The Waverly Wonders
|The Waverly Wonders|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||9 (5 unaired)|
|Running time||30 mins.|
|Production company(s)||Lorimar Productions|
|Original release||September 7 – October 6, 1978|
Conceived as a vehicle for Namath (who had retired from the Los Angeles Rams after the 1977 NFL season), the show focused on the misadventures of Joe Casey, a washed-up professional basketball player who now taught history at Waverly High School (in Eastville, Wisconsin) and coached the school's basketball team, the Waverly Wonders.
Casey wasn't much of a teacher (he knew nothing about history) and his team wasn't much on the court (they hadn't won a game in three years); about the only decent player they had was a girl, Connie (Kim Lankford). Other "Wonders" included Tate (Charles Bloom), Faguzzi (Joshua Greenrock) and Parks (Tierre Turner). Ben Piazza (the show's only recognizable name other than Namath's) co-starred as stodgy former coach George Benton, who served as a foil to Casey (much like Mr. Woodman did to Gabe Kotter in Welcome Back, Kotter on ABC).
- Joe Namath as Joe Casey
- Kim Lankford as Connie Rafkin
- Charles Bloom as John Tate
- Joshua Greenrock as Tony Faguzzi
- James Staley as Alan Kerner
- Tierre Turner as Hasty Parks
- Gwynne Gilford as Linda Harris
- Ben Piazza as George Benton
Up against Donny and Marie on ABC and Wonder Woman on CBS, The Waverly Wonders drew poor ratings. A total of nine episodes were produced. However, only three were shown from September 22 through October 6, 1978. Less than two months after The Waverly Wonders failed, a new show with a similar premise -- The White Shadow -- started its three-year run as a 60-minute comedy-drama on CBS.