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ABC Movie of the Week

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ABC Movie of the Week
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
Production
Running time90 minutes including commercials; 71-74 minutes excluding commercials
Original release
NetworkABC
ReleaseSeptember 23, 1969 (1969-09-23) –
May 14, 1975 (1975-05-14)
Scene of Dennis Weaver in the ABC Movie of the Week, Duel, directed by Steven Spielberg. It 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 an American weekly television anthology series featuring made-for-TV movies that aired on the ABC network in various permutations from 1969 to 1975.

History[edit]

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 it coming in fourth among the three networks or about its acronym meaning "Almost Broadcasting Company". 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), although the concept was actually originated by producer Roy Huggins. Huggins 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 NBC and CBS but became the subject of a cover story in the March 21, 1968 issue of Variety magazine. ABC executives read the article and contacted Huggins, who did not want to sell the idea but could produce the series through Universal, where he was under contract. Universal 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, purchasing films from various studios and production companies.[1] As the Variety article had effectively placed the concept into the public domain, ABC continued to develop it without Huggins' permission or involvement.[2] ABC consoled Huggins by allowing him to produce several films, including The Young Country, precursor to Alias Smith and Jones. Michael Karol repeated the claim in his book The ABC Movie of the Week Companion: A Loving Tribute to the Classic Series that the Movie of the Week was Diller's idea,[3] but this was based on hearsay.

The cover of the 2005 edition of The ABC Movie of the Week Companion shows the Zuni fetish doll from Trilogy of Terror (1975)

The shorter format allowed a smaller budget than two-hour TV movies. At $350,000 per film, it was less than half the budget of NBC's World Premiere movies.[1] It featured the work of producers like Aaron Spelling, David Wolper and Harve Bennett (all of whom later developed hit series of their own), and was produced by different production companies such as Bing Crosby Productions and the network's own ABC Circle Films. Spelling was particularly prolific, producing films under his own credit as well as through Spelling-Goldberg Productions and Thomas-Spelling Productions (partly owned by Danny Thomas).

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[edit]

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[edit]

The title sequence was designed by Harry Marks[4] 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 chosen by Marks and arranged by Harry Betts.[4]

Over the music was narration voiced by Dick Tufeld. "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 ([1]). 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[edit]

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., for example, 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 were actually shown on other movie series, such as The ABC Sunday Night Movie.

Actors[edit]

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, Clint Walker, Earl Holliman, Leonard Nimoy, Robert Culp, Barbara Eden, Larry Hagman, Elizabeth Montgomery, Donna Mills, Ed Nelson, Ken Berry, Connie Stevens, Lee Majors, James Brolin, Lloyd Bridges, Cloris Leachman, Ricardo Montalbán, Richard Anderson, Lesley Anne Warren, Janet Leigh, John Marley, William Schallert, Karen Valentine, Ben Murphy, Barra Grant, Myrna Loy, Carl Betz, Henry Jones 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[edit]

The series proper ended in 1975 as ABC's ratings collapsed that season. Analysts laid part of the blame on ABC's overreliance on the MotW, which had suffered from ratings fatigue and a perceived drop in quality despite some notable films. The latter was symptomized by an increased number of pilots as well as remakes and variations of established intellectual properties, such as The Swiss Family Robinson, The Mark of Zorro, The Hatfields and the McCoys and Matt Helm.[5] 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.

During the 1970s, ABC's local owned-and-operated stations (in a few of the nation's biggest cities; at the time, they all broadcast on channel 7) featured The 4:30 Movie on weekday afternoons (the actual time varied by city, but generally after ABC's morning/midday game shows and soap operas); it featured mainly major Hollywood theatrical releases, but some installments of the Movie of the Week were also rebroadcast here.

Filmography[edit]

Nielsen ratings[edit]

Season Episodes First aired Last aired Rank Nielsen rating
1 25 September 23, 1969 March 17, 1970 #22 20.9[6]
2 25 September 22, 1970 April 6, 1971 #6 25.1[7]
3 44 September 14, 1971 March 7, 1972 #5 25.5[8]
4 47 September 12, 1972 March 21, 1973 #17 (Tuesday) #22 (Wednesday) 21.4 (Tue) 20.0 (Wed)[8]
5 70 September 11, 1973 May 7, 1974 #21 (Tuesday) #48 (Wednesday) #72 (Saturday) 21.0 (Tue) 17.2 (Wed) 12.9 (Sat)[9]
6 43 September 10, 1974 May 14, 1975 #47 (Tuesday) #38 (Wednesday) 17.6 (Tue) 18.7 (Wed)[10]

Cast notes[edit]

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

Season 1: 1969–70[edit]

No.MovieTitleGenreAir dateWeekday
11.01Seven in DarknessDramaSeptember 23, 1969 (1969-09-23)Tuesday
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 ImmortalScience fictionSeptember 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.
31.03The Over-the-Hill GangWestern-comedyOctober 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)
41.04Wake Me When the War Is OverComedyOctober 14, 1969 (1969-10-14)Tuesday
A German baroness hides a bumbling Air Force airman 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**, Danielle De Metz
51.05The MonkMystery/ActionOctober 21, 1969 (1969-10-21)Tuesday

Unlicensed private investigator Gus Monk is entangled in a scheme involving a Mob-connected lawyer who claims his boss is out to kill him.
Starring: George Maharis, Janet Leigh, Rick Jason, Carl Betz*, Jack Albertson**, Raymond St. Jacques***, William Smithers, Jack Soo, Mary Wickes


Unsold pilot. Story by Blake Edwards, based on characters he created.
61.06The Young LawyersLegal dramaOctober 28, 1969 (1969-10-28)Tuesday

A Boston attorney leaves to take control of a legal aid program staffed by students. Their first case is to defend two Black men accused of robbing and beating a cab driver.
Starring: Jason Evers, Judy Pace, Zalman King, Tom Fielding, Anjanette Comer*, Keenan Wynn*, James Shigeta*, Richard Pryor*, Dick Bass*, Michael Parks**, George Macready***, Louise Latham***, Barry Atwater***, Georg Stanford Brown***


Partly recast and returned as a series in the 1970-71 TV season.
71.07The PigeonCrime thrillerNovember 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 Montalbán**, Pat Boone***, Roy Glenn, Patsy Kelly, Norman Alden
81.08The Spy KillerEspionage thrillerNovember 11, 1969 (1969-11-11)Tuesday

