The Waverly Wonders

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The Waverly Wonders
Genre sitcom
Starring Joe Namath
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 9 (5 unaired)
Running time 30 mins.
Production company(s) Lorimar Productions
Original network NBC
Original release September 7 – October 6, 1978
Joe Namath (top center) and The Waverly Wonders

The Waverly Wonders is a television sitcom, starring retired pro football star Joe Namath, that lasted less than a month on NBC in 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 co-starred as stodgy former coach George Benton, who served as a foil to Casey.


  • 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.[1] 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.

Namath never starred in another TV series, although he did do guest spots on such programs as The Love Boat and Fantasy Island.

Sitcom veteran Larry Hagman was originally offered the role of Joe Casey, but instead chose to play J.R. Ewing on Dallas.[2]


  1. ^ McNeil, Alex. Total Television: The Comprehensive Guide to Programming from 1948 to the Present. 4th ed. New York: Penguin, 1996.
  2. ^ A Few Facts About Larry Hagman, Eddie Deezen,, 27 November 2012

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