Thursday, May 7, 2015

Forgotten TV: The Sanford Arms (1977)

When Redd Foxx bolted NBC after 6 seasons of Sanford & Son, you'd think that would've been the end. Foxx left for ABC to headline his own variety show, which, as it turned out, wasn't quite so successful any more than NBC's attempt to fill the Sanford void.

Picking up a plot thread from the final season of Sanford & Son, co-executive producer Bud Yorkin, teamed once again with Saul Turtletaub & Bernie Orenstein (What's Happening!, etc.) was able to sell NBC on the premise the series could continue. One problem. Demond Wilson (Lamont) also bolted in a salary dispute, meaning that the new show would have to start from scratch.

The end result was The Sanford Arms, which lasted a month, and was one of the first casualties of the 1977-8 season. As memory serves, it aired at the same time (8  ET) as Sanford & Son, a slot occupied the next year by Joe Namath's infamous attempt at a sitcom, The Waverly Wonders, on Fridays. Yeah, Waverly was a bomb, too.

Theodore Wilson, whose resume included stints on Roll Out, Good Times, and featured roles in movies like "Cotton Comes to Harlem", after beginning his career as a singer, toplined as the new owner of the Sanford Arms hotel, and the accompanying Sanford residence. Fred (Foxx) & Lamont had relocated to Arizona so Fred could retire in peace due to his health. Only three regulars from Sanford & Son were retained: Don Bexley (Bubba), LaWanda Page (Esther, who was now the de-facto hotel manager), and Whitman Mayo (Grady), who'd returned to Sanford & Son when his own series tanked.

Here's the open:

Foxx would reprise as Fred Sanford in another series, Sanford, a few short years later, but that, too, failed to connect.

No rating.

No comments: