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Battle of the Network Shows

158 EpisodesProduced by Rick Brooks and Mike CowgillWebsite

Each week, hosts Rick Brooks and Mike Cowgill explore the TV of the '70s and '80s through hand-picked episodes. 

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Season 9 BATTY Awards

December 16th, 2021


Live on tape from Jim Rockford's trailer in beautiful Malibu, California, the Season 9 BATTY Awards honor the best from season 9 in categories …

Episode 9-13: Battlestar Galactica (1978)

September 9th, 2021


In a "rag-tag fleet," the remnants of humanity flee the robotic Cylons and search for a new home...Earth! For our season finale, we discuss the series finale of the original Battlestar Galactica "Hand of God," a show …

Episode 9-12: Thundarr the Barbarian

September 2nd, 2021


In the short-lived but ambitious cartoon "Thundarr the Barbarian," sword and sorcery meet superscience as Thundarr and his companions wage battle against the forces of evil in the ruins of civilization. With scripts by …

Episode 9-11: Killdozer!

August 26th, 2021


In this season's look at a TV movie, we take on the deadly menace of the Killdozer! You heard right! An alien consciousness takes over a bulldozer, …

Episode 9-10: Fantasy Island "The Devil and Mandy Breem, Instant Millionaire"

August 19th, 2021


Join us on a far-away tropical paradise that may or may not also have a freeway infrastructure, an industrial area, banks, pawn shops, and more as Tattoo tries to help a man become a millionaire and Mr. Roarke does …

Episode 9-9: The Munsters vs. the Mini-Munsters

August 12th, 2021


We had big plans to compare The Munsters Today to the original classic Munsters, but in a blow to John Schuck fans everywhere, our plans went awry. Luckily, we discovered the one-off 1973 animated Mini-Munsters, so we …

Episode 9-8: The Soul Train The Emotions and Maze Featuring Frankie Beverly

August 5th, 2021


Our listeners have spoken again and voted for us to take a ride on The Soul Train. We ride it all the way back to 1977 for a bit of funk, a bit of …

Episode 9-7: The Master "Fat Tuesday"

July 29th, 2021


Nothing says New Orleans like Mardi Gras, and nothing says Mardi Gras like ninjas, and nothing says ninjas like Lee Van Cleef and Timothy "Salami" Van Patten facing off against a BOTNS favorite in a shocking heel turn! …

Episode 9-6: The Baseball Bunch "Chet Lemon"

July 22nd, 2021


Summer in America means baseball, so break out the peanuts and Cracker Jacks. For a few years in the eighties, Major League Baseball made an educational baseball show for kids--The Baseball Bunch. Johnny Bench, the …

Episode 9-5: Alice "Mel's Recession"

July 15th, 2021


In a season two episode of the long-lived Alice, diner owner Mel receives bad news from his accountant and decides he has to give one of the waitresses "the sack." In the ensuing struggle to keep their jobs, the ladies …

Episode 9-4: PSAs

July 8th, 2021


Along with entertainment and advertising, public service announcements, or PSAs, filled the airwaves in the seventies and eighties. This week, we pick a range of them to discuss, featuring lessons on nutrition, health, …

Episode 9-3: Rudolph and Frosty's Christmas in July

July 1st, 2021


A Christmas special in July?! Not just any Christmas in July special either. This 97-minute Rankin-Bass special might have it all...literally. …

Episode 9-2: SCTV "Zontar"

June 24th, 2021


This week, we take a look at the classic sketch comedy show SCTV in an episode that includes G. Gordon Liddy on a children's show, George Carlin and Don Rickles in rom-coms, an alien invasion, and perhaps most …

Episode 9-1: The Rockford Files "The Oracle Wore a Cashmere Suit"

June 17th, 2021


In our season 9 premiere, we investigate one of the quintessential detective shows "The Rockford Files." Rockford butts heads with a celebrity …

50 Saturday Mornings Ago

May 13th, 2021


In this extra-sized bonus episode, we look at the Saturday morning schedule from spring 1971. How did the networks compare? Did Saturday morning '71 …

The TV Guide Game March 30, 1981

March 30th, 2021


This week, we go back 40 years for the TV Guide game to March 30, 1981, when a major historical event disrupted the TV schedule. Rick tries to guess …

Michael Learned or Michael Lerner

March 11th, 2021


In the grand tradition of Patrick Simmons or Gary Sandy, we proudly present another unique podcast game when Mike asks Rick to determine whether Ma Walton herself Michael Learned or venerable character actor Michael …

Fame Game 7

February 18th, 2021


When last we played The Fame Game, Mike secured a victory after the previous "Ruth Buzzi Fiasco." Can he turn that victory into a streak, or will the ghosts of previous losses once again haunt him? Find out now when …

Season 8 BATTY Awards

February 4th, 2021


We celebrate the end of another season with "the most exciting night in retro TV podcasting," the BATTY Awards. As always, the awards include the expected like outstanding male and female performances, the unique like …

Mailbag at Battle of the Network Shows

January 28th, 2021


This week, we answer open up the mailbag and answer questions from our Facebook group. We give our thoughts on expanding our format, how we got started, our favorite shows from the seventies and eighties, and, perhaps …

Episode 8-13: Holiday Special "The Little Rascals Christmas Special"

December 17th, 2020


On this year's holiday special, cartoon versions of the Little Rascals learn some difficult lessons about eavesdropping, paying attention to weather …

Episode 8-12: Night of One Hundred Stars 1982

December 10th, 2020


To celebrate our 100th episode, more or less, we look at Night of One Hundred stars and ask the important questions like: what do you do for 2 ½ hours with 200 stars; if you have 200 stars, why call it night of 100 …

Episode 8-11: Darkroom: "The Partnership, Daisies, Catnip"

December 3rd, 2020


In another listener request episode, we discuss the short-lived horror anthology Darkroom. Hosted by James Coburn, Darkroom delves into the macabre …

Episode 8-10: Newhart "Thanksgiving For the Memories"

November 26th, 2020


Celebrate Thanksgiving BOTNS style with classic eighties sitcom Newhart. Dick Loudon loves Thanksgiving at home the way children love Christmas, so naturally, a series of unforeseen events nearly ruins it until three …

Episode 8-9: 60 Minutes March 13, 1983

November 19th, 2020


This week, we put on our reporters' caps, riffle through the papers on our desks, and try to parse out what makes ratings juggernaut 60 Minutes so iconic. Along the way, we also get to explore some vintage commercials, …

Episode 8-8: The Greatest American Hero "The Shock Will Kill You"

November 12th, 2020


Believe it or not, it took eight seasons for us to get to The Greatest American Hero. After steering a powerless space shuttle to a safe landing, Ralph turns into a walking magnet, and only he, Bill, and Pam stand in …

Episode 8-7: Tucker's Witch Aired and Unaired Pilot

November 5th, 2020


In short-lived detective series "Tucker's Witch," a married couple solves crimes with a little help from the wife's extra psychic abilities. In a …

Episode 8-6: Poor Devil

October 28th, 2020


In TV movie "Poor Devil," Sammy Davis Jr. the demon sees a chance to get out of the furnace room if Christopher "Lucifer" Lee will just let him …

Episode 8-5: Duck Tales "Once Upon a Dime"

October 22nd, 2020


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, …

Episode 8-4: Columbo "A Stitch in Crime"

October 15th, 2020


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 …

Episode 8-3: Evel Knieval meets Wide World of Sports

October 8th, 2020


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!

Episode 8-2: Back to the Egg--1980-81 TV Season 40th Anniversary

October 1st, 2020


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 …

A Very Brady Bonus

September 28th, 2020


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? …

Episode 8-1: The Brady Bunch: The Big Bet

September 24th, 2020


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 …

A Preview of Things to Come: Season 8

September 17th, 2020


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 …

Season 7 BATTY Awards

August 27th, 2020



Fame Game Six

August 13th, 2020


It's time for another round of everybody's favorite TV-related game The Fame Game. This time, Mike tries to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. Also, as a PSA, we plea for proper treatment of produce.

Catching Up

July 30th, 2020


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 …

Fame Game: Round Five

April 30th, 2020


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 …

List-o-rama: Action Figure Wish List

April 16th, 2020


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 …

7-12: Transformers "Auto-Bop" and "Prime Target"

March 19th, 2020


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 …

Episode 7-11: Battle of the Network Promos

March 12th, 2020


Back in the seventies and eighties, the big three networks used elaborate promotional campaigns involving memorable slogans, catchy jingles, …

Episode 7-10: Soap "Pilot"

March 5th, 2020


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 …

Episode 7-9: The Beachcombers "Blue Plate Special"

February 27th, 2020


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 …

Episode 7-8: Charo!

