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Space: 1999 in Broadcasting magazine

Broadcasting magazine was an American trade journal for the TV industry, published weekly between 1931 and 1999.

Mar 26 1973

"Closed Circuit" column, p9. Note at this stage, the show was still half-hour long episodes, not a full hour. The title was only tentative, and expected broadcast was September 1973 (the series didn't start filming until December 1973, and arrived on screen two years later, in September 1975).

America First

Reversing its usual custom of producing initially for Britain and commonwealth and then selling elsewhere, Associated Television, London, is developing half-hour science fiction series that is aimed for prime-time access in U.S. and to be distributed here by Independent Television Corp., New York, its subsidiary. Tentatively titled Space: 1999, series is designed for fall 1973 start in U.S. and then to be marketed in other parts of world.

Jan 20 1975


ITC in countdown for Space: 1999

High-budget series on sale today; Mandell sees use in prime-access time or as backup for network dropout

A new one-hour space science-fiction TV series, billed as the most expensive in TV history, was announced last week by Independent Television Corp., which said it would start selling the series this week for showing this fall.

The series is Space: 1999, and Abe Mandell, ITC president, said its 24 one-hour episodes were produced in England with predominately American talent at a cost of $6.5 million, or more than $250,000 per episode. If produced in the U.S., he ventured, the cost would have been closer to $400,000 each.

Mr. Mandell was enthusiastic about the series both for its implications for prime-access time and as a challenge to network fare. He anticipated wide acceptance among stations for access scheduling -with 6:30 or 7 p.m. starts in view of the hour length- and also as a backup for any network prime-time entries that fail. He thought a number of stations would buy the series but delay starting it for a few weeks lo see if any network series prove weak, then work it into the prime-time schedule as a substitute.

Mr. Mandell said Space: 1999 had been in development for almost two years and that Sir Lew Grade, the British showman who heads the complex of which ITC is a part, had initially approved his recommendation of the project "only on one condition -that it be the best space science-fiction program ever produced for television."

The series is the first that ITC has specifically custom-tailored for American audiences, Mr. Mandell said, and also represents "the highest budget for an hour series that ITC has ever committed in 20 years of production."

It stars Martin Landau and Barbara Bain, who last worked together on the long-running Mission: Impossible, and Barry Morse, whose TV credits include a prominent role in The Fugitive. Mr. Mandell said science-fiction and TV writers were commissioned to submit scripts, George Bellak was retained as story editor, and Lee H. Katzin, Charles Crichton and other leading directors were hired lo do episodes. Gerry and Sylvia Anderson are the producers. Fashion designer Rudi Gernreich created the costumes.

Mr. Mandell said the series has "more sets than any other television series ever had," including "new planets or locations" in every episode.

ITC is able to spend this kind of money on programming, far above average, Mr. Mandell explained, because ITC produces for and sells to countries around the world and hence has a world market in which to recoup its costs. Italy's RAI TV system is associated with ITC in Space: 1999.

Mr. Mandell said his company would start selling Space: 1999 today (Jan. 20) and that, unlike many syndicators with new product, would not make sales contingent on one or more of the network O&O groups' buying the series.

O&O means "owned and operated", local stations fully owned by network subsidiaries (as opposed to affiliates, independently owned stations who have agreed to carry network programming).

The story deals with an international group based on the moon, which is blasted out of earth's orbit by an atomic explosion and becomes in effect an interplanetary vehicle whose occupants search for a compatible planet and confront unknown forces.

This edition also contained an A4 four page colour advert

click for larger image click for larger image

Feb 17, 1975

An article titled "NATPE buyers hold tight to pocketbooks", p30-1, 34. NAPTE is the National Association of Television Program Executives which holds an annual conference in January-February where many US and international television purchases are made. The article stated that the market for syndicated shows (including Space: 1999) was more cautious than usual. The main reasons were uncertainty over regulations concerning family entertainment time periods and prime-time access, and that more series from previous years, particularly game shows, were returning for the 1975-76 season.

One of the regulations was the Prime Time Access Rule created by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The rule was intended to break the monopoly of the three US networks (ABC, CBS and NBC) which controlled both television series production and broadcast. It targeted "prime time" (peak viewing periods, from 7pm to 11pm each night) so that only 3 of the 4 hours could be network shows, and at least one hour must be produced from another supplier. The free hour could be filled by "syndicated" shows, sold individually to stations rather than via a network. The syndicated series were often cheap but popular game shows. The Prime Time Access Rule, introduced in 1971-72, only applied to the top 50 US markets.

Two other heavily publicized new shows on display at the NATPE - Worldvision's Ski Boy and Independent Television Corp.'s Space 1999 - were getting mixed reviews from the buyers. ....

