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To avoid a year in jail, swimming pool cleaner Morris Buttermaker agrees to coach a Little League baseball team called the Bears. Unfortunately, the Bears are the worst team in the league, boasting a roster of the most inept and least disciplined players in school. Buttermaker, with the help of principal Rappant, eventually wins the respect of the Bears, and they even win a few games along the way. Written by
Marty McKee <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Some changes were made in adapting the premise for television. The ages of the kids were moved back slightly, the language was cleaned up (though Tanner continued to call the coach "Buttercrud"), alcoholic beverages all but disappeared, and Amanda changed from Buttermaker's would-be stepdaughter to his granddaughter. The essence of each character remained the same. See more »
The Bad News Bears Television Series was a great sitcom that had potential but it never fully developed due the time changes it faced during it's run
"The Bad News Bears" was made into a movie in 1976 that became a sensational box-office hit Starring Walter Matthau and Tatum O'Neal that was written by Bill Lancaster(who was the son of the legendary Hollywood actor Burt Lancaster)that won the Writers Guild of America award that same year for Best Original Screenplay not to mention got an Oscar nomination also. The phenomenon success of "The Bad News Bears" spawned two sequels "The Bad News Bears Go To Japan"(1977) with Tony Curtis??? and "The Bad News Bears In Breaking Training" (1978) with William Devane. After the success of three theatrical versions,the powers that be over at Paramount Television and the CBS Television Network decided to green-light it's own weekly prime-time sitcom based on "The Bad News Bears" that would air on CBS' prime-time schedule. The series had a great premise throughout with interesting characters and a outstanding cast,but with a hitch...Who would have thought that one of the great character actors in cinema history Jack Warden would step into Walter Matthau's persona? The sad part was how do you follow Walter Matthau's Buttermaker character and eventually pulled off the character in the television series where as in the movie version actually worked and become successful? Interesting point.
About the "Bad News Bears" television series. The series premiered on CBS' prime-time schedule on Saturday nights on March 24,1979 for 13 episodes as the mid-season replacements for "Good Times" and "Rhoda". on it's prime time Saturday night schedule. "The Bad News Bears" after 13 episodes was picked up for the fall season. The problem was that CBS began moving the show around in different time slots during it's original prime-time run. First the series was originally scheduled on Saturday nights in the 8:00pm Eastern/7:00pm Central time slot. By September of 1979 when the network picked it up for the fall season it was moved to a different time slot at the 8:30pm Eastern/7:30pm Central time slot. Three episodes into the series' second season forced CBS to abruptly canceled the series on July 26,1980 after 26 episodes due to low ratings. When CBS broadcast the last three episodes that never aired during its original prime-time run in June of 1980 it went back to the 8:00 time slot,but by July of 1980 it moved again back to 8:30 in which then audiences were confused by the frequent time changes that they stopped tuning in. And after that the series was history. The competition it faced during it's short run on the air? It was placed on it's prime time Saturday night time slot where it faced strong competition from NBC's powerhouse action/adventure cop drama "CHiPS", and the ABC spin-off of Three's Company "The Ropers" that kill it in the ratings.
Based on characters created by Bill Lancaster(who served as executive producer of the series)along executive producers Bob Brunner and Arthur Silver and along with producers Jeffrey Ganz, Ron Leavitt, Norman Stiles,along with producer John Boni the series had an outstanding cast headed by Jack Warden who took over the Walter Matthau role as Buttermaker and Catherine Hicks,years before her career skyrocketed with "7th Heaven". The series was a launch pad for some outstanding young actors many of them would go on to bigger careers after this show which included actor Kristoff St. John(Ahmad) who would go on to become a huge daytime serial actor on "The Young and the Restless" along with actress Trisha Cast(in the Tatum O'Neal role as Amanda) years before her career found success also on "The Young and the Restless". The series also was the television debut of actors Corey Feldman(Regi),along with Meeno Peluce(Tanner) of "Voyagers!" fame. Also with the cast were Shane Butterworth(Timmy), Billy Jayne(Rudi),and Sparky Marcus(Leslie). With a cast like it had the show had potential until CBS kept moving the show around confusing viewers and fans of the hit movie and after three episodes into its second season it went off the air with only a whisper. In the fall of 1980,the powers that be in the programming department at CBS found a replacement for the series when "WKRP in Cincinnati"(which was on Monday nights)moved to Saturday nights in it's time slot along with the short-lived "The Tim Conway Show". By December of 1980, another replacement took over CBS' Saturday night schedule when the spin-off of "The Dukes of Hazzard" titled "Enos" replaced both "WRKP In Cincinnati"(which went back to Monday nights),and "The Tim Conway Show"(which was canceled after 12 episodes) that replaced "The Bad News Bears" in prime time.
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