February 20th, 2020


Charo! World-renowned flamenco guitarist! Charo! Frequent guest on the Love Boat! Charo! Mysterious! Charo! We couldn't do a podcast about seventies …

Episode 7-7: Doctor Who "Genesis of the Daleks"

February 13th, 2020


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 …

Episode 7-6: Murder, She Wrote "Murder Takes the Bus"

February 6th, 2020


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 …

Episode 7-5: Spider-Woman "Pyramids of Terror"

January 30th, 2020


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, …

Episode 7-4: Head of the Class and What a Country

January 23rd, 2020


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 …

Episode 7-3: 3-2-1 Contact "Light/Dark: The Electromagnetic Spectrum"

January 16th, 2020


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 …

Episode 7-2: Pray For the Wildcats

January 9th, 2020


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 …

Episode 7-1: Miami Vice "Smuggler's Blues"

January 2nd, 2020


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 …

Yogi Bear's All-Star Comedy Christmas Caper

December 19th, 2019


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 …

List-o-rama: Comics That Should Have Had TV Shows

December 12th, 2019


Adapting comics into TV and movies has become all the rage in Hollywood. Well, we have our own suggestions for comics that should have become shows …

TV Guide Game: June 7-13, 1986

November 28th, 2019


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 …

Season 6 BATTY Awards

October 17th, 2019


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 …

Gary Sandy or Patrick Simmons

October 10th, 2019


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 …

Episode 6-12: What's Happening!! "Doobie or not Doobie Parts 1 and 2"

August 22nd, 2019


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 …

Episode 6-11: St. Elsewhere "Close Encounters"

August 15th, 2019


This week, we return to Boston and travel to the very center of the Tommy Westphall Universe to talk about classic hospital drama St. Elsewhere. Betty White pays a visit to investigate the condition of an astronaut, …

Episode 6-10: Legends of the Superheroes

August 8th, 2019


Long before the Avengers assembled on the silver screen, the Arrowverse filled the CW schedule, or Netflix canceled the Defenders, NBC and …

Episode 6-9: Automan "Murder MTV"

August 1st, 2019


Someone might kill an up-and-coming pop star (Laura Branigan) unless Walter and Automan stop them. Along the way, Automan straps on a holographic …

Episode 6_8: Jem and the Holograms "The Jem Jam" Parts 1 and 2

July 25th, 2019


In another listener poll, our listeners chose eighties cartoon Jem and the Holograms. We chose two episodes promising appearances by stand-ins for …

Episode 6-7: Moonlighting "My Fair David"

July 18th, 2019


Fed up with David's antics--limbo party, anyone--Maddie challenges him to act like an adult for a week. Will he, or won't he? Also, some guy gets …

6-6: Greatest Sports Legends Terry Bradshaw and Bob Uecker

July 11th, 2019


This week, we look back at an unofficial TV genre, weekend dad TV, the kind of show that might fill the gap between the early game and the late game. Greatest Sports Legends combines interviews and documentary footage …

6-5: Growing Pains "Thank God It's Friday" and "This is Your Life"

July 4th, 2019


This week, we take a long, hard look two episodes of our Eighties Family Sitcom listener poll winner Growing Pains. In "Thank God It's Friday," Mike …

6-4: Donahue "The Clean Up TV Campaign"

June 27th, 2019


Is the caller there? Is the caller fed up with filthy TV? Well find out how people felt in 1981 as silver-haired TV talk legend Phil Donahue talks to Pastor John Hurt of the Clean Up TV Campaign and Chicago TV critic …

6-3: Hardcastle and McCormick "Killer B's"

June 20th, 2019


Start your ignition, rev your engine, put the pedal to the metal, and accelerate into a high-octane episode full of high-octane action, high-octane …

6-2: Super Station WTBS

June 13th, 2019


This week, we break format to look back at the original cable super station WTBS, including Mike's memories of it as the cool independent channel in …

6-1: Cheers "Power Play" and "The Heart is a Lonely Snipehunter"

June 6th, 2019


We start season six with one of the all-time greats, exploring the Diane years of "Cheers." First, Sam and Diane finally give in to their feelings, only things take a little longer to get going that Sam hoped. Then …

