History Literature / WhatWereTheyThinkingThe100DumbestEventsInTelevisionHistory

5th Apr '18 4:30:34 AM Omeganian
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# ''Film/TheStarWarsHolidaySpecial'' [[note]]1978 TV-movie that's legendary for its awfulness, including 15 minutes of untranslated Wookie speak and variety show-style segments that [[BigLippedAlligatorMoment go absolutely nowhere]], causing Hofstede to actually declare the production "The Worst Two Hours of Television Ever" as the segment title. To date, it has never been officially reaired, Creator/GeorgeLucas is [[OldShame personally ashamed of it]], as were trilogy leads Creator/MarkHamill, Creator/HarrisonFord, the late Creator/CarrieFisher (who actually had a song at the end of it and allegedly owned the only copy of the program before her death), and co-star Creator/AnthonyDaniels, and it was exiled from the canon immediately, one of the few parts of the franchise to suffer that fate prior to Creator/{{Disney}}'s purchase of it through Lucasfilm in 2012, 8 years after this book was published. The only person who didn't have much shame for this was Bea Arthur, who appeared as a cantina owner (it's also one of the few segments in this special - the Boba Fett cartoon being another - that has few to no detractors). The special was one of the last gasps of the "variety show" era of TheSeventies, with NBC's ''Pink Lady and Jeff'' (listed further below) entirely ruining the genre two years later. It's also, as of this writing, the sole major program in the book reviewed by WebVideo/TheNostalgiaCritic and WebVideo/JonTron.[[/note]]

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# ''Film/TheStarWarsHolidaySpecial'' [[note]]1978 TV-movie that's legendary for its awfulness, including 15 minutes of untranslated Wookie speak and variety show-style segments that [[BigLippedAlligatorMoment go absolutely nowhere]], causing Hofstede to actually declare the production "The Worst Two Hours of Television Ever" as the segment title. To date, it has never been officially reaired, Creator/GeorgeLucas is [[OldShame personally ashamed of it]], as were trilogy leads Creator/MarkHamill, Creator/HarrisonFord, the late Creator/CarrieFisher (who actually had a song at the end of it and allegedly owned the only copy of the program before her death), and co-star Creator/AnthonyDaniels, and it was exiled from the canon immediately, one of the few parts of the franchise to suffer that fate prior to Creator/{{Disney}}'s purchase of it through Lucasfilm in 2012, 8 years after this book was published. As of 2018, ThisVeryWiki uses an image about it to illustrate the DarthWiki/SoBadItsHorrible trope. The only person who didn't have much shame for this was Bea Arthur, who appeared as a cantina owner (it's also one of the few segments in this special - the Boba Fett cartoon being another - that has few to no detractors). The special was one of the last gasps of the "variety show" era of TheSeventies, with NBC's ''Pink Lady and Jeff'' (listed further below) entirely ruining the genre two years later. It's also, as of this writing, the sole major program in the book reviewed by WebVideo/TheNostalgiaCritic and WebVideo/JonTron.[[/note]]
21st Mar '18 12:15:29 PM JamesAustin
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# ABC's 1974 ''Film/{{Wonder Woman|1974}}'' TV-movie [[note]](This was a pilot for an intended series, but it was not well-received and DC did a second TV movie the next year that replaced actress Cathy Lee Crosby with Creator/LyndaCarter that was more in tune with the original comic book character.)[[/note]]

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# ABC's 1974 ''Film/{{Wonder Woman|1974}}'' TV-movie [[note]](This was a pilot for an intended series, but series featuring Cathy Lee Crosby as a blonde, (mostly) non-powered Wonder Woman, based upon a period in the comics when Diana had given up her superpowers and instead learned martial arts to work as a ''Charlie's Angels''-esque crimefighter, though by the time it aired Wonder Woman had become a superhero again in the comics. It was not well-received and DC did a second TV movie the next year that replaced actress Cathy Lee Crosby with Creator/LyndaCarter that was more in tune with the original comic book character.)[[/note]]
20th Mar '18 7:20:50 AM bowserbros
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* CreatorProvincialism: Because the book focuses on American television, it does leave out some of the most infamous television events in other parts of the world, including the British ''Series/HeilHoneyImHome'' (a sitcom about UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler that only lasted one episode), ''Australia's Naughtiest Home Videos'' (a take on the ''Series/AmericasFunniestHomeVideos'' formula that aired on Creator/NineNetwork and primarily featured animals having sex and was pulled off the network in the middle of its only airing, leading to the people who made/helmed the show being very acrimoniously fired right away and trespassed from the network), and the ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}'' episode "Electric Soldier Porygon" (which was never exported beyond the show's native Japan because it caused an epidemic of seizures during its only airing and led to new Japanese television practices that are still in effect to this day).