Abe Mandell, the president of ITC, says that he's confident Space 1999 will be sold in (50 markets by June, but station people were saying that the series' 60-minute length is holding a lot of potential buyers back. The logical time period for this show in the top-50 markets, subject to the access rule, is Saturday from 7 to 8 p.m., but the networks may make use of various waivers allowed them by the FCC to program public- affairs and children's specials and documentaries in this time period, at least periodically. ITC's asking price s also just about the highest ever, mainly because the reported production cost of $275,000 per episode.

March 10, 1975

p25. In addition to the Prime Time Access Rule, another regulation was the NAB code (National Association of Broadcasters). This was a new guideline in the NAB code of practices asserting that prime time between 7pm and 9pm should be "family entertainment", safe for viewing with children. The guideline effectively prohibited popular cop shows such as Kojak and The Mod Squad. Only 17 independent stations subscribed to the code, but the others had little choice but to follow it because of the political risks.

Family viewing facts of life catching up to syndicators

But some see sliver lining for 'quality' shows in first-run market; Independent stations face worst problems of all

Syndicators are beginning to adjust -reluctantly- to the realities of a 7 to 9 p.m. family-entertainment block of programming every night beginning next September. Some even profess to see a fair degree of flexibility for counter-programming within prime-time access slots on the network affiliates in the top-50 markets, although game shows and wildlife shows still predominate because of their relatively low production cost.

Abe Mandell, president of Independent Television Corp., claims the sales record for a new show. "In the 19 days since we left the NATPE (National Association of Television Program Executives) convention in Atlanta," Mr. Mandell said last Wednesday (March 5), "Space 1999 has racked up ironclad contracts in 48 markets." He ticks off the stations, which include WPIX-TV New York, KPRC-TV Houston, WCVB-TV Boston and WTVJ-TV Miami, and says that he expects to wrap up deals in Los Angeles and Chicago before the month is out. He adds that the program, which runs 60 minutes, is suitable for all-family early-evening fringe time. "The villains in the show aren't killed, they're stunned by ray guns," he says. "And there's no sex whatsoever in the show."

March 17, 1975

This containing a four page advert that also appeared in Variety

April 28, 1975

"Program Briefs" p14

In orbit. Independent Television Corp. announced that its new 60-minute action-adventure series Space 1999, which kicks off in September, has racked up sales in 73 markets over last two months. Among signers are WPIX-TV New York, KHJ-TV Los Angeles and WGN-TV Chicago.

July 28, 1975

Article p30-32 titled "How syndication is shaping up for new season"

The February-March 1975 Nielsen sweeps showed that the top two syndicated shows again are Yongestreet's Hee Haw (in 191 markets) and Don Fedderson Productions' The Lawrence Welk Show (in 198 markets). These two barter shows have not been taken by any of the network-owned station groups, mainly because of their 60-minute length, which makes it too difficult for a network O&O to slot them in access periods.

That same problem forced Abe Mandell, the president of independent Television Corp . to take his new Space: 1999 series, a British-produced science-fiction melodrama that also runs 60 minutes, to independent stations in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. "The network O&O's just didn't have an hour a week available" he says. But he's not complaining now, he adds, because "we've sold it to 126 stations already, including all of the top-10 markets and 46 of the top 50."

Mr. Mandell also claims that if Space: 1999 had been filmed in this country it would have been "the most expensive one-hour series in the history of television." (The first season's 24 episodes are in the can. Whether or not it goes a second season will depend on the ratings.) He says he has assurances from as many as 85% of the network-affiliated stations that have bought the show that they'll be pre-empting or delaying network prime-time series for Space: 1999.

August 18, 1975

Article p19-20

Huge promotional push to get ITC's 'Space: 1999' into orbit

Syndicated Show said to be costliest ever receives commensurate PR efforts by stations, some of which will pre-empt networks for it

Promotion directors at many TV stations around the country are doing more tub- thumping for a new syndicated show, the one-hour Space 1999, than for the new prime-time programs they'll be carrying from their networks.

One reason is that their managers in many cases are scheduling the science-fiction series at least partly in prime time, pre-empting or delaying the affected network program. Network station-relations executives confirmed last week that Space 1999 was giving them more displacement problems than they needed, although some also tended to minimize the difficulties.

Planetaria and museums -or more conventional sites decked out in space-flight style- are being used by a number of stations for preview parties for clients, local opinion leaders and newsmen.

