ABC Movie of the Week

Last updated
ABC Movie of the Week
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
Production
Running time90–120 minutes (approx.)
Release
Original network ABC
Original releaseSeptember 23, 1969 (1969-09-23) 
May 14, 1975 (1975-05-14)
Dennis Weaver starred in a famous ABC Movie of the Week, Steven Spielberg's Duel, which premiered in Canada November 10, 1971, was telecast in the United States three days later and had a theatrical release in Europe in early 1973. It eventually had an American theatrical release on April 22, 1983. Duelweaver.jpg
Dennis Weaver starred in a famous ABC Movie of the Week, Steven Spielberg's Duel , which premiered in Canada November 10, 1971, was telecast in the United States three days later and had a theatrical release in Europe in early 1973. It eventually had an American theatrical release on April 22, 1983.

The ABC Movie of the Week was a weekly television anthology series featuring made-for-TV movies, that aired on the ABC network in various permutations from 1969 to 1975.

Contents

History

In the 1960s, movie studios viewed television as a second-rate medium but also as a threat to their theatrical revenue, so they charged high fees for the privilege to broadcast their films. The networks experimented with having films made specifically for TV to lower expenses. NBC created the first weekly umbrella for such films with their World Premiere Movie in 1966, running in a two-hour time slot.

Until the late 1960s, ABC ran a distant third behind rivals CBS and NBC, leading to jokes about its acronym meaning "Almost Broadcasting Company" or coming in fourth among the three networks. Desperation and a looser corporate structure allowed ABC to consider plans that the other two networks would not. Barry Diller, then a junior executive at ABC and later a co-founder of the Fox network, is often cited as the creator of the Movie of the Week (MotW), though the concept is also believed to have actually originated by producer Roy Huggins. Huggins allegedly reasoned that many older theatrical films ran shorter than 90 minutes so requiring a 120-minute time slot was unnecessary. His proposal was rejected by all three networks but became the subject of a cover story in Variety magazine. ABC's interest was renewed but they lacked confidence that Huggins could produce an entire season of telefilms by himself. As the Variety article had effectively placed the concept into the public domain, ABC continued to develop it without Huggins' permission or involvement. They approached Universal, which demanded a larger budget than ABC wanted to spend, as well as the exclusive right to produce all future TV movies for ABC, conditions that pushed ABC to control production on their own, assigning them to various studios and production companies. ABC consoled Huggins by allowing him to produce several films, including The Young Country, precursor to Alias Smith and Jones. However, Michael Karol stated in his book The ABC Movie of the Week Companion: A Loving Tribute to the Classic Series that the concept for ABC Movie of the Week was in fact Diller's idea. [1]

The shorter format allowed a smaller budget than previous two-hour films ($350,000 per film compared with NBC's $400,000 World Premiere). [2] It featured the work of producers like Aaron Spelling and David Wolper (both of whom later developed hit series of their own), and was produced by different production companies such as Bing Crosby Productions, Spelling-Goldberg Productions, Thomas-Spelling Productions (partly owned by Danny Thomas) and the network's own ABC Circle Films.

The MotW provided ABC with a ratings hit and, along with Monday Night Football , helped establish the network as a legitimate competitor to rivals CBS and NBC. The films themselves varied in quality and were often escapist or sensationalistic in nature (suspense, horror and melodrama were staples), but some were critically well received. For example, Duel (1971), based on a Richard Matheson short story from Playboy , was director Steven Spielberg's first feature film, catapulting his career and enabling him to move from television to theatrical films.

ABC earned four Emmys, a Peabody Award and citations from the NAACP and American Cancer Society for an airing of Brian's Song in 1972. The 1971–72 season of the series finished as the fifth highest rated series of the year.

The series was documented by Michael Karol in his 2005 book, The ABC Movie of the Week Companion: A Loving Tribute to the Classic Series, which was updated in 2008 ( ISBN   1-60528-023-2), and by Michael McKenna in The ABC Movie of the Week: Big Movies for the Small Screen.

Time slots

The cover shows the Zuni fetish doll from Trilogy of Terror. Movieofbook.jpg
The cover shows the Zuni fetish doll from Trilogy of Terror .

The MotW originally aired on Tuesday nights at 8:30 pm Eastern/7:30 pm Central. Established series The Mod Squad acted as a lead-in from 7:30 to 8:30, bringing the younger demographic. The shorter running time of the film freed the 10 p.m. time slot for a full 60-minute program, initially Marcus Welby, M.D. during the first season. Starting earlier at 8:30 could also prevent viewers from switching to competing movies at 9:00. Beginning with the 1971 season, ABC added a second MotW on Saturday night and adjusted the titles of the shows to the Movie of the Week and Movie of the Weekend. The following season, the Saturday installment was moved to Wednesday night, and the titles were adjusted to Tuesday Movie of the Week and Wednesday Movie of the Week.

During the 1973–74 season, ABC added another movie on Saturday nights to their schedule, this time titled the ABC Suspense Movie, and usually consisting of thriller, mystery and horror type films (some of which were reruns of movies which had originally aired as Movies of the Week).

Title sequence

The title sequence was designed by Harry Marks [3] and animated by Douglas Trumbull using the slit-scan process that he had created for 2001: A Space Odyssey .

The accompanying theme music was an orchestral version of "Nikki", a song composed by Burt Bacharach and named for his daughter. The theme was arranged and performed by Harry Betts. [3]

Over the music was narration voiced by Dick Tufeld [ citation needed ]. "The Movie of the Week. Presenting the world premiere of an original motion picture produced especially for ABC (or 'for the Movie of the Week' in some seasons)." That would be followed by a promotional teaser for the movie.

The opening for the Saturday Movie of the Weekend featured footage of a silhouetted "rotating cameraman" operating a 35 mm movie camera (). This footage would later be incorporated into the opening of ABC's New York City television station WABC-TV's various movie umbrellas beginning around 1972–73, including and especially their weekday afternoon movie showcase The 4:30 Movie .

TV series pilots

The series was often used as a platform to show pilots for possible series for the network. It allowed the network to air pilots that it had already commissioned and paid for but had not ordered as regular series. As well, pilots that had already been sold as ongoing series or were being tested such as Kung Fu , The Six Million Dollar Man , Starsky and Hutch , Longstreet , Toma , Alias Smith and Jones and Get Christie Love! premiered here and returned on the regular schedule after minor to major alterations to the premise and/or cast. Other programs are sometimes mistakenly believed to have aired under the Movie of the Week banner. Marcus Welby, M.D. is believed to be a MotW but actually premiered after Seven in Darkness and was the lead-out for the Tuesday installment. Still others like Earth II and (Robert Conrad's version of) Nick Carter did air during that era, but were actually on other nights under different banners - the ABC Sunday Night Movie in the case of Nick Carter and Earth II.

Actors

Most of the actors in non-recurring roles appeared only once or twice in the series. Notable exceptions who appeared in three or more films as different characters include Doug McClure, Darren McGavin, Dennis Weaver, Earl Holliman, Leonard Nimoy, Barbara Eden, Elizabeth Montgomery, Donna Mills, Ed Nelson, Ken Berry, Connie Stevens, Myrna Loy and William Windom.

Many of the telefilms had actors credited as guest stars, special guest stars and "special appearance by," even if the movie was not a pilot for a series. Death Race and The Weekend Nun billed their lead actors as special guest stars. In the unusual case of Assault on the Wayne, all of the first-billed cast members were credited as guest stars.

End

The series proper ended in 1975 as ABC's ratings collapsed that season. Analysts laid part of the blame on ABC's reliance on the MotW, which had suffered from ratings fatigue as well as a perceived drop in quality in its final season. After that, ABC's made-for-TV movies were aired either as stand-alone specials or shown in time slots that included both original and theatrical movie presentations, notably the ABC Friday Night Movie and the ABC Sunday Night Movie . The Tuesday Movie of the Week would later be incorporated as part of ABC Late Night, a replacement of ABC's Wide World of Entertainment that ran from 1976 to 1982; the late-night version would mainly feature repeats of movies, both made for television and traditional theatrical releases, that were previously seen on ABC and other networks. ABC continued to premiere new TV films on Sunday nights in prime time until 2005.