Former government assassin turned private investigator John Smith finds himself caught in a web of deceit involving a notebook containing a list of names of spies.
Starring: Robert Horton, Jill St. John, Sebastian Cabot, Lee Montague, Eleanor Summerfield, Barbara Shelley


Unsold pilot. Screenplay by and produced by Jimmy Sangster, based on his novel, Private I. Filmed at Pinewood Studios and on location in London. The three main characters were reworked into another pilot, Foreign Exchange (1.17).
91.09The Ballad of Andy CrockerDramaNovember 18, 1969 (1969-11-18)Tuesday
101.10In Name OnlyRomantic Comedy AnthologyNovember 25, 1969 (1969-11-25)Tuesday

Struggling wedding consultants desperately try to get three couples legally married after finding out they accidentally had an actor officiate the original weddings.
Starring: Michael Callan, Ann Prentiss, Eve Arden**, Ruth Buzzi**, Christopher Connelly,** Bill Daily**, Elinor Donahue**, Herb Edelman**, Paul Ford,** Elsa Lanchester**


Produced and directed by E.W. Swackhamer. Written by Bernard Slade.
111.11Three's a CrowdRomantic comedyDecember 2, 1969 (1969-12-02)Tuesday
Believing his wife died, a man remarries, but when she returns years later, the accidental bigamist tries to keep his secret from both wives.
Starring: Larry Hagman, E. J. Peaker, Jessica Walter, Harvey Korman, Farrah Fawcett, Norman Fell
121.12Daughter of the MindThrillerDecember 9, 1969 (1969-12-09)Tuesday
131.13The Silent GunWesternDecember 16, 1969 (1969-12-16)Tuesday

After nearly shooting an innocent, a famed gunslinger gives up violence but has to find a way to save a frontier town.
Starring: Lloyd Bridges, John Beck, Ed Begley, Sr., Edd Byrnes, Pernell Roberts, Susan Howard


Based on a concept by Bob Kane.
141.14Honeymoon with a StrangerThrillerDecember 23, 1969 (1969-12-23)Tuesday
An American woman honeymooning in Spain suspects foul play when her wealthy husband disappears, but when the police investigate, a stranger appears, claiming to be the man.
Starring: Janet Leigh, Rossano Brazzi, Cesare Danova, Eric Braeden, Barbara Steele
151.15Gidget Grows UpComedyDecember 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).
161.16Black Water GoldAdventure/dramaJanuary 6, 1970 (1970-01-06)Tuesday

Independent scholars try to find a long lost Spanish galleon while an unscrupulous, wealthy thief shadows them to get the treasure for himself.
Starring: Keir Dullea, Bradford Dillman, France Nuyen, Aron Kincaid, Lana Wood, Jacques Aubuchon, Paul Hampton, Ricardo Montalbán**


Produced, directed and story by Alan Landsburg. Filmed on location in the Bahamas.
171.17Foreign ExchangeEspionage thrillerJanuary 13, 1970 (1970-01-13)Tuesday

Former government agent turned private investigator John Smith agrees to participate in a scheme to be captured by the Soviets and exchanged for a double agent that the West wants to plant high in the KGB.
Starring: Robert Horton, Jill St. John, Sebastian Cabot, Eric Pohlmann, Dudley Foster, Eleanor Summerfield


Unsold pilot. Screenplay by and produced by Jimmy Sangster, based on his novel, Foreign Exchange. Filmed at Pinewood Studios and on location in London. This is a soft reboot of The Spy Killer (1.08) with the events of the earlier pilot completely ignored. John Smith is reintroduced as a traditional spy rather than a counterintelligence assassin.
181.18Carter's ArmyActionJanuary 27, 1970 (1970-01-27)Tuesday

A racist commando must lead an all-African-American squad of misfits on a secret mission in Nazi 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 SpiderRevengeFebruary 3, 1970 (1970-02-03)Tuesday
An archeologist creates a fake identity for herself and stages "her" murder in a complicated ploy to frame a physics professor who she believes killed her husband and stole his research.
Starring: Suzanne Pleshette, Ed Nelson, Andrew Prine, Brooke Bundy, Richard Anderson
201.20The ChallengeDramaFebruary 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

A documentary tracing the political life and career of Robert F. Kennedy.
Starring: John Huston (narrator)


Written by Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. The only non-fiction Movie of the Week.
221.22QuarantinedMedical dramaFebruary 24, 1970 (1970-02-24)Tuesday

Conflict and crises at a hospital run by a medical patriarch and his three sons – all doctors – including a cholera outbreak and a movie star with kidney failure.
Starring: Gary Collins, John Dehner, Susan Howard, Gordon Pinsent, Dan Ferrone, Wally Cox*, Sam Jaffe*, Terry Moore*, Sharon Farrell**


Unsold pilot.
231.23Mister JericoHeistMarch 3, 1970 (1970-03-03)Tuesday

Suave con artist Dudley Jerico and his sidekick scheme to steal a $2 million diamond from a tycoon, but they find they have competition.
Starring: Patrick Macnee, Connie Stevens, Herbert Lom, Marty Allen


Unsold pilot. Location filming in Malta with studio filming at Elstree Studios. Theme song sung by Lulu.
241.24The Love WarScience fiction/actionMarch 10, 1970 (1970-03-10)Tuesday
Teams of benevolent and hostile aliens compete in a contest for dominion of Earth, but one falls in love with a woman he meets on a bus.
Starring: Lloyd Bridges, Angie Dickinson**, Daniel J. Travanti (as Dan Travanty), Harry Basch
251.25The Young CountryWesternMarch 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[edit]

No.MovTitleGenreAir dateWeekday
262.01How Awful About AllanThrillerSeptember 22, 1970 (1970-09-22)Tuesday

A man blinded by guilt comes home to live with his sister, but 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.
272.02Night SlavesScience fictionSeptember 29, 1970 (1970-09-29)Tuesday

A man with a steel plate in his skull sees everyone else 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.
282.03But 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**
292.04The Old Man Who Cried WolfMysteryOctober 13, 1970 (1970-10-13)Tuesday

An elderly man sees a close friend beaten to death, but all witnesses contradict him, the police won't believe him and his son suspects him of paranoia.
Starring: Edward G. Robinson, Diane Baker, Ruth Roman, Percy Rodrigues, Sam Jaffe, Martin Balsam**, Edward Asner, Martin E. Brooks, Virginia Christine


