Saturday, October 18, 2014

What Might've Been: Marie (1980)

We have often discussed how network suits have this habit of bringing back older stars, giving them new shows, and plugging them into familiar time slots in the hopes that viewers will be drawn back to those stars. It doesn't always work.

One such example involves Marie Osmond. A year and a half after Donny & Marie had ended its run on ABC, Marie returned, this time with a solo series, back on Friday nights, but this time on NBC, which was starving for a hit primetime series that wasn't Little House on the Prairie at the time. Unfortunately, Marie couldn't carry the load by herself, and the show was cancelled after about a year. It would also be the last series produced by the Osmond family's production company.

Oh, sure, Donny would drop by from time to time, and brothers Jay & Alan served as co-executive producers, but the viewers had moved on. Back then, Fridays belonged to CBS, which had taken over the night after Donny & Marie ended. The problem was that the show was on the wrong network. Had the Osmonds stayed at ABC, and Marie aired on another night, like, say, Saturday, things might've been different. A few short years later, Marie began her musical comeback on the country charts, scoring a #1 hit with "Meet Me in Montana", a duet with Dan Seals, who had been "England Dan", as in England Dan & John Ford Coley, in the 70's.

Following is a sample episode with guest star Andy Gibb, who'd later co-host Solid Gold:

These days, Marie is doing ads for Nutri-Systems, and periodically fills in on CBS' The Talk, after her self-titled Hallmark Channel talk show ended its run a year ago.

Rating: B.

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