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Shaping Up aired from March until April 1984 on ABC.
This witless sitcom was set at a Santa Monica health club. Buddy Fox ( Leslie Nielsen) was a graying but physically fit health club owner , who had been married eight times ( he wanted to have a child , but had had a vasectomy somewhere along the way ).He served the sweat-band set with the help of an athletic young manager ,Ben ( Michael Fontaine) , and two curvaceous aerobics instructors, Shannon( Jennifer Tilly), an aspiring actress , and Melissa ( Shawn Weatherly), a student studying for her master's degree. Despite ample displays of pulchritude in motion, the series quickly died.
An Article from UPI
TV World;NEWLN:'Shaping Up,' hilarious sitcom premiers on ABC Tuesday
By JULIANNE HASTINGS, UPI TV Reporter | March 16, 1984
NEW YORK -- If it's true that laughter is good for your health then ABC's new situation comedy 'Shaping Up' starring Leslie 'Airplane' Nielsen as a wacky health club owner should help viewers shape up when it premieres Tuesday.
The pilot episode, 'Baby Be Mine,' airs 9:30-10 p.m. EST, replacing 'Oh Madeline,' which is on a production hiatus.
Nielsen plays Buddy Fox, a former TV physical fitness guru who runs a health club with a manager named Ben, played by Michale Fontaine, a talented young actor whose physical resemblance to Christopher 'Superman' Reeve is uncanny.
The club's staff also consists of two shapely instructors (Jennifer Tilly and Shawn Weatherly) and a muscle-bound weightlifter named Carl (Rex Ryon), who at one point is caught daydreaming about his 'college day.'
'Where does this stereotype about dumb jocks come from,' one of the instructors asks Carl.
'I don't know. I'll ask around for you,' he responds.
In the opening episode, Buddy is yearning to be a father. Although he has been married seven times, he never had any children and he has spent his life playing supplemental dad to other people's kids.
His latest 'son' is his counsin's grandchild and when he is informed that the tot's father plans to take him to Europe, Buddy makes a sly attempt to get the boy to stay home.
'Do you want to go to Europe where they make you eat snails, where you might be abducted by terrorists... or do you want to go to Disneyland where you can get a hat with your name on it?' he devilishly asks the child over the telephone.
His effort to sell the child on staying home rebuffed, Buddy gets crazy.
'Ben, when are you going to settle down and get me a kid of my own,' he asks his young colleague.
Finally, in last chance desperation, Buddy decides to try buy a baby, a decision that touches off a load of zany activity.
The pace of Episode 1 and the number of honestly funny lines makes for plenty of good entertainment.
Here's hoping 'Shaping Up' stays in shape.
Americans really must have an obsession about getting in shape because coincidentally on the same night the ABC series 'Shaping Up' makes it debut, CBS is airing 'Getting Physical,' a TV movie about women body builders.
The movie starring Sandahl Bergman ('Conan the Barbarian'), Alexandra Paul ('Christine'), John Aprea ('Matt Houston') and David Naughton ('An American Wereworlf in London') airs 9-11 p.m. EST Tuesday.
Miss Paul plays Kendall Gibley, an unhappy, plumpish would-be actress whose trip to a gym for a little exercise at the suggestion of her boyfriend (Naughton) changes her whole life.
She gets so hooked on body building that she gives up chocolate doughnuts, gives up her job and even gives up her boyfriend.
It's really hard to decide what this movie is about.
Let's just call it 'Flashdance' goes to the gymn. NBC News has canceled its only prime time news magazine 'First Camera' with anchor Lloyd Dobyns, replacing it beginning April 1 with reruns of 'Father Murphy' starring Merlin Olsen.
Since it made its debut last Sept. 18, 'First Camera' has consistently been at the bottom of the list of the almost 80 prime time programs rated each week by the A.C. Nielsen Co.
NBC News developed the program to take on CBS' top-rated '60 Minutes' head on Sundays at 7 p.m. EST.
NEW YORK (UPI)
In announcing the cancellation, NBC News Presient Reuven Frank said, ''First Camera has given us skillful and vigourous journalism with a touch of class.
'The people are dedicated and talented and a credit to the craft. They gave what we asked and a little bit more.
'I am personally proud of my association with the program and wish I was wise enough to know why it didn't succeed.'
Wise enough? One guess.
NBC Chairman Grant Tinker said the network still was committed to a news series in prime time. He said NBC News already was developing a new and competitive program that would be scheduled when it was ready.
The entire 'First Camera' staff is being reassigned to positions at NBC News.
'First Camera' was the second NBC News program to be canceled within four months. Last December 'NBC News Overnight' with Linda Ellerbee and Bill Schechner -- and once was coanchored by Dobyns -- was taken off the air because of multi-million-dollar losses.