Martin Balsam and Martin E. Brooks would both later play the role of Dr. Rudy Wells at different times in The Six Million Dollar Man.
302.05Wild WomenActionOctober 20, 1970 (1970-10-20)Tuesday
Unsold pilot.
312.06The House That Would Not DieHorrorOctober 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


Based on the novel Ammie Come Home by Barbara Michaels.
322.07TribesDramaNovember 10, 1970 (1970-11-10)Tuesday
332.08The Over-the-Hill Gang Rides AgainWestern/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).
342.09Crowhaven FarmThrillerNovember 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
352.10Run, Simon, RunRevenge tragedyDecember 1, 1970 (1970-12-01)Tuesday
A Papago man just released from prison seeks revenge on the former partner who murdered his brother and framed him for the crime after the three men found turquoise.
Starring: Burt Reynolds, Inger Stevens, Royal Dano, James Best, Rodolfo Acosta, Don Dubbins
362.11Weekend of TerrorThrillerDecember 8, 1970 (1970-12-08)Tuesday
Kidnappers accidentally kill their victim before they can collect the ransom, then abduct three nuns from a car to stand-in to convince the victim's father that she is still alive.
Starring: Robert Conrad, Lee Majors, Lois Nettleton, Carol Lynley, Jane Wyatt
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 human 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.
392.14Assault on the WayneThrillerJanuary 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, a theatrical film which Ron Masak also appeared in.
402.15Dr. Cook's GardenThrillerJanuary 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.
412.16The Feminist and the FuzzRomantic comedyJanuary 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**
422.17The Point!ChildrenFebruary 2, 1971 (1971-02-02)Tuesday
Animated; narrated by Dustin Hoffman for the initial broadcast only.
432.18Love Hate LoveThrillerFebruary 9, 1971 (1971-02-09)Tuesday
A former fashion model is stalked by a relentless, violent playboy she had a fling with before her wedding.
Starring: Ryan O'Neal, Lesley Ann Warren, Peter Haskell, Henry Jones, Jeff Donnell, Jack Mullaney, Stanley Adams
442.19Maybe I'll Come Home in the SpringDramaFebruary 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
452.20LongstreetMysteryFebruary 23, 1971 (1971-02-23)Tuesday

Insurance investigator Mike Longstreet searches for the culprit 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.
462.21YumaWesternMarch 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
472.22River of GoldAction adventureMarch 9, 1971 (1971-03-09)Tuesday
Unsold pilot.
482.23In Search of AmericaDramaMarch 23, 1971 (1971-03-23)Tuesday

A college dropout convinces his parents and grandmother to join him in an old bus converted into a motorhome on a journey of self-discovery to a hippie music festival, where he falls in love with gravely ill girl.
Starring: Carl Betz, Vera Miles, Jeff Bridges, Ruth McDevitt, Michael Anderson, Jr.*, Howard Duff*, Kim Hunter*, Renne Jarrett*, Sal Mineo*, Tyne Daly


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 similar TV series The Magician for CBS in 1973-74.

Season 3: 1971–72[edit]

No.MovTitleGenreAir dateWeekday
513.01The Forgotten ManDramaSeptember 14, 1971 (1971-09-14)Tuesday
A Vietnam War POW, returning home after five years of captivity and interrogation, finds that his wife has 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
523.02The BirdmenAction adventureSeptember 18, 1971 (1971-09-18)Saturday

An OSS officer tasked with smuggling a nuclear physicist out of Nazi Germany plots to fly themselves out of a POW camp located in a mountain castle using a handbuilt glider.
Starring: Doug McClure, Rene Auberjonois, Richard Basehart**, Max Baer Jr.**, Chuck Connors**, Tom Skerritt


Fictionalized story based on the account of the Colditz Cock. Released as a feature film overseas as Escape of the Birdmen.
533.03Congratulations, 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
543.04The Deadly DreamSuspenseSeptember 25, 1971 (1971-09-25)Saturday
An overworked researcher questions reality when people, places and events from a recurring dream where he is pursued and persecuted for an unknown crime start appearing in the real world.
Starring: Lloyd Bridges, Janet Leigh, Leif Erickson, Carl Betz, Don Stroud, Richard Jaeckel
553.05Five Desperate WomenThrillerSeptember 28, 1971 (1971-09-28)Tuesday
Former girls' school classmates having a reunion on a private island realize that either of the male staffers may be a murderous escaped convict.
Starring: Robert Conrad**, Anjanette Comer, Bradford Dillman, Joan Hackett, Denise Nicholas, Stephanie Powers, Julie Sommars
563.06Sweet, 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.
573.07The Last ChildDramaOctober 5, 1971 (1971-10-05)Tuesday
In an overpopulated future U.S. with a one-child policy, an expectant couple who had previously lost a newborn try to flee to Canada with the help of a former US senator.
Starring: Michael Cole, Harry Guardino, Janet Margolin, Edward Asner, Van Heflin**, Barbara Babcock
583.08ThiefDramaOctober 9, 1971 (1971-10-09)Saturday
An urbane burglar struggles to raise money to cover his gambling debts and regain custody of his son.
Starring: Richard Crenna, Angie Dickinson, Cameron Mitchell, Hurd Hatfield, Robert Webber**
593.09A Taste of EvilThrillerOctober 12, 1971 (1971-10-12)Tuesday
After years in a psychiatric hospital, 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
603.10In Broad DaylightThrillerOctober 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
613.11Suddenly SingleDramaOctober 19, 1971 (1971-10-19)Tuesday
A newly divorced middle-aged man finds himself torn between two women, a young free spirit and a mature real estate agent.
Starring: Hal Holbrook, Barbara Rush, Margot Kidder, Agnes Moorehead, Michael Constantine, Harvey Korman, Cloris Leachman
623.12Death 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.
633.13The Death of Me YetDramaOctober 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
643.14A Little GameThrillerOctober 30, 1971 (1971-10-30)Saturday
An angry and hostile boy, returning home from military school for the holidays, clashes with his stepfather and sparks suspicions that he killed a schoolmate.
Starring: Ed Nelson, Diane Baker, Katy Jurado, Howard Duff, Mark Gruner, Christopher Shea
653.15Two on a BenchComedyNovember 2, 1971 (1971-11-02)Tuesday
Two young people – one buttoned-down and the other free-spirited – are detained together for a day as suspects after they unwittingly encounter a traitorous scientist passing secrets on a park bench.
Starring: Patty Duke, Ted Bessell, Andrew Duggan, John Astin, Alice Ghostley Terry Carter, Dick Balduzzi
663.16Revenge!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
673.17Do Not Fold, Spindle or MutilateThrillerNovember 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
683.18DuelThrillerNovember 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.
693.19Mr. and Mrs. Bo Jo JonesDramaNovember 16, 1971 (1971-11-16)Tuesday