List-o-rama: TV Shows That Should Have Had Comic Books

March 28th, 2019


Back in the BOTNS era and before, many TV shows had licensed comic book adaptations, but many more didn’t. Rick and Mike pick five each that should …

Golden Girls Mad Libs Volume 1

February 28th, 2019


In this week's bonus episode, we play a couple rounds of Golden Girls Mad Libs, combining two of podcasting's biggest trends -- grammar and senior …

That Time We Met Robert Pine

February 14th, 2019


This week, we talk about a recent opportunity we had to meet the great Robert Pine, patron saint of Battle of the Network Shows! Then to sweeten the deal, we offer an encore presentation of our "Lowenbrau" episode, …

The Season 5 BATTY Awards

January 31st, 2019


Join us on the Astral Plane as we celebrate season 5 of Battle of the Network Shows with the Season 5 BATTY Awards! Will classics like MASH, Hill Street Blues, and The Jeffersons run away with the awards, or will a dark …

5-12: Saturday Night Live with Ray Charles

January 3rd, 2019


Season 5 draws to a close with Saturday Night Live and the Not Ready for Primetime Players. Ray Charles serves as host and musical guest, making for a unique episode, and we get into the value of SNL then, later, and …

5-11: When Things Were Rotten and Best of the West

December 27th, 2018


This week, we take a look at two forgotten sitcoms, the Mel Brooks Robin Hood spoof “When Things Were Rotten” and early eighties oater “Best of the …

5-10: The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew Meet Dracula

December 20th, 2018


Long before cinematic shared universes were a thing, the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew, shared rotating weeks of "The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries," and met each other on screen in a series of crossovers. They also met …

5-9: The Jeffersons "A Case of Black and White" and "The House That George Built"

December 13th, 2018


After George airs his feelings about mixed marriages, he has to engage in full-on farce to save a business deal. Years later, a near-death …

5-8: Hill Street Blues "Spotlight on Rico"

December 6th, 2018


This week, we delve into the gritty, chaotic, groundbreaking Hill Street Blues. We hit all the important topics: the large cast of character actors, the serialized storytelling, the classic theme song, and the …

5-7: BJ and the Bear "Cain's Cruiser"

November 29th, 2018


Trucker B.J. McKay and his best pal Bear, a chimp, face off with Sheriff Cain and his supercar...designed and built by one Erin Gray. We dig deep …

5-6: The Waltons "The Thanksgiving Story"

November 22nd, 2018


After your Thanksgiving feast, gather round the radio for a BOTNS-style Thanksgiving with The Waltons. This one has everything you'd want from Thanksgiving: family, turkey hunting, romance, moonshine, a pageant, test …

5-5: Charlie's Angels "Lady Killer"

November 15th, 2018


In a perfect BOTNS-era plot, Charlie's Angels (original class) go undercover at "men's" magazine "Feline" to stop a murderer from killing more …

5-4: Hee Haw

November 8th, 2018


Our listeners voted again, and we listened. Pick and grin with us as we discuss two episodes of country variety classic "Hee Haw," featuring Freddy Fender, Melba Montgomery, Johnny Cash, and La Costa. Crank up the laugh …

5-3: Dr. Strange

November 1st, 2018


When a giant puppet head and Lucille Bluth try to break down the barriers between dimensions, only one man has the prescription and mustache to stop them--Dr. Strange, Sorcerer Supreme.

5-2: Halloween is Grinch Night

October 25th, 2018


Listen to us yammer and yack about this lost gem of the small screen. The Grinch and Halloween? Has anyone ever seen such a scene?! We give you the why, the where, the Who, the when, and maybe if you're lucky the to …

5-1: MASH "Tuttle"

October 18th, 2018


We start season 5 with a true classic--MASH! To give supplies to a local orphanage, Hawkeye invents Captain Tuttle, but his best laid plans turn into a madcap scramble when Burns wants to meet the mysterious Tuttle.

Fame Game Four: Shooting for .500

October 11th, 2018


After a crushing defeat in the last Fame Game, Mike returns to the hot seat to see if he can guess another BOTNS-era performer, personality, or character and get his record up to 2-2, plus an astounding amount of …

Reboots, Remakes, and Returns: Magnum P.I.

