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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. 
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Battle of the Network Shows
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Now displaying: Page 1
Dec 17, 2020

On this year's holiday special, cartoon versions of the Little Rascals learn some difficult lessons about eavesdropping, paying attention to weather forecasts, running scams, and being greedy, little so-and-sos during difficult economic times. It's really sweet.

Dec 10, 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 stars; and will this song ever end?

Dec 3, 2020

In another listener request episode, we discuss the short-lived horror anthology Darkroom. Hosted by James Coburn, Darkroom delves into the macabre and mysterious lurking, sometimes literally, under the mundane world. In this episode, Mr. Haney has plans for an unsuspecting David Carradine, Rue McClanahan talks to the daises, and guy learns the hard way not to mess with cats.

Nov 26, 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 wise men save the day.

Nov 19, 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, the sartorial choices of some of the reporters, and ask some unexpected what-if questions? It doesn't get more hard-hitting than this!

Nov 12, 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 between a electricity-eating space monster and doom! What a scenario!

Nov 5, 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 twist, Ted Danson plays the villain. In another twist, producers recast the leads and refilmed the pilot for air. In another twist...we talk about both.

Oct 28, 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 convince Jack Klugman to sign over his soul. Also, Adam West plays a jerk. What the h-e-double-hockey-sticks?!

Oct 22, 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, Dime Polishing Day, Scrooge McDuck tells the duck tale of how he got his number one dime and became the world's richest duck.

Oct 15, 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 possible that Columbo, if things go right, could maybe catch him...but will we ever really know?

Oct 8, 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!

Oct 1, 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 it all. Plus, a surprising amount of egg talk.

Sep 28, 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? Plus, what effects wizard created the sequence, and how did he do it?

Sep 24, 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 one of our hosts wrestles with his complicated feelings about the show.

Sep 17, 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 Kenny Rogers into the discussion.

Aug 27, 2020

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!

Aug 13, 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.

Jul 30, 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 Season 7 BATTYS. We also talk about some of the TV we've watched during lockdown.

Apr 30, 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 Orchestra been up to? Find out this week!

Apr 16, 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 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!

Mar 19, 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 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!

Mar 12, 2020

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.

Mar 5, 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 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.

Feb 27, 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 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.

Feb 20, 2020

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!

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