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Old 05-31-2010, 09:59 AM   #1
Brian Damage
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Question Do You Think The Reason 'The Tony Randall Show' Failed Was Because He Was Typecast?

I never saw this show so I really don't know if it was any good. I do know it didn't last very long. Was it because viewers just couldn't see Tony in anything other than the role of Felix Unger?
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Old 05-31-2010, 10:15 AM   #2
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I don't know. It's funny how Jack Klugman wasn't typecast because he went on to do Quincy. I do know that this show was very good. I watched it every week. His relationship with Diana Muldaur was great and his father played by Hans Conried was a scene steeler. It should have lasted longer.
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Old 05-31-2010, 10:27 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Clint Eastwood Fan
I don't know. It's funny how Jack Klugman wasn't typecast because he went on to do Quincy. I do know that this show was very good. I watched it every week. His relationship with Diana Muldaur was great and his father played by Hans Conried was a scene steeler. It should have lasted longer.

Quincy is a great example Sonny. The only thing I can guess is that was a drama & this show was a sitcom. I know after Quincy, Jack Klugman starred in a sitcom with John Stamos that failed.
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Old 05-31-2010, 01:05 PM   #4
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I only seen 1 episode but it looked like it started out well because it was renewed after it's first season. But it was cut midway through season 2 after being put in the Saturday Dump Slot
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Old 05-31-2010, 01:35 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by TVFactFan
I only seen 1 episode but it looked like it started out well because it was renewed after it's first season. But it was cut midway through season 2 after being put in the Saturday Dump Slot
It was canceled by it's original network ABC after the first season and picked up by CBS for it's second so I don't know how great the ratings were. Saturday wasn't a dump slot back in those days. All in the Family had soared to #1 while on Saturday a few seasons before. I also remember WGN showing the show in reruns in the early 80's. I believe the show was an MTM production and MTM had aired on Saturday during the 1970's.
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Old 05-31-2010, 01:41 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Clint Eastwood Fan
It was canceled by it's original network ABC after the first season and picked up by CBS for it's second so I don't know how great the ratings were. Saturday wasn't a dump slot back in those days. All in the Family had soared to #1 while on Saturday a few seasons before. I also remember WGN showing the show in reruns in the early 80's. I believe the show was an MTM production and MTM had aired on Saturday during the 1970's.
Wow, I wonder why it was it was picked up by another network when it was still new?
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Old 05-31-2010, 09:16 PM   #7
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Wow, I wonder why it was it was picked up by another network when it was still new?

I would think because Tony Randall was a proven star.
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Old 06-25-2010, 04:26 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by TVFactFan
Wow, I wonder why it was it was picked up by another network when it was still new?
I got my info from former kid actor, Brad Savage, who played Tony's son in the series. He said the show switched networks because ABC wanted to renew the show only for 13 episodes. CBS offered Tony a full 22 network episode guarantee, so that is why the series jumped ship.
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Old 06-25-2010, 05:29 PM   #9
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I watched the show when it was on and it was a big disappointment. I loved The Odd Couple and thought Tony was a great comedy actor and that this show was a sure thing. The problem seemed that no one behind the show had any judgement even though it was a first class production and they dumped a lot of money into it. It didn't fail because Tony was typecast as Felix but because this show didn't know how to play to his strengths. Other older comedy actors redefine themselves by getting dramatic shows and avoiding any comparison. Tony was good enough to create another comedy character but the judge he played in this was just bland, unfunny, and nasty. They left the funny stuff to the other characters (who weren't very funny) and the Tony played the sane center who sneered comments at them all. Tony should have been a funny character not a staid one. It seemed his only humor was making sarcastic remarks to his housekeeper played by Rachel Roberts. This was a running joke and it started to take on a continual nasty tone that was unpleasant to watch. I remember his son as being too cutesy. Later they added Michael Keaton and he was a bright spot and worked well with Tony but it was too late. I don't remember if the show improved much other than him or if it was worth saving, but I doubt it. Sadly Tony never did a series on TV after The Odd Couple that was worthy of his talent. He was still a fantastic guest on talk shows, but acting wise it didn't happen. His TV movie, Love, Sidney, was pretty good but the series that followed was much worse and had even less judgement than this one.
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Old 08-03-2010, 04:41 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Damage
Quincy is a great example Sonny. The only thing I can guess is that was a drama & this show was a sitcom. I know after Quincy, Jack Klugman starred in a sitcom with John Stamos that failed.

The sitcom you were thinking of was called "You Again" on NBC.

Mary Tyler Moore also tried her hand at doing another sitcom in 1985 for CBS called "Mary" in which she played Mary Brenner, and worked at a newspaper. The sitcom failed miserably, as audiences had 'Mary Richards' embedded in their brains.

She also tried two other variety shows for CBS (in 1978, titled "Mary", and in 1979 titled "The Mary Tyler Moore Hour" which was a revamp of "Mary") - both were bombs.

Valerie Harper essentially played her character "Rhoda" in two other sitcoms - "City" in 1990 and "The Office" in 1995....both were axed in no time.

She broke away from the "Rhoda" persona when she played Valerie Hogan in the 1980s sitcom "Valerie"- this time she was a stay-at-home mother of three, and the focus was around the whole family.
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Old 12-11-2015, 05:19 AM   #11
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http://thiswastv.com/2012/06/26/1970...l-show-part-1/

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For the premise, Randall wanted to play someone as different from Felix Unger as possible: a football coach, he suggested, or a minister. Patchett and Tarses naturally wanted to write for Randall’s established persona, and pushed for him to be something suitably stuffy, like a lawyer. Tinker came up with the idea they finally used: Randall would play a judge. (“Randall was first worried that this would make him too passive,” the Los Angeles Times reported, “but finally was persuaded that there were all sorts of judges.”) The character they developed would be more authoritative and with-it than Felix, less stuffy and better able to snark at his friends and employees—a character not unlike Bob Newhart’s Dr. Bob Hartley, but with lines tailored for a star who spoke more floridly and theatrically than Newhart.
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But though the show got good reviews and respectable ratings, it had two fundamental problems. One, which Tinker eventually copped to when speaking to TV Guide, was that the MTM “two lives” formula led to a show where one half was much stronger than the other. “We probably should have stayed in the courthouse more and not gone home with him so much,” Tinker admitted. “That deflated the show, slowed it down.” The standout stories usually focused on Walter Franklin’s life as a judge. That was where Miss Reubner was, and with McLerie’s mix of bite and vulnerability—younger and more attractive than the character Patchett and Tarses had in mind, she became that rare thing, a mean sitcom character with genuinely touching subtext—she gave one of the outstanding TV performances of the era. That was where Mario Lanza was; that was where the instantly lovable Barney Martin was, even though his character rarely had a lot to do (he mainly existed to provide exposition). That was where guest characters could walk in, à la Barney Miller, and steal the show: “The DeNecki Debacle” is a showcase for character actor Stephen Elliott as the ultimate obstructionist lawyer, and Gary David Goldberg wrote “Mario Strikes Again,” a showcase for all the ways Mario could get on Randall’s nerves in court.

Then Randall went home, and to what? To his nice, level-headed teenage daughter, played by George C. Scott’s not notably talented daughter Devon; to his nice, basically polite son; to Roberts’s wisecracking servant, an under-written character played by an actress who was too good for the material she was getting. Most workplace/home hybrid sitcoms do tend to be stronger at work; The Bob Newhart Show was, and Mary Tyler Moore was, and of course Barney Miller dumped the home stuff a few episodes into its first season. The Dick Van Dyke Show is one of the few shows that was equally at home in those two worlds. But on Tony Randall, the imbalance was so strong that it unbalanced the whole show—and probably made it less compatible with Barney Miller than it would have been as a pure courtroom comedy.

The other problem the show had, though, was symptomatic of the problems that were starting to erode MTM’s supremacy in comedy. That MTM classiness and taste was starting to work against it, creating a sense that—except for Mary Tyler Moore and Bob Newhart—its shows weren’t quite as funny as they should have been. As an MTM production, The Tony Randall Show had little slapstick, few sexual jokes, few topical jokes, few cheap jokes. It didn’t recycle standard sitcom plots the way Garry Marshall did for Randall on The Odd Couple. And it wasn’t as funny as The Odd Couple, or for that matter Three’s Company or Happy Days or the ABC hits, because the plots were so low-key and simple that there simply wasn’t much hilarity to be gotten out of them. Walter proposes to his girlfriend and she says yes, but then she changes her mind; Walter’s kids rebel against his authority and stage a mock trial against his tyranny, where he solves everything by pointing out that he’s really a good father who has their best interest at heart; Walter gets an offer to go back into private practice, but after thinking it over, decides to remain a judge.
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Old 04-22-2017, 09:51 AM   #12
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I liked it a lot, the supporting cast (except the daughter who was only average) was excellent. I think it was just in the wrong place. It had more of an early 70s feel than a late 70s feel, which was going with the jokey type of sitcoms like Laverne And Shirley, Three's Company and what Happy Days transitioned into. You can see that too with One Day At a Time which moved on from a traditional early 70s kind of sitcom to a more jokey, self contained each episode type, which probably save it.
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