October 4th, 2018


Following up on a recent bonus episode, we take a little time to discuss the pilot of the Magnum P.I. remake. Mike saw it, Rick didn't, so he asks …

Season 4 BATTY Awards: BATTYs in Space

September 20th, 2018


Live on data tapes from Theta Station, it's the Season Four! Join the stars in the stars as they vie for the most prestigious awards this side of Neptune! Ooh and even ahh at the latest high-fashion …

Reboots, Remakes, and Returns

September 6th, 2018


After recent announcements of possible ALF and Facts of Life reboots, we asked members of our Facebook group what reboots, remakes, or returns of seventies or eighties shows they'd like to see. We break those down and …

The Fame Game Three

August 30th, 2018


Can you solve the identity of this week's mysterious BOTNS-era individual before Mike does? With Turtle Wax and his reputation on the line, will Mike …

List-o-rama: Kids, Tykes, Moppets, and Urchins

August 23rd, 2018


Nothing quite says a show has grown long in the tooth quite like the addition of a new "cute" kid. Groan along, as we break down the worst of the worst from the seventies and eighties

TV Guide Game: Wednesday, January 14, 1987

August 16th, 2018


The TV Guide game returns as Rick dives into his vast collection of vintage TV Guide issues and tries to guess what shows Mike would have watched. …

4-13: The A-Team "Showdown"

August 2nd, 2018


In our EXPLOSIVE season finale, the one-and-only A-TEAM SPRINGS into ACTION to help a struggling wild west show against...THE A-TEAM?! This one has it all: FIST FIGHTS, DISGUISES, MILITARY STOOGES, NONLETHAL VIOLENCE, …

4-12: Barney Miller "Werewolf"

July 26th, 2018


The listeners voted again, and we listened again and discuss workplace sitcom Barney Miller. With half the NYPD out with swine flu, the overworked detectives of the 12th precinct have to contend with no coffee, shots, …

4-11: "Popeye Meets the Man Who Hated Laughter"

July 19th, 2018


This week, we delve into the weird 1972 animated special "Popeye Meets the Man Who Hated Laughter," which takes Popeye and adds most of his King Features comic strip cohorts, including Blondie and Dagwood, Beetle …

4-10: Late Night with David Letterman "Camping with Barry White"

July 12th, 2018


For many of us who grew up in the eighties, one name defines late night--Dave--and this week, we focus on the "Camping with Barry White," episode, which features Jacqueline Bisset, the television debut of Bobcat …

4_9: The Great 50th Episode 5K Star Race and Boulder Wrap Party

July 5th, 2018


To celebrate 50th Full Episode, we do something unprecedented and revisit a show--CHiPs! Just as we return to he well, do the men and women of the …

4-8: Good Times "The Windfall"

June 28th, 2018


This week, we tackle the groundbreaking Norman Lear urban sitcom Good Times! Nothing goes as expected when James finds $27,000 stolen from a grocery …

4-7: Buck Rogers in the 25th Century "Space Vampire"

June 21st, 2018


We put up a poll, the listeners voted, and we've responded with Buck Rogers in the 25th Century "Space Vampire." Things get spooky when Buck, Wilma, …

4-6: Lou Grant "Marathon"

June 14th, 2018


We follow up our Mary Tyler Moore Episode with a look at its dramatic spinoff Lou Grant. When a tunnel collapses, Lou gets the "L.A. Tribune" team in …

4-5: The Mary Tyler Moore Show "The Good Time News"

June 7th, 2018


Love is all around as we discuss iconic sitcom The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Mary wants a raise. Instead, she has to mastermind WJM's new "fun" news …

4-4: The Dean Martin Celebrity Roast "Peter Marshall"

May 31st, 2018


The zingers fly when Dean Martin gathers a cavalcade of stars and celebrities to roast Peter Marshall, host of "Hollywood Squares," including Vincent …

4-3: Dynasty "The Cabin"

May 24th, 2018


We knew next to nothing about classic primetime sudser Dynasty, but that didn't stop us from diving into season 3 cliffhanger finale "The Cabin." Characters scheme, characters seethe, characters threaten, but mostly …

4-2: Punky Brewster "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" and "Urban Fear

May 17th, 2018


This week, we look at two episodes of beloved kid-com Punky Brewster. First, Henry (George Gaynes) desperately wants to get tickets to the Cubs-Padres playoff game, but even Punky Power might not help him this time. …

4-1: Captain America, the TV Movies

May 10th, 2018


Season 4 begins with a star-spangled bang! Before the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Captain America starred in not one but two TV movies! We talk about both but focus on "Captain America II: Death Too Soon." Cap (Reb …

The Fame Game 2

May 3rd, 2018


Join Rick, Mike, plus Bobby and the BOTNS Orchestra for another thrilling round of The Fame Game! Will Mike guess this week's mystery celebrity or go down swinging? Find out on The Fame Game!

