Out of the Blue (1979 TV series)

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Out of the Blue
GenreSitcom, fantasy
Created byThomas L. Miller
Robert L. Boyett
Written byBarry Kemp
Directed byPeter Baldwin
Jeff Chambers
Duncan Scott McGibbon
John Tracy
Theme music composerCharles Fox
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes8 (4 unaired) (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s)Austin Kalish
Irma Kalish
Production location(s)Paramount Studios
Editor(s)C. Cory M. McCrum-Abdo
Camera setupMulti-camera
Running time22–24 minutes
Production company(s)Miller-Milkis Productions
Paramount Network Television
DistributorCBS Television Distribution
Original networkABC
Audio formatMonaural
Original releaseSeptember 9 (1979-09-09) – December 16, 1979 (1979-12-16)
Preceded byLove, American Style
Happy Days
Related showsLaverne & Shirley
Blansky's Beauties
Mork & Mindy
Joanie Loves Chachi
The New Love, American Style

Out of the Blue is an American fantasy sitcom that aired on ABC during the fall of 1979. It is chiefly notable as having featured a Mork & Mindy crossover, and for the controversy surrounding its status as a spin-off of Happy Days.


The series starred Jimmy Brogan as Random, an angel-in-training who is assigned to live with (and act as guardian angel for) a suburban Chicago family (led by a single mom played by Dixie Carter, later of Designing Women) as well as work as a high school teacher. The series debuted on September 9, 1979, but it got poor ratings against 60 Minutes on CBS (the #1 show on TV that year) and Disney on NBC. After seven episodes aired, ABC pulled Blue, as well as fellow freshman sitcom A New Kind of Family, after their October 21 airings. Five more episodes were produced, but only one ever aired on ABC (on December 16) before Out of the Blue went into the black.

Spin-off debate[edit]

Out of the Blue has engendered debate amongst some viewers concerning its precise relationship to Happy Days. The controversy arises from the fact that the first episode of the series was broadcast a little over one week prior to an episode of Happy Days featuring Jimmy Brogan as the character Random. Television observer and owner of Sitcoms Online, Todd Fuller, maintains that because "Chachi Sells His Soul" aired on September 18, 1979, Random's appearance on this Happy Days episode was a crossover. He goes on to postulate: "The Happy Days episode was likely a promotional tool for Out of the Blue to make the character more known."[1]

Thom Holbrook, who has a website devoted to TV crossovers and spin-offs, sees the arguments against calling it a spin-off, but ultimately concludes: "Making it a crossover would be basing things all on an odd bit of scheduling decades ago. The intent was spin off. The tone of the Happy Days episode is that of a dry run on the character, that of a pilot episode."[2]

Cast list[edit]


Title Original air date
1"Random's Arrival"September 9, 1979 (1979-09-09)
Pilot episode: A not-so-perfect angel named Random must prove his heavenly powers to a brood of newly orphaned children by conjuring up a visit from the unpredictable Mork from Ork.
2"The Random Bust"September 16, 1979 (1979-09-16)
Random takes the rap but keeps everyone off balance by popping in and out of jail as he tries to help Chris, the real culprit, decide whether to confess to being an accessory in a school burglary.
3"The Hustle"September 23, 1979 (1979-09-23)
The kids lose the money for Aunt Marion's birthday present to a sneaky pool hustler.
4"Laura, the Runaway"September 30, 1979 (1979-09-30)
Random tries to convince runaway Laura to give up her job as a truck-stop waitress and come home.
5"Out for the Season"October 7, 1979 (1979-10-07)
When Chris injures his knee and can't play football, the kids turn to Random for a miraculous healing.
6"Stacey's Nightmare"October 14, 1979 (1979-10-14)
Random uses some heavenly magic to cure Stacey's recurring nightmare by arranging for her to meet "the monster of her dreams".
7"The Coin of Truth"October 21, 1979 (1979-10-21)
When Random's magic coin falls into the wrong hands, it makes for volatile comedy as everyone in the family starts revealing exactly how they feel about each other.
8"Double Jeopardy"December 16, 1979 (1979-12-16)
Random's heavenly diplomacy is put to a test when he attempts to show the merits of being twins to Jason and Shane, who have tired of being carbon copies of each other.
9"Random, Who?"N/A
10"The Reluctant Angel"N/A
11"Keeping the Housekeeper"N/A
12"The Thanksgiving Story"N/A

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