Filmography

Nielsen ratings

SeasonEpisodesFirst airedLast airedRank Nielsen rating
1 25September 23, 1969March 17, 1970#2220.9 [4]
2 25September 22, 1970April 6, 1971#625.1 [5]
3 44September 14, 1971March 7, 1972#525.5 [6]
4 47September 12, 1972March 21, 1973#1721.4 [6]
5 70September 11, 1973May 7, 1974#2121.0 [7]
6 43September 10, 1974May 14, 1975#4717.6 [8]

Cast notes

*Credited as guest star
**Credited as special guest star
***Credited as "special appearance by"

Season 1: 1969–70

MovieTitleGenreAir dateWeekday
11.01 Seven in Darkness Drama September 23, 1969 (1969-09-23)Tuesday
Series premiere. Seven survivors of a plane crash, all of them blind, must make their way out of the wilderness without any help.
Starring: Milton Berle, Dina Merrill, Barry Nelson, Arthur O'Connell, Alejandro Rey, Lesley Ann Warren
21.02The Immortal Science fiction September 30, 1969 (1969-09-30)Tuesday

A man flees from a dying billionaire after his blood is found to provide almost miraculous healing and life extension properties.
Starring: Christopher George, Carol Lynley*, Barry Sullivan*, Jessica Walter*, Ralph Bellamy*


Pilot for the 1970-71 TV series of the same name; nominated for one Emmy Award.
31.03 The Over-the-Hill Gang Western-comedy October 7, 1969 (1969-10-07)Tuesday

Four elderly Texas Rangers come out of retirement to oust the corrupt crime boss mayor of a frontier town.
Starring: Walter Brennan, Pat O'Brien*, Edgar Buchanan*, Chill Wills*, Edward Andrews*, Jack Elam*, Andy Devine*, Gypsy Rose Lee*, Ricky Nelson*


Unsold pilot; followed by The Over-the-Hill Gang Rides Again (2.08)
41.04 Wake Me When the War Is Over ComedyOctober 14, 1969 (1969-10-14)Tuesday
A German baroness hides an Air Force clerk during World War II, then stages an ongoing "war" to keep him from learning that the war has ended.
Starring: Ken Berry, Eva Gabor, Werner Klemperer, Jim Backus**
51.05 The Monk TBAOctober 21, 1969 (1969-10-21)Tuesday
Unsold pilot.
61.06 The Young Lawyers DramaOctober 28, 1969 (1969-10-28)Tuesday
71.07 The Pigeon Crime thriller November 4, 1969 (1969-11-04)Tuesday
A private investigator tries to protect a woman and her mother who are secretly hiding from the Mob.
Starring: Sammy Davis, Jr., Dorothy Malone, Victoria Vetri, Ricardo Montalban**, Pat Boone***, Roy Glenn, Patsy Kelly, Norman Alden
81.08 The Spy Killer Espionage thrillerNovember 11, 1969 (1969-11-11)Tuesday
Unsold pilot; followed by Foreign Exchange (1.17).
91.09 The Ballad of Andy Crocker DramaNovember 18, 1969 (1969-11-18)Tuesday
101.10In Name OnlyComedyNovember 25, 1969 (1969-11-25)Tuesday
Unsold pilot.
111.11 Three's a Crowd ComedyDecember 2, 1969 (1969-12-02)Tuesday
A pilot disappears and is presumed dead by his wife; seven years later, he re-appears in another city and is married to someone else.
Starring: Larry Hagman, E. J. Peaker, Jessica Walter, Harvey Korman, Farrah Fawcett, Norman Fell
121.12 Daughter of the Mind ThrillerDecember 9, 1969 (1969-12-09)Tuesday
131.13The Silent GunWesternDecember 16, 1969 (1969-12-16)Tuesday
141.14 Honeymoon with a Stranger ThrillerDecember 23, 1969 (1969-12-23)Tuesday
An American woman honeymooning with her wealthy new husband at his Spanish villa awakens the next morning, only to be confronted with a stranger who insists that he is her husband.
Starring: Janet Leigh, Rossano Brazzi, Cesare Danova, Eric Braeden, Barbara Steele
151.15 Gidget Grows Up ComedyDecember 30, 1969 (1969-12-30)Tuesday

After breaking up with Moondoggie, Gidget becomes a United Nations tour guide and begins a love affair with an older Australian agriculture consultant.
Starring: Karen Valentine, Edward Mulhare, Paul Peterson, Warner Anderson**, Bob Cummings**, Nina Foch**, Paul Lynde**


Unsold pilot; followed by Gidget Gets Married (3.27).
161.16 Black Water Gold Adventure/dramaJanuary 6, 1970 (1970-01-06)Tuesday
171.17 Foreign Exchange Espionage thrillerJanuary 13, 1970 (1970-01-13)Tuesday
Unsold pilot; the sequel to The Spy Killer (1.08).
181.18 Carter's Army DramaJanuary 27, 1970 (1970-01-27)Tuesday

A racist commando must lead an all-African-American squad of misfits on a secret mission in Germany.
Starring: Stephen Boyd, Robert Hooks, Susan Oliver, Roosevelt Grier**, Moses Gunn**, Richard Pryor**, Billy Dee Williams**, Glynn Turman**, Paul Stewart**


Also known as Black Brigade.
191.19Along Came a SpiderMysteryFebruary 3, 1970 (1970-02-03)Tuesday
201.20 The Challenge DramaFebruary 10, 1970 (1970-02-10)Tuesday
A disgraced U.S. soldier and big game hunter is recruited to fight a one-on-one war of "surrogates" against his Asian counterpart, the nations vying to win salvage rights to a sunken nuclear-armed satellite.
Starring: Darren McGavin, Mako, Broderick Crawford, James Whitmore**, Skip Homeier, Sam Elliott
211.21The Journey of Robert F. KennedyDocumentaryFebruary 17, 1970 (1970-02-17)Tuesday
The only non-fiction Movie of the Week.
221.22 Quarantined DramaFebruary 24, 1970 (1970-02-24)Tuesday
231.23Mister JerichoCaperMarch 3, 1970 (1970-03-03)Tuesday
Unsold pilot.
241.24 The Love War Science fictionMarch 10, 1970 (1970-03-10)Tuesday
251.25 The Young Country WesternMarch 17, 1970 (1970-03-17)Tuesday

Double-crosses abound as various people try to get $38,000 that was embezzled from a Santa Fe bank.
Starring: Roger Davis, Pete Duel, Walter Brennan, Joan Hackett, Wally Cox


Character names were reused with a new premise to create the movie Alias Smith and Jones (2.13).

Season 2: 1970–71

MovTitleGenreAir dateWeekday
262.01 How Awful About Allan ThrillerSeptember 22, 1970 (1970-09-22)Tuesday

A tormented, blind young man comes home to live with his sister, but believes that a mysterious boarder may be trying to kill him.
Starring: Anthony Perkins, Julie Harris, Joan Hackett, Kent Smith, Robert H. Harris


Based on a novel by Henry Farrell.
272.02 Night Slaves Science fictionSeptember 29, 1970 (1970-09-29)Tuesday

A man with a steel plate in his skull sees everyone in a town he is visiting leave in a trance-like state every night.
Starring: James Franciscus, Lee Grant, Leslie Nielsen**, Tisha Sterling.


Based on a novel by Jerry Sohl.
282.03 But I Don't Want to Get Married! Romantic comedyOctober 6, 1970 (1970-10-06)Tuesday
A recent widower with two sons finds himself juggling several women at once.
Starring: Herschel Bernardi, Brandon Cruz, Harry Morgan, Nanette Fabray, Jerry Paris, Shirley Jones**
292.04 The Old Man Who Cried Wolf SuspenseOctober 13, 1970 (1970-10-13)Tuesday
302.05 Wild Women ActionOctober 20, 1970 (1970-10-20)Tuesday
Unsold pilot.
312.06 The House That Would Not Die HorrorOctober 27, 1970 (1970-10-27)Tuesday
A woman who has inherited an old Georgetown manor learns that her family property is a breeding ground for the supernatural.
Starring: Barbara Stanwyck, Richard Egan, Michael Anderson Jr., Kitty Winn
322.07 Tribes DramaNovember 10, 1970 (1970-11-10)Tuesday

A Marine drill instructor comes to respect a pacifistic hippie draftee.
Starring: Darren McGavin, Jan-Michael Vincent, Earl Holliman


Directed by Emmy Award winner Joseph Sargent.
332.08 The Over-the-Hill Gang Rides Again Western/comedyNovember 17, 1970 (1970-11-17)Tuesday

Three of the gang reunite to help a geriatric comrade, especially after he becomes marshal of Waco and has to face down bank robbers.
Starring: Walter Brennan, Edgar Buchanan, Chill Wills, Andy Devine, Fred Astaire**, Parley Baer, Walter Burke, Lana Wood


Unsold pilot; the sequel to The Over-the-Hill Gang (1.03).
342.09 Crowhaven Farm ThrillerNovember 24, 1970 (1970-11-24)Tuesday
After inheriting a farm near Salem, a woman learns that she is being targeted for revenge by a coven of witches for the actions of her previous incarnation.
Starring: Hope Lange, Paul Burke, Lloyd Bochner, John Carradine, Cyril Delevanti, Milton Selzer, Patricia Barry
352.10 Run, Simon, Run ThrillerDecember 1, 1970 (1970-12-01)Tuesday
362.11 Weekend of Terror ThrillerDecember 8, 1970 (1970-12-08)Tuesday
372.12The Man Who Wanted to Live ForeverThrillerDecember 15, 1970 (1970-12-15)Tuesday
A heart surgeon hired to do research by an ailing magnate finds his benefactor wants to steal hearts to keep on living...including his own.
Starring: Stuart Whitman, Sandy Dennis, Burl Ives**
382.13Alias Smith and JonesWesternJanuary 5, 1971 (1971-01-05)Tuesday

Two notorious outlaws work to earn amnesty, but their former gang has other plans for the bank where they are employed.
Starring: Pete Duel, Ben Murphy, Forrest Tucker, Susan Saint James, James Drury, Jeanette Nolan, Earl Holliman**


Reuses character names from The Young Country (1.25). Pilot for the 1971-73 TV series of the same name that premiered two weeks later.
392.14 Assault on the Wayne ThrillerJanuary 12, 1971 (1971-01-12)Tuesday

Cold War intrigue with traitors trying to steal top secret anti-ballistic missile controls being tested on a U.S. nuclear submarine.
Starring: Leonard Nimoy*, Joseph Cotten*, William Windom*, Keenan Wynn*, Lloyd Haynes*, Dewey Martin*, Malachi Throne, Ron Masak


Reuses submarine footage from Ice Station Zebra .
402.15 Dr. Cook's Garden ThrillerJanuary 19, 1971 (1971-01-19)Tuesday

A medical intern visiting his home town comes to believe his mentor, the town's doctor, is murdering troublesome residents with poison.
Starring: Bing Crosby, Frank Converse, Blythe Danner**, Barnard Hughes, Bethel Leslie


Directed by Ted Post.
412.16 The Feminist and the Fuzz Romantic comedy January 26, 1971 (1971-01-26)Tuesday
A feminist pediatrician and a chivalrous cop butt heads as roommates in San Francisco.
Starring: Barbara Eden, David Hartman, Julie Newmar**, Jo Anne Worley, Farrah Fawcett**, Harry Morgan**, John McGiver**, Herb Edelman**
422.17 The Point! ChildrenFebruary 2, 1971 (1971-02-02)Tuesday
Animated; narrated by Dustin Hoffman for the initial broadcast only.
432.18 Love Hate Love ThrillerFebruary 9, 1971 (1971-02-09)Tuesday
442.19 Maybe I'll Come Home in the Spring DramaFebruary 16, 1971 (1971-02-16)Tuesday
A young woman returns to her parents' suburban home after a year of living with hippies and discovers her younger sister is following in her footsteps, wanting the idealistic hippie life.
Starring: Sally Field, Eleanor Parker, Jackie Cooper, Lane Bradbury, David Carradine
452.20 Longstreet MysteryFebruary 23, 1971 (1971-02-23)Tuesday

Insurance investigator Mike Longstreet searches for the party who bombed his home, killing his wife and leaving him blind.
Starring: James Franciscus, Martine Beswick*, Bradford Dillman*, John McIntire*, Jeanette Nolan*, Barry Russo


Pilot for the 1971-72 TV series of the same name that premiered on CBS the following season. Stirling Silliphant was the writer and executive producer. Produced and directed by Joseph Sargent.
462.21 Yuma WesternMarch 2, 1971 (1971-03-02)Tuesday
Yuma's new marshal finds himself facing a vengeful rancher, as well as a scheme to steal supplies meant for Indian reservations.
Starring: Clint Walker, Barry Sullivan, Edgar Buchanan, Kathryn Hays, Morgan Woodward, Robert Phillips, Miguel Alejandro
472.22 River of Gold Action adventureMarch 9, 1971 (1971-03-09)Tuesday
Unsold pilot.
482.23In Search of AmericaTBAMarch 23, 1971 (1971-03-23)Tuesday

Starring: Carl Betz, Vera Miles, Jeff Bridges


Unsold pilot.
492.24The SheriffCrime dramaMarch 30, 1971 (1971-03-30)Tuesday

An African American sheriff tries to prove that a racist raped a young black girl.
Starring: Ossie Davis, Kaz Garas, Kyle Johnson, John Marley*, Edward Binns*, Lynda Day George*, Ruby Dee*, Moses Gunn*, Ross Martin*, Brenda Sykes*


Unsold pilot.
502.25EscapeAction/science fictionApril 6, 1971 (1971-04-06)Tuesday

A famed escape artist has to find a kidnapped scientist who has developed a biological agent that can turn humanity into mindless slaves.
Starring: Christopher George, Avery Schreiber, Marlyn Mason*, William Windom*, John Vernon*, William Schallert*, Gloria Grahame*


Unsold pilot. Produced by Bruce Lansbury, who would create the very similar TV series The Magician for CBS in 1973-74.

Season 3: 1971–72

MovTitleGenreAir dateWeekday
513.01The Forgotten ManDramaSeptember 14, 1971 (1971-09-14)Tuesday
A Vietnam War P.O.W., returning home after five years, finds that his wife is remarried, his whole world has changed and he is beginning to suffer PTSD flashbacks.
Starring: Dennis Weaver, Anne Francis**, Lois Nettleton, Pamelyn Ferdin, Percy Rodriguez, Andrew Duggan, James Hong
523.02 The Birdmen Action adventureSeptember 18, 1971 (1971-09-18)Saturday
A World War II P.O.W. is inspired by the planned glider escape from Colditz Castle. Released as a feature film overseas as Escape of the Birdmen.
Starring: Doug McClure. Rene Auberjonois, Richard Basehart, Max Baer Jr. and Chuck Connors.
533.03 Congratulations, It's a Boy! ComedySeptember 21, 1971 (1971-09-21)Tuesday
A swinging bachelor has to grow up after a young adult illegitimate son that he did not know about shows up and wants to spend time with him.
Starring: Bill Bixby, Diane Baker, Jack Albertson*, Ann Sothern*, Karen Jensen, Darrell Larson, Jeff Donnell, Tom Bosley, Robert H. Harris, Judy Strangis
543.04 Five Desperate Women ThrillerSeptember 28, 1971 (1971-09-28)Tuesday
553.05Sweet, Sweet RachelThrillerOctober 2, 1971 (1971-10-02)Saturday

An ESP researcher investigates mysterious happenings surrounding a widow to find out if she is being gaslighted by someone with psychic powers.
Starring: Alex Dreier, Stefanie Powers**, Pat Hingle, Louise Latham, Steve Ihnat, Brenda Scott, Chris Robinson


Concept heavily reworked and recast to create the 1972 TV series The Sixth Sense .
563.06 The Last Child DramaOctober 5, 1971 (1971-10-05)Tuesday
In an overpopulated future U.S. with a one-child policy, an expectant couple who had lost a newborn try to flee to Canada with a former Senator's help.
Starring: Michael Cole, Harry Guardino, Janet Margolin, Edward Asner, Van Heflin**, Barbara Babcock
573.07Thief Heist October 9, 1971 (1971-10-09)Saturday
583.08 A Taste of Evil ThrillerOctober 12, 1971 (1971-10-12)Tuesday
After years in a mental asylum, an heiress returns to her family mansion and realizes that someone is deliberately trying to drive her insane.
Starring: Barbara Stanwyck, Barbara Parkins, Roddy McDowall, William Windom, Arthur O'Connell
593.09 In Broad Daylight ThrillerOctober 16, 1971 (1971-10-16)Saturday
A blinded movie star disguises himself as a sighted man in order to murder his cheating wife and frame her lover for the crime.
Starring: Richard Boone, Suzanne Pleshette, John Marley, Stella Stevens**, Fred Beir, Whit Bissell
603.10Suddenly SingleComedyOctober 19, 1971 (1971-10-19)Tuesday
613.11Death Takes a HolidayDramaOctober 23, 1971 (1971-10-23)Saturday

Death takes human form and falls in love with a woman who was supposed to die, so people stop dying.
Starring: Yvette Mimieux, Monte Markham, Myrna Loy, Bert Convy, Melvyn Douglas


First remake of the 1934 film; followed by Meet Joe Black in 1998.
623.12 The Death of Me Yet DramaOctober 27, 1971 (1971-10-27)Wednesday
A KGB sleeper agent who adopted a new identity finds himself and his wife in jeopardy when his former superior discovers that he is still alive.
Starring: Doug McClure, Richard Basehart*, Darren McGavin**, Rosemary Forsyth, Meg Foster, Dana Elcar
633.13 A Little Game SuspenseOctober 30, 1971 (1971-10-30)Saturday
643.14Two on a BenchComedyNovember 2, 1971 (1971-11-02)Tuesday
653.15 Revenge! ThrillerNovember 6, 1971 (1971-11-06)Saturday
A deranged and vengeful mother imprisons in her basement the man that she believes is responsible for seducing her daughter.
Starring: Shelley Winters, Bradford Dillman, Stuart Whitman, Roger Perry, Gary Clarke
663.16 Do Not Fold, Spindle or Mutilate ThrillerNovember 9, 1971 (1971-11-09)Tuesday
Four elderly women create a fake profile at a computer dating service as a prank, but "she" attracts a murderous stalker.
Starring: Helen Hayes, Myrna Loy, Mildred Natwick, Sylvia Sidney, Vince Edwards, John Beradino
673.17 Duel ThrillerNovember 13, 1971 (1971-11-13)Saturday

A driver finds himself inexplicably targeted and harassed by a truck and its mysterious unseen driver.
Starring: Dennis Weaver


Steven Spielberg's feature-length film directorial debut.
683.18 Mr. and Mrs. Bo Jo Jones DramaNovember 16, 1971 (1971-11-16)Tuesday
693.19 The Reluctant Heroes War dramaNovember 23, 1971 (1971-11-23)Tuesday
An Army historian uses his knowledge of historical tactics and languages to lead a unit under attack at a mountain observation post.
Starring: Ken Berry, Jim Hutton, Trini Lopez, Don Marshall, Ralph Meeker, Cameron Mitchell, Warren Oates, Soon-Tek Oh
703.20 The Failing of Raymond SuspenseNovember 27, 1971 (1971-11-27)Saturday
An escaped mental patient stalks the English literature teacher whom he blames for failing him in high school.
Starring: Jane Wyman, Dean Stockwell, Dana Andrews**, Paul Henreid, Tim O'Connor, Priscilla Pointer
713.21 Brian's Song DramaNovember 30, 1971 (1971-11-30)Tuesday

Dramatization of professional football player Brian Piccolo's friendship with teammate Gale Sayers and Piccolo's battle with cancer.
Starring: James Caan, Billy Dee Williams, Jack Warden, Shelley Fabares


Eight Emmy nominations, four wins.
723.22The Devil and Miss SarahWesternDecember 4, 1971 (1971-12-04)Saturday
733.23 If Tomorrow Comes DramaDecember 7, 1971 (1971-12-07)Tuesday
Originally promoted as The Glass Hammer.
743.24See the Man RunHeistDecember 11, 1971 (1971-12-11)Saturday

After a kidnapper dials the wrong number and calls his phone, a B movie actor secretly impersonates the victim's father in order to steal a cut of the ransom.
Starring: Robert Culp, Angie Dickinson, Eddie Albert, June Allyson


Music by David Shire.
753.25 The Trackers WesternDecember 14, 1971 (1971-12-14)Tuesday

An African American U.S. Marshal helps a homesteader track his daughter's abductors, but faces racism at every turn.
Starring: Sammy Davis Jr., Ernest Borgnine**, Jim Davis


Sammy Davis Jr. was an executive producer on this film.
763.26 What's a Nice Girl Like You...? ComedyDecember 18, 1971 (1971-12-18)Saturday
773.27 Gidget Gets Married ComedyJanuary 4, 1972 (1972-01-04)Tuesday

Moondoggie gets a job at a defense contractor, but Gidget, bored as a new wife, starts a rebellion against the rigid social structure in the corporate-owned community.
Starring: Monie Ellis, Michael Burns, Don Ameche**, Joan Bennett**, Corinne Camacho**, MacDonald Carey**, Elinor Donahue**, Paul Lynde**, Roger Perry**


Unsold pilot; the sequel to Gidget Grows Up (1.15); produced and directed by E. W. Swackhamer.
783.28 The Astronaut DramaJanuary 8, 1972 (1972-01-08)Saturday

When the first astronaut on Mars mysteriously dies, the space agency tries to save the program by hiring an impersonator in order to fool the President, the public — and his wife.
Starring: Jackie Cooper, Monte Markham, Susan Clark**, Richard Anderson, Robert Lansing, James Sikking


Produced by Harve Bennett, who would later hire Richard Anderson to co-star on The Six Million Dollar Man and Monte Markham to guest star on the same TV series as the Seven Million Dollar Man.
793.29 The Bravos WesternJanuary 9, 1972 (1972-01-09)Sunday
803.30 The Night Stalker HorrorJanuary 11, 1972 (1972-01-11)Tuesday

Newspaper reporter Carl Kolchak tries to convince the authorities in Las Vegas that a series of murders was committed by a vampire.
Starring: Darren McGavin, Simon Oakland, Carol Lynley, Claude Akins


Not officially a pilot; followed by The Night Strangler (4.29).
813.31 Madame Sin Spy thrillerJanuary 15, 1972 (1972-01-15)Saturday

A villainess who commands a Thought Factory in the Scottish Highlands is intent on achieving world domination by kidnapping an ex-CIA agent to help her hijack a secret nuclear weapon.
Starring: Bette Davis, Robert Wagner, Denholm Elliott, Gordon Jackson, Dudley Sutton, Catherine Schell


Unsold pilot.
823.82 Getting Away from It All ComedyJanuary 18, 1972 (1972-01-18)Tuesday
Two New York City couples pursue imagined bliss by buying and moving to a small, rustic island near Maine.
Starring: Larry Hagman, Barbara Feldon, Gary Collins, E. J. Peaker, Vivian Vance*, Jim Backus*, Burgess Meredith*
833.33 The People Science fictionJanuary 22, 1972 (1972-01-22)Saturday
A teacher hired by an insular, Amish-like farming community finds the residents have unusual powers of the mind.
Starring: Kim Darby, William Shatner, Diane Varsi, Dan O'Herlihy
843.34 Women in Chains DramaJanuary 25, 1972 (1972-01-25)Tuesday
853.35 The Screaming Woman ThrillerJanuary 29, 1972 (1972-01-29)Saturday
A former mental patient is haunted by the cries of a woman that she believes is buried alive on her property. Based on a short story by Ray Bradbury.
Starring: Olivia de Havilland, Ed Nelson, Joseph Cotten, Walter Pidgeon
863.36 Hardcase WesternFebruary 1, 1972 (1972-02-01)Tuesday

A soldier of fortune learns that his wife sold their ranch and ran off with a Mexican revolutionary.
Starring: Clint Walker, Stefanie Powers, Pedro Armendáriz Jr., Alex Karras


First live action feature film production by Hanna-Barbera.
873.37 When Michael Calls ThrillerFebruary 5, 1972 (1972-02-05)Saturday
A woman begins receiving phone calls from her supposedly dead nephew Michael and begins to wonder if Michael is really dead, or if she is losing touch with reality.
Starring: Ben Gazzara, Elizabeth Ashley, Michael Douglas, Marian Waldman, Al Waxman
883.88Second ChanceDramaFebruary 8, 1972 (1972-02-08)Tuesday

A world-weary stockbroker buys a ghost town and invites people who want a second chance in life to populate it.
Starring: Brian Keith, Elizabeth Ashley, Kenneth Mars, William Windom, Avery Schreiber, Rosie Grier, Juliet Prowse**


Unsold pilot.
893.39 The Hound of the Baskervilles MysteryFebruary 9, 1972 (1972-02-09)Wednesday

Starring: Stewart Granger as Sherlock Holmes, Bernard Fox, William Shatner and Jane Merrow.


First pilot for the unsold anthology series Great Detectives.
903.40 Call Her Mom ComedyFebruary 15, 1972 (1972-02-15)Tuesday

Facing expulsion for lacking a house mother, the rowdy APE fraternity hires a feisty young waitress for the job.
Starring: Connie Stevens, Charles Nelson Reilly*, Jim Hutton*, Van Johnson*


Unsold pilot.
913.41Kung FuWesternFebruary 22, 1972 (1972-02-22)Tuesday

A fugitive Shaolin priest in the Old West tries to help oppressed coolies forced to lay railroad tracks under inhumane conditions.
Starring: David Carradine, Keye Luke, Philip Ahn, Barry Sullivan*, Albert Salmi*, Wayne Maunder*, Benson Fong, James Hong, Robert Ito, Radames Pera


Pilot for the 1972-75 TV series of the same name premiering in the fall season.
923.42 Two for the Money MysteryFebruary 26, 1972 (1972-02-26)Saturday
Unsold pilot.
933.43The Eyes of Charles SandThrillerFebruary 29, 1972 (1972-02-29)Tuesday
Unsold pilot.
943.44A Very Missing PersonMysteryMarch 4, 1972 (1972-03-04)Saturday
Unsold pilot.
953.45The RookiesCrime dramaMarch 7, 1972 (1972-03-07)Tuesday
Pilot for the 1972-76 TV series of the same name premiering in the fall season.

Season 4: 1972–73

MovTitleGenreAir dateWeekday
954.01 The Longest Night Crime dramaSeptember 12, 1972 (1972-09-12)Tuesday

A wealthy father and the FBI urgently try to save his kidnapped daughter, buried in a box with only seven days' supply of air.
Starring: David Janssen, James Farentino, Phyllis Thaxter, Skye Aubrey, Mike Farrell, Sallie Shockley, Joel Fabiani, Richard Anderson, Jason Bernard (uncredited)


Based on the true story of the kidnapping of Barbara Mackle in 1968.
964.02 The Daughters of Joshua Cabe WesternSeptember 13, 1972 (1972-09-13)Wednesday

A farmer convinces a prostitute, a con artist and a pickpocket to pose as his daughters in order to fend off a rival who is trying to steal his land using the homesteading law.
Starring: Buddy Ebsen, Karen Valentine, Lesley Ann Warren, Sandra Dee**, Jack Elam, Leif Erickson**, Don Stroud, Henry Jones


First pilot for an unsold series, followed by The Daughters of Joshua Cabe Return (6.29).
974.03 No Place to Run DramaSeptember 19, 1972 (1972-09-19)Tuesday
984.04 Haunts of the Very Rich HorrorSeptember 20, 1972 (1972-09-20)Wednesday
994.05 Moon of the Wolf HorrorSeptember 26, 1972 (1972-09-26)Tuesday
1004.06 Say Goodbye, Maggie Cole DramaSeptember 27, 1972 (1972-09-27)Wednesday
A widowed doctor joins a colleague's Chicago slum clinic and befriends a dying girl.
Starring: Susan Hayward, Darren McGavin, Michael Constantine, Dane Clark, Beverly Garland
1014.07 Playmates ComedyOctober 3, 1972 (1972-10-03)Tuesday
Two divorced men meet and become friends but, unbeknownst to each other, they start dating each other's ex-wives.
Starring: Alan Alda, Connie Stevens, Barbara Feldon, Doug McClure
1024.08 Rolling Man DramaOctober 4, 1972 (1972-10-04)Wednesday
1034.09Night of TerrorThrillerOctober 10, 1972 (1972-10-10)Tuesday

A woman is paralyzed and pursued by enforcers for a crime syndicate who are looking for something that was left in her possession.
Starring: Donna Mills, Martin Balsam, Chuck Connors, Agnes Moorehead, Catherine Burns


