History Literature / WhatWereTheyThinkingThe100DumbestEventsInTelevisionHistory

7th Apr '16 6:16:43 PM twilicorn
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# The Heidi Bowl [[note]](1968 football game between the New York Jets and Oakland Raiders from which Creator/{{NBC}} notoriously broke away before it was done to air the TV movie ''Heidi'', thereby missing ''two'' Oakland touchdowns scored in the final minute that flipped the outcome of the game; led to a rule requiring that TV networks '''must''' air sports games in their entirety along with new technology to convey messages quickly when a call from NBC's then-president to put the game back on failed to go through in time)[[/note]]

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# The Heidi Bowl [[note]](1968 football game between the New York Jets and Oakland Raiders from which Creator/{{NBC}} notoriously broke away before it was done to air the TV movie ''Heidi'', thereby missing ''two'' Oakland touchdowns scored in the final minute that flipped the outcome of the game; game. The controversy that ensued led to a rule requiring that TV networks '''must''' air sports games in their entirety entirety, along with new technology to convey messages quickly when a call from NBC's then-president to put the game back on failed to go through in time)[[/note]]



# ''Series/{{Dateline}}'''s 1992 report on exploding General Motors trucks [[note]](said trucks supposedly exploded on impact due to their gas tanks, but after ''Dateline'' failed to produce an explosion, they rigged one; this got NBC sued by GM and led to an exodus of ''Dateline'' staff plus news president Michael Gartner; GM would later get sued themselves when one of the "sidesaddle" gas tanks took the life of a couple's son and discontinued the car using them.)[[/note]]

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# ''Series/{{Dateline}}'''s 1992 report on exploding General Motors trucks [[note]](said trucks supposedly exploded on impact due to their gas tanks, but after ''Dateline'' failed to produce an explosion, they rigged one; this one. This got NBC sued by GM and led to an exodus of ''Dateline'' staff plus news president Michael Gartner; GM would later get sued themselves when one of the "sidesaddle" gas tanks took the life of a couple's son and discontinued the car using them.)[[/note]]



# ''Series/{{Supertrain}}'' [[note]](1979 NBC series about a giant nuclear-powered train, meant to be their answer to ''Series/TheLoveBoat''. This has most expensive pilot ever made, and when the series's concept did no good (no thanks to an allegedly butt-ugly set and costumes), it was removed from the schedule for a while and reworked into a thriller. This didn't help much and NBC had to derail it for good shortly afterwards; its flopping made NBC's already-problematic run under Fred Silverman worse.)[[/note]]

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# ''Series/{{Supertrain}}'' [[note]](1979 NBC series about a giant nuclear-powered train, meant to be their answer to ''Series/TheLoveBoat''. This has most expensive pilot ever made, and when the series's concept did no good (no [no thanks to an allegedly butt-ugly set and costumes), costumes], it was removed from the schedule for a while and reworked into a thriller. This didn't help much and NBC had to derail it for good shortly afterwards; its flopping made NBC's already-problematic run under Fred Silverman worse.)[[/note]]



# ''[[OneEpisodeWonder Turn-On]]'' [[note]](notoriously-awful HotterAndSexier [[DuelingShows competitor]][[invoked]] to ''Series/RowanAndMartinsLaughIn'' that aired on most Creator/{{ABC}} affiliates in 1969, either in full or partially; it was effectively canned before the first episode even finished airing; ABC made that cancellation official without comment the next day after Bristol-Myers withdrew from sponsership and buried it as far as they could.)[[/note]]

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# ''[[OneEpisodeWonder Turn-On]]'' [[note]](notoriously-awful HotterAndSexier [[DuelingShows competitor]][[invoked]] to ''Series/RowanAndMartinsLaughIn'' that aired on most Creator/{{ABC}} affiliates in 1969, either in full or partially; it was effectively canned before the first episode even finished airing; airing. ABC made that cancellation official without comment the next day after Bristol-Myers withdrew from sponsership their sponsorship and buried it as far as they could.)[[/note]]



