(Bob Englehart cartoon / caglecartoons.com)
In mid-1971, I skilled a most distressing go to to the dentist.
A TV fan journal within the ready room divulged life-changing information. Irene Ryan (who portrayed Granny on The Beverly Hillbillies) instructed an interviewer she was madder than a moist hen — as a result of CBS had canceled the beloved sitcom after 9 seasons!
TV historians regard this as a part of the “rural purge” of the early ’70s. Petticoat Junction and The Jackie Gleason Show had disappeared a 12 months earlier, and Bonanza and Gunsmoke would grasp on till 1973 and 1975, respectively.
However fall 1971 was the epicenter of a serious upheaval in programming.
Green Acres, Hee Haw, Lassie and Mayberry R.F.D., in addition to selection exhibits hosted by Red Skelton, Lawrence Welk, Ed Sullivan, Johnny Cash, Jim Nabors and Andy Williams all acquired the community heave-ho.
A part of the change arose as a result of networks had been ceding the primary half-hour of prime time to native associates. Veteran stars pricing themselves out of a job additionally performed an element.
However principally, after twenty years of indiscriminately pursuing the biggest attainable viewers, the TV networks determined to cater to probably the most prosperous demographic teams.
Sure, the programmers and Madison Avenue would tickle the flowery of stylish, malleable audiences, not the world-weary, tradition-bound customers who acknowledged a snake-oil salesman after they noticed one.
This emphasis on being edgy, hip and related to city younger adults spelled unhealthy information for applications that attracted too many kids, seniors and nation people.
I’ll grudgingly admit that this community disdain for youths, codgers and Cletuses — whereas producing solely a handful of “metropolis slicker” hits within the autumn of 1971 — would ultimately make room for crowd-pleasers similar to M*A*S*H, Maude, The Bob Newhart Show, Sanford and Son, Rhoda and Barney Miller.
Nonetheless, as a former teen, a present senior, a lifelong small-town resident and a father apologizing that each one the DVDs chronicling the porcine misadventures of Arnold Ziffel have been exhausted, a part of me resents the elitism of the bicoastal TV executives.
However they’ve by no means actually apologized for 5 many years of forgettable “refined” exhibits that fizzled with critics and Nielsen rankings households alike.
Certain, I’ve loved my share of risqué applications lately; however I nonetheless yearn for the corny values of TV seasons previous, similar to Pink Skelton ending his present with “Good evening and will God bless.”
The snooty community execs who cringed on the Clampetts taking a dip within the “ce-ment pond” haven’t any qualms about doing the backstroke in a cesspool.
Granted, the final half-century has produced a humiliation of riches with upscale sitcoms and dramas; however I can’t assist however suppose that somewhat sprint of the bucolic life would make them even higher.
The chances are infinite — in case you don’t look down on half your viewers.
— Satirical columnist Danny Tyree welcomes electronic mail responses at [email protected] and visits to his Fb fan web page Tyree’s Tyrades. He’s syndicated by Cagle Cartoons and the creator of Yes, Your Butt Still Belongs in Church. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his personal.