WTVJ(TV) Miami, for one, entertained 350 guests last Monday night at the Miami Space Transit Planetarium, previewing both Space: 1999 and the new CBS-TV schedule under a multimedia projection of the Miami skies as astronomers determined they will appear on Sept. 13. 1999 -the date when, in the space series, the moon is blasted out of orbit and the adventures of Space: 1999 begin. Similarly, WUAB-TV Cleveland-Lorain, an independent, showed the first episode of Space: 1999 to some 300 guests last Wednesday under a simulation of Sept. 13, 1999, skies at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.

KDNL-TV St. Louis, another independent, is having a preview party for about 200 guests at the McDonnell Douglas Planetarium on Sept. 8. In a somewhat different tack, KHJ-TV Los Angeles, also an independent, reports that it is working with the California Museum of Science and Industry on a Space: 1999 display opening there Oct. 1 for eight weeks. KTIV(TV) Sioux City, Iowa, will have its "Space: 1999-NBC Preview Party" at the local Hilton but with sets built to resemble a space ship's control room. KFSN-TV Fresno, Calif., a CBS outlet, will have several hundred guests in to a combined preview and grand opening of its new plant on Sept 10.

Linkups with museums and use of space age mock-ups are among the more exotic additions to conventional advertising and promotion. Costumes used in the series, which were designed by Rudi Gernreich, the noted fashion designer, are being travelled around the country and put on display in shopping malls and other traffic centers by a number of stations. including WFLA-TV Tampa, Florida, KTVV-TV Austin, Tex., and KFSN-TV Fresno.

In Sioux City, KTIV not only plans to have costumes on display for a full week but among other things is working with 11 local department stores to install video cassette players for continuous playing of Space: 1999 promos, with Roger Mansfield, station manager, narrating highlights.

Some stations, Such as KRON-TV San Francisco, are going after the Star Trek cult in particular. KRON-TV, an NBC affiliate, is doing a mailing to the 6,000- plus names on the mailing list of the Trading Post in Berkeley, Calif., a store dealing solely in Star Trek memorabilia, and is thinking of holding a special preview in Berkeley for the Trekkers. In Cleveland, WUAB is scheduling Star Trek as lead-in to Space: 1999. KMSP-TV Minneapolis- St Paul. an ABC outlet, hopes to reach a larger, if less preconditioned, potential audience by passing out special promotion material at its space at the Minnesota State Fair from Aug. 20 through Sept. 1.

Many stations are launching the series on Sept. 13 to coincide with the moon- blast date in the first episode. Many others are starting earlier-or broadcasting "previews"-to get the jump on new network programming and in the process to get more extensive play in local newspapers and TV supplements.

Landau and Bain in Miami

Caption: Space spectacular. Among the elaborate station promotions for ITC's Space. 1999 was one at Miami's Space Transit Planetarium, where some 350 clients and press representatives were treated to a preview and reception by WTVJ(TV), last Monday (Aug. 11). l to r: General Sales Manager Torn Fraioli, series stars Barbara Bain and Martin Landau and Local Sales Manager Mal Kahn.

Independent Television Corp., which produced and is distributing the series, has produced a wide range of promotional support. "I've never known a syndicator, ever, to put this much behind a promo tion." said Larry Kellogg, promotion manager of WFLA-TV Tampa. "It's just never happened. And it's quality material." Jerry Bronston, promotion and public relations director of KMSP-TV Minneapolis, St. Paul, said "they're sending us everything you can think of."

Martin Landau and Barbara Bain, stars of the series, have made 151 personalized promos for individual stations, given 74 telephone interviews, made personal appearances in nine cities, and are slated to appear on all major national talk shows. ITC is also providing 30-second promos- usable as 30's, 20's or 10's- for each of the series's 24 episodes, plus promos for the series as a whole. Beyond that, stations have been furnished with slides for on-air use, suggested copy for local on-air origination along with background music on audio tapes, a selection of photos -on contact sheets in both color and black and white- from each episode and for generic use, materials for TV Guide ads and for newspaper ads of all sizes from full pages down, plus sales kits and press kits as well as access to merchandising material that already ranges from T-shirts to pocket books, comic books and $15 models of the series's space ship and eventually is due to include more than 100 products.

Abe Mandell, ITC president, who initiated plans for the series, say it is clearly the most expensive in TV history, with costs to date totalling $6.5 million, but that it is already assured of being profitable with sales thus far in 146 U.S. markets- including 48 of the top 50 and predominantly to network affiliates, and in 101 other countries around the world.

Mr. Mandell says he has been surprised-but is obviously pleased- that one early forecast proved wrong. He said last winter in announcing the show that he expected many stations to delay starting it until they could determine which network shows proved weak, and then work it in as a prime-time substitute (BROADCASTING, Jan. 20). Instead, he said last week, stations haven't waited. He said that 98 of the 146 station buyers' thus far have already reported time slots and over 60% of these are in prime time. displacing net work shows by shifting them to other periods if not pre-empting them completely.