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* CreatorProvincialism: Because the book focuses on American television, it does leave out some of the most infamous television events in other parts of the world, including the British ''Series/HeilHoneyImHome'' (a sitcom about UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler that only lasted one episode), ''Australia's Naughtiest Home Videos'' (a take on the ''Series/AmericasFunniestHomeVideos'' formula that aired on Creator/NineNetwork and primarily featured animals having sex and was pulled off the network in the middle of its only airing, leading to the people who made/helmed the show being very acrimoniously fired right away and trespassed from the network), and the ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}'' episode "Electric Soldier Porygon" (which was never exported beyond the show's native Japan and was outright banned by the Japanese government because it caused an epidemic of seizures during its only airing and led to new Japanese television practices that are still in effect to this day).
6th Mar '18 5:12:01 PM TheDeadSkin
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# How flawed the Emmy Awards are when it comes to picking winners [[note]]The complaints listed are as follows: The voting process is flawed because, at least at the time, only one episode from a season was submitted for consideration when they were voting on the season as a whole; the people who are part of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences did not watch shows such as ''Seinfeld'', ''Friends'', or ''Buffy the Vampire Slayer'' due to not being in those shows' target demographics, instead watching ''Law & Order'' and more obscure shows; that Emmy winning streaks are common (''Series/TheAmazingRace'' notably owned the "Best Reality TV Program" Emmy for almost a decade after this book was published, though debatably for good reason); and that the pay TV channels (HBO, Showtime) had an advantage over the main channels after the uproar over ''The Sopranos'' getting snubbed for an Emmy by ''Series/ThePractice''. Hofstede lobbed a TakeThat to multi-Emmy winner Creator/JohnLithgow in this article.[[/note]]

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# How The Emmy Awards' flawed the Emmy Awards are when it comes to picking winners [[note]]The complaints listed are as follows: The voting process is flawed because, at [[note]]At least at the time, only one episode from a season was submitted for consideration when they were voting on the season as a whole; the people who are part members of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences did not watch shows such as ''Seinfeld'', ''Friends'', or ''Buffy the Vampire Slayer'' due to not being in those shows' target demographics, instead watching ''Law & Order'' and more obscure shows; that Emmy winning streaks are common (''Series/TheAmazingRace'' notably owned the "Best Best Reality TV Program" Emmy Program for almost a decade after this book was published, though debatably for good reason); published); and that the pay TV channels (HBO, Showtime) had an advantage over the main channels after the uproar over ''The Sopranos'' Sopranos''[='=] getting snubbed for an Emmy by ''Series/ThePractice''. Hofstede lobbed a TakeThat to multi-Emmy winner Creator/JohnLithgow in this article.[[/note]]
25th Feb '18 4:46:06 PM MarkLungo
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# ''WesternAnimation/FishPolice'' [[note]](One of many early-1990s attempts by the Big Three to cash in on FOX's success with ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons''. ''Fish Police'' was CBS and Hanna-Barbera's stab at the formula; it, NBC's ''WesternAnimation/FamilyDog'', and ABC's ''WesternAnimation/CapitolCritters'' all got canned due to low ratings, bad reviews, and ExecutiveMeddling. ''Fish Police'' animated six episodes, but only got half of them in before it got "hooked" off the schedule, becoming an OldShame for the creator of the comic book the show was based on, Steve Moncuse.)[[/note]]

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# ''WesternAnimation/FishPolice'' [[note]](One of many early-1990s attempts by the Big Three to cash in on FOX's success with ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons''. ''Fish Police'' was CBS and Hanna-Barbera's Creator/HannaBarbera's stab at the formula; it, NBC's ''WesternAnimation/FamilyDog'', and ABC's ''WesternAnimation/CapitolCritters'' all got canned due to low ratings, bad reviews, and ExecutiveMeddling. ''Fish Police'' animated six episodes, but only got half of them in before it got "hooked" off the schedule, becoming an OldShame for the creator of the comic book the show was based on, Steve Moncuse.)[[/note]]



# The XFL [[note]](A TotallyRadical, UpToEleven attempt at a new football league, founded by NBC and Wrestling/VinceMcMahon...which proved to be sloppy, crude, and ham-fisted. Not that it didn't stop McMahon from announcing a return of the XFL in 2018.)[[/note]]

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# The XFL [[note]](A TotallyRadical, UpToEleven attempt at a new football league, founded by NBC and Wrestling/VinceMcMahon...which proved to be a sloppy, crude, and ham-fisted. Not that it didn't stop McMahon from announcing ham-fisted, short-lived embarrassment. Still, [=McMahon=] announced a return of the XFL in 2018.)[[/note]]



# NBC's Fall 1983 schedule [[note]](A huge list of flops including ''Series/{{Manimal}}'' {which David Letterman ruthlessly mocked and which turned into instant SnarkBait}, ''Mr. Smith'', ''Boone'' {a show about a kid whose parents are trying to convince him to give up his rock dreams to run their family gas station}, ''The Bay City Blues'', ''For Love and Honor'', ''We Got It Made'', ''The Rousters'', ''The Yellow Rose'', and ''Jennifer Slept Here''; '''none''' of these were renewed for a second season. This added an extra nail to now-ex president Fred Silverman's coffin, but NBC finally recovered by the end of the decade.)[[/note]]

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# NBC's Fall 1983 schedule [[note]](A huge list of flops including ''Series/{{Manimal}}'' {which David Letterman Creator/DavidLetterman ruthlessly mocked and which turned into instant SnarkBait}, ''Mr. Smith'', ''Boone'' {a show about a kid whose parents are trying to convince him to give up his rock dreams to run their family gas station}, ''The Bay City Blues'', ''For Love and Honor'', ''We Got It Made'', ''The Rousters'', ''The Yellow Rose'', and ''Jennifer Slept Here''; '''none''' of these were renewed for a second season. This added an extra nail to now-ex president Fred Silverman's coffin, but NBC finally recovered by the end of the decade.)[[/note]]
25th Feb '18 4:37:20 PM AjWargo
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# The XFL [[note]](A TotallyRadical, UpToEleven attempt at a new football league, founded by NBC and Wrestling/VinceMcMahon...which proved to be sloppy, crude, and ham-fisted.)[[/note]]

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# The XFL [[note]](A TotallyRadical, UpToEleven attempt at a new football league, founded by NBC and Wrestling/VinceMcMahon...which proved to be sloppy, crude, and ham-fisted. Not that it didn't stop McMahon from announcing a return of the XFL in 2018.)[[/note]]
10th Feb '18 7:27:11 PM thelivingtoad
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# ''Series/SaturdayNightLive''[='s=] sixth season (1980-81), 6produced by Jean Doumanian (and then Dick Ebersol for one episode after Doumanian and 90% of her cast were fired), which helped end Fred Silverman's tumultuous run at NBC.

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# ''Series/SaturdayNightLive''[='s=] sixth season (1980-81), 6produced produced by Jean Doumanian (and then Dick Ebersol for one episode after Doumanian and 90% of her cast were fired), which helped end Fred Silverman's tumultuous run at NBC.
10th Feb '18 7:25:33 PM thelivingtoad
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# ''Series/TheDanaCarveyShow'' and how ABC [[ScrewedByTheNetwork screwed it over]] (1996) [[note]]The sketch show - which featured a writing team of soon-to-be-very-famous comedians and screenwriters like Creator/SteveCarell, Creator/StephenColbert, Creator/LouisCK and Creator/CharlieKaufman - was canned in part because ABC decided to air it after ''Series/HomeImprovement'' and the sketches' offbeat and often racy content was a bad match-up with the family sitcom. This resulted in controversies, and low ratings which doomed the show to cancellation after just eight episodes.[[/note]]

