Friday, May 29, 2015

Classic TV: SCTV (1976)

SCTV had a checkered history on television over a 10 year period, starting in 1976 in Canada. The first season was produced irregularly over 2 years before they settled into a more appropriate production schedule. During this period, the series made its first inroads in the US, as reruns were syndicated by Rhodes Productions, as memory serves.

In 1981, NBC acquired SCTV and expanded it to 90 minutes, first as SCTV Network 90, then dropping the 90 part when the series was trimmed. Rather than move to an earlier slot when NBC decided to launch Friday Night Videos, SCTV shifted to pay cable, specifically Cinemax here in the US, for its final season, its run time trimmed to 45 minutes. Edited reruns were released in syndication before the end of the 80's.

Of course, you know that most of the cast moved on to bigger & better things. For example, Harold Ramis, who represented the Chicago Second City troupe while the series was based in Toronto, went on to a successful career in films, writing, directing, and/or starring in films such as "Ghostbusters". John Candy likewise scored on the big screen, whether it was in "Uncle Buck" or sharing the stage, if you will, with Steve Martin in "Planes, Trains, & Automobiles". Rick Moranis & Dave Thomas, aka the McKenzie Brothers, scored a modest novelty hit in 1982 with "Take Off", featuring Rush vocalist Geddy Lee. Moranis & Candy ventured into cartoons (Gravedale High & Camp Candy, respectively). After joining SCTV, Tony Rosato, Robin Duke, & Martin Short gravitated over to Saturday Night Live. Short also co-starred in the short-lived ABC sitcom, The Associates.

Let's go back to 1976 for the intro to the first season, eh?

No rating. Didn't watch the show.

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