My Morning in Exile

In 1975, the NBC Friday night lineup was “Sanford and Son” at 8, “Chico and the Man” at 8:30, “Rockford Files” at 9, and “Police Woman at 10.” That’s outrageously solid, but check out what CBS was dropping at the same time: “Big Eddie,” “M*A*S*H,” “Hawaii Five-O,” and “Barnaby Jones.” What did people do back then?! With all due respect to “Chico and the Man,” I suppose it’s reasonable to assume that you started with “Sanford” and then switched over to “M*A*S*H” at 8:30 — and I appreciate that maybe “Barnaby Jones” vs. “Police Woman” sorted itself out based on demographics — but how on God’s Green Earth was a person supposed to choose between “Rockford” and “Hawaii Five-O?!” There were no DVRs then, people, and only Bob Crane and the ultra-rich had VCRs. I don’t know that I’ve had as difficult a choice in my entire adult life, and as I sit here today, I can’t say what I would have done. I simply can’t say.

  • Forbes says that one-third of baseball teams have dropped in value. What, you thought I had missed this?
  • Why isn’t Endy Chavez on the All-Star ballot?
  • History Lesson, with your guest professor, Lar from Wezen-Ball.
  • Millions of Americans out of work and Jason freakin’ Tyner has a job. That’s fair.
  • Papi warns Joba. Wait, I’m pretty sure that was a “Hawaii Five-O” episode summary in a late 1975 issue of TV Guide. And
  • Bengie Molina is, sadly, not an indefatigable robot.
  • OK, you put a gun to my head and I’m probably picking “Rockford Files,” but I can’t say it would be a choice I’d live with easily.

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    1. Chris Simonds said...

      With all due respect but nobody should have to put a gun o your head on this choice. Rockford or Hawaii Five O a tough call? Please. Rockford had a sense of humor. And James Garner vs. a stick like Jack Lord? It’s Rockford all the way.

    2. Bob Timmermann said...

      In my house, we stuck with the NBC shows because, we lived in Southern California, and “Sanford”, “Chico”, and “Rockford” were all Southern California based.

      We’d catch “Hawaii Five-O” in reruns.

      By 10 pm, most of us were heading for beds or sneaking into my Grandma’s room to watch “Barnaby Jones,” but I usually turned in after the opening title sequence announcing who all the guest stars were and then not even realizing who the “special guest star” was.

    3. David Pinto said...

      Rockford.  In 1975, Five-O was at the end of its run, and I believe James McArthur had left the show.  McGarrett could no longer utter, “Book’em Dano, murder one.”  Rockford was new and cool.

      There was someone who wrote for one of the Harvard student newspapers during the late 1970s who once a year would trot out his, “Jim Rockford is the coolest character on TV” column, and every year it was true.

      And hell, I was a teenager, so Angie Dickinsion over Buddy Ebsen was a no-brainer.

    4. David Pinto said...

      Also, Fox did a good job his winter with Terminator and Doll House back to back.  My wife wonders if Summer Glau is ever going to get to play a normal person.

    5. Mark Armour said...

      I think people have forgotten just how difficult it was to watch M*A*S*H in these years.  It switched nights just about every year, presumably because it could not find an audience.  M*A*S*H did not become must-see until late in its run, though the best shows were mostly early.

    6. RoyceTheBaseballHack said...

      Five-O was almost too cerebral for a Friday night. You had to actually try to figure out what the heck McGarret was up to half the time, and why the heck was he the only dude on the island in a damned suit? This bothered me then. I have since had a friend live in Honolulu for ten years, and he insists that nobody ever wore a suit. Of course, he was no Steve McGarret. Add in a few the spiffy burn-outs in the Pontiac Firebird, and Rockford makes it a no contest.

    7. APBA Guy said...

      That was tough. I avoided the whole business by going out every Friday night.

      But if I were sick, or we were staying in, it was definitely Rockford in first run, Hawaii Five-0 in reruns. Rockfish actually did a better job utilizing the scenery than did Five-0, and as was pointed out by Pinto, 5-0 was getting a bit wilted by then.

    8. Luke said...

      Thames got hurt, couldn’t have been counted on.  We traded for Tynes…it’s unfortunately, particularly if anything more than a sack of baseballs was traded for him…if he plays ANY games (eliminated or not) for the Tigers this year I’ll turn them off (and I pay $110 to MLB.COM to watch them on the computer all season, and another $10 for the iPhone app to listen to them when I’m not at home to watch them).

      And, yet, I still do not regret them dropping Sheffield (and I am in the apparently minority of Tigers fans, as I LIKE Sheffied-but, paying him millions to play for the Mets or paying him millions to suck at-bats away from Tigers hitters…either way it’s a lot of wasted millions, at least this way we can have some at-bats for guys who deserve it.) 

      Having said that, we should’ve kept Rayburn at AAA, he looked horrible last night.  I really think Tyner is just to fill a body without disrupting the depth chart and not as anyone serious to be counted on…

      At least that’s what I hope…

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