Saturday, September 24, 2016

What Might've Been: Fantasy (1982)

It was billed as a game show, where contestants were offered a chance to make their dreams come true.

But what might've hurt Fantasy, which spent a year as part of NBC's daytime lineup, was that it was a sacrificial lamb fed to the then-white hot General Hospital. Game, set, & match.

Fantasy marked the return of co-host Peter Marshall to NBC after 2 years away, one year removed from the ending of the original Hollywood Squares, which had ended its run in syndication after 14 years on NBC (1966-80). Marshall this time was joined by actress-singer Leslie Uggams, who would go on to win a Daytime Emmy award for her work on the show. Coincidentally, Fantasy, Merrill Heatter's first series without now-retired partner Bob Quigley, was a collaboration with Columbia Pictures Television, which was co-producing a similar, yet fictional series about people realizing their dreams over on another network---Fantasy Island. I think you can see just about all the reason that's there for why this show flopped.

Let's check out a sample episode.

No rating. At the time, we had one set in the house, and it was tuned to----wait for it----General Hospital.

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