Directed by Jeannot Szwarc. Produced by Thomas Miller and Edward Milkis, who would go on to produce many successful sitcoms for ABC.
1044.10Lieutenant Schuster's WifeTBAOctober 11, 1972 (1972-10-11)Wednesday
1054.11 Goodnight, My Love TBAOctober 17, 1972 (1972-10-17)Tuesday
1064.12A Great American TragedyTBAOctober 18, 1972 (1972-10-18)Wednesday
1074.13Short Walk to Daylight Disaster October 24, 1972 (1972-10-24)Tuesday
After an earthquake in New York City collapses a subway tunnel, survivors from a subway train try to find a way out.
Starring: James Brolin, Don Mitchell, James McEachin, Abbey Lincoln, Brooke Bundy, Laurette Spang
1084.14 Family Flight Drama/disasterOctober 25, 1972 (1972-10-25)Wednesday

A small plane with a family onboard is downed in Baja California during a storm. They struggle to fix the plane, clear a runway and fly back to civilization.
Starring: Rod Taylor, Dina Merrill, Kristoffer Tabori, Janet Margolin


Produced by Harve Bennett, who would incorporate parts of the plot and footage into "Pilot Error", a 1974 episode of The Six Million Dollar Man , a TV series for which he was executive producer.
1094.15 The Bounty Man WesternOctober 31, 1972 (1972-10-31)Tuesday
A bounty hunter and his longtime rival both chase after a killer.
Starring: Clint Walker, Richard Basehart, John Ericson, Margot Kidder, Gene Evans
1104.16 That Certain Summer DramaNovember 1, 1972 (1972-11-01)Wednesday
Seminal film dealing with homosexuality; seven Emmy nominations, one win.
Starring: Hal Holbrook, Martin Sheen, Joe Don Baker, Scott Jacoby, Hope Lange
1114.17 The Crooked Hearts Comedy/mysteryNovember 8, 1972 (1972-11-08)Wednesday
An old widow and a bachelor meet through a lonely hearts club, taking each other for rich people.
Starring: Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Rosalind Russell, Ross Martin, Michael Murphy, Maureen O'Sullivan
1124.18The VictimThrillerNovember 14, 1972 (1972-11-14)Tuesday
1134.19All My Darling DaughtersComedy/dramaNovember 22, 1972 (1972-11-22)Wednesday
Unsold pilot; followed by My Darling Daughters' Anniversary (5.23).
1144.20 Home for the Holidays ThrillerNovember 28, 1972 (1972-11-28)Tuesday
An aging father is convinced that his second wife is trying to poison him and he summons his four daughters home for protection.
Starring: Sally Field, Eleanor Parker, Julie Harris, Jessica Walter, Jill Haworth, Walter Brennan
1154.21The HeistCrime dramaNovember 29, 1972 (1972-11-29)Wednesday
1164.22 The Couple Takes a Wife Romantic comedyDecember 5, 1972 (1972-12-05)Tuesday

Marital woes ensue when a busy working couple hires a sexy, young, multi-talented woman as a "wife" to manage their household and children.
Starring: Bill Bixby, Paula Prentiss, Myrna Loy, Valerie Perrine**, Robert Goulet**, Nanette Fabray**, Larry Storch**


Directed by Jerry Paris.
1174.23 Pursuit ThrillerDecember 12, 1972 (1972-12-12)Tuesday

A cunning political extremist plays cat and mouse with a federal agent after stealing a powerful nerve gas to kill the President at a political convention.
Starring: Ben Gazzara, E.G. Marshall, William Windom, Joseph Wiseman, Jim McMullan, Martin Sheen


Michael Crichton's debut as a film director; based on Crichton's novel Binary .
1184.24 Every Man Needs One Romantic comedyDecember 13, 1972 (1972-12-13)Wednesday
1194.25 The Weekend Nun DramaDecember 20, 1972 (1972-12-20)Wednesday

A cloistered nun has her eyes opened when she enters the outside world to work as a juvenile probation officer during the week.
Starring: Joanna Pettet**, Vic Morrow*, Ann Sothern*, James Gregory*, Beverly Garland*, Kay Lenz


Unsold pilot. Directed by Jeannot Szwarc. Produced by Thomas Miller and Edward Milkis, who would go on to produce successful sitcoms for ABC. Inspired by the motivational teachings of former nun Joyce Duco. Kay Lenz's professional debut.
1204.26FirehouseDramaJanuary 2, 1973 (1973-01-02)Tuesday
Pilot for the 1974 TV series of the same name.
1214.27 The Devil's Daughter HorrorJanuary 9, 1973 (1973-01-09)Tuesday

A young woman attends the funeral of her mother; one of her mother's old friends (Shelley Winters) then introduces her to a Satanic cult (her mother was part of this cult before leaving it while the young woman was a baby). The cult members believe her to be their "Princess of Darkness", which she rejects, horrified. She meets a charming young man (Robert Foxworth) and, as she falls in love with him, feels she can defy the cult and live her own life, but on her wedding night, she learns that there are sinister conditions for the marriage, making her destiny unavoidable.
Starring: Shelley Winters, Belinda Montgomery, Robert Foxworth, Jonathan Frid, Martha Scott, Joseph Cotten, Ian Wolfe


Directed by Jeannot Szwarc. Produced by Thomas Miller and Edward Milkis, who would go on to produce many successful sitcoms for ABC.
1224.28Trouble Comes to TownDramaJanuary 10, 1973 (1973-01-10)Wednesday
1234.29 The Night Strangler HorrorJanuary 16, 1973 (1973-01-16)Tuesday

Carl Kolchak investigates killings in Seattle that seem to be tied to an immortal who needs blood for an elixir to rejuvenate himself every 21 years.
Starring: Darren McGavin, Simon Oakland, Jo Ann Pflug, Richard Anderson, Scott Brady, Wally Cox, Margaret Hamilton, John Carradine


Not officially a pilot; the sequel to The Night Stalker (3.29), followed by the 1974-75 TV series Kolchak: The Night Stalker .
1244.30Female ArtilleryWesternJanuary 17, 1973 (1973-01-17)Wednesday
A thief fleeing his former gang helps a wagon train of women and children fight them off.
Starring: Dennis Weaver, Ida Lupino, Sally Ann Howes, Linda Evans, Albert Salmi, Nina Foch
1254.31 Go Ask Alice DramaJanuary 24, 1973 (1973-01-24)Wednesday
1264.32 A Cold Night's Death ThrillerJanuary 30, 1973 (1973-01-30)Tuesday
1274.33 Snatched ThrillerJanuary 31, 1973 (1973-01-31)Wednesday
The wives of three rich men are abducted and held for $3,000,000 ransom - $1,000,000 for each of them. The crime is complicated further when one of the husbands refuses to pay his share of the ransom (because he believes that his wife is having an affair with another man) and one of the wives, a diabetic, needs her daily insulin shot in order to survive.
1284.34 Divorce His DramaFebruary 6, 1973 (1973-02-06)Tuesday
Rashomon -style story with dueling accounts of events leading to a divorce. The first half is from the husband's perspective.
Star vehicle for Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton.
1294.35 Divorce Hers DramaFebruary 7, 1973 (1973-02-07)Wednesday
Continuing from Divorce His the night before. The second half is from the wife's perspective.
1304.36 The Great American Beauty Contest DramaFebruary 13, 1973 (1973-02-13)Tuesday
Behind the scenes melodrama unfolds for both contestants and officials at the Miss America beauty pageant.
Starring: Eleanor Parker, Bob Cummings, Jo Anna Cameron, Farrah Fawcett, Christopher Norris, Larry Wilcox
1314.37 The Girls of Huntington House DramaFebruary 14, 1973 (1973-02-14)Wednesday
A teacher at a school for unwed mothers takes a personal interest in her students.
Starring: Shirley Jones, Mercedes McCambridge, Pamela Sue Martin, William Windom, Sissy Spacek
1324.38 A Brand New Life DramaFebruary 20, 1973 (1973-02-20)Tuesday
After 18 years of marriage, a middle-aged couple are surprised to find that they are expecting their first child.
Starring: Cloris Leachman, Martin Balsam, Marge Redmond, Gene Nelson, Mildred Dunnock
1334.39 And No One Could Save Her MysteryFebruary 21, 1973 (1973-02-21)Wednesday
1344.40 The Connection Crime dramaFebruary 27, 1973 (1973-02-27)Tuesday
1354.41You'll Never See Me AgainThrillerFebruary 28, 1973 (1973-02-28)Wednesday
1364.42 The Letters DramaMarch 6, 1973 (1973-03-06)Tuesday
First unsold pilot for a series; followed by Letters from Three Lovers (5.09).
1374.43 The Six Million Dollar Man Science fictionMarch 7, 1973 (1973-03-07)Wednesday

Former astronaut Steve Austin is critically injured in the crash of an experimental aircraft and is given bionic body parts as replacements.
Starring: Lee Majors, Darren McGavin**, Martin Balsam**, Barbara Anderson


First of three TV movies which would lead to the 1973-78 TV series The Six Million Dollar Man .
1384.44 The Bait Crime dramaMarch 13, 1973 (1973-03-13)Tuesday

A female police detective volunteers to act as a lure to trap a serial rapist-murderer.
Starring: Donna Mills, Michael Constantine, William Devane, Noam Pitlik, Thalmus Rasulala, June Lockhart


Unsold pilot; based on Dorothy Uhnak's first novel; her third novel, The Ledger, was adapted to become Get Christie Love!, a 1974 Movie of the Week and pilot.
1394.45Class of '63ThrillerMarch 14, 1973 (1973-03-14)Wednesday
1404.46Beg, Borrow or Steal Caper March 20, 1973 (1973-03-20)Tuesday

Three embittered disabled men - a paraplegic, a double amputee and a blind man - plot to steal priceless jewels off a gold statue in a museum.
Starring: Mike Connors, Kent McCord, Michael Cole**, Joel Fabiani, Russell Johnson

Suspenseful teleplay written by Paul Playdon, who wrote many similar scripts for the 1966-73 TV series Mission: Impossible
1414.47TomaCrime dramaMarch 21, 1973 (1973-03-21)Wednesday
Pilot for the 1973-74 TV series of the same name premiering on October 4.

