Saturday, June 17, 2017

What Might've Been: The New Show (1984)

Today, NBC will use the last hour of primetime on Saturday nights for an edited replay of the previous week's Saturday Night Live in order to boost interest for the following episode after the 11 pm (ET) news. Back in 1984, however, network executives asked SNL creator Lorne Michaels to develop a similar sketch comedy show for primetime, one that wouldn't be live.

The New Show was a mid-season replacement that spent two months and change on NBC in the winter of 1984. Aside from Michaels, the only other links to SNL were frequent host Steve Martin and recurring guest Buck Henry. The ensemble otherwise included Valeri Bromfield (ex-Fridays) and Dave Thomas (Second City TV), whose SCTV castmates, Catherine O'Hara & John Candy, would make frequent appearances.

Not only would you get the same kind of skits as on either SCTV or SNL, plus a musical guest, but there would be unique performances. Take for example Penny Marshall (Laverne & Shirley) doing some breakdancing with the Dynamic Breakers. I wish I could post that clip, but it's in bad shape. Anyway, this should've been a key part of NBC's resurgence in the 80's, but it wasn't. Why? It aired on Fridays, opposite CBS' Falcon Crest. CBS still owned Fridays at that point.

In this sample clip, George Orwell's dystopian classic is parodied....

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