Sunday, April 6, 2014

What Might've Been: The Goodtime Girls (1980)

During the 70's, viewers were being taken on trips back in time on a seemingly never-ending basis.

For example, Happy Days and Laverne & Shirley were set in the late-50's up through the early 60's. The Waltons visited rural America during the Depression years right up to and through World War II. Buck Rogers, of course, took us forward 5 centuries, while most Westerns, such as Gunsmoke & Bonanza were set in the 19th century.

Paramount producers Thomas Miller & Edward Milkis, having apprenticed under Garry Marshall, thought a sitcom set stateside during the 40's might have the same kind of impact as Happy Days. That said, The Goodtime Girls was a good idea, but few people seemed to be interested. Seeing as how this was on ABC, viewers saw it as just another Days clone.

The producers smartly opted for an ensemble cast, with no true star. Goodtime was a mid-season replacement series, which as it turned out, was a blessing for one of its male stars, Peter Scolari, who'd move on the following fall to another Paramount sitcom, Bosom Buddies. Georgia Engel (ex-The Mary Tyler Moore Show) was the only "name" known to viewers, but some of the others, Scolari included, would become bigger stars later on.

Annie Potts, whose character serves as narrator, would go on to Designing Women and "Ghostbusters". Adrian Zmed moved on to T. J. Hooker and would take over Dance Fever from Denny Terrio, sending that series into shark jumping waters. Lorna Patterson followed with Private Benjamin, among others.

I never saw the show when it first aired, so there's no rating. Let us then scope a sample episde, which aired on TV Land back when they really cared about older and more obscure shows.....

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