# ''Saturday Night Live with Howard Cosell'' [[note]](ill-fated 1975-76 ABC VarietyShow hosted by the infamous sports broadcaster. Not to be confused with the more popular ''Series/SaturdayNightLive'' on NBC, though the Cosell ''SNL'' is the reason why the NBC version was officially named ''NBC's Saturday Night'' until March 1977 and is the impetus behind the show's famous line "Live from New York, it's ''Saturday Night''!")[[/note]]

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# ''Saturday Night Live with Howard Cosell'' [[note]](ill-fated 1975-76 ABC VarietyShow hosted by the infamous sports broadcaster. [[NamesTheSame Not to be confused with with]] the more popular ''Series/SaturdayNightLive'' on NBC, though the Cosell ''SNL'' is the reason why the NBC version was officially named ''NBC's Saturday Night'' until March 1977 and is the impetus behind the show's famous line "Live from New York, it's ''Saturday Night''!")[[/note]]Night''!")[[invoked]][[/note]]



# ''WesternAnimation/FishPolice'' [[note]](one of many early-1990s attempts by the Big Three to cash in on FOX's success with ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons''; this, ''Family Dog'', and ''WesternAnimation/CapitolCritters'' all got canned due to low ratings, bad reviews, and ExecutiveMeddling)[[/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''; this, ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons''. ''Fish Police'' was CBS' stab at the formula; it, NBC's ''Family Dog'', and ABC's ''WesternAnimation/CapitolCritters'' all got canned due to low ratings, bad reviews, and ExecutiveMeddling)[[/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)[[/note]]

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# 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 ''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)[[/note]]



# ''Creator/NickAtNite''[='s=] NetworkDecay [[note]](More recent shows from the 1980s-90s replaced the classic 1950s-60s shows, including ''Series/ILoveLucy''; most of these classic shows moved to fellow Viacom channel TV Land, which was actually created as "Nick at Night's TV Land," indicating the intention of moving to said channel eventually.)[[/note]]

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# ''Creator/NickAtNite''[='s=] NetworkDecay [[note]](More recent shows from the 1980s-90s replaced the classic 1950s-60s shows, including ''Series/ILoveLucy''; most shows like ''Series/ILoveLucy'' and ''Series/ThePattyDukeShow''. Most of these classic shows moved to fellow Viacom channel TV Land, which was actually created as "Nick at Night's TV Land," indicating the intention of moving to said channel eventually.)[[/note]]
6th Feb '16 11:31:18 PM jameygamer
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# [[MissingEpisode The erasure of countless TV shows]][[invoked]] [[note]] Two of the shows mentioned as being erased were Johnny Carson's first ''Tonight Show'' and ''Super Bowl I''; the latter was recorded by both NBC and CBS, but was erased for cost-cutting reasons (this was before the notion of saving the tapes really took off). The NFL eventually scraped together enough footage to show the game on TV again in 2016, removing ''Super Bowl I'' from the KeepCirculatingTheTapes pit at last) [[/note]]

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# [[MissingEpisode The erasure of countless TV shows]][[invoked]] [[note]] Two of the shows mentioned as being erased were Johnny Carson's first ''Tonight Show'' and ''Super Bowl I''; the latter was recorded by both NBC and CBS, but was erased for cost-cutting reasons (this was before the notion of saving the tapes really took off). The NFL eventually scraped together enough footage to show the game on TV again in 2016, removing ''Super Bowl I'' from the KeepCirculatingTheTapes MissingEpisode pit at last) [[/note]]
6th Feb '16 11:29:50 PM jameygamer
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# [[MissingEpisode The erasure of countless TV shows]][[invoked]] [[/note]] Two of the shows mentioned as being erased were Johnny Carson's first ''Tonight Show'' and ''Super Bowl I''; the latter was recorded by both NBC and CBS, but was erased for cost-cutting reasons (this was before the notion of saving the tapes really took off). The NFL eventually scraped together enough footage to show the game on TV again in 2016, removing ''Super Bowl I'' from the KeepCirculatingTheTapes pit at last) [[/note]]