Remembering Steven Bochco

April 26th, 2018


This week, we take a brief look back at the career of the late Steven Bochco, co-creator of BOTNS-era-defining dramas "Hill Street Blues" and "L.A. Law," as well as groundbreaking nineties shows like "NYPD Blue" and …

The Fame Game 1

April 19th, 2018


In The Fame Game, Rick puts Mike on the hot seat and challenges him to identify a BOTNS-era celebrity based on a series of clues. Will Mike rise to the challenge or fail miserably? Find out in The Fame Game!

List-o-rama: Favorite TV Chefs

April 12th, 2018


The Internet loves lists, and we've added another one. Mike and Rick each pick their 5 top TV chefs and cooks from the seventies and eighties--real or fictional--plus a few honorable mentions.

LIstener Poll Results

April 5th, 2018


We asked you, the listener, to help us, the podcasters, choose two of our shows for the upcoming season 4, and the results are in! Who won in the …

What We Saw: Ball Four

March 29th, 2018


Just in time for Major League Baseball opening day, we revisit another What We Want to See segment now that we've seen it. This time, Mike saw an episode of "Ball Four," the baseball sitcom based on Jim Bouton's book of …

Pick Your Pine: DVP Edition

March 22nd, 2018


In this bonus minisode, we play a very special round of everybody’s favorite Robert Pine based game Pick Your Pine as Rick tries to guess what episode of CHiPs Robert Pine and our man Dick Van Patten appeared in …

The Love Boat Game: "The Man In the Iron Shorts, Victims, Heavens to Betsy"

March 15th, 2018


We head back out to sea for a new game, The Love Boat Game, where Mike challenges to Rick to figure out which guest stars played which roles. For our …

Pick Your Pine: Anne Meara

March 8th, 2018


In this bonus minisode, we play another round of everybody’s favorite Robert Pine based game Pick Your Pine. This time, Rick tries to guess what show from the BOTNS era featured both Robert Pine and the great Anne Meara.

What We Saw: Year At the Top

March 1st, 2018


In this bonus minisode, we discuss seeing a show we once wanted to see, Year At the Top. Greg Evigan and Paul Shaffer sell their souls to rock and …

BATTY Awards III: BATTYs at Sea

February 15th, 2018



The BATTY Awards III Teaser

February 8th, 2018


With anticipation running high for the season 3 BATTY Awards, we present this special teaser. Hear the Outstanding Eyebrows category before anyone …

Episode 3-12: The Love Boat "Winner Take Love, The Congressman Was Indiscreet, Isaac's History Lesson"

January 11th, 2018


All aboard The Love Boat for our season 3 finale. In this fascinating, timely, yet very much of its time episode: Marcia Brady competes in a beauty contest and contends with a jealous boyfriend (Bobby Sherman); our man …

Episode 3-11: Wrestling "Saturday Night's Main Event 2"

January 4th, 2018


Rick fulfills a podcast dream to talk about professional wrestling, and Mike plays along. This episode of "Saturday Night's Main Event" features …

Episode 3-10: Medical Center "Demi-God"

December 28th, 2017


We give our diagnosis of Medical Center, a mid-70s version of that TV staple, the medical drama. Erstwhile and well-dressed Dr. Gannon (Chad Everett) wants to do his job and help a young woman (Meredith Baxter), but she …

Holiday Special: "The Bear Who Slept Through Christmas"

December 21st, 2017


The holidays mean holiday specials--or they used to--and we present second one. Tommy Smothers plays nonconformist Ted E. Bear in "The Bear Who Slept …

Episode 3-9: Voyagers! "Cleo and the Babe"

December 14th, 2017


This week, we discuss one-season wonder "Voyagers!" Time traveler Phineas Bogg (Jon-Erik Hexum) and 12-year-old Jeffrey (the ubiquitous Meeno Peluce) …

Episode 3-8: Taxi "The Great Race"

December 7th, 2017


Rick and Mike discuss a classic sitcom, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

Alex and Louie in a taxi race, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

Andy Kaufman doesn't do much in this one, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

