ABC Movie of the Week: Wikis

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Dennis Weaver starred in the best known ABC Movie of the Week, Steven Spielberg's Duel, which premiered in Canada November 10, 1971, was telecast in the United States three days later and had a theatrical release in Europe in early 1973. It eventually had an American theatrical release April 22, 1983.

The ABC Movie of the Week was a weekly television anthology series, featuring made-for-TV movies, that aired on the ABC network in various permutations from 1969 to 1976.

Contents

History

The series was the brainchild of young executive Barry Diller, then head of prime time programming at ABC (and later a cofounder of the Fox network). Operating on a small budget but featuring the work of talented producers like Aaron Spelling and David Wolper (both of whom later developed hit series of their own), the Movie of the Week helped energize the made-for-TV movie format with fresh story concepts, veteran TV actors and potent production values. The attention-grabbing opening titles were designed and animated by Harry Marks[1] using the same groundbreaking slit-scan process, or "stargate effect," that had been pioneered by Douglas Trumbull for 2001: A Space Odyssey.

The Movie of the Week provided ABC (long a distant third in the ratings) with a bona fide hit and, along with Monday Night Football, helped establish the network as a legitimate competitor to rivals CBS and NBC. The films themselves varied in quality and were often escapist or sensationalistic in nature (suspense, horror and melodrama were staples), but some were critically well-received. Duel (1971), based on a Richard Matheson short story from Playboy, was director Steven Spielberg's first feature film, catapulting his career and enabling him to move from television to theatrical films.

The "alphabet network" earned five Emmys, a prestigious Peabody Award and citations from the NAACP and American Cancer Society for an airing of Brian's Song in 1972. The 1971-1972 season of the series finished as the fifth highest rated series of the year.

Original airtime

The cover shows the Zuni Doll from Trilogy of Terror.

The Movie of the Week originally aired on Tuesday nights at 8:30 pm ET. Beginning with the 1971 season, ABC added a second Movie of the Week on Saturday night and adjusted the titles of the shows to the Movie of the Week and Movie of the Weekend. The following season, the Saturday installment was moved to Wednesday night, and the titles were adjusted to Tuesday Movie of the Week and Wednesday Movie of the Week. The opening for the Saturday Movie of the Weekend featured footage of a silhouetted "rotating cameraman" operating a 35 mm movie camera ([1]). This footage would later be incorporated into the opening of ABC's New York City television station WABC-TV's various movie umbrellas beginning around 1972-73, including and especially their weekday afternoon movie showcase The 4:30 Movie.

Theme music

The Movie of the Week theme music was an instrumental version of "Nikki", a song composed by Burt Bacharach and named for his daughter. The classic theme was arranged and performed by Harry Betts[1]

TV series pilots

The series was often used as a platform to show pilots for possible series for the network. Shows such as The Six Million Dollar Man, Starsky and Hutch, Longstreet and Marcus Welby, M.D. premiered here.

End

The series proper ended in 1976. After that, ABC's made-for-TV movies were either aired as stand-alone specials or shown in series that included both original and theatrical movie presentations. The series was documented by Michael Karol in his 2005 book, The ABC Movie of the Week Companion (ISBN 0-595-35836-5).

Filmography

  • Daughter of the Mind (1969)
  • Gidget Grows Up (1969)
  • Honeymoon with a Stranger (1969)
  • In Name Only (1969)
  • Marcus Welby, M.D. (1969)
  • Arsenic and Old Lace (1969)
  • Seven in Darkness (1969) (First ABC-TV "Movie of the Week" to be broadcast)
  • The Over-the-Hill Gang (1969)
  • The Ballad of Andy Crocker (1969)
  • The Immortal (1969)
  • The Monk (1969)
  • The Young Lawyers (1969)
  • Three's a Crowd (1969)
  • Wake Me When the War Is Over (1969)
  • Along Came a Spider (1970)
  • Carter's Army (1970)
  • Crowhaven Farm (1970)
  • Dial Hot Line (1970)
  • Death Car on the Highway (1973)
  • How Awful About Allan (1970)
  • Mister Jerico (1970)
  • Night Slaves (1970)
  • Quarantined (1970)
  • Run, Simon, Run (1970)
  • The Challenge (1970)
  • The House That Would Not Die (1970)
  • The Love War (1970)
  • The Man Who Wanted to Live Forever (1970)
  • The Old Man Who Cried Wolf (1970)
  • The Over-the-Hill Gang Rides Again (1970)
  • The Young Country (1970)
  • Tribes (1970)
  • Weekend of Terror (1970)
  • Wild Women (1970)
  • A Little Game (1971)
  • A Taste of Evil (1971)
  • Alias Smith and Jones (1971)
  • Assault on the Wayne (1971)
  • Black Noon (1971)
  • Brian's Song (1971)
  • Earth II (1971)
  • Congratulations, It's a Boy! (1971)
  • Deadly Dream (1971)
  • Death Takes a Holiday (1971)
  • Do Not Fold, Spindle, or Mutilate (1971)
  • Dr. Cook's Garden (1971)
  • Duel (1971)
  • Escape (1971)
  • Five Desperate Women (1971)
  • The Glass Hammer (1971)
  • Hitched (1971)
  • In Broad Daylight (1971)
  • In Search of America (1971)
  • Longstreet (1971)
  • Love Hate Love (1971)
  • Maybe I'll Come Home in the Spring (1971)
  • Mr. and Mrs. Bo Jo Jones (1971)
  • Owen Marshall: Counselor at Law (1971)
  • Revenge (1971)
  • River of Gold (1971)
  • See the Man Run (1971)
  • Suddenly Single (1971)
  • Sweet, Sweet Rachel (1971)
  • The Birdmen (1971)
  • The Death of Me Yet (1971)
  • The Devil and Miss Sarah (1971)
  • The Failing of Raymond (1971)
  • The Feminist and the Fuzz (1971)
  • The Forgotten Man (1971)
  • The Last Child (1971)
  • The Point! (1971)
  • The Reluctant Heroes (1971)
  • The Sheriff (1971)
  • The Trackers (1971)
  • Thief (1971)
  • Two on a Bench (1971)
  • What's a Nice Girl Like You...? (1971)
  • Yuma (1971)
  • A Great American Tragedy (1972)
  • All My Darling Daughters (1972)
  • Call Her Mom (1972)
  • Every Man Needs One (1972)
  • Family Flight (1972)
  • Getting Away from It All (1972)
  • Gidget Gets Married (1972)
  • Goodnight, My Love (1972)
  • Haunts of the Very Rich (1972)
  • Home for the Holidays (1972)
  • Lieutenant Schuster's Wife (1972)
  • Moon of the Wolf (1972)
  • Night of Terror (1972)
  • No Place to Run (1972)
  • Playmates (1972)
  • Pursuit (1972)
  • Rolling Man (1972)
  • Say Goodbye, Maggie Cole (1972)
  • Second Chance (1972)
  • Short Walk to Daylight (1972)
  • That Certain Summer (1972)
  • The Astronaut (1972)
  • The Couple Takes a Wife (1972)
  • The Crooked Hearts (1972)
  • The Daughters of Joshua Cabe (1972)
  • The Eyes of Charles Sand (1972)
  • The Heist (1972)
  • The Longest Night (1972)
  • The Night Stalker (1972)
  • The People (1972)
  • The Rookies (1972)
  • The Screaming Woman (1972)
  • The Victim (1972)
  • The Weekend Nun (1972)
  • Two for the Money (1972)
  • When Michael Calls (1972)
  • Women in Chains (1972)
  • A Cold Night's Death (1973)
  • A Summer Without Boys (1973)
  • Beg, Borrow, or Steal (1973)
  • Blood Sport (1973)
  • Class of '63 (1973)
  • Death Race (1973)
  • Deliver Us from Evil (1973)
  • Don't Be Afraid of the Dark (1973)
  • Dying Room Only (1973)
  • Female Artillery (1973)
  • Firehouse (1973)
  • Go Ask Alice (1973)
  • Guess Who's Been Sleeping in My Bed? (1973)
  • Hijack (1973)
  • Isn't It Shocking? (1973)
  • Legend in Granite (1973)
  • Letters from Three Lovers (1973)
