TVLand has never aired the “Firehouse Quintet” ep of “Emergency!” It’s one where the guys play basketball. According to TVLand, the only copy they were able to procure had so many “technical difficulties” (their unelaborated words) that it was not usable. With the series being put onto DVD in the near future, it will be interesting to see if that ep makes it.
The first (Peggy-less) season of “Mannix” has never been syndicated (as well as the eighth/final season).
The first several seasons of “Petticoat Junction” have never been syndicated.
The early “My Three Sons” with William Frawley are rarely shown, and the same goes for the later ones with “Dody.”
TVLand has, but refuses to air, one ep of “The Munsters” (“Herman’s Peace Offensive”).
There’s something like four Bonanza episodes that never get aired. There’s one in particular which is sympathetic to Mormanism (from the later, color, more hippy-ish influenced episodes) that the then CBN (now Hallmark, I think) refused to air.
Hmmm, just did a quick Google search and found this page. Evidently there were 171 Bonanza episodes that were originally withheld from syndication. Then Hallmark bought the rights but there were four episodes that were pulled from the line-up.
It wouldn’t surprise me if it had been, and I’ll bet that it probably was for a while. However, I saw this episode in syndication at least two years ago, on the Fox affiliate here in New York City, no less. Much of the rest of the country seems to be touchier about September 11 than New York city is, so it might not run in other markets, but I’ve definitely seen it in syndication here at least twice since the attacks. Which is wonderful, because it’s a fantastic episode.
I’ve seen it at least 6 times, probably more, since 2001, on several different networks, both Canadian and American. (CBC, Global, Fox and a few other Canadian ones that I either can’t remember the name of right now, or don’t feel like differentiating from other networks… Why there’s so many channels named the “A-Channel” I’ll never know.
Perhaps the most famous incident of an episode never being syndicated (and, as the rapidly-becoming-a-SDMB-cliche goes: “I can’t believe no one has mentioned…”) is the two-part Maude in which Bea Arthur’s character becomes pregnant and has an abortion. I don’t think this has ever been aired aside from the original network screening. I don’t know if the series has been released on DVD, but I wonder if they’ll even release the episodes in that format.
A more recent non-syndicated episode would be the Frasier installment with Christine Baranski. She played “Dr. Nora”, a thinly-veiled caraciture of “Dr.” Laura Schlessinger. Supposedly, the episode was shelfed because the Schlessinger’s ill-fated talk show was being produced by the same company that made Frasier. (According to the producers of Frasier, Laura Schlessinger or someone from her show objected to her being ridiculed, and insisted that episode be taken out of syndication.)
I read one that Desi Arnaz did not make this episode a part of the syndicated package because he didn’t want networks showing it outside of Christmastime.
A Polish-American organization took offense at the idea that Mimi was of Polish decent. (I guess they thought she wasn’t a good Polish role model). They forced the company to edit all references to Mimi’s Polish heritage out of that episode, and to never refer to Mimi as being Polish again. The episode, as aired in syndication, now focuses on the subplot, a new employee who mimics Drew. (The episode is so short without the Polish plot, the opening is taken from another episode. Two episodes have the exact same opening. I can still remember parts of it… “Are you sure this is the porno channel? Why don’t you just pay for it?” “No, I already get the Cartoon Network, and if you get both, they put you on a special list.”)
If he didn’t show those episodes because he didn’t like their performances, then he should have told everyone to stay home for most of the latter 1980s rather than produce and broadcast the utter crap that largely constituted SNL for the bulk of that time.
As for Louise Lasser, it wasn’t a question of performing, it was one of completely losing it. Her episode came on the heels of a recent cocaine bust, and she had a nervous breakdown on the air. I’m surprised that they allowed those of us in Tape Delay Land to see it even once.
I may be confusing Milton Berle with someone else, but if I remember The Backstage History of Saturday Night Live accurately, its account says that Berle generally spent the week of his show strutting around the studio being arrogant and making himself beloved by none, so that might account for his episode being pulled.
Two episodes of the original Star Trek - “Plato’s Stepchildren” and “The Empath” - weren’t shown on the BBC for many years; I believe the reason was that both episodes contained depictions of torture that contravened broadcasting standards guidelines. (I’m pretty sure that both episodes were broadcast, though, the last time the BBC did Star Trek re-runs.)
In the ten years that the comedy sketch All That has been on the air, I have only seen the original pilot twice. TV.com claims that the pilot was first aired Christmas Eve 1994. I knew that didn’t seem right! I checked with Wikipedia and the infamous first airdate was April 16th 1994. All That didn’t become a regular series until Christmas '94. I don’t believe this “Nickelodeon Special” was ever in fact put in syndication. The pilot wasn’t even aired for the 10th All That Anniversary.