Without a lot of thought I’m nominating** Bosom Buddies**.
These are the principal players: Tom Hanks I’m hoping nothing needs to be said about his career. Peter Scolari Not bad, several more successful shows and some supporting roles in movies. Donna Dixon Well she was hot and she married Dan Aykroyd IRC. Holland Taylor Still working, loads of shows. Was a good part of the top sitcom (that I did not like) Two and Half Men. Etc. loads of TV, movie and Broadway work to her credit. Telma Hopkins OK, I only know her from Tony Orlando and Dawn other than Bosom Buddies. But she was good on the show and a good singer. Wendie Jo Sperber She was very funny and died far too young. Maybe you know her from Back to the Future as the older sister. She was always funny in every role I remember her in.
What shows can you think of.
Oh, I know Freaks and Geeks was a failed show but it was a very good quality show and I don’t think qualifies as mediocre. Otherwise this would probably be the winner.
It had a few really good episodes. The one where they all decide to get back at the guy who misused Amy is one of the better episodes of any TV show, but yeah, it’s not great, and Tom Hanks was in denial about it for a while.
I have a better nominee, though: Turnabout. Sharon Gless and John Schuck are the stars. Gless is a proven Emmy-winner, and one of the all-time heavy-weights of TV. Schuck has taken home some awards too, and has a pretty hefty resume as well. They star as a married couple who switch bodies. It was such dreck that it lasted only 7 episodes. I was only about 11 when it was on, and I could tell it was awful. Every line makes you cringe. It doesn’t even get away with being campy, like Bosum Buddies. The supporting cast was not as impressive as Bosum Buddies, but did include Richard Stahl.
Perhaps Mary Tyler Moore’s 1985-86 show “Mary” where she finally got to play a divorced woman (which was denied for “Mary Tyler Moore” because the network thought people would think she was divorced from Dick van Dyke). James Farentino was the newspaper editor, Katey Segal
was a cynical chain-smoking columnist. John Astin a theater critic. James Tolkan (principal in the Back to the Future movies) was a “connected” boyfriend of her neighbor. It lasted 13 episodes.
Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip had a really solid cast. You would never have expected that the weak link on the show was going to be Aaron Sorkin. But he insisted on making the show a thinly veiled complaint about what he perceived as his poor treatment on The West Wing.
A notable entry was One of the Boys, a sitcom, and probably pretty popular for the time, but stuck in a forgettable time slot and just sort of ignored. However, it starred Mickey Rooney, an older actor with a long resume. And some unknowns: Dana Carvey, and Nathan Lane. And according to the internet, Scatman Crothers. But he was in everything at some point.
How about the abysmal Going Places? The aforementioned Holland Taylor, Jerry Levine (Styles from “Teen Wolf”), Staci Keanan (of “My Two Dads” and “Step By Step”), Alan Rck (Cameron in “Ferris Bueller”), Heather Locklear, and so on.
Also, The Edge, a sketch comedy show from the early 90’s, whose cast included Jennifer Aniston, Tom “Spongeob Squarepants” Kenny, Wayne Knight, Julie Brown, Rick Overton, Alan Ruck, Kevin Nealon, and others.
Or the Kelsey Grammer Sketch Show, with Grammer, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia actress Kaitlin Olsen, Paul F. Tompkins, and Mary Lynn Rajskub.
How about Space 1999? Martin Landau and Barbara Bain, Barry Morse, and many competent guest stars every week. Names you’d know - Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Brian Blessed, Ian McShane, Joan Collins, Jeremy Kemp, Julian Glover, Leo McKern. But, bless 'em, the stories were beyond stupid. And I wanted to like it. I gave it every chance.
The same could be said about the original Battlestar Galactica. A fine and competent cast, regulars and guests, and completely crap stories.
I liked that show, but funny thing… I did not remember at ALL that Katy Sagal played my favorite character. Jo Tucker was a million miles from Peg Bundy, and I didn’t grasp they were the same actress.
In one episode, after Jo is dumped by a jerky boyfriend, she bitterly sings a few lines from Bob Dylan’s “Positively 4th Street.” I guess that was a bit of an in joke, since Katy used to sing backup for Dylan in real life.
Reminds me of Free Spirit; 1989
It was partway between Bewitched and The Nanny and the Professor.
Starred Corinne and the young Alyson Hannigan and of course Seth Green made an appearance on the show. The show’s cast is not in the running for my Op but still a little note worthy.
In 1976, Dick Van Dyke had a short-lived variety show, Van Dyke and Company. It being Van Dyke, he had a lot of stars making guest appearances, including Carl Reiner, Lucille Ball, Mary Tyler Moore, Carol Burnett, etc.
But, what I remember from watching it at the time was the recurring performances by an odd, foreign performer, who lip-synced to a recording of the “Mighty Mouse” theme: it was a then-little-known Andy Kaufman, doing his “Foreign Man” character. Looking at IMDB, it also lists Chevy Chase and Bob Einstein (a.k.a. Super Dave Osborne) as having appeared in multiple episodes.