Facing an unexpected pregnancy, a teenage couple gets married over the objections of their families, one well-off and one middle class.
Starring: Desi Arnaz Jr., Christopher Norris, Dan Dailey*, Dina Merrill*, Tom Bosley*, Lynn Carlin*, Susan Strasberg*, Jessie Royce Landis**, Larry Wilcox, Nicholas Hammond


Based on the novel by Ann Head.
703.20The Reluctant HeroesWar 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 during the Korean War.
Starring: Ken Berry, Jim Hutton, Trini Lopez, Don Marshall, Ralph Meeker, Cameron Mitchell, Warren Oates, Soon-Tek Oh
713.21The Failing of RaymondSuspenseNovember 27, 1971 (1971-11-27)Saturday
An escaped mental patient stalks the English literature teacher who he blames for failing him in high school.
Starring: Jane Wyman, Dean Stockwell, Dana Andrews**, Paul Henreid, Tim O'Connor, Priscilla Pointer
723.22Brian's SongDramaNovember 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.
733.23The Devil and Miss SarahWesternDecember 4, 1971 (1971-12-04)Saturday
A settler couple – the wife having second sight – is tormented by an outlaw prisoner they're escorting, who is also imbued with the gift and a silver tongue.
Starring: Gene Barry, Janice Rule, James Drury, Slim Pickens, Donald Moffat
743.24If Tomorrow ComesDramaDecember 7, 1971 (1971-12-07)Tuesday
Originally promoted as The Glass Hammer.
753.25See 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.
763.26The TrackersWesternDecember 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.
773.27What's a Nice Girl Like You...?ComedyDecember 18, 1971 (1971-12-18)Saturday
783.28Gidget Gets MarriedComedyJanuary 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 planned community owned by his employer.
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.
793.29The AstronautDramaJanuary 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 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.
803.30The Night StalkerHorrorJanuary 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; but followed by The Night Strangler (4.29) and Kolchak: The Night Stalker.
813.31Madame SinSpy thrillerJanuary 15, 1972 (1972-01-15)Saturday

A wealthy villainess with a brainwashing device plans to steal a Polaris submarine, with help from a disgruntled American agent she recruited.
Starring: Bette Davis, Robert Wagner, Denholm Elliott, Gordon Jackson, Dudley Sutton, Catherine Schell


Filmed on location on the Isle of Mull. Studio filming at Pinewood Studios. Robert Wagner was executive producer.
823.32Getting Away from It AllComedyJanuary 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*
833.33The PeopleScience 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
843.34Women in ChainsDramaJanuary 25, 1972 (1972-01-25)Tuesday
853.35The Screaming WomanThrillerJanuary 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
863.36HardcaseWesternFebruary 1, 1972 (1972-02-01)Tuesday

A soldier presumed dead who returns from the Moro Rebellion kidnaps the Mexican Revolutionary leader who married his wife, seeking ransom and revenge.
Starring: Clint Walker, Stefanie Powers, Pedro Armendáriz Jr., Alex Karras


First live action feature film production by Hanna-Barbera.
873.37When Michael CallsThrillerFebruary 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, Rosey Grier, Juliet Prowse**


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

Sherlock Holmes investigates a supposed curse stalking the heir to Baskerville Hall.
Starring: Stewart Granger, Bernard Fox, William Shatner and Jane Merrow.


First pilot for the unsold anthology series Great Detectives.
903.40Call Her MomComedyFebruary 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.
923.42Two for the MoneyMysteryFebruary 26, 1972 (1972-02-26)Saturday

Two ex-cops starting out as private eyes take their first case – to find a wily young man who murdered a family twelve years earlier then vanished without a trace.
Starring: Robert Hooks, Stephen Brooks, Walter Brennan*, Catherine Burns*, Neville Brand*, Shelley Fabares*, Anne Revere*, Mercedes McCambridge**, Richard Dreyfuss


Unsold pilot.
933.43The Eyes of Charles SandOccult thrillerFebruary 29, 1972 (1972-02-29)Tuesday

After his uncle's death, a businessman learns the family trait of clairvoyance has been passed to him, while an heiress who believes her brother is dead seeks his help.
Starring: Peter Haskell, Barbara Rush*, Sharon Farrell*, Bradford Dillman*, Adam West*, Joan Bennett*


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[edit]

No.MovTitleGenreAir dateWeekday
954.01The Longest NightCrime 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 a seven day 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.
964.02The Daughters of Joshua CabeWesternSeptember 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).
974.03No Place to RunDramaSeptember 19, 1972 (1972-09-19)Tuesday
984.04Haunts of the Very RichFolk horrorSeptember 20, 1972 (1972-09-20)Wednesday
Visitors at a mysterious luxury resort begin to suspect that they're actually in Hell when conditions inexorably deteriorate.
Starring: Lloyd Bridges, Cloris Leachman, Edward Asner, Anne Francis, Tony Bill, Donna Mills, Robert Reed, Moses Gunn
994.05Moon of the WolfMystery/horrorSeptember 26, 1972 (1972-09-26)Tuesday
In Louisiana bayou country, a sheriff faces murders committed with supernatural strength, possibly by a werewolf.
Starring: David Janssen, Barbara Rush, Bradford Dillman, John Beradino, Geoffrey Lewis
1004.06Say Goodbye, Maggie ColeMedical dramaSeptember 27, 1972 (1972-09-27)Wednesday

A recently widowed research doctor joins a Chicago clinic to try to escape her grief, where she befriends a young girl dying of leukemia.
Starring: Susan Hayward, Darren McGavin, Michael Constantine, Michele Nichols, Dane Clark**, Beverly Garland**, Jeanette Nolan**, Richard Anderson


Theme song sung by Dusty Springfield.
1014.07PlaymatesComedyOctober 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
1024.08Rolling ManDramaOctober 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 an unknown item 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 successful sitcoms for ABC.
1044.10Lieutenant Schuster's WifeOctober 11, 1972 (1972-10-11)Wednesday

When an NYPD lieutenant is murdered and accused of corruption, his widow is determined to find out who set him up and to clear his name.
Starring: Lee Grant, Jack Warden, Don Galloway, Nehemiah Persoff, Eartha Kitt, Paul Burke**


