in the House Alone? is a CBS TV movie that was fairly well-received at the time – enough so that the plot (a girl receiving harassing phone calls that start to follow her to other locations) is now something of a horror movie trope.

You Say

10 responses to this article

Paul Burton 28 January 2016 at 5:27 pm

The Saturday Show was originally meant to include the wrestler, Big Daddy, as a co-host. However, health problems meant he had to leave the series before it started. However, the titles still included a cartoon version of him.

Tim Walker 28 January 2016 at 7:36 pm

This lineup brings back a memory or three. I seem to recall “Data Run” (8.40-9.25) was an older kids’ “magazine” show, from that short period around 1984 when anything which smacked of “computers” was oh-so-future-and-with-it. Like quite a few children’s programmes of the time (anyone remember “Magic Micro Mission”?), it purported to have a computer as a co-host…

“Wattoo Wattoo” (9.25-9.35), I remember as a decidedly weird cartoon series about a bird from space. Wikipedia tells me it was a French show (that explains a bit) from 1978 – looks like YouTube has some clips which I’ll be checking out in a moment.

And then: “The Saturday Show”. Hmm. Walter The Softy to TISWAS’ Dennis The Menace. To think Tommy Boyd reinvented himself as a talk-show radio host…

Jamie 29 January 2016 at 10:01 am

Wasn’t Edwina the co-presenter of Data Run,Lulu’s younger sister?

dale 29 January 2016 at 12:04 pm

tv was better back then

Arthur Nibble 30 January 2016 at 1:24 am

Bruce Forsyth looking scarily like one of Animal Kwackers there.

A nice big photo for a boxer I’d never heard of.

And on Channel 4 at 6.00, is this the year Rick Springfield makes it big in Britain? Hmmm…..

Russ J Graham 1 February 2016 at 11:02 am

The weather forecast just before Grandstand was for the benefit of people who bet on sports results – a very wet day usually provides a different outcome for horse racing than a very dry day; it also has an effect on the results of football matches, giving the committed Football Pools players an extra indication if their coupon was going to pay out that week.

It was also seen as helpful to farmers – the BBC provided a similar daytime forecast on most days for them – and by extension gardeners, ramblers and leisure drivers, the three biggest hobbies in the UK at the time.

Joanne Gray 4 February 2016 at 2:22 pm

Jamie, yes – Edwina from Data Run is Lulu’s younger sister.

David Miller 7 February 2016 at 9:38 pm

Even though it was only pan regional headlines, at least TVS viewers got some local news over the weekend. In my neck of the woods (dear old Anglia) we had to wait until Monday to hear what happened on Saturday!

The other surprising thing was the amount of U.S. programming in the ITV schedule – particularly in the evening with Knight Rider, TJ Hooker and the movie.

4ever_eighties on Twitter 14 March 2016 at 3:34 pm

This wasn’t TJ Hooker’s UK debut. It had run in Granada and other regions throughout the summer of 83, but with eps from Season 2 – Season 1 only had five episodes.

They ran these 5 early eps at the start of the 1984 UK run, as seen here, but it made for odd continuity. All of a sudden we see April Clough as the desk officer instead of the better-remembered Heather Locklear, then 5 weeks later, Locklear is back behind the desk without explanation!

Alan Keeling 25 April 2016 at 11:36 pm

“Pardon My Scotch” was a Three Stooges two reel comedy from the 30s, the trios film shorts finally came to an end in 1959, when, by this time had gone a little stale.

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