Friday, June 11, 2021

What Might've Been: Karen (1975)

 After Room 222 ended, Karen Valentine was keeping herself busy with TV-movies, guest roles, and a recurring gig on Hollywood Squares. It wasn't long before Gene Reynolds, who'd discovered Valentine a few years earlier, and signed her for Room 222, came calling with another gig.

Karen, the 2nd NBC series to bear the name (the 1st was a Universal sitcom as part of 90 Bristol Court, a 90 minute comedy block the studio produced in 1964, with Debbie Watson), was a mid-season replacement, debuting in January 1975. Here, Valentine played a telephone solicitor for a Washington lobbying firm, with Charles Lane (ex-Petticoat Junction) as her boss. Lane wasn't the first choice, though, as Denver Pyle (ex-The Doris Day Show), who'd co-starred in the earlier Karen, essayed the role in the pilot. Chiffon pitchwoman Dena Detrich co-starred.

Low ratings killed the show after the requisite 13 weeks. Not even Reynolds and co-creator Larry Gelbart, who'd had a big hit with M*A*S*H over on CBS, could get this show renewed.

Following is a sample episode:

No rating.

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