Season 5: 1973–74

MovTitleGenreAir dateWeekday
1425.01 Deliver Us from Evil DramaSeptember 11, 1973 (1973-09-11)Tuesday
Six male hikers in the mountains kill a parachuting skyjacker and fight between themselves over his stolen $600,000.
Starring: George Kennedy, Jan-Michael Vincent, Bradford Dillman, Charles Aidman, Jim Davis
1435.02 She Lives! DramaSeptember 12, 1973 (1973-09-12)Wednesday
The movie featured the song "Time in a Bottle" by Jim Croce; his death in a plane crash eight days after the movie premiered launched the song to #1 on the U.S. music charts. [9]
1445.03 Dying Room Only HorrorSeptember 18, 1973 (1973-09-18)Tuesday
A woman is placed in serious jeopardy after her husband mysteriously disappears from the rest room of a rundown diner.
Starring: Cloris Leachman, Ross Martin, Ned Beatty, Louise Latham, Dabney Coleman
1455.04 Satan's School for Girls HorrorSeptember 19, 1973 (1973-09-19)Wednesday
A young woman investigating her sister's suicide at a private girls' school finds herself battling a Satanic cult.
Starring: Pamela Franklin, Kate Jackson, Lloyd Bochner, Roy Thinnes, Cheryl Ladd
1465.05Smile When You Say 'I Do'TBASeptember 25, 1973 (1973-09-25)Tuesday
1475.06 Hijack! ThrillerSeptember 26, 1973 (1973-09-26)Wednesday
Two long-haul truckers with a secret load must contend with a mysterious and murderous group who wants to steal their cargo.
Starring: David Janssen, Keenan Wynn, Lee Purcell, William Schallert
1485.07 Runaway! Disaster September 29, 1973 (1973-09-29)Saturday
A train with nonfunctional brakes coming down a mountain from a ski resort careens toward the end of the line.
Starring: Ben Johnson, Ben Murphy, Darleen Carr, Ed Nelson, Martin Milner**, Vera Miles***
1495.08 Isn't It Shocking? Comedy/mysteryOctober 2, 1973 (1973-10-02)Tuesday
A small-town sheriff is confronted with an ingenious killer when elderly citizens begin to die mysteriously.
Starring: Alan Alda, Louise Lasser, Edmond O'Brien, Ruth Gordon, Will Geer
1505.09 Letters from Three Lovers DramaOctober 3, 1973 (1973-10-03)Wednesday
Second unsold pilot for a series; the sequel to The Letters (4.42).
1515.10 The Alpha Caper Heist October 6, 1973 (1973-10-06)Saturday

A parole officer facing mandatory retirement recruits three of his parolees to steal gold bullion from an armored truck.
Starring: Henry Fonda, Leonard Nimoy, James McEachin, Larry Hagman**


Unsold pilot; a rare TV appearance by Henry Fonda.
1525.11Shirts/SkinsTBAOctober 9, 1973 (1973-10-09)Tuesday
1535.12 Don't Be Afraid of the Dark HorrorOctober 10, 1973 (1973-10-10)Wednesday
1545.13 Double Indemnity Crime DramaOctober 13, 1973 (1973-10-13)Saturday
A scheming wife lures an insurance investigator into helping her to murder her husband and then declare it an accident. The investigator's boss, not knowing his man is involved in it, suspects murder and sets out to prove it.
1555.14 The Third Girl from the Left DramaOctober 16, 1973 (1973-10-16)Tuesday
1565.15 The Man Who Could Talk to Kids DramaOctober 17, 1973 (1973-10-17)Wednesday
1575.16Wine, Women and WarScience fictionOctober 20, 1973 (1973-10-20)Saturday
Sequel to The Six Million Dollar Man
1585.17 The President's Plane Is Missing Political dramaOctober 23, 1973 (1973-10-23)Tuesday
A news agency reporter suspects a conspiracy when Air Force One crashes during an international crisis, but the President's body is not found.
Starring: Peter Graves, Buddy Ebsen, Arthur Kennedy, Rip Torn, Louise Sorel, Joseph Campanella
1595.18Money to BurnTBAOctober 27, 1973 (1973-10-27)Saturday
1605.19OrdealTBAOctober 30, 1973 (1973-10-30)Tuesday
1615.20 Guess Who's Sleeping in My Bed? ComedyOctober 31, 1973 (1973-10-31)Wednesday
A woman's life is upended when her childish ex-husband moves back in, with his second wife and baby in tow.
Starring: Barbara Eden, Dean Jones, Kenneth Mars, Susanne Benton, Reta Shaw, Todd Lookinland, Diana Herbert
1625.21 Linda ThrillerNovember 3, 1973 (1973-11-03)Saturday
1635.22 The Girl Most Likely To... Black comedy November 6, 1973 (1973-11-06)Tuesday

A homely but brilliant college girl who becomes beautiful after a car crash and reconstructive surgery creatively murders the classmates who had wronged her.
Starring: Stockard Channing, Ed Asner**, Jim Backus**, Joe Flynn**, Chuck McCann**, Fred Grandy, Ruth McDevitt, Warren Berlinger, Larry Wilcox


Story by Joan Rivers, who also co-wrote the teleplay.
1645.23My Darling Daughters' AnniversaryComedyNovember 7, 1973 (1973-11-07)Wednesday
Unsold pilot; the sequel to All My Darling Daughters (4.19).
1655.24Death RaceWar dramaNovember 10, 1973 (1973-11-10)Saturday

Two American pilots in a P-40 with a damaged wing are pursued across the desert by an obsessed Nazi general in a commandeered Panzer tank.
Starring: Doug McClure**, Roy Thinnes, Lloyd Bridges, Eric Braeden


Also known as State of Division.
1665.25 Trapped SuspenseNovember 14, 1973 (1973-11-14)Wednesday
A man trapped overnight in a department store must fight to survive vicious guard dogs patrolling the store.
Starring: James Brolin, Susan Clark, Earl Holliman, Robert Hooks**
1675.26The Solid Gold KidnappingScience fictionNovember 17, 1973 (1973-11-17)Saturday
The third movie about cyborg Col. Steve Austin, preceded by The Six Million Dollar Man and Wine, Women and War.
1685.27 The Affair Romance dramaNovember 20, 1973 (1973-11-20)Tuesday
1695.28 Scream, Pretty Peggy HorrorNovember 24, 1973 (1973-11-24)Saturday
A sculptor hires a young college girl to take care of his mother and his supposedly insane sister.
Starring: Bette Davis, Ted Bessell, Sian Barbara Allen, Christiane Schmidtmer
1705.29Cry Rape!TBANovember 27, 1973 (1973-11-27)Tuesday
1715.30 Outrage DramaNovember 28, 1973 (1973-11-28)Wednesday

A doctor in an idyllic suburb takes extreme action when nobody wants to stand up to uncontrollable young residents terrorizing the community.
Starring: Robert Culp, Marlyn Mason, Beah Richards, Jacqueline Scott, Ramon Bieri, Mark Lenard, Nicholas Hammond


Based on a true story.
1725.31A Summer Without BoysTBADecember 4, 1973 (1973-12-04)Tuesday
1735.32Blood SportTBADecember 5, 1973 (1973-12-05)Wednesday
1745.33ManeaterTBADecember 8, 1973 (1973-12-08)Saturday
1755.34 The Cat Creature HorrorDecember 11, 1973 (1973-12-11)Tuesday

An Egyptology professor helps investigate feline-tinged deaths that stalk everyone who comes in contact with a cursed amulet.
Starring: Meredith Baxter, David Hedison, Gale Sondergaard, John Carradine*, Keye Luke*, Stuart Whitman**


Teleplay credit and story co-credit to Robert Bloch.
1765.35Message to My DaughterTBADecember 12, 1973 (1973-12-12)Wednesday
1775.36What Are Best Friends For?TBADecember 18, 1973 (1973-12-18)Tuesday
1785.37Pioneer WomanTBADecember 19, 1973 (1973-12-19)Wednesday
1795.38Indict and ConvictTBAJanuary 6, 1974 (1974-01-06)Sunday
1805.39 The Death Squad Crime dramaJanuary 8, 1974 (1974-01-08)Tuesday
A disgraced cop is reinstated and recruited to infiltrate a "death squad" within the department that is killing criminals who have escaped justice.
Starring: Robert Forster, Michelle Phillips, Claude Akins, Mark Goddard, Melvyn Douglas**
1815.40 Shootout in a One-Dog Town WesternJanuary 9, 1974 (1974-01-09)Wednesday

A small-town bank robber is forced to single-handedly defend a fortune in cash from a gang of vicious outlaws.
Starring: Richard Crenna, Stefanie Powers, Jack Elam, Michael Ansara