Produced and co-written by Steven Bochco.
1054.11Goodnight, My LoveMysteryOctober 17, 1972 (1972-10-17)Tuesday
1064.12A Great American TragedyDramaOctober 18, 1972 (1972-10-18)Wednesday
The travails and frustrations of a desperate, middle-aged aerospace professional downsized in a tight job market.
Starring: George Kennedy, Vera Miles, William Windom, James Woods, Kevin McCarthy*, Robert Mandan
1074.13Short Walk to DaylightDisasterOctober 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
1084.14Family FlightDrama/disasterOctober 25, 1972 (1972-10-25)Wednesday

A family in a small plane downed in Baja California during a storm struggles 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.
1094.15The Bounty ManWesternOctober 31, 1972 (1972-10-31)Tuesday
A bounty hunter bringing in a notorious outlaw has to fend off a rival hunter's gang, who also want the bounty.
Starring: Clint Walker, Richard Basehart, John Ericson, Margot Kidder*, Gene Evans
1104.16That Certain SummerDramaNovember 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
1114.17The Crooked HeartsComedy/mysteryNovember 8, 1972 (1972-11-08)Wednesday
Two elderly swindlers unwittingly target each other through a dating service, and one may be a lonely hearts killer.
Starring: Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Rosalind Russell, Ross Martin, Michael Murphy, Maureen O'Sullivan
1124.18The VictimThrillerNovember 14, 1972 (1972-11-14)Tuesday
A wealthy woman is trapped during a storm in a house with no electricity or phone. A killer has murdered her sister, stuffed the body in the basement, and is now after her.
Starring: Elizabeth Montgomery, Eileen Heckart, George Maharis, Jess Walton
1134.19All My Darling DaughtersComedy/dramaNovember 22, 1972 (1972-11-22)Wednesday
Unsold pilot; followed by My Darling Daughters' Anniversary (5.23).
1144.20Home for the HolidaysThrillerNovember 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
1164.22The Couple Takes a WifeRomantic 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.
1174.23PursuitThrillerDecember 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. Originally promoted by ABC under the title, Explosion!
1184.24Every Man Needs OneRomantic comedyDecember 13, 1972 (1972-12-13)Wednesday

A chauvinistic architect facing legal action for sexual discrimination agrees to hire a female architect for 30 days.
Starring: Connie Stevens, Ken Berry**, Gail Fisher*, Steve Franken*, Henry Gibson*, Jerry Paris*, Louise Sorel*, Nancy Walker* (voice only), Carol Wayne*, Stanley Adams


Produced and directed by Jerry Paris
1194.25The Weekend NunDramaDecember 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

A newly-hired Black firefighter faces a serial arsonist and racism from a colleague.
Starring: Richard Roundtree, Andrew Duggan, Richard Jaeckel, Val Avery, Sheila Frazier, Vince Edwards**


Pilot for the 1974 TV series of the same name. Filmed and set in New York City while the series was relocated to Los Angeles.
1214.27The Devil's DaughterHorrorJanuary 9, 1973 (1973-01-09)Tuesday

A young woman is told by a satanic cult that she is the daughter of Satan and was conceived to be betrothed to a demon.
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 successful sitcoms for ABC.
1224.28Trouble Comes to TownDramaJanuary 10, 1973 (1973-01-10)Wednesday
1234.29The Night StranglerHorrorJanuary 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
1254.31Go Ask AliceDramaJanuary 24, 1973 (1973-01-24)Wednesday
1264.32A Cold Night's DeathThrillerJanuary 30, 1973 (1973-01-30)Tuesday

Two scientists doing research on monkeys at a remote, snowbound research laboratory where a lone colleague had mysteriously died face strange happenings of their own.
Starring: Robert Culp, Eli Wallach**, Michael Gwynne


Made with the cooperation of White Mountain Research Center.
1274.33SnatchedCrime dramaJanuary 31, 1973 (1973-01-31)Wednesday
1284.34Divorce HisDramaFebruary 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.
1294.35Divorce HersDramaFebruary 7, 1973 (1973-02-07)Wednesday
Continuing from Divorce His the night before. The second half is from the wife's perspective.
1304.36The Great American Beauty ContestDramaFebruary 13, 1973 (1973-02-13)Tuesday
Behind the scenes melodrama unfolds for both contestants and officials at the "Miss American Beauty" pageant.
Starring: Eleanor Parker, Bob Cummings, Jo Anna Cameron, Farrah Fawcett, Christopher Norris, Larry Wilcox
1314.37The Girls of Huntington HouseDramaFebruary 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
1324.38A Brand New LifeDramaFebruary 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
1334.39And No One Could Save HerMysteryFebruary 21, 1973 (1973-02-21)Wednesday
1344.40The ConnectionCrime dramaFebruary 27, 1973 (1973-02-27)Tuesday
1354.41You'll Never See Me AgainThrillerFebruary 28, 1973 (1973-02-28)Wednesday
1364.42The LettersDramaMarch 6, 1973 (1973-03-06)Tuesday

Stories of lives changed when mail is lost for a year. A cheating husband writes a breakup letter to his wife before reconciling. A wealthy woman writes her sister about her newfound happiness before she's murdered by the treacherous pianist they competed for. A wrongly accused man chased off by his girlfriend's mother dies after writing of his intent to clear his name.
Starring: John Forsythe, Pamela Franklin, Ida Lupino, Dina Merrill, Ben Murphy, Leslie Nielsen, Jane Powell, Barbara Stanwyck, Lesley Ann Warren, Henry Jones


First unsold pilot for an anthology series from Aaron Spelling, similar to his The Love Boat and Fantasy Island shows; followed by Letters from Three Lovers (5.09).
1374.43The Six Million Dollar ManScience 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.
1384.44The BaitCrime 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 '63DramaMarch 14, 1973 (1973-03-14)Wednesday

A college reunion is the setting for a messy love triangle between a successful executive, his wife and her egotistical former boyfriend.
Starring: James Brolin, Joan Hackett, Cliff Gorman**


Rare producing credit for renowned casting director Lynn Stalmaster.
1404.46Beg, Borrow or StealHeistMarch 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[edit]

No.MovTitleGenreAir dateWeekday
1425.01Deliver Us from EvilDramaSeptember 11, 1973 (1973-09-11)Tuesday

Six backpackers in the northern Rockies kill a parachuting skyjacker and decide to keep the $600,000 ransom, but they gradually fall prey to the brutal conditions of the wilderness.
Starring: George Kennedy, Jan-Michael Vincent, Bradford Dillman, Charles Aidman, Jim Davis, Jack Weston**


Mostly filmed on location at Mount Hood National Forest.
1435.02She Lives!DramaSeptember 12, 1973 (1973-09-12)Wednesday

A college couple desperately seek out methods of treatment after the woman is diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma.
Starring: Desi Arnaz, Jr., Season Hubley, Anthony Zerbe**, Michael Margotta, Jack Soo, Jay Robinson


The movie featured the song "Time in a Bottle" by Jim Croce; his death in a plane crash eight days after the movie premiered eventually drove ABC Records to release it as a single, which subsequently reached #1 on the U.S. music charts.[11]
1445.03Dying Room OnlyThrillerSeptember 18, 1973 (1973-09-18)Tuesday
At an isolated diner, a woman returns from the restroom to find her husband missing and nobody willing to give her an explanation.
Starring: Cloris Leachman, Ross Martin**, Ned Beatty, Louise Latham, Dabney Coleman
1455.04Satan's School for GirlsHorrorSeptember 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'September 25, 1973 (1973-09-25)Tuesday
1475.06Hijack!ThrillerSeptember 26, 1973 (1973-09-26)Wednesday
Two long-haul truckers carrying a secret load for a defense contractor must contend with a mysterious and murderous group who wants to steal their cargo.
Starring: David Janssen, Keenan Wynn, Lee Purcell, William Schallert
1485.07Runaway!DisasterSeptember 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***
1495.08Isn'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
1505.09Letters from Three LoversDramaOctober 3, 1973 (1973-10-03)Wednesday

Tales of lives changed when letters are delayed for a year. A young woman writes to her jailed boyfriend about her continued devotion, who had pushed her away after he was sent to prison. A busy executive's wife begins a monthly affair at a hotel, and her companion is supposed to mail a letter if he cannot attend. Two office workers in the same building mistake each other for wealthy people in Palm Beach, with the man writing a confessional letter declaring his unworthiness and begging her forgiveness.
Starring: June Allyson, Ken Berry, Juliet Mills, Belinda J. Montgomery, Martin Sheen, Robert Sterling, Barry Sullivan, Lyle Waggoner, Henry Jones


Second unsold pilot for an anthology series from Aaron Spelling, similar to his The Love Boat and Fantasy Island shows; follows The Letters (4.42).
1515.10The Alpha CaperHeistOctober 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**, Elena Verdugo, John Marley, Vic Tayback, James Sikking


Unsold pilot; a rare TV appearance by Henry Fonda.
1525.11Shirts/SkinsOctober 9, 1973 (1973-10-09)Tuesday
1535.12Don't Be Afraid of the DarkHorrorOctober 10, 1973 (1973-10-10)Wednesday
1545.13Double IndemnityCrime 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.
1555.14The Third Girl from the LeftDramaOctober 16, 1973 (1973-10-16)Tuesday
1565.15The Man Who Could Talk to KidsDramaOctober 17, 1973 (1973-10-17)Wednesday
1575.16Wine, Women and WarAction/science fictionOctober 20, 1973 (1973-10-20)Saturday

Reluctant secret agent Steve Austin pursues a black market arms dealer who is offering stolen nuclear missiles to hostile nations.
Starring: Lee Majors, Richard Anderson, Alan Oppenheimer, Britt Ekland*, Eric Braeden*, Earl Holliman*, David McCallum**, Michele Carey


Sequel to The Six Million Dollar Man, followed by The Solid Gold Kidnapping (5.26).
1585.17The President's Plane Is MissingPolitical 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 BurnOctober 27, 1973 (1973-10-27)Saturday
1605.19OrdealDramaOctober 30, 1973 (1973-10-30)Tuesday
When an abrasive millionaire is injured in the desert, his long-suffering wife and their guide plot to let him die, but he discovers a fierce will to live.
Starring: Arthur Hill, Diana Muldaur, James Stacy, Macdonald Carey**, Michael Ansara
1615.20Guess 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
1625.21LindaMysteryNovember 3, 1973 (1973-11-03)Saturday

An engineer struggles to prove his innocence in a small town after his wife and her lover frame him for murder.
Starring: Stella Stevens, Ed Nelson, John McIntire, John Saxon**


Based on a novel by John D. MacDonald
1635.22The Girl Most Likely To...Black comedyNovember 6, 1973 (1973-11-06)Tuesday

A brilliant but homely college girl who becomes beautiful after a car crash and reconstructive surgery creatively murders people 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/ActionNovember 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.
1665.25TrappedSuspenseNovember 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 KidnappingAction/science fictionNovember 17, 1973 (1973-11-17)Saturday

Bionic man Steve Austin is assigned to find an important treaty negotiator who has been kidnapped for $1 billion in gold bullion.
Starring: Lee Majors, Richard Anderson, Alan Oppenheimer, Elizabeth Ashley*, Terry Carter*, John Vernon**, Maurice Evans**, Luciana Paluzzi**, Leif Erickson**


Preceded by The Six Million Dollar Man and Wine, Women and War.
1685.27The AffairRomance dramaNovember 20, 1973 (1973-11-20)Tuesday
1695.28Scream, Pretty PeggyHorrorNovember 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!November 27, 1973 (1973-11-27)Tuesday
1715.30OutrageDramaNovember 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 BoysDecember 4, 1973 (1973-12-04)Tuesday
1735.32Blood SportDecember 5, 1973 (1973-12-05)Wednesday
1745.33ManeaterDecember 8, 1973 (1973-12-08)Saturday
1755.34The Cat CreatureHorrorDecember 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 DaughterDecember 12, 1973 (1973-12-12)Wednesday
1775.36What Are Best Friends For?December 18, 1973 (1973-12-18)Tuesday
1785.37Pioneer WomanDecember 19, 1973 (1973-12-19)Wednesday
1795.38Indict and ConvictJanuary 6, 1974 (1974-01-06)Sunday
1805.39The Death SquadCrime 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 escaped justice on technicalities.
Starring: Robert Forster, Michelle Phillips, Claude Akins, Mark Goddard, Melvyn Douglas**
1815.40Shootout in a One-Dog TownWesternJanuary 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
1835.42Scream of the WolfThrillerJanuary 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.
1855.44Get 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.
1865.45Pray for the WildcatsThrillerJanuary 23, 1974 (1974-01-23)Wednesday
1875.46Heatwave!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
1885.47The Girl Who Came Gift-WrappedRomantic comedyJanuary 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).
1895.48Killdozer!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
1905.49Can Ellen Be Saved?DramaFebruary 5, 1974 (1974-02-05)Tuesday
1915.50Cry Panic!MysteryFebruary 6, 1974 (1974-02-06)Wednesday
A driver who accidentally hits a man on a dark road 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**
1925.51The ElevatorDisasterFebruary 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
1945.53The Morning AfterDramaFebruary 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
1955.54Live Again, Die AgainThrillerFebruary 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!ThrillerFebruary 23, 1974 (1974-02-23)Saturday
A woman driving to San Francisco picks up a hitchhiker, unaware that he had just murdered his stepmother.
Starring: Cloris Leachman, Michael Brandon, Henry Darrow, Cameron Mitchell, Sherry Jackson
1975.56Killer BeesHorrorFebruary 26, 1974 (1974-02-26)Tuesday

