Hour-long comedy-drama series which debuted as a Midseason Replacement
in 1979 on NBC
. An attempt at emulating ABC
's success with The Love Boat
, Supertrain was essentially the same show
with the Pacific Princess
swapped out for the titular "Supertrain", a super-broad gauge, nuclear-powered bullet train
that could cross the United States from coast to coast in 3 days.
The show was an abject disaster for NBC, who had produced the series by itself (initially with Dan Curtis
in charge) and spared no expense in building both the elaborate sets and the complex, fragile model trains (one of which crashed during production and had to be replaced at great cost). Worse yet, once the series premiered, viewers simply weren't interested; attempts to retool
the series by adding more suspense elements failed, and the series left the air in July 1979 after just five months and nine episodes.
It's often been named the biggest flop in US television history, not just because of the derivative content but because it (combined with the US boycott of the 1980 Moscow Olympics) came so close to taking NBC down with it
. It's never been released to syndication or home video, and this is unlikely to change anytime soon.
This show provides examples of: