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Check it Out aired from October 1985 until 1988 in first run syndication and on the USA Cable Network.
Don Adams ( Get Smart)returned to series television as Howard Bannister , a bumbling supermarket manager in this low-budget sitcom. The setting was Cobb's, part of a chain of stores in the town of Brampton. Jack ( Jeff Pustil) was the ambitious, obnoxious young assistant manager ; Marlene, Jennifer, and overtly homosexual Leslie ( Kathleen Laskey, Tonya Williams, Aaron Schwatrz) worked the checkout registers; Marvin ( Jason Warren) and later Murray ( Simon Reynolds), were both bagboys and stock clerks. Alf ( Henry Beckman) was the ancient security guard who had been working in the same store for more than 40 years; and Edna ( Dinah Christie) was Howard's secretary. They had been having an affair, which the entire town knew about, for more than 6 years. Although she would have loved to become Mrs. Bannister, Edna was resigned to tolerating Howard's inability to make a binding commitment. Mrs. Cobb ( Barbara Hamilton), the overbearing owner of the small grocery chain , turned up periodically to disrupt the already less-than efficient operation of the store.
Viker ( Gordon Clapp) was added to the cast in the second season as Cobb's inept handyman and T.C. Collingwood ( Elizabeth Hanna) arrived in the fall of 1987 as the ambitious young v.p. of corporate development for Cendrex Corporation, the conglomerate to which Mrs. Cobb had sold the chain. T.C. was all business and determined to make her name by turning around the slipshod operation. Fat chance.
Check it Out was based on the British series Tripper's Day. It had originally been produced in Toronto as a joint venture of the CTV Television Network in Canada and the USA Cable Network in the United States. It aired first-run on both, with the reruns sold into syndication in the United States.
An Article from The New York Times
ALONG WITH THE FAMILIAR, CABLE SEEKS DISTINCTIVE FARE
By STEVE SCHNEIDER:
Published: September 8, 1985
In many ways, cable remains the medium of the future that cannot unshackle itself from the past. To a growing degree, cable services are finding themselves having to push harder to snag and sustain viewership, and the primary way they are doing this is by providing programming - either through original productions or acquisitions - that cannot be seen elsewhere.
The villain, the cable services say, is the video cassette; in line with the rapidly expanding popularity of VCR's, film companies are releasing their wares on cassettes before making them available to cable - thus depriving cable of many of its programming coups. From there, it is but a baby step to the disconnect.
Yet, in the upcoming season, cable's predicament is prompting largely contradictory responses: Many new programs are venturesome and innovative, ranging from literary adaptations to historical dramas to a spate of projects inspired by contemporary politics. But an equal number are self-consciously retrograde, calling on faces and formats that will be familiar from broadcast television. In the rush to bolster viewership, much of cable has decided that the most promising novelty is the already known.
Thus, the next few months will see the premieres of three talk shows that feature veterans of broadcast television. On the U.S.A. Network, ''Dick Cavett, U.S.A.'' finds the comedian performing monologues and satiric skits with well-known guests; weekly hourlong installments start Sept. 30. On the Disney Channel, ''The Dr. Joyce Brothers Program'' features the psychologist discussing family matters with guests, beginning in November, and ''Doris Day's Best Friends,'' coming to CBN later in the season, takes the world of pets as its subject, with the singer and actress as host.
Two new humor programs also have ties to broadcasting's past: ''Check It Out,'' U.S.A.'s first original situation comedy, beginning at the end of the month, stars Don Adams (not so long ago, the unlikely secret agent in ''Get Smart'') as a supermarket manager frazzled by his duties and his employees. And Showtime is continuing with its 52-week run of ''The Honeymooners - The Lost Episodes,'' a compendium of ''Honeymooners'' skits, starring Jackie Gleason and Art Carney, that have not been screened since their original broadcasts in the 50's.
But cable is not only a recycling center; to a significant degree, it is still providing real alternatives to network fare - and in substantial numbers. Often this is in the form of cable's old staple: uncut and uncensored films. Making the rounds on the premium services over the coming months will be such noteworthy theatrically released works as ''A Passage to India,'' David Lean's retelling of the E. M. Forster tale, and ''The Killing Fields,'' the dramatization of Sydney Schanberg's experiences in wartorn Cambodia while a foreign correspondent for The New York Times.
The preceding are both mainstream titles, undoubtedly to be broadcast before long; perhaps more rewarding for home viewers will be cable's bountiful presentation of film exotica, much of it from the international marketplace. Bravo, for example, will be screening two outsize films of German origin: Starting this evening at 8 and continuing nightly through Tuesday at the same hour, ''Das Boot'' will be shown, dubbed, in the six-hour form originally conceived for German television. The story of one U-boat and its crew during World War II, the film was abbreviated to 2 1/2 hours for its theatrical release in this country, in 1982. And in January, the premium service will offer ''Heimat,'' a 16-hour, award-winning film that recounts the history of Germany from 1919 to 1982 as reflected through the experiences of three families living in the same village. It will be shown with subtitles.
Even before the VCR invasion, several cable services had ventured into producing their own films, with budgets substantially higher than the broadcast networks' made-for-TV movies. This season, cable is mimicking broadcast television's programming evolution by leaning more on mini-series for its self-made spectaculars. The fact that many of them have European settings may be more a reflection of lower production costs overseas - buttressed by the strength of the American dollar -than anything else.
Next month, for example, Showtime will be offering its first mini-series, a lavishly mounted six-hour adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's ''Tender Is the Night,'' with Peter Strauss and Mary Steenburgen heading the cast, featuring locations that include Paris, the south of France and Switzerland. Starting this evening at 8 and continuing tomorrow at the same time, HBO's 3 1/2-hour ''Mussolini: The Decline and Fall of Il Duce'' features Bob Hoskins as the Italian Fascist dictator during the last years of World War II; the cast includes Susan Sarandon and Anthony Hopkins.
Arts & Entertainment will present the American premiere of ''The Borgias,'' a 10-part series from the British Broadcasting Corporation that boasts an enormous cast and was shot on numerous locations throughout Italy. Starting Oct. 2, its 90-minute segments will dramatize the history of the family that ruled during the Renaissance.
The political thrust exemplified by these latter two projects is also in evidence in a trio of forthcoming biographical studies. Thursday evening at 8 brings Showtime's adaptation of ''The Biko Inquest,'' a 90-minute play derived from courtroom testimony looking into the controversial death of Stephen Biko, an outspoken black South African opponent of apartheid; Albert Finney stars as the attorney retained by the Biko family. On Jan. 20, WTBS will mark the birthday of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., with ''Trumpets of Conscience,'' a two-hour documentary tribute. Also arriving in January is ''Murrow,'' HBO's biographical dramatization of the journalistic career of Edward R. Murrow; Daniel J. Travanti plays the title role.
Even as cable creeps toward being a more broad-based medium, it is still ''narrowcasting'' - aiming for specific audiences. Children's programming is the most prominent example: Late this year or early next, Showtime will begin ''Shelley Duvall's Tall Tales,'' an offshoot of the actress-turned-producer's series ''Faerie Tale Theater'' that will take its stories from American myth and folklore.
And tentatively scheduled for commencement in February is the Disney Channel's ''Return to Treasure Island,'' a 10-hour mini-series that picks up the swashbuckling saga of Long John Silver and Jim Hawkins 10 years after Robert Louis Stevenson's novel left off.
The youthful orientation of these productions finds a parallel in cable itself: Still a relatively young industry, cable, like most healthy adolescents, is grappling to consolidate its identity and to establish its values and priorities. The creation of new services and the broader implementation of new technologies - such as pay-per-view and earth station receivers - will further militate against complacency settling over the field. And the beneficiaries of these developments may be cable's viewers; under fire from increasing competition, cable's best defense is new and better programming.