Among the ABC shows most frequently displaced reportedly are Barbary Coast (Monday, 8-9 p.m. NYT) and Happy Days and Welcome Back, Kotter (Tues day, 8-9); on CBS-TV, Big Eddie (Friday, 8-8:30) and Good Times and Joe & Sons (Tuesday, 8-9), and on NBC-TV, Invisible Man (Monday, 8-9) and Montefusco and Fay (Thursday, 8-9).

September 29, 1975

Advertising p5


In the toughest primetime access slot in the country. Time-Life Televisions "Wild, Wild World of Animals" (KNXT) continues to dominate the Los Angeles market on Saturdays. 7:30-8:30 P.M.

Overnight ratings for the first two weeks of the new season showed WWWA -narrated by William ("Cannon") Conrad-to be tops in the entire time slot with Birds At War on Sept. 13 scoring a 10 Rating and 21 Share. In the second week Kingdom Of The Otter climbed to a 10.5 Rating and 21 Share.

Shows being topped head to head in L.A. by "Wild, Wild World of Animals" include Space: 1999 KHJ). "Let's Make A Deal" (KABC). Don Adams Screen Test (KNBC), "Lawrence Welk" (KTTV), Room 222 (KCOP) and Baseball (KTLA).
* Neilsen Overnight Ratings

October 13, 1975

Advertising p13


In the fourth week of the new season in Los Angeles. Time-Life Television's "Wild, Wild World of Animals" (starring William "Cannon" Conrad) On KNXT (Saturday, Oct. 5 7:30-8:00 p.m. again topped "Space: 1999" on KHJ. WWWA's "Leopard" scored a 9.3 rating and 16 share compared to a 8.0 rating and 14 share for "Space".

Moreover, the strength of "Animals" continued to boost KNXT's overall rating in their 7-8:00 p.m. slot so that for the full hour the CBS O&O tops "Space 1999" on KHJ. (From 7-7:30 KNXT programs "Candid Camera")

November 3, 1975

p38-39 article titled "The bigs in prime access" discusses the top rated shows to date, based on the Nielsen "Top-10 Preview Report" covering the period September 25-October 8. The report summarised the series that had a 25-plus share in the top 10 markets. 14 syndicated shows were holdovers from previous years, and only 4 new series made the list, including, at the bottom, Space: 1999.

The top show was Hollywood Squares, getting at least 25 shares in 9 of the 10 markets. Name That Tune and The Price is Right broke that barrier in 5 markets. Wildlife series Wild Kingdom and variety show The Lawrence Welk Show were in 4 markets. Two new shows, Don Adams Screen Test and The Bobby Vinton Show were also in 4.

Space: 1999 and the half hour Match Game came at the bottom of the list, hitting 25 or more shares in 2 of the top 10 markets.

January 5, 1976


Still in orbit

Space: 1999, the science fiction television series widely sold in syndication, begins production on 24 new episodes this month.

Abe Mandell, president of Independent Television Corp., which produces and syndicates the show, also said that the budget for each of the new programs would be up to $300,000.

Since ITC made the announcement renewing the show for another season, stations such as WPIX(TV) New York, WGN-TV Chicago, KHJ-TV Los Angeles, WUAB-TV Cleveland, KMSP-TV Minneapolis, WXIA-TV Atlanta and WLWI-TV Indianapolis have signed up for another round of Space: 1999. The Canadian CBC network also contracted for a second year's worth.

The show was sold last year in 155 U.S. markets.

February 2, 1976

This contained a 3-page advert that also appeared in Variety.

June 6, 1976

This contained a 4-page advert that also appeared in Variety.

June 14, 1976

p8, Business Briefly

Mattel - Toy company is planning $1 million spot-TV campaign to begin next September and run through Christmas for its line of Space: l999 related merchandise. TV blitz will kick off in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago in September and then expand to top-40 markets in October. Spots, all of which run 30 seconds, will be placed on stations that carry afternoon children's shows, particularly in 4 to 7 p.m. time periods. Space: 1999, produced and syndicated by Independent Television Corp., starts its second year (with 24 new 60-minute episodes) next September, with renewals from, among other stations, WPIX TV New York, WGN-TV Chicago and KHJ-TV Los Angeles. ITC sources report that Mattel (through Ogilvy & Maiher, Los Angeles) is largest of at least 21 companies that plan to market toys and games derived from Space: 1999. For example, LJN Toys, represented by Ed Libovy Associates, New York, will spend about $400,000 advertising Space: 1999 walkie-talkies, and Illfelder Toy Co. will budget $300,000 or so to spread word about its Space portable transistor radio.