Nardo might have to date Louie, eww, …

Episode 3-7: The Tomorrow Show with Tom Snyder "Iggy Pop"

November 30th, 2017


This week, we discuss an episode of NBC's The Tomorrow Show With Tom Snyder from its final year. Tom sits down with BOTNS returning star Ricky Schroder. Iggy Pop performs three songs, bleeds a little, and chats with …

Episode 3-6: Knight Rider "Lost Knight"

November 23rd, 2017


Cool, cool, cool! Master of cool Michael Knight gets into a spot of trouble when his cool talking car K.I.T.T. gets car amnesia and wanders into the …

Episode 3-5: The All-new Super Friends Hour

November 16th, 2017


With the Justice League movie arriving in theaters, we sell out again, this time talking about the animated and friendly adventures of the Justice League from 1977 in The All-new Super Friends Hour. Yes, you get …

Episode 3-4: The Sandbaggers "Decision by Committee"

November 9th, 2017


This week, we look at The Sandbaggers, a classic British espionage series from the late seventies. Action takes a backseat to palace intrigue and …

Episode 3-3: Celebrity Bowling

November 2nd, 2017


Celebrity Bowling: seventies celebrities strive to strike in a modified and slightly confusing version of the Sport of Kings! Leslie Nielsen and Susan Saint James face off against Angie Dickinson and Lloyd Bridges. …

3-2: Three's Company Roper v. Furley

October 26th, 2017


This week, we tackle not one but two episodes the zaniest of zany comedies Three's Company and try to decide once and for all: Roper or Furley. In …

Season 3-1: Eight is Enough "Who's on First?"

October 19th, 2017


In our season three premiere, we tackle the ABC light drama Eight is Enough and its season two finale "Who's on First?" Daughter Joanie needs help …

Season Two BATTY Awards

September 14th, 2017


The special blue ribbon nominating panel has convened and issued its nominations for the season two BATTY Awards. Now Rick and Mike have to decide the winners in categories including Best Show, Best Episode, Outstanding …

Episode 2_12: Battle of the Network Stars 1

June 22nd, 2017


For our season two finale, we finally take a look at perhaps the ultimate example of the Battle of the Network Shows era, our namesake, Battle of the …

Episode 2_11: "Face the Music" and "$ale of the Century"

June 15th, 2017


This week, we dive into the world of game shows with a look at the syndicated "Face the Music" and NBC's fast-paced "$ale of the Century." Plus, an all-new TV Guide Game! Will one of us go home with a brand-new car?!

Episode 2_10: He-Man and the Masters of the Universe "Castle of Heroes"

June 8th, 2017


In this episode, we take another look at the animated toy tie-in phenomenon of the mid eighties with the granddaddy of them all He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. Skeletor's "friend" Monteague, a toad-like wizard, …

Episode 2_9: Wonder Woman "Disco Devil"

June 1st, 2017


This week in a crass attempt to cash in on the Wonder Woman movie, we take a look at the 1970s TV show and Lynda Carter's definitive performance as the Amazon princess. This one features some of our favorite discussion …

Episode 2_8: Mork and Mindy "Mixed Emotions"

May 25th, 2017


In 1978, aliens walked among us in the form of Robin Williams in his breakout role as Mork from Ork. In "Mixed Emotions," a little encouragement and …

Episode 2_7: Search "The Murrow Disappearance"

May 18th, 2017


This week, we introduce you to one of the shows that inspired the podcast. In Search, private security agents use a high-tech approach to solve …

Episode 2_6: Silver Spoons "Me and Mr. T" and "Twelve Angry Kids"

May 11th, 2017


This week, we look at two episodes of classic eighties sitcom Silver Spoons. First, Ricky (Ricky Schroder) struggles to fit in at his new school and …

Episode 2_5: Run, Joe, Run "Homecoming"

May 4th, 2017


Loyal listener Amy recommended this Saturday-morning drama about an Army-trained German shepherd on the run for a crime he didn't commit! Kristy …

Episode 2_4: The Golden Girls "Ladies of the Evening"

April 27th, 2017


Tickets to the world premiere and after party for Mr. Burt Reynolds' latest movie land the Golden Girls in exactly the wrong place--jail...for …

Episode 2_3: Real People, season 6, episode 1

April 20th, 2017


This week, we talk about early reality show Real People, featuring hosts Sarah Purcell, Skip Stephenson, Byron Allen, Bill Rafferty, and Peter …