Second live action feature film production by Hanna-Barbera.
1825.41Mrs. SundanceWesternJanuary 15, 1974 (1974-01-15)Tuesday
A Pinkerton detective leaks a rumor that the Sundance Kid was not killed in Bolivia in order to lure Etta Place out of hiding so that she can lead him to the Wild Bunch.
Starring: Elizabeth Montgomery, Robert Foxworth, L. Q. Jones
1835.42 Scream of the Wolf ThrillerJanuary 16, 1974 (1974-01-16)Wednesday
1845.43Skyway to DeathDisasterJanuary 19, 1974 (1974-01-19)Saturday

A disgruntled former employee's sabotage strands a group of passengers in an aerial tram high above a mountain as high winds approach.
Starring: Bobby Sherman, Ross Martin, Stefanie Powers, Tige Andrews, John Astin**, Joseph Campanella, Ruth McDevitt, Severn Darden


Exteriors filmed at the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway.
1855.44 Get Christie Love! Crime dramaJanuary 22, 1974 (1974-01-22)Tuesday

An undercover female police detective tries to stop a huge drug empire.
Starring: Teresa Graves, Harry Guardino


Pilot for the 1974-75 TV series of the same name premiering September 11.
1865.45 Pray for the Wildcats ThrillerJanuary 23, 1974 (1974-01-23)Wednesday
1875.46 Heatwave! DramaJanuary 26, 1974 (1974-01-26)Saturday
Complications upon problems as a young, expectant couple try to escape a brutal heat wave by fleeing to a cabin in the countryside.
Starring: Ben Murphy, Bonnie Bedelia, Lew Ayres, David Huddleston*, John Anderson*, Robert Hogan, Dana Elcar
1885.47 The Girl Who Came Gift-Wrapped Romantic comedy January 29, 1974 (1974-01-29)Tuesday

A men's magazine publisher experiencing a midlife crisis falls in love with a naive Wisconsin girl sent to him as a gag "gift" for his birthday.
Starring: Richard Long**, Karen Valentine, Louise Sorel, Tom Bosley, Dave Madden, Reta Shaw, Farrah Fawcett


Richard Long's penultimate role, before Death Cruise (6.14).
1895.48 Killdozer! Science fiction/horrorFebruary 2, 1974 (1974-02-02)Saturday
An extraterrestrial force from a meteorite possesses a bulldozer and starts killing a construction crew working on a remote island.
Starring: Clint Walker, Carl Betz, Neville Brand, James Wainwright**, Robert Urich
1905.49 Can Ellen Be Saved? DramaFebruary 5, 1974 (1974-02-05)Tuesday
1915.50 Cry Panic! MysteryFebruary 6, 1974 (1974-02-06)Wednesday
A man in a car accident finds himself ensnared in a small town's conspiracy to hide the victim's death.
Starring: John Forsyth, Earl Holliman, Ralph Meeker, Norman Alden, Claudia McNeil, Anne Francis**
1925.51 The Elevator Disaster February 9, 1974 (1974-02-09)Saturday
Tensions rise as a group of people, including a claustrophobic armed robber, are trapped in an overloaded elevator in a skyscraper after hours.
Starring: James Farentino, Roddy McDowell, Craig Stevens, Don Stroud, Teresa Wright, Myrna Loy**, Carol Lynley**, Arlene Golonka**, Barry Livingston
1935.52I Love You, GoodbyeDramaFebruary 12, 1974 (1974-02-12)Tuesday
1945.53 The Morning After DramaFebruary 13, 1974 (1974-02-13)Wednesday
A successful public relations writer develops a serious drinking problem that threatens his marriage and his life.
Starring: Dick Van Dyke, Lynn Carlin, Don Porter, Linda Lavin, Joshua Bryant
1955.54 Live Again, Die Again ThrillerFebruary 16, 1974 (1974-02-16)Saturday
A young woman is the first person to be revived from cryogenic suspension, but someone wants to ensure that her resurrection is brief.
Starring: Cliff Potts, Walter Pidgeon, Donna Mills, Mike Farrell, Geraldine Page**, Vera Miles**
1965.55Hitchhike!TBAFebruary 23, 1974 (1974-02-23)Saturday
1975.56 Killer Bees HorrorFebruary 26, 1974 (1974-02-26)Tuesday
A strong-willed woman and matriarch of her family has psychic control over a swarm of "killer bees" that reside in her vineyard.
Starring: Gloria Swanson, Kate Jackson, Edward Albert, Craig Stevens, John Getz
1985.57Unwed FatherTBAFebruary 27, 1974 (1974-02-27)Wednesday
1995.58 Houston, We've Got a Problem DramaMarch 2, 1974 (1974-03-02)Saturday
Fictional tales about family and health problems besetting flight controllers at Mission Control as they labor to bring Apollo 13 home safely.
Starring: Robert Culp, Clu Gulager, Gary Collins*, Sandra Dee**, Ed Nelson***, Steve Franken
2005.59 The Stranger Who Looks Like Me DramaMarch 6, 1974 (1974-03-06)Wednesday
2015.60MouseyTBAMarch 9, 1974 (1974-03-09)Saturday
2025.61 Wonder Woman ActionMarch 12, 1974 (1974-03-12)Tuesday

Wonder Woman races to recover a secret list of American agents from a criminal mastermind.
Starring: Cathy Lee Crosby, Ricardo Montalbán**, Andrew Prine*


Unsold pilot; not related to the 1975-79 TV series of the same name.
2035.62 The Hanged Man WesternMarch 13, 1974 (1974-03-13)Wednesday
A gunfighter who miraculously survived his execution helps a young widow keep her land from a ruthless silver baron.
Starring: Steve Forrest, Dean Jagger**, Will Geer **, Sharon Acker*, Brendon Boone*, Rafael Campos*, Barbara Luna*, Cameron Mitchell*
2045.63Men of the DragonActionMarch 20, 1974 (1974-03-20)Wednesday

An American kung fu master and his Chinese blood brother search for his sister, kidnapped by human traffickers in Hong Kong.
Starring: Jared Martin, Katie Saylor, Robert Ito, Joseph Wiseman**


An American-produced chopsocky movie filmed on location in Hong Kong.
2055.64 The Gun and the Pulpit WesternApril 3, 1974 (1974-04-03)Wednesday

A headstrong gunslinger assumes the identity of a murdered preacher and convinces a town to stand up against a crime boss.
Starring: Marjoe Gortner, Slim Pickens, David Huddleston, Geoffrey Lewis, Pamela Sue Martin, Estelle Parsons**, Jeff Corey


Paul Junger Witt was the executive producer.
2065.65Murder or Mercy?TBAApril 10, 1974 (1974-04-10)Wednesday
2075.66The Last Angry ManTBAApril 16, 1974 (1974-04-16)Tuesday
2085.67The Chadwick FamilyDramaApril 17, 1974 (1974-04-17)Wednesday
Unsold pilot.
2095.68 Planet Earth Science fictionApril 23, 1974 (1974-04-23)Tuesday

20th-century man Dylan Hunt, awakened from suspended animation in a post-apocalyptic world, visits a female-dominated society to find a missing surgeon.
Starring: John Saxon, Janet Margolin, Ted Cassidy, Diana Muldaur*


Second unsold pilot for a Gene Roddenberry concept; preceded in 1973 by Genesis II on CBS.
2105.69The Story of Pretty Boy FloydTBAMay 7, 1974 (1974-05-07)Tuesday

Season 6: 1974–75

MovTitleGenreAir dateWeekday
2116.01Hurricane Disaster September 10, 1974 (1974-09-10)Tuesday
2126.02 Savages SuspenseSeptember 11, 1974 (1974-09-11)Wednesday

A sadistic hunter recklessly kills a prospector, then torments his young hunting guide and tries to frame him for the crime.
Starring: Andy Griffith, Sam Bottoms, Noah Beery, James Best, Randy Boone, Jim Antonio, Jim Chandler


Based on the novel Death Watch by Robb White.
2136.03The Sex SymbolDramaSeptember 17, 1974 (1974-09-17)Tuesday
Fictional biography of a Marilyn Monroe-like movie star.
2146.04The Day the Earth Moved Disaster September 18, 1974 (1974-09-18)Wednesday

Aerial photographers race to save the residents of a tiny town when their photos indicate an earthquake is imminent.
Starring: Jackie Cooper, Cleavon Little, Stella Stevens**, William Windom


Bobby Sherman was one of the producers.
2156.05The Great NiagaraDramaSeptember 24, 1974 (1974-09-24)Tuesday

In Depression era Canada, a man who once survived the plunge over Niagara Falls wants his sons to follow in his footsteps.
Starring: Richard Boone, Michael Sacks, Randy Quaid, Jennifer Salt, Burt Young


Filmed on location in Niagara Falls, Ontario.
2166.06 The California Kid DramaSeptember 25, 1974 (1974-09-25)Wednesday

When a sailor's car is pushed over a cliff by a sheriff at a speed trap, his hot rodder brother comes to town to investigate and to get revenge.
Starring: Martin Sheen, Vic Morrow, Michelle Phillips, Nick Nolte, Stuart Margolin


Produced by Howie Horwitz ( 77 Sunset Strip , Batman ).
2176.07 The Stranger Within Science fictionOctober 1, 1974 (1974-10-01)Tuesday
An expectant mother begins to suspect that her actions and emotions are being controlled by her unborn baby.
Starring: Barbara Eden, George Grizzard, Joyce Van Patten, David Doyle, Nehemiah Persoff
2186.08 Death Sentence ThrillerOctober 2, 1974 (1974-10-02)Wednesday
Starring: Cloris Leachman, Laurence Luckinbill, Nick Nolte, Alan Oppenheimer, William Schallert
2196.09 Hit Lady SuspenseOctober 8, 1974 (1974-10-08)Tuesday

A seductive assassin wants to leave her lethal profession behind and goes on the run.
Starring: Yvette Mimieux, Joseph Campanella, Clu Gulager, Dack Rambo, Keenan Wynn


Written by Yvette Mimieux.
2206.10LocustsTBAOctober 9, 1974 (1974-10-09)Wednesday
2216.11 Trapped Beneath the Sea DisasterOctober 22, 1974 (1974-10-22)Tuesday
2226.12 Bad Ronald HorrorOctober 23, 1974 (1974-10-23)Wednesday
2236.13 The Mark of Zorro AdventureOctober 29, 1974 (1974-10-29)Tuesday

Starring: Frank Langella as Zorro, Ricardo Montalbán, Gilbert Roland and Yvonne De Carlo.