NOTABLE ON CABLE TV ''Mussolini: The Decline and Fall of Il Duce''A 3 1/2-hour mini-series dramatizing the final years of the Italian Fascist leader; starring Bob Hoskins, Susan Sarandon and Anthony Hopkins. HBO, beginning this evening at 8 and concludes tomorrow at the same hour, . ''Das Boot''Wolfgang Petersen's film about life and death aboard a U-boat in World War II, presented in its full six hours. Bravo, in three parts - tonight, tomorrow and Tuesday, all beginning at 8. ''The Biko Inquest''A play exploring the death of Stephen Biko, an outspoken critic of apartheid, while in the custody of South African police; starring and directed by Albert Finney. Showtime, this Thursday evening at 8. ''Dick Cavett, U.S.A.''A weekly talk show with the comedian as host. U.S.A., beginning Sept. 30. ''The Borgias''A 10-part mini-series from the British Broadcasting Corporation, recounting 15 years of intrigue and treachery surrounding the Renaissance aristocrats. A&E, beginning Oct. 2 at 9 P.M. ''Tender Is the Night''A six-hour mini-series adaptation of the F. Scott Fitzgerald novel, starring Peter Strauss and Mary Steenburgen. Showtime, beginning in October. ''Our Finite World: India'' A two-hour documentary look at India's history and current circumstances. WTBS, Nov. 19 at 7:05 P.M. ''Heimat''Edgar Reitz's 16-hour film tracing 63 years of 20th-century German history. Bravo, in January. ''Trumpets of Conscience''A two-hour profile of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. WTBS, Jan. 20 at 10:05 P.M. ''Return to Treasure Island'' A 10-hour mini-series relating the further exploits of Long John Silver and Jim Hawkins. The Disney Channel, early in 1986. ''Murrow''A biographical drama of Edward R. Murrow, one of the founding fathers of broadcast journalism; starring Daniel J. Travanti. HBO, early in 1986.
An Article from The New York Times
Don Adams in Sitcom About a Supermarket
By RICHARD F. SHEPARD
Published: April 4, 1986
Don Adams - best remembered as Maxwell Smart, the superdolt sleuth of ''Get Smart'' - shows up once again as the star of ''Check It Out!,'' a half-hour sitcom about supermarketing that starts on Channel 5 at 7 P.M. tomorrow.
The fans of ''Get Smart,'' which is still popular in reruns, will be disappointed to see their superb bumbler mixed up in this caper, which is silly without being funny at all. Mr. Smart is the manager of a supermarket, who copes with tough customers and a staff that couldn't care less.
The first installment had to do not so much with the working of a supermarket, which might be fun, but with a parking problem for the employees.
This comedy deals more with jokes and gag lines, none of them very good, than with situation. The security man asks how to spell BMW. One of the better ripostes comes from a customer who is asked why he doesn't eat out rather than buy five TV dinners: ''I love to cook,'' he replies.
This installment of ''Check It Out!'' was written by Andrew Nichols and Darrell Vickers, directed by John Bell and produced by D. L. Taffner Ltd. The program is based on what is said to be a successful British series, ''Tripper's Day,'' written by Brian Cooke. In its American version, it is no ''Masterpiece Theater'' or ''Monty Python's Flying Circus.'' There are standards even for inanity, which can be highly entertaining in skilled hands. Here, one is left only with inanity that is placebo for entertainment. You'd do better reading a book - or even going shopping in your local supermarket - than spending time with this one.
For a Website dedicated to Check It Out go to http://web.archive.org/web/20060220202548/www.geocities.com/checkitout_86/index.html
For a Page dedicated to Check it Out go to http://www.broadcasting-history.ca/programming/television/check-it-out
· Date: Tue June 10, 2014 · Filesize: 60.3kb, 117.3kb · Dimensions: 800 x 982 ·
Keywords: Check It Out Cast