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# ''Series/TheDanaCarveyShow'' and how ABC [[ScrewedByTheNetwork screwed it over]] (1996) [[note]]The sketch show - which featured a writing team of soon-to-be-very-famous comedians and screenwriters like Creator/SteveCarell, Creator/StephenColbert, Creator/LouisCK and Creator/CharlieKaufman - was canned in part because ABC decided to air it after ''Series/HomeImprovement'' ''Series/HomeImprovement'', and the sketches' offbeat and often racy content was a bad match-up with the family sitcom. This resulted in controversies, and low ratings which doomed the show to cancellation after just eight episodes.[[/note]]
10th Feb '18 7:24:19 PM thelivingtoad
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# ''Series/TheDanaCarveyShow'' and how ABC [[ScrewedByTheNetwork screwed it over]] (1996) [[note]]The sketch show - which featured a writing team of soon-to-be-very-famous comedians and screenwriters like Creator/SteveCarrell, Creator/StephenColbert, Creator/LouisCK and Creator/CharlieKaufman - was canned in part because ABC decided to air it after ''Series/HomeImprovement'' and the sketches' offbeat and often racy content was a bad match-up with the family sitcom. This resulted in controversies, and low ratings which doomed the show to cancellation after just eight episodes.[[/note]]

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# ''Series/TheDanaCarveyShow'' and how ABC [[ScrewedByTheNetwork screwed it over]] (1996) [[note]]The sketch show - which featured a writing team of soon-to-be-very-famous comedians and screenwriters like Creator/SteveCarrell, Creator/SteveCarell, Creator/StephenColbert, Creator/LouisCK and Creator/CharlieKaufman - was canned in part because ABC decided to air it after ''Series/HomeImprovement'' and the sketches' offbeat and often racy content was a bad match-up with the family sitcom. This resulted in controversies, and low ratings which doomed the show to cancellation after just eight episodes.[[/note]]
10th Feb '18 7:23:53 PM thelivingtoad
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# ''Series/TwinPeaks''[='=] second season [[note]](The studio execs forced the show to resolve the Laura Palmer storyline, despite the fact that it was the driving force of the series and wasn't meant to be resolved {though it likely would've been resolved if the show had been cancelled first}; the reveal resulted in the subplots being all there was left. The 1992 film ''Film/TwinPeaksFireWalkWithMe'' [[FranchiseKiller finished the job]] on the franchise and it would take two decades for any talks of revivals to materialize.)[[/note]]
# ''Drudge'' [[note]](1998-99 Creator/FoxNewsChannel show starring journalist Matt Drudge, known for his ''Drudge Report'' website, which was canned after the network refused to let him show a picture of a fetus.)[[/note]]

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# ''Series/TwinPeaks''[='=] second season [[note]](The studio execs forced the show to resolve the Laura Palmer storyline, despite the fact that it was the driving force of the series and wasn't meant to be resolved {though it likely would've been resolved if the show had been cancelled first}; the reveal resulted in the subplots being all there was left. The 1992 film ''Film/TwinPeaksFireWalkWithMe'' [[FranchiseKiller finished the job]] on the franchise and it would take two decades for any talks of revivals to materialize.)[[/note]]
However, that revival - a third season aired in 2017 - is widely considered to have [[VindicatedByHistory redeemed both the second season and the film]] in the eyes of many fans.[[/note]]
# ''Drudge'' [[note]](1998-99 Creator/FoxNewsChannel show starring conservative journalist Matt Drudge, known for his ''Drudge Report'' website, which was canned after the network refused to let him show a picture of a fetus.)[[/note]]



# ''Series/TheDanaCarveyShow'' and how ABC [[ScrewedByTheNetwork screwed it over]] (1996)

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# ''Series/TheDanaCarveyShow'' and how ABC [[ScrewedByTheNetwork screwed it over]] (1996)(1996) [[note]]The sketch show - which featured a writing team of soon-to-be-very-famous comedians and screenwriters like Creator/SteveCarrell, Creator/StephenColbert, Creator/LouisCK and Creator/CharlieKaufman - was canned in part because ABC decided to air it after ''Series/HomeImprovement'' and the sketches' offbeat and often racy content was a bad match-up with the family sitcom. This resulted in controversies, and low ratings which doomed the show to cancellation after just eight episodes.[[/note]]
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