Battle of the Network Shows
Each week, hosts Rick Brooks and Mike Cowgill explore the TV of the '70s and '80s through hand-picked episodes.
info_outline Episode 8-5: Duck Tales "Once Upon a Dime" 10/22/2020
Episode 8-5: Duck Tales "Once Upon a Dime" This week, we dive into the deep end of the money bin as we take on a lister request, eighties cartoon Duck Tales. On every duck's favorite holiday, Dime Polishing Day, Scrooge McDuck tells the duck tale of how he got his number one dime and became the world's richest duck.
info_outline Episode 8-4: Columbo "A Stitch in Crime" 10/15/2020
Episode 8-4: Columbo "A Stitch in Crime" Classic detective Columbo squares off with a doctor as arrogant as Columbo is rumpled. That doctor--Leonard Nimoy. We're not sure, but it might be possible that Columbo, if things go right, could maybe catch him...but will we ever really know?
info_outline Episode 8-3: Evel Knieval meets Wide World of Sports 10/08/2020
Episode 8-3: Evel Knieval meets Wide World of Sports This week, we span the globe to bring you our most daring episode yet! Join us for all the thrills, spills, and chills when Evel Knieval meets ABC's Wide World of Sports!
info_outline Episode 8-2: Back to the Egg--1980-81 TV Season 40th Anniversary 10/01/2020
Episode 8-2: Back to the Egg--1980-81 TV Season 40th Anniversary This week, we take a broader approach than normal as we celebrate the--oof--40th anniversary of the troubled 1980-81 TV season. Strikes, Olympic boycotts, elections, "Shogun," "Who Shot J.R.?" and more--we try to cover it all. Plus, a surprising amount of egg talk.
info_outline A Very Brady Bonus 09/28/2020
A Very Brady Bonus You might think we'd run out of things to say about The Brady Bunch, but we've found a little more to say. In this supplemental episode, we talk about the iconic opening credit sequence. Who looks the most awkward? Plus, what effects wizard created the sequence, and how did he do it?
info_outline Episode 8-1: The Brady Bunch: The Big Bet 09/24/2020
Episode 8-1: The Brady Bunch: The Big Bet It only took eight seasons, but we finally talk about our second-favorite 8-member family--9 if you count Alice, which we do--the Brady Bunch! Bobby and Greg make a bet, and the unexpected winner becomes a tyrant! Plus one of our hosts wrestles with his complicated feelings about the show.
info_outline A Preview of Things to Come: Season 8 09/17/2020
A Preview of Things to Come: Season 8 This week, we give you a quick preview of our upcoming season 8, which premieres Thursday, September 24, 2020. We also tell you where else you can hear Rick and Mike, and we somehow manage to work Jeffrey Scott and Kenny Rogers into the discussion.
info_outline Season 7 BATTY Awards 08/27/2020
Season 7 BATTY Awards BROADCASTING FROM ACROSS ALL TIME AND AND SPACE, BATTLE OF THE NETWORK SHOWS PROUDLY PRESENTS THE SEASON SEVEN BATTY AWARDS! EXPECT THE BIGGEST AND BRIGHTEST NAMES OF THE SEVENTIES AND EIGHTIES...AND YAKOV SMIRNOV. AWWW. THRILL AT CLASSIC CATEGORIES LIKE BEST SHOW, BEST EPISODE, AND OF COURSE OUTSTANDING FACIAL HAIR. SQUEAL WITH DELIGHT WHEN CHARO PLAYS A MEDLEY OF THE BEST THEME SONG NOMINEES! AND PRAY THAT NO ONE GETS MURDERED WITH JESSICA FLETCHER AROUND! JOIN US NOW FOR THE SEASON SEVEN BATTY AWARDS!
info_outline Catching Up 07/30/2020
Catching Up Between an intended break between seasons and the state of the world in 2020, we've taken a longer hiatus than expected. This week, we catch up on the state of the show, the state of the hosts, and the state of the Season 7 BATTYS. We also talk about some of the TV we've watched during lockdown.
info_outline Fame Game: Round Five 04/30/2020
Fame Game: Round Five We return for another exciting round of the Fame Game! Will Mike be able to guess this week's BOTNS-era celebrity, character, or possibly location, or will he go down trying? Plus, what have Bobby and the BOTNS Orchestra been up to? Find out this week!
