The CBS "rural purge" of 1971

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by PaulKTF, Oct 12, 2016.

  1. Steve Carras

    Steve Carras Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Whittier,CA USA
    And as the original poster noted, it wasn't as late as 1971: 1970 saw "Jackie Gleason" & "Petticoat Junction" fall by the wayside.
     
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  2. JozefK

    JozefK Forum Resident

    Location:
    Dixie
    You can make a case that the trend began as early as 1967 with He & She, which set a template for the Yuppie sitcom: urban setting, wacky neighbors and co-workers rather than relatives, and no kids
     
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  3. Thwacko

    Thwacko Forum Resident

    Location:
    Fort Mill, SC
    Though I think the "rural purge" phenomenon is fascinating, those last couple years of Petticoat Junction after Bea Benaderet got sick are torturous.
     
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  4. applebonkerz

    applebonkerz Forum Resident

    I have no idea why you quoted my post, and then made this unrelated comment to what I said.
    There were a bunch of shows all cancelled in 1971. The group that was cancelled in 1971 I had mostly watched for years, but had either grown tired of them by 1971, or had stopped watching others all together before the purge even happened. Where did I say a word specifically about "Jackie Gleason" or "Petticoat Junction"? :shake:
     
  5. misterdecibel

    misterdecibel Bulbous Also Tapered

    And what's "rural" about Jackie Gleason?
     
  6. Steve Carras

    Steve Carras Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Whittier,CA USA
    The list mentions those, and that they were already cancelled prior to 1971.
     
  7. The Slug Man

    The Slug Man Forum Resident

    Location:
    North Carolina
    I used to have a book that ran through the history of TV (at least up to the '80s). Wish I still had it. From memory, it ran something like this:

    late 40s-mid 50s: "Vaudeo". Lots of live TV.

    late 50s-early 60s: The "adult Western" era.

    most of the '60s: The "Idiot sitcom" years, where the "rural" shows discussed in this thread were in full flower.

    late '60s-1974: The "age of relevance," with shows like All In The Family that examined real life social issues.

    1975-1980: The "ABC Fantasy" era, where lighter shows like Happy Days came to the fore.

    Can't remember what came afterwards, but fast forward to 2000-now would definitely be the "Reality TV" era.
     
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  8. The Panda

    The Panda Forum Mutant

    Location:
    Marple, PA, USA
    What? You didn't like Uncle Joe?:laugh: His brain shrank as the episodes progressed.
    I can picture the TV Guide capsule now : "Hilarity ensues when Uncle Joe thinks one of the girls is marrying a sheep."
     
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  9. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR!

    Location:
    Hollywood, USA
    Oh, that was really sad. They wrote her out of the show and brought in June Lockhart to take her place, and her character would "call in" (unseen) every so often. Then when one of the daughters gave birth, a fake Bea Benaderet came to the hospital (seen only from the back) to visit her grandchild, with the actress doing the voice over from her hospital bed. I think she died only a couple of months after that episode aired. :cry:

    The show skewed too old for advertising demographics, making the show unattractive for commercials marketed to people in the 18-49 age group.
     
  10. James Slattery

    James Slattery Active Member

    Location:
    Long Island
    My favorite TV reference book because they actually tell you if shows are any good or not. If you've never seen a series, it certainly helps to have an idea if its good or not. Although East Side West Side only got two and a half stars and that's a classic.
     
  11. Dan C

    Dan C Forum Fotographer

    Location:
    The West
    That's an interesting breakdown. I'd suspect post-80s came a second golden age with NBC's high quality programming leading the way.
    I strongly disagree that we're in a "reality TV" era. That probably peaked a decade ago. We're in a new golden age IMHO, but the market is SO fractured into so many little pieces that it would be harder than ever to generalize anything into a neat little category.

    dan c
     
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  12. Lightworker

    Lightworker Forum Resident

    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    There is a "Reality Purge" going on right now...it's called network (and cable) news programming. Very little "reality" there...
     
  13. misterjones

    misterjones Forum Resident

    Location:
    New York City
    No one thinks rural TV, especially rural southern TV, was affected by the civil rights issues of the time?

    I would have guessed that southern people and hillbillies and the like were becoming associated with racism and the networks no longer wanted to put any time or effort into such shows for fear of alienating a large segment of their viewing public.
     
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  14. Lightworker

    Lightworker Forum Resident

    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    That might have played a part in the decisions of the more 'progressive' network folks to pull support from these shows, but the bottom-line people knew that the market demographic that might possibly be "offended"
    by these non-racist 'Southern' sitcoms was negligible...at least it was in 1971. The fact is that TV situation comedies with laugh tracks were stale by the early 70s and there was a new emphasis on 'younger' programming.
     
  15. lv70smusic

    lv70smusic Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    I guess -- kinda, sorta. What seems funny to me in hindsight is that some of the so-called rural programs that were canceled still hold up well and some of the newer ones designed to appeal to a younger, hipper audience don't entertain me in the slightest when I try to watch them now (Room 222 and The Mod Squad come to mind) even though I did like them as a kid.
     
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  16. Lightworker

    Lightworker Forum Resident

    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    "I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now."
    Actually Sanford & Son still cracks me up...it helped to
    have a top-quality Vegas standup comic with impeccable
    timing like Redd in the lead role.
     
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  17. misterjones

    misterjones Forum Resident

    Location:
    New York City
    We think being politically and socially adversarial is a modern phenonenon, but back then shows like All in the Family were very much in that mode. I think that show was brilliant, but neither my wife nor I can take it's persistent social and political bickering. One could argue that it's time to bring back some of those more simple and light-hearted rural shows (like Schitt's Creek).
     
  18. lv70smusic

    lv70smusic Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    Sanford & Son holds up -- not only because of Redd Foxx but also a lot of other creative talent involved, with a special nod to LaWanda Page.
     
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  19. Spaghettiows

    Spaghettiows Forum Resident

    Location:
    Silver Creek, NY
    The fact that Sanford & Son was not as overtly political or topical as shows like Maude or All In The Family helped give it some legs, I think. It doesn't seem all that dated today, other than some of the 7os clothes that Lamont wore.
     
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  20. signothetimes53

    signothetimes53 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Burlington VT USA
    I think the answer is a lot simpler: the age of the audiences watching CBS 'rural' programs was old and growing older, and not attractive to advertisers looking for a younger target market to reach. The CBS decision wasn't based on anything more than corporate network economic preservation.
     
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  21. Scott in DC

    Scott in DC Forum Resident

    Location:
    Washington, DC
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    I agree that now I can sit and watch Green Acres and The Beverly Hillibillies and laugh but I can't do the same with All In the Family and Mary Tyler Moore.

    Maybe it's due to those godawful early 70s ladies pant suits!

    Scott
     
  22. Lightworker

    Lightworker Forum Resident

    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    Political humor gets old pretty darn fast.
    I still enjoy the WWII-era Three Stooges
    stuff though:

    [​IMG]
     
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  23. lv70smusic

    lv70smusic Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    Even though All In The Family is dated, I still find it funny. Same with Mary Tyler Moore, though that show is more hit or miss for me. Of course, humor is one of those things where there isn't a right and wrong. I don't get some programs that have devoted fans and I surely enjoy some other things that a lot of people would find boring.
     
  24. James Slattery

    James Slattery Active Member

    Location:
    Long Island
    The saying goes that CBS cancelled any show with a tree in it!
     
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