A man takes his girlfriend home to his disapproving mother, who has unusual control over a swarm of "killer bees" that reside in her vineyard.
Starring: Gloria Swanson, Kate Jackson, Edward Albert, Craig Stevens**, John Getz


Kate Jackson and Edward Albert would play another romantic couple in another Movie of the Week, Death Cruise (6.14) airing later in 1974.
1985.57Unwed FatherFebruary 27, 1974 (1974-02-27)Wednesday
1995.58Houston, We've Got a ProblemDramaMarch 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
2005.59The Stranger Who Looks Like MeDramaMarch 6, 1974 (1974-03-06)Wednesday
A young adopted woman tries to find her birth parents, with help from a fellow adoptee she meets at a support group.
Starring: Beau Bridges, Meredith Baxter, Walter Brooke, Neva Patterson, Whitney Blake**
2015.60MouseyThrillerMarch 9, 1974 (1974-03-09)Saturday

A schoolteacher, frustrated by his ex-wife's refusal to let him see his surrogate son and his own reputation for meekness, becomes an increasingly unhinged and violent stalker.
Starring: Kirk Douglas, Jean Seberg, John Vernon, Sam Wanamaker


Also known as Cat and Mouse. Star vehicle for Kirk Douglas. Douglas's son Michael would later star in Falling Down, a movie with a similar plot about an estranged father pushed over the edge. Filmed at Pinewood Studios and on location in Montreal.
2025.61Wonder WomanActionMarch 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.
2035.62The Hanged ManWesternMarch 13, 1974 (1974-03-13)Wednesday
A gunfighter who miraculously returned to life after 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.
2045.63A Cry in the WildernessDramaMarch 26, 1974 (1974-03-26)Tuesday
Suspecting rabies from a skunk bite, a farmer chains himself in his barn to protect his wife and son, making them promise not to release him, but he doesn't know that a flash flood is coming.
Starring: George Kennedy, Joanna Pettet, Lee Montgomery, Collin Wilcox-Horne
2065.65The Gun and the PulpitWesternApril 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.
2075.66Murder or Mercy?April 10, 1974 (1974-04-10)Wednesday
2085.67The Last Angry ManDramaApril 16, 1974 (1974-04-16)Tuesday
An idealistic but irascible doctor in 1936 Brooklyn fights the frustrations of the medical profession and the world.
Starring: Pat Hingle, Lynn Carlin, Paul Jabara, Tracy Bogart, Sorrell Booke, Andrew Duggan*, John Hillerman
2095.68NakiaDramaApril 17, 1974 (1974-04-17)Wednesday
Pilot for the series premiering in the fall. First of two Movies of the Week this night.
2105.69The Chadwick FamilyDramaApril 17, 1974 (1974-04-17)Wednesday
Unsold pilot. Second of two Movies of the Week this night.
2115.70Planet EarthScience 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; a reboot of his 1973 pilot Genesis II on CBS. Another unsold pilot without Roddenberry's involvement followed in 1975, Strange New World, also on ABC but not a Movie of the Week. That final reboot reused the PAX name, a plot point of prolonged suspended animation and had John Saxon return as lead actor, but had a completely different premise and backstory.
2125.71The Story of Pretty Boy FloydMay 7, 1974 (1974-05-07)Tuesday

Season 6: 1974–75[edit]

No.MovTitleGenreAir dateWeekday
2136.02HurricaneDisasterSeptember 10, 1974 (1974-09-10)Tuesday
2146.03SavagesSuspenseSeptember 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.
2156.04The Sex SymbolDramaSeptember 17, 1974 (1974-09-17)Tuesday
Fictional biography of a Marilyn Monroe-like movie star.
2166.05The Day the Earth MovedDisasterSeptember 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.
2176.06The 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.
2186.07The California KidDramaSeptember 25, 1974 (1974-09-25)Wednesday

When a sailor's car is pushed over a cliff by a sadistic 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.
2196.08The Stranger WithinScience 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
2206.09Death SentenceThrillerOctober 2, 1974 (1974-10-02)Wednesday
2216.10Hit LadySuspenseOctober 8, 1974 (1974-10-08)Tuesday

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


Written by Yvette Mimieux.
2226.11LocustsDramaOctober 9, 1974 (1974-10-09)Wednesday
During World War II, a young Navy pilot who washed out of training returns to his farming community, where he's shunned by his father and neighbors and faces an impending locust swarm.
Starring: Ben Johnson, Ron Howard, Katherine Helmond, Lisa Gerritsen
2236.12Trapped Beneath the SeaDisasterOctober 22, 1974 (1974-10-22)Tuesday

Fictional Coast Guard inquest into the failed rescue of four men trapped in a civilian research submersible entangled in a sunken wreck.
Starring: Lee J. Cobb, Joshua Bryant*, Paul Michael Glaser*, Barra Grant*, Warren Kemmerling*, Cliff Potts*, Laurie Prange*, Martin Balsam**, Howard K. Smith (voiceover narration)


Inspired by the Johnson Sea Link accident.
2246.13Bad RonaldThrillerOctober 23, 1974 (1974-10-23)Wednesday
Ronald's ill mother builds a hiding place inside their house to fool the police after he accidentally kills a neighborhood girl, but when she unexpectedly dies, Ronald spies on the family who moves into the house.
Starring: Scott Jacoby, Pippa Scott, John Larch, Dabney Coleman, Kim Hunter, Lisa Eilbacher, Cindy Eilbacher, Cindy Fisher, John Fiedler
2256.13The Mark of ZorroAdventureOctober 29, 1974 (1974-10-29)Tuesday