Episode 2_2: Magnum P.I. "J. Digger Doyle"

April 13th, 2017


Quintessential eighties private investigator Thomas Magnum (Tom Selleck) might have met his match in J. Digger Doyle (TV's Erin Gray), but what kind of match--romantic, professional, nefarious, or all three? He also has …

Episode 2_1: Diff'rent Strokes "The Adoption" Parts 1 and 2

April 6th, 2017


Season two begins with a look at a special two-part Diff'rent Strokes. The time has arrived for Mr. Drummond to officially adopt Arnold and Willis, …

Season One Awards Show

January 26th, 2017


The glitz, the glamour, the guffaws! Rick and Mike roll out the red carpet, welcome the stars, and paint the town as they take a look back at season …

Holiday Special

December 22nd, 2016


In our first ever Holiday Special, we try to unpack the complex mythos of Rankin-Bass' The Leprechauns' Christmas Gold, then make a heartwarming …

Episode 12: CHiPs "Roller Disco" Parts I and II

December 8th, 2016


This week, we look at a two-part episode of late '70s, early '80s feel-good show CHiPs and posit the idea that it might be the quintessential show of the era. In just two hours, John (Larry Wilcox) and Ponch (Erik …

Episode 11: The Facts of Life "Starstruck" and "The Four Musketeers"

December 1st, 2016


This week, we discuss The Facts of Life...the TV show. In "Starstruck," number-one Jermaine Jackson fan Tootie gets a chance to meet him, but in order to do so, she'll have to let down her friends. Will it be worth it, …

Episode 10: G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero "Twenty Questions"

November 24th, 2016


This week, we take a look at one of the quintessential 1980s toy tie-in cartoons G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero. In "Twenty Questions," pesky journalist Hector Ramirez weasels his way onto the Joe base to expose the …

Episode 9: The Muppet Show "Steve Martin"

November 17th, 2016


This week, we look at bona fide classic The Muppet Show. Special Guest Steve Martin shows up only to learn of a scheduling SNAFU. The Muppets have …

Episode 8: In Search Of "Amelia Earhart" and "The Loch Ness Monster"

November 10th, 2016


This week, we probably take a look at what might be the definitive 1970s docuseries In Search Of. Through diligent research, authoritative interviews, and on-site camerawork, host Leonard Nimoy and crew dig deep into …

Episode 7: The Six Million Dollar Man "Death Probe Parts I and II"

November 3rd, 2016


Listener Andrew Reinhard requested we discuss this two-part episode of The Six Million Dollar Man that terrified him as a child...and haunts him to …

Episode 6: Let it be Lowenbrau

October 27th, 2016


This week, we make the argument for the greatest beer commercial--and one of the greatest commercials--ever made. Robert Pine, Michael Moriarty, a guy who looks like Jim Valvano, and a guy possibly named Frank shill for …

Episode 5: Family Ties "Say Uncle"

October 20th, 2016


Things get boozy this week as we discuss the classic Family Ties episode "Say Uncle" (Season 2, Episode 14) Alex (Michael J. Fox) and Keaton family can't wait for a visit from Uncle Ned (Tom Hanks) until they discover …

Episode 4: ALF "Tonight, Tonight"

October 13th, 2016


That lovable, furry, cat-eating alien ALF sits in for Johnny in the extra-long "Tonight, Tonight" (Season 3, Episode 4). Joining ALF, Ed …

Episode 3: Happy Days "American Musical"

October 6th, 2016


This time, we hold our noses and dive deep into Happy Days "American Musical" (Season 8, Episode 22). The latter day Happy Days gang celebrates …

Episode 2: The White Shadow "The Death of me Yet?"

September 29th, 2016


This week, we discuss Episode 22 of Season 2 of The White Shadow "The Death of me Yet?" The Carver High basketball team tries to win the city championships while grieving the loss of one of their own and worrying …

Episode 1: The Incredible Hulk "747"

September 21st, 2016


Join Rick and Mike as they discuss The Incredible Hulk "747," (Season 1, Episode 7). Thrill at actor reunions, giant cups of coffee, King Tut, 1970s

Episode 0: Primetime Preview Special

September 16th, 2016


Just like the days of old when the TV networks offered a star-studded sneak peek into their new seasons, hosts Rick and Mike introduce you to Battle …

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