The ABC Movie of the Week: Big Movies for the Small Screen

The ABC Movie of the Week: Big Movies for the Small Screen

Michael McKenna


On September 23, 1969, 5 years after the 1st made-for-television motion picture premiered, the ABC community broadcast Seven in Darkness. This used to be the 1st tv movie for an anthology exhibit known as the Tuesday evening motion picture of the Week. Dedicating 90 mins of weekly airtime to a still-emerging style was once a monetary threat for the third-place network—a chance that paid off. the flicks have been such a success that during 1972 the community debuted The Wednesday motion picture of the Week. even if many of the videos aren't any longer remembered, a handful are nonetheless fondly recalled by way of audience this day, together with Duel, Brian’s Song, and The evening Stalker. The sequence additionally showcased pilot motion pictures for plenty of eventual sequence, reminiscent of Alias Smith and Jones, The Six Million buck Man, and Starsky and Hutch. by means of the top of either exhibits’ common runs within the spring of 1975, the community had broadcast greater than 2 hundred made-for-television films.

In The ABC motion picture of the Week: massive video clips for the Small Screen, Michael McKenna examines this programming scan that reworked the tv panorama and have become a staple of broadcast programming for a number of years. the writer appears to be like at how the revolving motion pictures showcased the suitable mix of romantic comedy, motion, horror, and social relevance to maintain audience week after week. McKenna additionally chronicles how the scores luck resulted in imitations from the opposite networks, leading to a saturation of tv movies.

As a cultural touchstone for thousands who skilled the 1st run and syndicated types of those movies, The ABC motion picture of the Week is a important topic of study. that includes an entire filmography of all 240 video clips with credits details and plot summaries, a chronology, and an inventory of pilots—both failed and successful—this quantity may be useful to tv historians and students, in addition to to someone attracted to one of many nice triumphs of community programming.

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