Fox Network, the early years (not to be confused with Faux News)
When Fox first started up in the late 80s, they only aired original programming for a 3 hour block on Sunday nights. The main successes from that period were Married With Children, and The Tracy Ullmann Show, although the latter was only a critical, not ratings, success. It won a number of Emmys. Were there any other successful shows from that period? Chris Elliot's "Get A Life" lasted two seasons, and seemed to have a small cult following, but hasn't been seen since. Many weird Fox shows came and went quickly at the time, including a nuclear holocaust sitcom that only lasted an episode or two. Considered one of the most bizarre and worst sitcoms ever.
The Simpsons, which was a spinoff from Tracy Ullman.
The Simpsons and Married With Children both propelled Fox back then.
I loved early FOX. 21 Jumpstreet was a popular show at least in terms of awareness. I don't think it had big numbers. But FOX was very savvy at the time somewhat like the CW now with marketing. FOX sent their actors on mall tours.
Right the Simpsons, I knew I must be forgetting something. And they did start pretty early, '89. "Get A Life" started after that.
I intended this thread to reminisce for anyone who watched that Sunday night block, even the weird shows that failed. The only other shows I can remember are Babes, a one season fat girl sitcom. The Charmings, an failed attempt at Bewitched type sitcom. The critics massacred that one. And some sort of sitcom set in a women's prison.
Here's the wiki page for the nuclear holocaust sitcom, Woops. It lasted 10 episodes, I thought they pulled it immediately. I do remember seeing it a few times, I'd watch any of their weird crap.
I loved "Stand," the REM theme song to "Get a Life," from their LP "Green," which was orange.
My favorite early Fox show was "Parker Lewis Can't Lose."
I didn't like Johnny Depp any more in "21 Jump Street" than I liked him in anything that came afterwards. I would not have picked him out as a future superstar.
I never would have picked Johnny Depp as a future film superstar either. I used to watch 21 Jump Street and thought he was rather nondescript and 'rough around the edges.'
Wasn't there one called "Herbert's Head", or something like that? I think I was 7 when that aired...
I remember "Duet" and its spinoff "Open House", which featured Ellen DeGeneres.
Johnny Jumpstreet looked like he needed a bath.
I loved the Tracey Ullman show.
I didn't like Depp in 21 Jump Street or anything else, but I watched the show to see an actors named Richard Grieco. He was so incredibly beautiful at that time. His looks did not hold up very well, and he looks a lot like Tom Jones now. That is not bad at all, but he is just not as extremely pretty as he was in his youth. Can't imagine why his career went almost nowhere, when someone as unattractive and untalented as Depp became a superstar. Must just be a matter of sucking the right dicks.
Herman's Head, R8
Yeardley Smith was in it.
The gal has a stee-range voice.
'Open House' was the first time I remember seeing Ellen Degeneres. She played the receptionist at the real estate office, and as soon as I saw her I knew she was a lesbian.
This is the theme to Garry's show, the theme to Garry's show, Garry called me up and asked if I would write his theme song.....
It was actually a Showtime show, but Fox showed the reruns in primetime. Loved it.
Here's the '87-'88 schedule. Duet was one of the earliest shows, I probably saw it but have no memory of it. It lasted 3 seasons. I do remember Herman's Head, it was watchable but the premise wore out fairly quickly.
Duet was about a couple starting a relationship. It was rather good as I recall. Mary Page Keller and Matthew Laurance starred.
WHET Alison LaPlaca?
I too was sure she would be a big star.
R22 - Don't know. I loved her on Duet.
Wasn't Matthew Perry on one of the early shows?
WHET to Alison Laplaca? She got a lot of hype back then.
R24, Perry was on "Second Chance" which was later retooled into "Boys Will Be Boys". Even then I could tell he would have a nice career ahead of him.
I loved "Duets" (later "Open House"), "Women in Prison", "The Adventures of Beans Baxter". I don't know how later down the line it was but "Eerie, Indiana" was another good one.
"Roc", starring Charles S. Dutton. I remember when they did an entire season live.
There was that Werewolf show with Edward C Scott, I loved that one as a kid. Very dark from what I remember.
In Living Color was brilliant.
I loved The X Files, too, but that was in the 90s.
Joan Rivers got her talk show from Early Fox - which Arsenio Hall finsihed up after she got the boot. I forget the name of the show but they had one with a puppet where Bobcat Goldwaith was the voice of the puppet. Don't forget x files as well.