Unsold pilot, remake of the 1940 theatrical film The Mark of Zorro reusing Alfred Newman's theme music.
2246.14 Death Cruise Drama/mysteryOctober 30, 1974 (1974-10-30)Wednesday

Three couples given free tickets to a Caribbean cruise experience marital problems before they are murdered one by one.
Starring: Richard Long, Polly Bergen, Edward Albert, Kate Jackson, Tom Bosley, Celeste Holm, Michael Constantine, Cesare Danova


Produced by Aaron Spelling, with the non-mystery aspects very similar to his later 1977-86 TV series The Love Boat ; Richard Long's final role before his sudden death.
2256.15 The Great Ice Rip-Off Caper November 6, 1974 (1974-11-06)Wednesday
2266.16 All the Kind Strangers ThrillerNovember 12, 1974 (1974-11-12)Tuesday
A photojournalist finds himself a captive of an orphaned family in a remote farmhouse who want new parents.
Starring: Stacy Keach, Samantha Eggar, John Savage, Robby Benson
2276.17 The Gun DramaNovember 13, 1974 (1974-11-13)Wednesday
Anthology of stories about a single firearm.
A pistol passes from frightened homeowner to potential workplace shooter, barrio family, theater robbery, police disposal and, finally, a child's accident.
Starring: Stephen Elliot, David Huffman, John Sylvester White
2286.18 It Couldn't Happen to a Nicer Guy ComedyNovember 19, 1974 (1974-11-19)Tuesday
A middle-aged family man hitchhiking home is abducted and molested by a beautiful young woman, then finds himself disbelieved and ridiculed.
Starring: Paul Sorvino, Michael Learned, Adam Arkin, Bob Dishy, Jo Anna Cameron, Graham Jarvis
2296.19Panic on the 5:22TBANovember 20, 1974 (1974-11-20)Wednesday
2306.20The GodchildTBANovember 26, 1974 (1974-11-26)Tuesday
2316.21 Betrayal TBADecember 3, 1974 (1974-12-03)Tuesday
2326.22The TribeTBADecember 11, 1974 (1974-12-11)Wednesday
A Cro-Magnon clan struggles against misfortune, sparse prey and hostile Neanderthals.
Starring: Victor French, Warren Vanders, Henry Wilconxon, Adriana Shaw, Stewart Moss
2336.23 Roll, Freddy, Roll! ComedyDecember 17, 1974 (1974-12-17)Tuesday

A mild-mannered father tries to regain the admiration of his young son by setting the Guinness world endurance record on roller skates.
Starring: Tim Conway, Barra Grant, Jan Murray, Scott Brady, Robert Hogan, Henry Jones, Ruta Lee


Written and produced by Bill Persky and Sam Denoff ( That Girl ).
2346.24 Let's Switch! ComedyJanuary 7, 1975 (1975-01-07)Tuesday
A harried housewife and a frazzled women's magazine editor-in-chief swap careers and families for a week to experience how the other half lives.
Starring: Barbara Eden, Barbara Feldon, Barra Grant, Penny Marshall, Joyce Van Patten, Richard Schaal, Pat Harrington, Ron Glass
2356.25The Missing Are DeadlyThrillerJanuary 8, 1975 (1975-01-08)Wednesday
A teenage boy steals a lab mouse from his father's virology institute to get attention, not knowing it is infected with contagious, deadly bacteria.
Starring: Ed Nelson, Leonard Nimoy, Gary Morgan, Kathleen Quinlan, Marjorie Lord, José Ferrer**
2366.26 Satan's Triangle HorrorJanuary 14, 1975 (1975-01-14)Tuesday
A Coast Guard team answering a distress call in the Bermuda Triangle finds a sole survivor on a boat and possibly demonic forces at work.
Starring: Kim Novak, Doug McClure, Alejandro Rey, Ed Lauter, Jim Davis, Michael Conrad
2376.27 The Hatfields and the McCoys Western/dramaJanuary 15, 1975 (1975-01-15)Wednesday
A romance rekindles a long-standing feud between two American mountain families: the Hatfields and the McCoys.
Starring: Jack Palance, Steve Forest, Richard Hatch, James Keach, Robert Carradine
2386.28The Abduction of Saint AnneTBAJanuary 21, 1975 (1975-01-21)Tuesday
2396.29The Daughters of Joshua Cabe ReturnWesternJanuary 28, 1975 (1975-01-28)Tuesday
Second unsold pilot for a TV series; the first of two sequels to The Daughters of Joshua Cabe (4.02), followed by The New Daughters of Joshua Cabe (which, unlike the other two movies, was not an ABC Movie of the Week).
2406.30All Together NowDramaFebruary 5, 1975 (1975-02-05)Wednesday
2416.31The Trial of Chaplain JensenDramaFebruary 11, 1975 (1975-02-11)Tuesday
Based on a true story.
2426.32 A Cry for Help DramaFebruary 12, 1975 (1975-02-12)Wednesday
A cynical radio talk-show host who insults his audience changes his behaviour when he receives a call from a suicidal teenage girl.
Starring: Robert Culp, Elayne Heilveil, Ken Swofford, Julius Harris, Michael Lerner
2436.33 The Family Nobody Wanted TBAFebruary 19, 1975 (1975-02-19)Wednesday
2446.34Someone I TouchedTBAFebruary 26, 1975 (1975-02-26)Wednesday
2456.35 Trilogy of Terror HorrorMarch 4, 1975 (1975-03-04)Tuesday
Self-contained anthology with Karen Black in three unrelated roles. Followed by two sequels, Dead of Night (1977) and, years later, Trilogy of Terror II (1996) (neither of which, unlike the first movie, was an ABC Movie of the Week). The first two movies were unsold pilots for a horror anthology TV series to be called Dead of Night.
2466.36The Desperate MilesTBAMarch 5, 1975 (1975-03-05)Wednesday
2476.37Dead Man on the RunTBAApril 2, 1975 (1975-04-02)Wednesday
2486.38Swiss Family RobinsonTBAApril 15, 1975 (1975-04-15)Tuesday

Starring Martin Milner and Cameron Mitchell.


Pilot for Irwin Allen's 1975-76 TV series The Swiss Family Robinson .
2496.39Returning HomeTBAApril 29, 1975 (1975-04-29)Tuesday
2506.40 Starsky & Hutch Police dramaApril 30, 1975 (1975-04-30)Wednesday

Detectives David Michael Starsky and Kenneth Richard "Hutch" Hutchinson set out to find a pair of hit men responsible for the murders of two teenage lovers.
Starring: Paul Michael Glaser, David Soul, Michael Lerner, Michael Conrad


Pilot for the 1975-79 TV series of the same name premiering in September.
2516.41 Matt Helm MysteryMay 7, 1975 (1975-05-07)Wednesday

Matt Helm, a former secret agent, now a private investigator, is hired to protect a beautiful film star and gets involved with gun runners.
Starring: Anthony Franciosa, Ann Turkel, Laraine Stephens, Patrick Macnee, John Vernon


Pilot for the 1975-76 TV series of the same name premiering in September.
2526.42The First 36 Hours of Dr. DurantTBAMay 13, 1975 (1975-05-13)Tuesday
2536.43Promise Him AnythingTBAMay 14, 1975 (1975-05-14)Wednesday
Series finale.

See also

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References

  1. Karol, Michael (June 2005). The ABC Movie of the Week Companion: A Loving Tribute to the Classic Series. iUniverse. p. 19. ISBN   978-0-595-35836-6.
  2. p.xxii McKenna, Michael The ABC Movie of the Week: Big Movies for the Small Screen Scarecrow Press, 2013
  3. 1 2 "The ABC Movie of the Week Opening by Harry Marks". TVparty. Retrieved 2010-01-27.
  4. "The TV Ratings Guide.com". Archived from the original on March 22, 2018. Retrieved April 26, 2020.
  5. "The TV Ratings Guide.com". Archived from the original on May 11, 2018. Retrieved April 26, 2020.
  6. 1 2 "The TV Ratings Guide.com". Archived from the original on April 1, 2018. Retrieved April 26, 2020.
  7. "The TV Ratings Guide.com". Archived from the original on March 22, 2018. Retrieved April 26, 2020.
  8. "The TV Ratings Guide.com". Archived from the original on April 4, 2018. Retrieved April 26, 2020.
  9. She Lives! trivia at IMDb

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Opening of ABC Movie of the Week