A Review from the New York Times
GETTING PHYSICAL' AND 'SHAPING UP'
By JOHN J. O'CONNOR
A LONG with pasta makers, exercise machines are top candidates among current fads for eventual dumping in the domestic junk pile. Meanwhile, though, television is huffing and puffing to make the most of the biceps boom. Tonight, admirers of assorted bodies beautiful have two exhibitionistic treats on tap: A television movie called ''Getting Physical,'' on Channel 2 at 9, and the debut of a new situation-comedy series titled ''Shaping Up,'' on Channel 7 at 9:30.
A key scene in ''Getting Physical'' takes place at the family dinner table when the father (Robert Webber) notices a muscular bulge on the upper arm of his daughter, Kendall (Alexandra Paul), and, eyes popping, inquires, ''What the hell is that?'' It seems that Kendall, a plump 22-year- old, has always felt inadequate and, due to a set of singularly unlikely circumstances, has now discovered body building as a tool for gaining self-confidence. Her mentor is Nadine (Sandahl Bergman), a statuesque 35-year-old whose husband, Craig (John Aprea), owns a local gym. On the sidelines is Mickey (David Naughton), a young policeman who at first supports Kendall's ''pumping iron'' ambitions, but soon resents having to compete with bar bells.
The script, written by Laurian Leggett, is nothing if not singlemindedly simple. Motivations are blithely ethereal. ''Why are you doing this,'' Kendall asks her private tutor, Nadine. ''I'm not sure - why are you here?'' counters Nadine. ''I'm not sure either,'' admits Kendall. That much explained, the story moves on confidently to tackle such modish burning issues as proper dieting and the right of a liberated woman to transcend the traditional jiggly stereotypes of her sex. In the process, Kendall has to cope with the hostility of her insensitive father, her boorish boss and even her relatively understanding boyfriend, Mickey the cop. Complicating matters further, Nadine begins getting jealous when her husband begins devoting more time to training Kendall for the big Miss Physique U.S.A. contest.
Along the way, we get to watch Kendall, Nadine and a host of other female body builders go through innumerable sweaty workouts that manage to give them maximum exposure. A couple of scenes obviously inspired by the movie ''Flashdance'' offer some muscle-flexing choreography designed to impress contest judges. And Kendall, when not lifting weights or jogging, can be found cavorting with Mickey, either in front of a symbolically burning fireplace or at a nearby beach for a fling at swimming in their underwear. All of this culminates, needless to say, on the night of the contest, with Franco Columbu, a former Mr. Universe, serving as host, and with a collection of women who would not seem out of place in a Leni Riefenstahl documentary.
There probably is a message floating around somewhere in the dizzy earnestness of ''Getting Physical.'' Perhaps it is nothing more than that female body builders can be just as silly as male body builders. The producers, Marcy Gross and Ann Weston, have been adept in pulling together a combination of Las Vegas cooch and disco fever.
One nice thing about ''Shaping Up'' is that it doesn't take itself seriously. That may be the new sitcom's only asset. Set in a California health club, the show stars Leslie Nielsen as Buddy Fox, the 61-year-old owner who, in this premiere episode, complains loudly that he has ''nothing to comfort me as I approach the autumn of my life.'' Buddy wants nothing less than to be a father, a desire complicated by the fact that none of his seven marriages produced a child. He has also had a vasectomy. As Buddy himself would undoubtedly say, go figure.
However, after spending some time cruising halfway houses for unwed mothers, Buddy has found a pregnant young woman willing to sell her baby for $10,000. He is elated, but the gang at the gym is horrified. They include Ben (Michael Fontaine), a Christopher Reeve lookalike whom Buddy, for some unexplained reason, has already raised as his own son, and a bevy of curvaceous female employees played by Jennifer Tilly, Shawn Weatherly and Cathie Shirriff.
As Buddy, Mr. Nielsen brings a special touch of demented wackiness to the proceedings. And there are a few passing lines that score neatly. In the middle of the baby saga, for instance, one of the employees observes, ''Put Loni Anderson in it and you could have a Movie of the Week.'' But more often than not, Buddy is as revolting as he is supposed to be lovable. Wanting to be outrageous, ''Shaping Up'' generally manages to be only confusing. A single dumbbell does not a comedy series make.
For more on Shaping Up go to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shaping_Up
For an episode guide go to http://ctva.biz/US/Comedy/ShapingUp.htm
For Jennifer Tilly on twitter go to https://twitter.com/jennifertilly
To see Shawn Weatherly's Miss Universe interview go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7PH_e7fg2VI
For a Website dedicated to health clubs go to http://www.healthclubs.com/
To watch the opening credits go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ry-BibttpU
� Date: Tue April 12, 2016 � Filesize: 46.3kb, 87.5kb � Dimensions: 675 x 1000 �
Keywords: The Cast of Shaping Up (Links Updated 7/21/18)