Anybody else remember "Women in Prison" with DL fave Wendy Jo Sperber?
Yes I remember it, I've just been reading about it since r26 gave us the title. Looks like a good cast, Peggy Cass and CC Pounder too. One of the main characters was a lesbian hooker, although the actress that played her seems to have disappeared. She's the only one who doesn't have a wiki page.
R30, the show you''re talking about was called "Unhappily Ever After" and it came on in the mid-late 90s on the fledgling WB network. I think it was created by the creators of "Married With Children" and it was sort of a spin-off/evolution of that idea. The lead couple was exploring being newly divorced after an unhappy marriage. Instead of a dumb, sexy daughter and a smart, geeky son-like "Married With Children"- this show featured a smart, sexy daughter and a dumb, geeky son.
Philip Charles Mackenzie? The gay guy from "Brothers"? Weren't he and LaPlaca spun off from Duet into Open House, then into oblivion?
"Stand By Your Man" with Rosie O'Donnell and Melissa Gilbert as the wives of two conviced bank robbers. They get an apartment together near the prison so they can visit their husbands more often.
I think Patty Duke had a show. Something called Karen's Song? I usually watched it for Cops and America's Most Wanted.
That one sounded made-up r36, but here it is. Lasted 8 episodes in 1992.
[quote]One of the main characters was a lesbian hooker, although the actress that played her seems to have disappeared
I had no idea one of the characters was a lesbian. I guess as a kid I never picked up on that.
The wiki page doesn't mention it either r40, but I found a reference to it elsewhere.
[quote]I remember "Duet" and its spinoff "Open House", which featured Ellen DeGeneres.
Ellen DeGeneres as the man-crazy receptionist...
Was 'Action' -- the show about a Hollywood (actor?) and the hooker who gave him career/script advice on Fox?
Someone spill the beans on Duchovny. I heard pron before he was on Fox.
Truth? Rumor? Total Fiction?
i remember the Charmings. David Hyde Pierce was great in it, I knew he had potential.
The Charmings was actually on ABC or something though, it just seemed like a Fox show. It was probably the gayest role Paul Winfield ever had, as the catty talking mirror. Are you sure David Hyde Pierce was in it though? I just checked imdb and it's not showing up in his credits, and no mention of him on the show's wiki page.
Gosh, HERMAN'S HEAD -- talk about a blast from the past! I remember seeing an episode where they all somehow end up in a nudist retreat and they're forced to face each other and scrutinize each other's body. Yeardley Smith and Hank Azaria were paired up and she said to him, "I knew you had one, but I didn't realize it was so big!" She was talking about his tattoo. I was 11 at the time and thought they were really naked even though they didn't show anything. I was very attracted to William Ragsdale and was jealous of the blonde chick he was paired up with. haha
Flying Blind with Tea Leoni and that dark haired guy who dated Melissa on thirtysomething. I think it was on in 92 - lasted one season. Tea played a super cool New Yorker and the dark haired guy was a dweeb and of course they started dating.
Wasn't Christopher Rich (Reba's husband on "Reba"; Miller Redfield on "Murphy Brown") the husband on "The Charmings"?
I remember Herman's Head and Duet. Fun shows.
Also, Parker Lewis Can't Lose which was kind of a rip of the Ferris Bueller movie. There were some cute guys on that show --- although it didn't start until '92 which might be later than the OP asked about.
PARKER LEWIS started in 1990.
The Charmings was a Friday night ABC show. I know because I was in love with the husband prince.
R47, the only "porn" with Duchovny was Showtime's Red Shoes Diaries. It was as soft-core anthology but the pilot was a two hour movie with Duchovny and Sherilyn Fenn IIRC.
I really liked Werewolf with super hot John J York and gay Chuck Conners.
I remember the Women in Prison series - great concept and stars, but poorly executed, as were most of Fox's early sitcom efforts. Duets was pleasant but not really laugh out loud funny.
Tracey as a dancer being twirled against her wishes svreams: "I have no panties. I'm not wearing any panties!!!"
Oh damn, Tracey Ullman just cracked me up.
I couldn't miss Parker Lewis Can't Lose. I was maybe 10 when it started but had a total crush on the big hulking bully character. Even then, I had a type god dammit.
Shoot Duchovny's series Californication is almost like soft porn