(1977 TV Special)

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The Missing Link
snoops4 December 2009
Warning: Spoilers
This is a difficult installment of Battle of the Network Stars to comment on. However, it is equally difficult to ignore. This is the one episode which seems to be lost forever. Other than a few small clips I saw on a later battle, plus a picture I ran across online a few nights ago, it has not been seen anywhere since February, 1977. It is as if it has vanished from the face of the earth. Well, from the information I have managed to gather, this was NBC's first time to win. Considering the big running relay controversy their team was involved in during the previous battle, I find myself feeling happy for them. Interestingly, the only two team members who returned were captain Robert Conrad, and Karen Grassle of "Little House On the Prairie". Everyone else from Lynda Day George and Jane Seymour, to Kurt Russell, were completely new. Telly Savalas was once again captain of CBS, with Gabe Kaplan head of ABC. Instead of Robert Hegyes, his sweat hog/teammate this time around was Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs. Other new faces were the lovely Jaclyn Smith, who proved during the running relay she can run fast as the wind, and Levar Burton, fresh from the blockbuster miniseries "Roots". Actually Farrah Fawcett (Majors) trained for battle number two, and was part of the team. However, at the last minute, she realized she was too tired to compete, so co-star and friend Jaclyn Smith took her place. The CBS team included Sonny Bono, Linda Lavin, Mike Farrell, Rob Reiner, and Marcia Wallace. CBS finished third this time, which might be an indication why Telly Savalas was never CBS captain again, while Kaplan and Conrad each were captain several more times. I am sure it was the huge ratings success ABC was hoping for. After all, there were many other battles to come. Fortunately, none of them would disappear the way this one did.
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