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Joanie Loves Chachi Joanie Loves Chachi

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Joanie Loves Chachi (ABC 1982, Erin Moran, Scott Baio)

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Ingredients for a well-publicized disaster: preheat television to Happy Days hot, take two parts Chachi, throw in a dash of Joanie, and mix in a few tunes. Now go ahead and stick your head in that oven, because if you can’t make a Happy Days spin-off work, you’re probably not long for the executive world.

By the start of the 1980’s, the long-running Happy Days had already spawned two more wildly successful series: Laverne and Shirley and Mork & Mindy. Somebody at ABC decided that three was a magic number, and Joanie Loves Chachi was born.

The new show took two popular characters from Happy Days and placed them in a brand-new setting. Returning to their roles as Charles “Chachi” Arcola and Joanie Cunningham (a.k.a. Shortcake) were two of that show’s hot young stars, Scott Baio and Erin Moran. Leaving behind the Fonz and the confines of Milwaukee for big city dreams, the two lovebirds relocated to Chicago to try their hands at a music career. Once they were settled, they assembled a rock band with hopes of hitting the big time. Unfortunately, their road to success was just as bumpy as the series.

Joining Chachi and Joanie were Chachi’s mom, Louisa, and her new husband Al Delvecchio, owner of Al’s Restaurant on Happy Days, (Al Molinaro defected from his kitchen in Milwaukee to reprise his role on the new series). Joanie and Chachi lived with Louisa and Al, who bought an Italian Restaurant in Chicago where Chachi’s band would often perform. The band members included Chachi’s two cousins, Annette and Mario, as well as their wacky drummer Bingo. Also making an appearance on the show was Chachi’s sketchy Uncle Rico (Annette and Mario’s father), who acted as the band’s agent.

In the early going, Joanie Loves Chachi was actually a ratings hit, finishing in the Top-5 as a mid-season replacement in the spring of 1982. Unfortunately for all involved, Happy Days’ magic touch was only working temporary magic in this case. When the 1982-83 fall season began, Joanie Loves Chachi found itself in a much less happy place, finishing an unheralded 68th in the Nielsen’s seasonal ratings and prompting ABC to pull the show from its weekly line-up.

Joanie Loves Chachi

But buck up, Chachi fans (and pull your head out of the oven, you poor TV exec). Scott Baio, Erin Moran and Al Molinaro all returned home to Happy Days the following season, ready once more to groove all week with you.

production details
USA / ABC – Miller – Milkis – Boyett Prod – Henderson / 17×25 minutes / Broadcast 23 March – 23 December 1982

Creator: Garry Marshall / Producers: Garry Marshall, Thomas L. Miller, Lowell Ganz, Ronny Hallin / Theme Vocal: You Look at Me by Erin Moran, Scott Baio.

cast
Erin Moran as Joanie Cunningham
Scott Baio as Chachi Arcola
Ellen Travolta as Louisa Delvecchio
Al Molinaro as Al Delvecchio
Art Metrano as Uncle Ricco
Derrel Maury as Mario
Robert Peirce as Bingo
Winifred Freedman as Annette
Chris McDermott as Suky

 

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TV

Copper’s End (ITV 1971, Bill Owen, Josephine Tewson)

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ATV Logo

Sitcom Coppers End was very much from the Will Hay  (and Ask A Policeman in particular) school of comedy; When the series began the boys at the station led by Sergeant Stan Short, had the art of doing nothing down to a tee, so much so that they were even able to hire out their squad car for all manner of weddings, driving lessons and even stock car racing. All until the arrival of the super efficient W.P.S. Penny Pringle that is.

cast
BILL OWEN as Sgt Sam Short
RICHARD WATTIS as PC Eddie Edwards
GEORGE MOON as PC Chipper Collins
JOSEPHINE TEWSON as WPS Penny Pringle
ROYCE MILLS as PC Dinkworth
GEORGE MOON as Ch Supt Ripper

crew details
Creator: Ted Willis
Producer: Shaun O’Riordan
Director: John Sichel

production details
Country: UK
Network and Production Companies: ITV – ATV
Duration: 13×25 minute episodes
Aired From: 19 February – 14 May 1971

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TV

Conjugal Rights (ITV 1993-1994, Gwen Taylor, Michael Williams)

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Conjugal Rights

Sitcom Conjugal Rights detailed the ups and downs of middle-class, middle-aged married couple Gen and Barry.

cast
GWEN TAYLOR as Gen
MICHAEL WILLIAMS as Barry
STEPHEN MOORE as Philip
CORDELIA BUGEJA as Gillian
MAGGIE HENDERSON as Pam
WARREN MITCHELL as Voice of Toby the Dog (Season 1)
CHRIS ELLISON as Voice of Toby (Season 2)

crew details
Writer: Roger Hall
Producers: Humphrey Barclay, Justin Greene

production details
Country: UK
Network and Production Companies: ITV – Granada – Humphrey Barclay
Duration: 13×25 minute episodes
Aired From: 16 April 1993 – 17 June 1994

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Christmas Story, A (Fox 2017, Maya Rudolph, Matthew Broderick)

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A Christmas Story Fox 2017

A three-hour live television event, inspired by the holiday classic feature “A Christmas Story” and the Tony Award-nominated Broadway production “A Christmas Story: The Musical.”

Executive-produced by award-winning film, television and theater producer Marc Platt (“Grease: Live,” “La La Land”). The epic adaptation is filmed at the historic Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank.

cast
Maya Rudolph as Mother Parker
Matthew Broderick as Ralphie as an Adult
Jane Krakowski as Miss Shields
Chris Diamantopoulos as Old Man Parker
Santino Fontana as Off Camera Vocalist
Ana Gasteyer as Mrs. Schwartz
Andy Walken as Ralphie Parker
Laura Dickinson as Off Camera Vocalist
Sacha Carlson as Scut Farkus
Jessica Fontana as Off Camera Vocalist
Abigail Dylan Harrison as Louise
Artyon Celestine as Richie
Sammy Ramirez as Schwartz
Elie Samouhi as Grover Dill
Chris Mann as Off Camera Vocalist

crew details
Writers and Executive Producers: Jonathan Tolins, Robert Cary
Executive Producers: Marc Platt, Adam Siegel, Alex Rudzinski
Director and Executive Producer: Scott Ellis

production details
Country: USA
Network and Production Companies: Fox – Warner Horizon Television
Duration: 1×180 minute episode
Aired From: Sunday 17 December 2017 at 7.00pm

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