Rather than share the entire prime time schedule as I’ve done before, I want to share this fantastic, large newspaper ad touting NBC’s prime time television lineup from the evening of September 21, 1973. This is the ad as printed in The Cincinnati Enquirer. Click on the ad for a larger version, and then let’s talk about this greatness. Remember that visiting any of the Amazon show title links below will help me in keeping this site running!
OK, first things first. I had never seen that NBC 73 logo before and it is glorious. If anyone has a color specimen please let me know.
Now let’s look at that lineup:
- 7:00 To Tell the Truth
- 7:30 The New Dating Game
- 8:00 Sanford and Son
- 8:30 The Girl with Something Extra
- 9:00 Needles and Pins
- 9:30 The Brian Keith Show
- 10:00 The Dean Martin Comedy Hour
To Tell the Truth was in the midst of its second, syndicated run and was hosted by Gary Moore. It was followed by another syndicated returning game show, The New Dating Game.
Sanford and Son, in its third season, was a Top 10 show and NBC’s only bona fide Friday hit. They followed it was a new comedy, The Girl with Something Extra, starring John Davidson and Sally Field. But it lasted just one season before it was canceled.
Debuting this night was another new sitcom, Needles and Pins. It starred Norman Fell and was a total flop, pulled after just 10 episodes had aired. The final sitcom of the evening was The Brian Keith Show (co-starring Shelly Fabares), a Garry Marshall production. This was its second and final season.
Finally there was The Dean Martin Comedy Hour, or just The Dean Martin Show. It started on NBC in 1965 and had dropped out of the top 30 earlier in the decade. For this season, its last, the show was retooled from its traditional comedy/variety format to one featuring the now-famous celebrity roasts.
While these roasts did little to reverse the show’s ratings slide, they were popular enough to lead to a spinoff series of specials called The Dean Martin Celebrity Roast. These specials aired on NBC from 1974 through 1984.