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Space Gives Webs Big Sci-Defy Scare

"Space" Gives Webs Big Sci-Defy Scare

Syndie could kill freshmen entries

by Bill Greeley, Wednesday 30 July, 1975, p41.

The US show business newspaper Variety was where ITC ran their adverts. It ran numerous news stories about the series (see list) including the first announcement (1st August 1973). Variety uses it's own jargon, called "Slanguage". Some terms, such as "show biz", has crossed over into general English. Relevant Variety and business jargon is explained below.

The invasion of spacemen from England is giving the American networks some real tremors.

Independent Television Corp.'s Space: 1999, the syndicated action-adventure series with production values geared to network standard and classy star attractions in Martin Landau, Barbara Bain and others, is threatening to zap four new web series before the full season begins.

The show has been sold in 128 markets, with more than 90% of the sales to network affiliates. A large majority of those affiliates are scheduling the series in prime-time. This means that network entries considered weak going into the fall season are either being cancelled or scheduled to air on a delayed basis.

The four shows being hit the hardest by the sci-fi invaders are ABC-TV's Barbary Coast, the citified oater period piece, and NBC-TV's Invisible Man, both slotted 8 p.m. Mondays, and NBC's Thursday night brace of new sit-coms, The Montefuscos and Fay, scheduled at 8 and 8:30 p.m., respectively.

Challenge In Top Markets

Space: 1999 not only did not make a network sale. but also was not contracted by a network o&o group. Thus the series will be competing with the networks on independents in such markets as New York, Los Angeles, Chicago. Cleveland and Detroit.

But the great number of preemptions elsewhere around the country confirms a readiness on the part of affiliates to do their own thing in programming when the crunch is on. If the syndication market develops a couple of more Space: 1999's in coming seasons, the networks could have serious problems.

Besides a show of independence - and, perhaps, a little bit of good taste and sense - the local stations have another reason to carve out a niche in primetime beyond the prime-access slots. That is a need for some first-class availabilities to service "bluechip" local advertisers. It is not hard to imagine a local advertiser, like a J.C. Penney or a Sears (augmenting network spreads) picking up a big enough chunk of a network-quality local show to impress the native viewers.

To be sure, the trade will be watching the inroads closely as the new season gets underway.