As the 80’s dawned, consumers began to get hip to the idea of home computers. The film WarGames was a massive hit in the summer of ’83, helping make the idea of home computers acceptable to a technology-fearing public. Thus, a home-computing fad was sparked by the media, and the popularity of the subject paved the way for Whiz Kids.
This hour-long series was kind of like a technological-age riff on Nancy Drew or The Hardy Boys. It was built around Richie, a teenage genius who lived in suburban L.A. and spent much of his free time on his talking home computer (which was named RALF). Richie was also an aspiring detective, using his “hacking” skills and his friends—Ham, Jeremy and Alice—to solve mysteries around town. And when kid power wasn’t enough, they would turn to local reporter Farley or policeman Neil Quinn.
Irene was Richie’s divorced mom, who subscribed to a computer dating service (you can imagine the fun Richie had with that), and Cheryl was Richie’s little sister. In true kid sister form, Cheryl yearned to join Richie’s snoop squad, but she usually ended up consoling herself with the company of her robot, Herbie. A later addition to the cast was Carson Marsh, an intelligence agent who headed the ‘Athena Society.’ He helped the kids by using his connections to get them secret information for their cases, as well as bailing them out when they got into jams.
Unfortunately, the Whiz Kids couldn’t solve the case of how to keep your show on for longer than a season, and the cancellation virus arrived in June of 1984 after 18 episodes. Whiz Kid Alice (Andrea Elson) quickly rebooted and went on to star in TV’s E.T. sitcom, Alf.
USA / CBS – Universal / 18×50 minute episodes / Broadcast 5 October 1983 – 2 June 1984
Matthew Laborteaux as Richie Adler
Todd Porter as Hamilton Parker
Jeffrey Jacquet as Jeremy Saldino
Max Gail as Llewellen Farley, Jr.
Andrea Elson as Alice Tyler
Melanie Gaffin as Cheryl Adler
A Martinez as Lieutenant Neal Quinn
Madelyn Cain as Irene Adler
Linda Scruggs as Ms. Vance
Dan O’Herlihy as Carson Marsh (1984)
Clochemerle (BBC-2 1972, Cyril Cusack, Roy Dotrice)
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.
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
Writers: Ray Galton, Alan Simpson
Novel: Gabriel Chevallier
Producer: Michael Mills
Network and Production Companies: BBC Two – Bavaria
Duration: 9×30 minute episodes
Aired From: 18 February – 14 April 1972 Fridays at 10.05pm
Clairvoyant, The (BBC-2 1986, Roy Kinnear, Sandra Dickinson)
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.
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
Writer: Roy Clarke
Producer and Director: Alan J.W. Bell
Network and Production Companies: BBC-2
Duration: 6×30 minute episodes
Aired From: Pilot – 27 November 1984 and Series – 15 May – 19 June 1986
Christmas Princess (UP 2017, Nicole Munoz, Zak Santiago)
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.
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
Director: Allan Harmon
Writer: Tracy Andreen
Network and Production Companies: UP
Duration: 1×120 minute episode
Aired From: Sunday 10 December 2017
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