It's About Time (TV series)
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|It's About Time|
|Created by||Sherwood Schwartz|
Joe E. Ross
|Theme music composer||Gerald Fried
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||26 (list of episodes)|
|Running time||30 minutes per episode|
|Production company(s)||Redwood Productions, Inc.
Gladasya Productions, Inc.
United Artists Television
|Distributor||United Artists Television|
|Original release||September 11, 1966 – April 2, 1967|
It's About Time is an American fantasy/science-fiction comedy TV series that aired on CBS for one season of 26 episodes in 1966–1967. The series was created by Sherwood Schwartz, and used sets, props and incidental music from Schwartz's other television series in production at the time, Gilligan's Island.
Two astronauts, Mac (Frank Aletter) and Hector (Jack Mullaney), travel faster than the speed of light, resulting in being sent back in time to prehistoric days. There, they have to adjust to living with a cave family led by Shad (Imogene Coca) and Gronk (Joe E. Ross). (Coca's character's name was originally pronounced "Shag" in the first episode, after which her character's name was pronounced "Shad" (evidenced in the re-run episodes on Antenna TV), though in the opening titles her billing still read "IMOGENE COCA as SHAG"; this changed in the episode "20th Century Here We Come" when new opening titles were created for the series' retooling (see below) and her billing was changed to read "IMOGENE COCA as SHAD". Their children were 18-year-old Mlor (Mary Grace, credited in the retooled closing titles as Mary Graham Grace) and 14-year-old Breer (Pat Cardi). The chief of the tribe, Boss (Cliff Norton) and his right-hand man Clon (Mike Mazurki) were always suspicious of the astronauts.
Ratings were impressive for the first few weeks on the air, but they soon plunged. Show creator Sherwood Schwartz came to the conclusion that three factors were the cause of the decline in audience interest:
- Repetition of the astronauts being in danger from dinosaurs, clubs, spears, volcanoes, and cavemen.
- An unattractive look to the show (e.g., caves, dirt streets, etc.)
- The cave dwellers speaking a primitive form of English that was difficult to listen to.
For these reasons, after eighteen broadcast episodes set in prehistoric times, the series was retooled beginning with the January 22, 1967 episode. (A nineteenth 'prehistoric' episode had been completed, but it was not broadcast until after the end of the series' original run; this could possibly have been due to its originally scheduled broadcast being preempted for special programming, which happened occasionally to many TV shows, throwing their original broadcast order out of sync when the networks would broadcast the episode at the end of the season's first-run episodes rather than postponing the broadcast until the following week.) Essentially reversing the premise which had been followed the first half of the season, on the January 22 episode the astronauts repair their space capsule and return to 1967, with Shad, Gronk, and their children in tow. Boss and Clon make their final appearances in this episode, which also introduces two new supporting characters who would stay with the show going forward: Alan DeWitt as Mr. Tyler, manager of the apartment building where Mac and Hector live, and Frank Wilcox as General Morley, their commanding officer.
In the retooled version of the show (which had an updated theme song, explaining the new premise) the prehistoric family must begin adjusting to life in the 1960s, reacting to the unfamiliar surroundings, and setting up home in 20th-century New York City. For example, one episode had Gronk and Shad learning to write their names and signing them for many salesmen who brought "presents," which later had to be paid for. Mac and Hector also had to convince their disbelieving superior that they really did travel in time, and are not playing some sort of elaborate practical joke. Seven episodes were produced with this new premise before the series was cancelled at the end of the season.
|This section needs a plot summary. Please add one. (September 2015)|
|No.||Title||Original air date|
|1||"And Then I Wrote 'Happy Birthday to You'"||September 11, 1966|
|2||"The Copper Caper"||September 18, 1966|
|3||"The Initiation"||September 25, 1966|
|4||"Tailor Made Hero"||October 2, 1966|
|5||"The Rainmakers"||October 9, 1966|
|6||"Me Caveman—You Woman"||October 16, 1966|
|7||"The Champ"||October 23, 1966|
|8||"Mark Your Ballets"||October 30, 1966|
|9||"Have I Got A Girl for You"||November 6, 1966|
|10||"Cave Movies"||November 13, 1966|
|11||"Androcles and Clon"||November 20, 1966|
|12||"Love Me, Love My Gnook"||November 27, 1966|
|13||"The Broken Idol"||December 4, 1966|
|14||"The Sacrifice"||December 11, 1966|
|15||"King Hec"||December 18, 1966|
|16||"The Mother-in-law"||December 25, 1966|
|17||"Which Doctor's Witch?"||January 1, 1967|
|18||"To Catch a Thief"||January 8, 1967|
|19||"20th Century Here We Come"||January 22, 1967|
|20||"Shad Rack and Other Tortures"||January 29, 1967|
|21||"The Cave Family Swingers"||February 5, 1967|
|22||"To Sign or Not to Sign"||February 19, 1967|
|23||"School Days, School Days"||February 26, 1967|
|24||"Our Brothers' Keepers"||March 5, 1967|
|25||"The Stone Age Diplomats"||March 12, 1967|
|26||"The Stowaway"||April 2, 1967|
- "The Stowaway" was originally scheduled to air on January 15, 1967, but was pre-empted after the first-ever Super Bowl was scheduled on the same evening. This episode was set in prehistoric times, and clearly predates the previous seven episodes. However, it didn't air until April 2, 1967. In the show's current syndication re-runs on certain networks - such as Antenna TV - this episode airs in its intended order, immediately preceding "20th Century Here We Come".
In popular culture
- The punk rock band X incorporated some of the lyrics of the show's theme song into their song "I Must Not Think Bad Thoughts" for the album More Fun in the New World, as a commentary on the direction of 1980s music: "Glitter-disco-synthesizer night school/All this noble savage drum, drum, drum/Astronauts going back in time to hang out with the cave people/It's about time/It's about space/It's about some people in the strangest place."
- Electronic musician Venetian Snares samples the show's theme song extensively in his song Einstein-Rosen Bridge.
- Trog, a 1970 film about the discovery of a caveman in England
- Iceman, a 1984 film about an unfrozen caveman
- Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer, recurring character on Saturday Night Live from 1991 through 1996
- Encino Man, a 1992 film about an unfrozen caveman
- Cavemen, a failed 2007 sitcom that aired on ABC
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to It's About Time (TV series).|
- It's About Time at the Internet Movie Database
- It's About Time at TV.com
- 'It's About Time' Opening on YouTube