info_outline List-o-rama: Action Figure Wish List 04/16/2020
List-o-rama: Action Figure Wish List While shows ranging from Transformers all the way to M*A*S*H had action figures during the BOTNS era, plenty didn't, so we offer up a double-decker wish list. First, we look at toys we would have wanted as kids at the time. Then we list toys based on the era we'd love to have now. Join us for all the action and play along with your BOTNS action figures!
info_outline 7-12: Transformers "Auto-Bop" and "Prime Target" 03/19/2020
7-12: Transformers "Auto-Bop" and "Prime Target" Nothing screams the eighties more than break dancing and transforming robots. You wouldn't expect to find them in the same place, but "Auto-Bop" does just that as Blaster and Tracks help some break dancers stop the Decepticons from hypnotizing patrons of Club Dancetron in order to build an office building. Plus, a big game hunter and his immortal butler try to capture Optimus Prime!
info_outline Episode 7-11: Battle of the Network Promos 03/12/2020
Episode 7-11: Battle of the Network Promos Back in the seventies and eighties, the big three networks used elaborate promotional campaigns involving memorable slogans, catchy jingles, celebrity appearances, and everything from picnics to fantasy sequences to hot air balloon rides. This week, we pit some of these campaigns against each other in a heated, yet celebratory competition.
info_outline Episode 7-10: Soap "Pilot" 03/05/2020
Episode 7-10: Soap "Pilot" Part soap opera parody, part socially relevant comedy, Soap broke new ground in the late seventies and early eighties, stirring up controversy months before it ever aired. Writer Susan Harris and and a stellar cast covered everything from feminism to gay rights to ventriloquism. Confused? You won't be after listening to this episode of Battle of the Network Shows.
info_outline Episode 7-9: The Beachcombers "Blue Plate Special" 02/27/2020
Episode 7-9: The Beachcombers "Blue Plate Special" This week, we head north to Canada to take a look at venerable institution The Beachcombers. In "Blue Plate Special," Nick and the gang to save local cafe Molly's Reach from getting bulldozed for condos. Meanwhile ne'er-do-well Relic tries to sabotage their efforts from the inside so that the can profit from them later.
info_outline Episode 7-8: Charo! 02/20/2020
Episode 7-8: Charo! Charo! World-renowned flamenco guitarist! Charo! Frequent guest on the Love Boat! Charo! Mysterious! Charo! We couldn't do a podcast about seventies and eighties TV and not eventually talk about Charo! In this case, we talk about her 1976 variety special with bandleader Frank DeVol and special guest star Mike "Mannix" Connors! Say it with us one more time. Charo!
info_outline Episode 7-7: Doctor Who "Genesis of the Daleks" 02/13/2020
Episode 7-7: Doctor Who "Genesis of the Daleks" We travel through time and space with the Fourth Doctor (Tom Baker), Sarah, and Harry as they try to stop the genesis of the Daleks at the hands of Davros. He's quite mad, you know? We also do our best to understand a little of the history of the Doctor Who phenomenon.
info_outline Episode 7-6: Murder, She Wrote "Murder Takes the Bus" 02/06/2020
Episode 7-6: Murder, She Wrote "Murder Takes the Bus" On a dark and stormy night, America's favorite mystery writer/amateur sleuth Jessica Fletcher takes a bus ride with a bevy of guest stars. While they hole up in a roadside restaurant, a passenger gets murdered, and everyone's a suspect (except Jessica and Amos natch). Whodunnit? Whydunnit? Will Jessica figure it out, or will they all fall victim one by one? Most importantly, will they make it to the Sheriff's Conference in time for Amos to get some potato soup? Let the man have his potato soup!
info_outline Episode 7-5: Spider-Woman "Pyramids of Terror" 01/30/2020
Episode 7-5: Spider-Woman "Pyramids of Terror" If you ever wanted to watch a cartoon featuring a spider-powered heroine who also runs a magazine with her know-it-all nephew and sexist photographer as they face off against space mummies, travel the world in seconds, and make Spider-Man look like a dope, then we have the cartoon for you! 1979's Spider-Woman cartoon, based on the Marvel character of the same name, has literally everything...in the first episode "Pyramids of Doom."
info_outline Episode 7-4: Head of the Class and What a Country 01/23/2020
Episode 7-4: Head of the Class and What a Country The classroom provides the settings and the Cold War provides the backdrops of these two mid-eighties sitcoms. In Head of the Class, the IHP team faces off a with a team of Russians, and Eric struggles between dueling pulls of cooldom and nerddom. Across the country, Yakov Smirnoff and a band of would-be citizens learn to become good Americans, and one learns that the path to love might lie in remaining true to himself rather than playing it hep. Plus, Yakov raps
info_outline Episode 7-3: 3-2-1 Contact "Light/Dark: The Electromagnetic Spectrum" 01/16/2020
Episode 7-3: 3-2-1 Contact "Light/Dark: The Electromagnetic Spectrum" We here at BOTNS don't just want to entertain. We want to educate, especially for our vaunted 2- 11-year-old demo, and what better way to educate than to talk about classic kids science show "3-2-1 Contact" talking about light by going behind the scenes at a KISS concert?
info_outline Episode 7-2: Pray For the Wildcats 01/09/2020
Episode 7-2: Pray For the Wildcats We dive into the wild world of made-for-TV movies with a real whopper, Pray For the Wildcats. Ad men William Shatner, Robert Reed, and Marjoe Gortner try to seal the deal on a campaign by taking a dirt bike trip across Baja with a malevolent Andy Griffith! Plus Angie Dickinson!
info_outline Episode 7-1: Miami Vice "Smuggler's Blues" 01/02/2020
Episode 7-1: Miami Vice "Smuggler's Blues" Season 7 launches with an explosive start as we delve into quintessential eighties drama Miami Vice! Guns, cars, boats, airplanes, swagger, fashion, music, explosions, weird dancing kids, Glenn Frey, Richard Jenkins--this one has it all and then some! Crockett and Tubbs go undercover to Colombia to buy some drugs to stop a kidnapper/murderer in Miami. We think.
info_outline Yogi Bear's All-Star Comedy Christmas Caper 12/19/2019
Yogi Bear's All-Star Comedy Christmas Caper We celebrate the holidays with Yogi Bear and the gang as they try to cheer up a little girl in a jam-packed 23 minutes. How will the big city react to bears on its streets? Will Yogi find any pic-i-nic basket? How much does Augie Doggie really love his Doggie Daddy? How many Hanna-Barbera characters show up? Do we discover the true meaning of Even?
info_outline TV Guide Game: June 7-13, 1986 11/28/2019
TV Guide Game: June 7-13, 1986 We start to ramp up for season 7 with another round of the TV Guide Game, this time from the summer of '86! When school lets out and the sun stays out longer, what better way to spend your time than in front of the tube? This game includes such luminaries Jack Klugman, John Stamos, Valerie Harper, and two "Seinfeld" dads!
info_outline Season 6 BATTY Awards 10/17/2019
Season 6 BATTY Awards Live on tape from Tommy Westphall's snow globe, it's the Season 6 BATTY Awards! Join Rick and Mike as the stars vie for top awards like: Best Show, Best Episode, and Outstanding Performance by a Non-human! It all happens!! on theSeason 6 BATTY Awa
info_outline Gary Sandy or Patrick Simmons 10/10/2019
Gary Sandy or Patrick Simmons On our recent "What's Happening!!" episode, Mike suggested that WKRP actor Gary Sandy and Doobie Brother Patrick Simmons share an uncanny resemblance. Now he puts Rick to the test to see if he can differentiate between Sandy or Simmons, and we learn a few things along the way!
info_outline Episode 6-12: What's Happening!! "Doobie or not Doobie Parts 1 and 2" 08/22/2019
Episode 6-12: What's Happening!! "Doobie or not Doobie Parts 1 and 2" We take it to the streets in our season 6 finale with a real Doobie--er, doozy. Join us as we groove to the infamous Rerun bootlegs the Doobie Brothers episodes of What's Happening!! Does it live up to memory or play a bit like a poorly recorded bootleg of a major rock act in a high school gym? We'll let you know, but how can you go wrong with laughter's the best medicine and music is the doctor?