  • Linda (1973)
  • Maneater (1973)
  • Message to My Daughter (1973)
  • Money to Burn (1973)
  • My Darling Daughters' Anniversary (1973)
  • Ordeal (1973)
  • Outrage (1973)
  • Pioneer Woman (1973)
  • Runaway! (1973)
  • Satan's School for Girls (1973)
  • Scream, Pretty Peggy (1973)
  • She Cried Murder (1973)
  • She Lives! (1973)
  • Shirts/Skins (1973)
  • Snatched (1973)
  • The Affair (1973)
  • The Alpha Caper (1973)
  • The Bait (1973)
  • The Cat Creature (1973)
  • The Chill Factor (1973)
  • The Connection (1973)
  • The Devil's Daughter (1973)
  • The Gift of Terror (1973)
  • The Girl Most Likely to... (1973)
  • The Girls of Huntington House (1973)
  • The Great American Beauty Contest (1973)
  • The Letters (1973)
  • The Man Without a Country (1973)
  • The Night Strangler (1973)
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray (1973)
  • The Six Million Dollar Man (1973)
  • The Third Girl from the Left (1973)
  • Toma (1973)
  • Trapped (1973)
  • Trouble Comes to Town (1973)
  • What Are Best Friends For? (1973)
  • You'll Never See Me Again (1973)
  • A Cry in the Wilderness (1974)
  • All the Kind Strangers (1974)
  • Bad Ronald (1974)
  • Betrayal (1974)
  • Can Ellen Be Saved? (1974)
  • Cry Panic (1974)
  • Death Cruise (1974)
  • Death Sentence (1974)
  • Get Christie Love! (1974)
  • Heat Wave! (1974)
  • Hit Lady (1974)
  • Hitchhike! (1974)
  • Houston, We've Got a Problem (1974)
  • Hurricane (1974)
  • It Couldn't Happen to a Nicer Guy (1974)
  • Judge Dee and the Monastery Murders (1974)
  • Killdozer (1974)
  • Killer Bees (1974)
  • Live Again, Die Again (1974)
  • Locusts (1974)
  • Mrs. Sundance (1974)
  • Murder or Mercy (1974)
  • Nakia (1974)
  • Only with Married Men (1974)
  • Panic on the 5:22 (1974)
  • Planet Earth (1974)
  • Pray for the Wildcats (1974)
  • Scream of the Wolf (1974)
  • Shootout in a One-Dog Town (1974)
  • Skyway to Death (1974)
  • The California Kid (1974)
  • The Day the Earth Moved (1974)
  • The Death Squad (1974)
  • The Elevator (1974)
  • The Girl Who Came Gift-Wrapped (1974)
  • The Godchild (1974)
  • The Gun (1974)
  • The Hanged Man (1974)
  • The Last Angry Man (1974)
  • The Mark of Zorro (1974)
  • The Morning After (1974)
  • The Rangers (1974)
  • The Sex Symbol (1974)
  • The Stranger Who Looks Like Me (1974)
  • The Stranger Within (1974)
  • This Is the West That Was (1974)
  • Thursday's Game (1974)
  • Unwed Father (1974)
  • Where Have All the People Gone? (1974)
  • Winter Kill (1974)
  • Wonder Woman (1974)
  • Starsky and Hutch (1975)
  • A Cry for Help (1975)
  • Barbary Coast (1975)
  • Dead Man on the Run (1975)
  • Hey, I'm Alive (1975)
  • Huckleberry Finn (1975)
  • Let's Switch! (1975)
  • Matt Helm (1975)
  • Mobile Two (1975)
  • Promise Him Anything (1975)
  • Returning Home (1975)
  • Satan's Triangle (1975)
  • Someone I Touched (1975)
  • The Abduction of Saint Anne (1975)
  • The Daughters of Joshua Cabe Return (1975)
  • The Desperate Miles (1975)
  • The Family Nobody Wanted (1975)
  • The First 36 Hours of Dr. Durant (1975)
  • The Hatfields and the McCoys (1975)
  • The Legend of Lizzie Borden (1975)
  • The Missing Are Deadly (1975)
  • The Nurse Killer (1975)
  • The Trial of Chaplain Jensen (1975)
  • Trilogy of Terror (1975)
  • You Lie So Deep, My Love (1975)
  • Brenda Starr (1976)
  • Bridger (1976)
  • Death at Love House (1976)
  • High Risk (1976)
  • Kiss Me, Kill Me (1976)
  • Panache (1976)
  • The Great Ice Rip-Off (1976)
  • The New Daughters of Joshua Cabe (1976)
  • Time Travelers (1976)
  • Twin Detectives (1976)

References

  1. ^ a b "The ABC Movie of the Week Opening by Harry Marks". TVparty. http://www.tvparty.com/vaultmov2.html. Retrieved 2010-01-27. 

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External links

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