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Holmes and Yoyo (ABC 1976, Richard B. Shull, John Schuck)

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This short-lived but memorable sitcom managed to fuse science fiction, slapstick comedy, and cop-show thrills. It focused on an accident-prone policeman named Holmes. His bad luck never got him injured but had the unfortunate side effect of causing him to go through partners at an alarming rate. The powers-that-be decided to counteract this unfortunate tendency by giving him a non-flesh-and-blood partner.

His new partner was Yoyo, an android robot named after its creator, Dr. Yoyonovich. Yoyo was an impressive 425-pound piece of machinery that had a photographic memory, could produce color prints of what it saw, and had an internal trash compactor that allowed it to digest anything (even explosives). However, Yoyo was not without his flaws: his internal machinery often picked up a radio station from Sweden, and when his circuits shorted out he would repeat the words ‘Bunko squad’ over and over again. On one occasion, a bullet injured his ‘rhythm system,’ causing him to tap-dance uncontrollably in the middle of a chase.

Captain Sedford, Holmes’ superior, thought he was putting one over on Holmes because he didn’t tell Holmes that Yoyo was a robot. Holmes figured it out quickly enough, but few others did. A fellow officer, Maxine Moon, actually fell for Yoyo and made several advances at the hapless bot, who, unfortunately, was not programmed for love. The show balanced out this kind of slapstick-infused identity confusion with surprisingly realistic depictions of crime and police work

Holmes and Yoyo was produced by Leonard Stern. He had previously produced Get Smart, which had the same kind of deadpan humor that the new show aspired to. Stern told the press that he hoped that Holmes and Yoyo would become a classic comedy team along the lines of Abbott and Costello or Martin and Lewis. However, this was not to be: the show was cancelled within three months of its debut. Just the same, Holmes and Yoyo will always be remembered by sitcom fans for mixing an unusual premise with a surprisingly old-fashioned sense of humor.

production details
USA / ABC – Universal / 16×25 minute episodes / Broadcast 25 September – 11 December 1976

Writers: Jack Sher, Lee Hewitt / Producer: Arne Sultan / Executive Producer: Leonard Stern

cast
Richard B. Shull as Det. Alexander Holmes
John Schuck as Gregory “Yoyo” Yoyonovich
Bruce Kirby as Capt. Harry Sedford
Andrea Howard as Officer Maxine Moon

 

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Clochemerle (BBC-2 1972, Cyril Cusack, Roy Dotrice)

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Clochmerle BBC 1972

Period sitcom, based on a novel by Gabriel Chevallier that was adapted by Ray Galton and Alan Simpson, that saw the French villagers of Clochemerle kick up a fuss over plans to install a new toilet.

cast
CYRIL CUSACK as Major Piechut
ROY DOTRICE as Ponosse
KENNETH GRIFFITH as Ernest Tafardel
WENDY HILLER as Justine Putet
HUGH GRIFFITH as Alexandre Bourdillat
BERNARD BRESSLAW as Nicholas the Beadle
MADELINE SMITH as Hortase Girodet
GEORGINA MOON as Rose Biraque
PETER USTINOV as Narrator

crew details
Writers: Ray Galton, Alan Simpson
Novel: Gabriel Chevallier
Producer: Michael Mills

production details
Country: UK
Network and Production Companies: BBC Two – Bavaria
Duration: 9×30 minute episodes
Aired From: 18 February – 14 April 1972 Fridays at 10.05pm

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Clairvoyant, The (BBC-2 1986, Roy Kinnear, Sandra Dickinson)

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In Roy Clarke penned sitcom The Clairvoyant used car salesman Arnold Bristow is knocked down in a car accident and suddenly finds himself with psychic powers – or so he believes. There was a pilot broadcast 27 Nov 1984.

cast
ROY KINNEAR as Arnold Bristow
SANDRA DICKINSON as Lily
HUGH LLOYD as Burma
SHAUN CURRY as Newton
GLYNIS BROOKS as Dawn
CARMEL CRYAN as Carmen

crew details
Writer: Roy Clarke
Producer and Director: Alan J.W. Bell

production details
Country: UK
Network and Production Companies: BBC-2
Duration: 6×30 minute episodes
Aired From: Pilot – 27 November 1984 and Series – 15 May – 19 June 1986

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Christmas Princess (UP 2017, Nicole Munoz, Zak Santiago)

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Christmas Princess Nicole Munoz

Christmas Princess is the true story of Donaly Marquez who, through a childhood of neglect and abuse, achieved her dream of becoming a rose bowl princess. An inspirational story of resilience, strength and finding a family to call your own.

cast
Nicole Muñoz as Donaly Marquez
Rosa Blasi as Sara
Zak Santiago as Ignacio Marquez
Olivia Steele Falconer as Emily Marquez
Jaedon Siewert as Abraham Marquez
Lina Renna as Young Donaly
Paloma Kwiatkowski as Chloe
Ty Wood as Trent
Pendo Muema as Monique
Kalyn Miles as Maria
Kaaren de Zilva as Roberta
Garfield Wilson as Dr. Miller
Clay St. Thomas as Judge #1
Patti Allan as Judge #2
Natalie von Rotsburg as Judge #3

crew details
Director: Allan Harmon
Writer: Tracy Andreen

production details
Country: Canada
Network and Production Companies: UP
Duration: 1×120 minute episode
Aired From: Sunday 10 December 2017

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