Don Diego, returning from Madrid, secretly takes up the mantle of Zorro after finding that his father has been usurped as alcalde of Los Angeles by an oppressive despot.
Starring: Frank Langella, Ricardo Montalbán, Gilbert Roland, Louise Sorel, Robert Middleton, Anne Archer, Yvonne De Carlo


Unsold pilot, remake of The Mark of Zorro, with the teleplay adapted from John Taintor Foote's screenplay and music adapted from Alfred Newman's score.
2266.14Death CruiseDrama/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.
2276.15The Great Ice Rip-OffCaperNovember 6, 1974 (1974-11-06)Wednesday
A gang of thieves separately pull diamond heists along the West Coast and gradually assemble on a Greyhound bus with their spoils, but they have to contend with a dogged retired cop on board who is obsessed with the case and beginning to see a pattern.
Starring: Lee J. Cobb, Gig Young, Matt Clark, Robert Walden, Geoffrey Lewis, Grayson Hall**
2286.16All the Kind StrangersThrillerNovember 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
2296.17The GunDramaNovember 13, 1974 (1974-11-13)Wednesday

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


Anthology of stories about a single firearm.
2306.18It Couldn't Happen to a Nicer GuyComedyNovember 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
2316.19Panic on the 5:22Crime dramaNovember 20, 1974 (1974-11-20)Wednesday

Three armed men rob a private lounge car full of wealthy passengers on a Metro-North commuter train.
Starring: Bernie Casey, Lynda Day George, Andrew Duggan, Dana Elcar, Laurence Luckinbill, James Sloyan, Robert Walden, Eduard Franz, Reni Santoni, Linden Chiles, Robert Mandan, Ina Balin


Produced by Quinn Martin.
2326.20The GodchildNovember 26, 1974 (1974-11-26)Tuesday
Remake of 3 Godfathers.
2336.21BetrayalCrime thrillerDecember 3, 1974 (1974-12-03)Tuesday
2346.22Only With Married MenWesternDecember 4, 1974 (1974-12-04)Wednesday
2356.23The TribeHistorical dramaDecember 11, 1974 (1974-12-11)Wednesday

A Cro-Magnon clan struggles against misfortune, sparse prey and hostile Neanderthals.
Starring: Victor French, Warren Vanders, Henry Wilcoxon, Adriana Shaw, Stewart Moss


Music by David Shire.
2366.24Roll, 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).
2376.25Let'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
2386.26The 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**
2396.27Satan's TriangleHorrorJanuary 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
2406.28The Hatfields and the McCoysWestern/dramaJanuary 15, 1975 (1975-01-15)Wednesday
Condensed but relatively faithful retelling of the legendary Hatfield–McCoy feud.
Starring: Jack Palance, Steve Forrest, Richard Hatch, Karen Lamm, James Keach, Robert Carradine, John Calvin, Gerrit Graham, Morgan Woodward
2416.29The Abduction of Saint AnneJanuary 21, 1975 (1975-01-21)Tuesday
2426.30The Daughters of Joshua Cabe ReturnWesternJanuary 28, 1975 (1975-01-28)Tuesday

The "daughters" settle down to life on the Cabe farm, but the real father of one of the women – a treacherous deserter – arrives with a scheme to use her.
Starring: Dan Dailey, Dub Taylor, Ronne Troup, Christina Hart, Brooke Adams, Kathleen Freeman, Carl Betz**


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).
2436.31All Together NowDramaFebruary 5, 1975 (1975-02-05)Wednesday
2446.32The Trial of Chaplain JensenDramaFebruary 11, 1975 (1975-02-11)Tuesday

The story of the only Naval chaplain and officer ever court-martialed on charges of adultery after accusations by two Navy wives.
Starring: James Franciscus, Joanna Miles, Lynda Day George, Dorothy Tristan, Harris Yulin, Charles Durning**


Based on the autobiographical account by Andrew Jensen, with Martin Abramson.
2456.33A Cry for HelpDramaFebruary 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
2466.34The Family Nobody WantedFebruary 19, 1975 (1975-02-19)Wednesday
2476.35You Lie So Deep, My LoveFebruary 25, 1975 (1975-02-25)Sunday
2486.36Someone I TouchedFebruary 26, 1975 (1975-02-26)Wednesday
2496.37Trilogy of TerrorHorrorMarch 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.
2506.38The Desperate MilesMarch 5, 1975 (1975-03-05)Wednesday
2516.39Dead Man on the RunApril 2, 1975 (1975-04-02)Wednesday
2526.40The Swiss Family RobinsonApril 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.
2536.41Returning HomeApril 29, 1975 (1975-04-29)Tuesday
2546.42Starsky & HutchPolice dramaApril 30, 1975 (1975-04-30)Wednesday

Two unorthodox LAPD detectives 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.
2556.43Matt HelmMysteryMay 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.
2566.42The First 36 Hours of Dr. DurantMay 13, 1975 (1975-05-13)Tuesday
2576.44Promise Him AnythingMay 14, 1975 (1975-05-14)Wednesday

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b p.xxii McKenna, Michael The ABC Movie of the Week: Big Movies for the Small Screen Scarecrow Press, 2013
  2. ^ Roy Huggins on creating the Movie of the Week concept - EMMYTVLEGENDS.ORG, retrieved June 19, 2022
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ a b "The ABC Movie of the Week Opening by Harry Marks". TVparty. Retrieved January 27, 2010.
  5. ^ McKenna, Michael (2013). The ABC Movie of the Week: Big Movies for the Small Screen. Scarecrow Press. ISBN 978-0-8108-9157-9.
  6. ^ "The TV Ratings Guide.com". Archived from the original on March 22, 2018. Retrieved April 26, 2020.
  7. ^ "The TV Ratings Guide.com". Archived from the original on May 11, 2018. Retrieved April 26, 2020.
  8. ^ a b "The TV Ratings Guide.com". Archived from the original on April 1, 2018. Retrieved April 26, 2020.
  9. ^ "The TV Ratings Guide.com". Archived from the original on March 22, 2018. Retrieved April 26, 2020.
  10. ^ "The TV Ratings Guide.com". Archived from the original on April 4, 2018. Retrieved April 26, 2020.
  11. ^ She Lives! trivia at IMDb

External links[edit]