Pop Culture/Classic TV

The ABC Movie of The Week

Enjoyable Prime-time Drama

Beginning in September 1969 and on up into the middle of the 1970’s TV viewers were treated with weekly original TV movies that usually starred a talented actor or actress. The ABC Movie of the Week , with its’ wonderful voice overs and its’ equally wonderful theme  music, was a comforting signal that the week was half over and it was ok to relax a bit in front of the new color TV. My mom would even let us stay up to watch the whole movie even though it was a school night……wowza….

One of the earliest Movie of the Weeks

(9/30/69) was ‘The Immortal’  which starred cool guy Christopher George as guy with “special blood” that made him resistant to age. It got such high ratings that is spawned a TV series with the same name a year later. The series of the Immortal wasn’t so big in the ratings though but the original movie is worth watching, if only for its 1969 zeitgeist of cool cars and a tough, no nonsense hero who just wants ot be a test-driver and not controlled by “the man”-in this case character actor Barry Sullivan.

There was a lot of variety on the Movie of the Week, comedies (with people like Larry Hagman, Walter Brennan, Ken Berry etc), dramas (starring Elizabeth Montgomery, Julie Harris, Arthur Hill, Hal Holbrook) and downright creepy thrillers. Anyone remember 1970’s ‘How Awful About Allen”? or that one where the dead child keeps calling on the phone??? Or the alltime classic Trilogy of Terror  …with Karen Black being terrorized by psychotic Zuni Doll…i think she ends up baking him in the oven….yikes….a lot scarier than all of those emo vampire types shows of the last 10 years…ergh

There were a lot of classics on Movie of the Week…including Duel (starring Dennis Weaver), directed by Steven Spielberg…Brian’s Song..Satan’s Triangle with Doug McClure…truly frightening…and of course the two Night Stalker films that were produced by Dan Curtis of Dark Shadows fame.

Movie of the Week rightfully earned 5 Emmy Awards and aired until 1976 when the nation started screaming for Donnie & Marie TV specials……quite a few of these classic TV movies have been uploaded to You Tube…so if you have a decent fibre optic or cable modem…..tune in and drop out for 90 minutes with a bag of Doritos.

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