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# [[MissingEpisode The erasure of countless TV shows]][[invoked]] [[/note]] [[note]] Two of the shows mentioned as being erased were Johnny Carson's first ''Tonight Show'' and ''Super Bowl I''; the latter was recorded by both NBC and CBS, but was erased for cost-cutting reasons (this was before the notion of saving the tapes really took off). The NFL eventually scraped together enough footage to show the game on TV again in 2016, removing ''Super Bowl I'' from the KeepCirculatingTheTapes pit at last) [[/note]]
6th Feb '16 11:29:24 PM jameygamer
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# [[MissingEpisode The erasure of countless TV shows]][[invoked]]

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# [[MissingEpisode The erasure of countless TV shows]][[invoked]]shows]][[invoked]] [[/note]] Two of the shows mentioned as being erased were Johnny Carson's first ''Tonight Show'' and ''Super Bowl I''; the latter was recorded by both NBC and CBS, but was erased for cost-cutting reasons (this was before the notion of saving the tapes really took off). The NFL eventually scraped together enough footage to show the game on TV again in 2016, removing ''Super Bowl I'' from the KeepCirculatingTheTapes pit at last) [[/note]]
6th Feb '16 11:24:52 PM jameygamer
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* CreatorProvincialism: Because the book focuses on American television, it does leave out some of the most infamous television events, including the British ''Series/HeilHoneyImHome'' (a sitcom about UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler), ''Australia's Naughtiest Home Videos'' (aired on Creator/NineNetwork and primarily featured animals having sex and was pulled off the network in the middle of its only airing), 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, including the British ''Series/HeilHoneyImHome'' (a sitcom about UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler), ''Australia's Naughtiest Home Videos'' (aired on Creator/NineNetwork and primarily featured animals having sex and was pulled off the network in the middle of its only airing), 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).



* JumpingTheShark:[[invoked]] ''Series/TwinPeaks''[='=] second season is cited as an example in entry 34. Interestingly, the trope-naming ''Series/HappyDays'' episode doesn't make the list. [[note]](The reason most likely being that while ''Happy Days'' had been declining in quality for a while and the Shark Jump was merely an indicator of how far the show has sunk, ''Twin Peaks'' was still a strong show which got suddenly derailed.)[[/note]]

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* JumpingTheShark:[[invoked]] ''Series/TwinPeaks''[='=] second season is cited as an example in entry 34. Interestingly, the trope-naming ''Series/HappyDays'' episode doesn't make the list. [[note]](The reason most likely being that while ''Happy Days'' had been declining in quality for a while and the Shark Jump was merely an indicator of how far the show has sunk, ''Twin Peaks'' was still a strong show which got suddenly derailed.)[[/note]] ''Happy Days's'' JumpingTheShark moment IS mentioned in the book, however)[[/note]]
6th Feb '16 11:20:05 PM jameygamer
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# ''Woops!'' episode "Say It Ain't So, Santa" [[note]](the bizarre Christmas episode of an already bizarre, short-lived FOX sitcom centered on apocalypse survivors, and the last episode of said sitcom to actually air)[[/note]]

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# ''Woops!'' episode "Say It Ain't So, Santa" [[note]](the bizarre Christmas episode of an already bizarre, short-lived FOX sitcom centered on apocalypse survivors, and the last episode of said sitcom to actually air)[[/note]]air. Controversy over the portrayal of Santa having "accidentally" killed Mrs. Claus and the elves led to Fox/[[Creator/TouchstonePictures Touchstone]] nuking the series from the airwaves during the Christmas break, leaving three other episodes to never see the light of day)[[/note]]
6th Feb '16 11:14:35 PM jameygamer
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# NBC's Fall 1983 schedule [[note]](a huge list of flops including ''Series/{{Manimal}}'', ''Mr. Smith'', ''Boone'', ''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)[[/note]]

to:

# NBC's Fall 1983 schedule [[note]](a huge list of flops including ''Series/{{Manimal}}'', ''Series/{{Manimal}}'' (which David Letterman ruthlessly mocked and which turned into instant SnarkBait), ''Mr. Smith'', ''Boone'', ''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)[[/note]]
6th Feb '16 11:10:41 PM jameygamer
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# ''Series/{{Supertrain}}'' [[note]](1979 NBC series about a giant nuclear-powered train, meant to be their answer to ''Series/TheLoveBoat''; most expensive pilot ever made, its flopping made NBC's already-problematic run under Fred Silverman worse)[[/note]]

to:

# ''Series/{{Supertrain}}'' [[note]](1979 NBC series about a giant nuclear-powered train, meant to be their answer to ''Series/TheLoveBoat''; ''Series/TheLoveBoat''. This has most expensive pilot ever made, and when the series's concept did no good (no thanks to an allegedly butt-ugly set and costumes), it was removed from the schedule for a while and reworked into a thriller. This didn't help much and NBC had to derail it for good shortly afterwards; its flopping made NBC's already-problematic run under Fred Silverman worse)[[/note]]worse.)[[/note]]



# ''[[OneEpisodeWonder Turn-On]]'' [[note]](notoriously-awful HotterAndSexier [[DuelingShows competitor]][[invoked]] to ''Series/RowanAndMartinsLaughIn'' that aired on most Creator/{{ABC}} affiliates in 1969, either in full or partially; it was effectively canned before the first episode even finished airing; ABC made that cancellation official without comment the next day after Bristol-Myers withdrew from sponsership.)[[/note]]

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# ''[[OneEpisodeWonder Turn-On]]'' [[note]](notoriously-awful HotterAndSexier [[DuelingShows competitor]][[invoked]] to ''Series/RowanAndMartinsLaughIn'' that aired on most Creator/{{ABC}} affiliates in 1969, either in full or partially; it was effectively canned before the first episode even finished airing; ABC made that cancellation official without comment the next day after Bristol-Myers withdrew from sponsership.sponsership and buried it as far as they could.)[[/note]]



# ''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; the reveal resulted in the subplots being all there was left. The spinoff movie that was released in 1992 finished the job on this franchise.)[[/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; the reveal resulted in the subplots being all there was left. The spinoff movie that was released in 1992 [[FranchiseKiller finished the job job]] on this franchise.franchise;it would take two decades for any talks of revivals to materialize.)[[/note]]
6th Feb '16 11:02:51 PM jameygamer
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# The 62nd Academy Awards telecast [[note]](the 1989 show, featuring an awkward and poorly-received ''[[Literature/SnowWhiteAndTheSevenDwarfs Snow White]]'' opening number with Rob Lowe playing the Disney-style Snow's blind date - the whole thing ultimately ruined the career of producer Allan Carr and got the Oscars sued by Disney for the embarrassing portrayal of Snow White; the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences apologized for the performance)[[/note]]

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# The 62nd Academy Awards telecast [[note]](the 1989 show, featuring an awkward and poorly-received ''[[Literature/SnowWhiteAndTheSevenDwarfs Snow White]]'' opening number with Rob Lowe playing the Disney-style Snow's Creator/{{Disney}}-style [[Disney/SnowWhiteAndTheSevenDwarfs Snow's]] blind date - the whole thing ultimately [[CreatorKiller ruined the career of producer career]] [[LaserGuidedKarma of]] [[NeverLiveItDown producer]] Allan Carr (who was coming off a series of movie flops) and got the Oscars sued [[ScrewedByTheLawyers sued]] by Disney for the embarrassing portrayal of Snow White; the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences apologized for the performance)[[/note]]performance and fired Carr, replacing him with Gil Cates for the 1990 telecast)[[/note]]
5th Feb '16 10:56:46 PM DastardlyDemolition
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# The 1950s quiz show scandals [[note]](Several late-1950s game shows were rigged to help contestants that execs wanted to win, bump players said execs wanted to lose, and generally fabricate "drama". Resulted in the decade-long blacklisting of Jack Barry & Dan Enright, who produced ''TwentyOne'' {the central show involved in the scandal}, and led to new laws regarding television that are still in effect to this day.)[[/note]]

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# The 1950s quiz show scandals [[note]](Several late-1950s game shows were rigged to help contestants that execs wanted to win, bump players said execs wanted to lose, and generally fabricate "drama". Resulted in the decade-long blacklisting of Jack Barry & Dan Enright, who produced ''TwentyOne'' ''{{Series/TwentyOne}}'' {the central show involved in the scandal}, and led to new laws regarding television that are still in effect to this day.)[[/note]]
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