Thursday, June 14, 2018

Forgotten TV: Glitter (1984)

Aaron Spelling had a formula for some of his ABC series, such as The Love Boat, Fantasy Island, & Hotel, a formula dating back to his days at Four Star with the original Burke's Law. That formula was to load up on the guest stars, mostly to help bolster the show's ensemble cast.

1984's Glitter wasn't an anthology series, but rather a straight drama, not unlike the cookie cutter crime dramas that Spelling was churning out, mostly, again, for ABC. The pedigree of the show's core cast should've allowed for some cohesion and continuity, but it didn't happen, simply because it was on the wrong night of the week.

Glitter was built around a magazine that fell somewhere between People and, say for example, the National Enquirer. It also brought back Arthur Hill (ex-Owen Marshall, Counselor-at-Law) to series television after a few years away. Spelling lured David Birney away from St. Elsewhere and Morgan Brittany from Dallas. The ensemble also included Melinda Culea (ex-The A-Team), Tracy Nelson (ex-Square Pegs, later of The Father Dowling Mysteries), and, in a rare dramatic role, Arte Johnson (ex-Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In).

So what was the problem? It was on Thursdays at 9 (ET), opposite Simon & Simon (CBS), and Cheers & Night Court on NBC. As a result, only 14 episodes were produced and aired. Ballgame over.

Following is a sample episode, with guest stars Lois Nettleton, Pat Harrington (One Day at a Time), & Melissa Sue Anderson (Little House on The Prairie). Uploaded to YouTube by a Nettleton fan channel.

I would say Glitter aspired to be for ABC what Lou Grant had been over at CBS for a few years, but it wasn't close.

Rating: B-.

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