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WFLD Channel 32 - The Baxters - "Women's Roles In Marriage"(Part 1, 1980)

Here's Part 1 of the Norman Lear created "interactive" program, The Baxters, as aired on WFLD Channel 32.

It was a pretty unique idea - the first half would be a fairly normal sitcom (whether or not it's any good is another question) that dealt with some issue of the day. The second half would be an in-studio discussion group to talk about the issues raised. Each city had their own locally produced second half (except for those who chose to use the "national" version) and here in Chicago it was hosted by Norman Mark.

The first episode of The Baxters broadcast on WFLD was on Sunday, January 13th 1980 at 10 PM, and the last time it was shown was Sunday, November 29th 1981 at 10:30 PM. (Thanks to Chris Tufts - A.K.A. Phantom for his help in dating these)

This was Episode #111, where Mrs. Baxter takes Mr. Baxter out to dinner for his birthday, and they get into an argument over the proper role of a woman in their marriage.

Voiceover heard at the beginning is WFLD director Don Shannon.

This aired on local Chicago TV on Sunday, March 16th 1980 during the 10pm to 10:30pm half-hour.

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This clip aired on Sunday, March 16th 1980, and is included in the following categories:

Viewer Comments

There were actually two versions of The Baxters. The first version was more straightforward, the second version was indeed a sitcom complete with laughtrack. Each version had a different cast. Since I'm not hearing any laughtrack, I'm guessing this was the former version. Excellent find!

Also, the sitcom version had an actual theme song, which this one doesn't.

Comment posted by 4thtroika on Saturday, January 30th 2010 at 1:11am.

Wow, it's weird without the laugh track
Comment posted by OfficeDrone on Saturday, February 6th 2010 at 2:30am.

TV as agitprop...when TV began its slow but steady decline.
Comment posted by SuperCFL on Sunday, February 7th 2010 at 5:28pm.

Larry Keith who played Fred Baxter passed away July 17, 2010 at age 79 from cancer.
Comment posted by Phantom on Wednesday, July 21st 2010 at 10:40pm.

Wow. That's a shame.
Comment posted by FuzzyMemories on Wednesday, July 21st 2010 at 10:48pm.

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This clip has been viewed 2094 times.
This clip debuted on FuzzyMemories.TV on Wednesday, January 27th 2010.
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Comment posted in WGN Channel 9 - NewsNine - [Partial] Coverage of Sam Giancana Funeral (1975) by ER3017 on Wednesday, September 24th, 2014 at 11:50am CT

Last week Thursday, there was a speaker at my school, who is a recent Wall of Fame Inductee named Don Smarto and he mentioned Giancana as his ''Uncle''. And when I told him about these videos, he would be happy to see them.


Comment posted in WLS Channel 7 - The ABC Thursday Night Movie - "The Return of the King" (Opening & Commercial Break, 1983) by FuzzyMemories on Monday, September 22nd, 2014 at 10:23pm CT

MildApplause - This is another occasion when I wish we had Facebook style "Like" buttons on comments because I like your comment. :-) I too have wondered about the stories behind the people. Once in a while I get little glimpses like getting contacted by the kid in the Kraft Macaroni and Cheese commercial, or the little girl in the Jewel commercial, etc.


Comment posted in WLS Channel 7 - The ABC Thursday Night Movie - "The Return of the King" (Opening & Commercial Break, 1983) by MildApplause on Sunday, September 21st, 2014 at 8:10pm CT

Every time I see an actor or actress in an old TV commercial, and it's someone who I don't recognize and who maybe never "made it," I always wonder what that person's story ultimately turned out to be.

Like the two ladies here in the Sani-Flush ad. Both very attractive, and especially the brunette had some very endearingly cute and memorable characteristics. At the time both were probably thrilled to have gotten to do a national commercial, but then... ??? Work in theater? Go into writing? Go back to college and learn another trade?

We all have to ultimately find our own way in life. Of all these old commercials, and each of the actors in them, probably many have a fascinating and untold story.


Comment posted in Boxcar Willie - King Of The Road - 20 Great Tracks (Record Offer, 1981) by Detroit4Chicago on Sunday, September 21st, 2014 at 8:01pm CT

Willie reminds me not just a "hobo," but he sure a lot looks like Foster Brooks.


Comment posted in WLS Channel 7 - ABC News Special Report - "Death of Bobby Sands" (1981) by Detroit4Chicago on Sunday, September 21st, 2014 at 7:57pm CT

I remember vividly this bulletin; it was also a period when I was preoccupied with the notion of death of human beings. I think we changed the channel from watching M*A*S*H and happened to see this. And this came on.

There were reports of Bobby Sands' hunger strike and it was all over the news. When I saw this bulletin, I was asking a lot of unresolved questions thereafter.

It was hard to understand at the time.

A few days later, another IRA member, Francis Hughes, also died of a similar hunger strike. And another, which whose name I can't recall, died soon after also.

Man, I remember this too well....



Comment posted in WBBM Channel 2 - Universe with Walter Cronkite - "The Science Behind Star Wars" (1980) by OddityArchive on Sunday, September 21st, 2014 at 6:45pm CT

I have a copy of this one too, albeit the Baton Rouge, LA broadcast. Always been reluctant to post it to YT because of all the LucasFilm footage though.


Comment posted in Boxcar Willie - King Of The Road - 20 Great Tracks (Record Offer, 1981) by LaPrincess on Thursday, September 18th, 2014 at 9:20pm CT

My great grandma had this record. Strangely Boxcar Willie looks like he could be related to my guy friend.


Comment posted in Marriott's Great America (Commercial, 1979) by pvx on Thursday, September 18th, 2014 at 12:49am CT

In reply to Szake's, T.K.'s, and Fuzzy's comments regarding the letters flashing in the corners of the screen at the beginning--I have seen this as well in other national TV commercials on film from this era.

I have a really good hunch as to what this is--going from my experience working master control in local commercial television and handling the physical airing of commercial spots (albeit much later in the early 2000s on videotape and satellite-delivered video files for on-air playout, as opposed to the film print this commercial is most likely from), this is more than likely an ISCI (Industry Standard Commercial Identifier) code, an unique 4 letter & 4 number identification code assigned to national commercial spots that receive national network and/or local affiliate airing. Each ISCI code is unique to the spot for identification for advertisers, ad agencies, post-production staff, and the station's/network's traffic/logging, ad sales, and and master control personnel. A typical ISCI code is usually in the format of ABCD1234.

I'd hazard to guess that it must of been the industry standard in the 70s to have the ISCI code digits show up on the corners of the first few film frames of the spot, to ease identification for the master control/projectionist/editor at a station to know what spot it was while splicing it together with other commercial films to make a spot reel (or when threading the spot by itself up in a film-chain projector) for airing in a local commercial break.

When the transition to delivering commercials to stations/networks on videotape became more common practice, usually the ISCI code was displayed during the slate & countdown before the spot on the beginning of the tape (obviously not aired, unless the MCO screwed up and switched it up too early ;) )).

I wonder of the ISCI code of this spot is something like xMxHx0x3 (the "x"s being whatever letters/numbers displayed at the left side of the screen, which is mostly cut off in this video), say, something like IMGH1023?


Comment posted in Boxcar Willie - King Of The Road - 20 Great Tracks (Record Offer, 1981) by Phantom on Wednesday, September 17th, 2014 at 5:10pm CT

This album came from Suffolk Marketing which also sold records of Slim Whitman, Jim Nabors, Jim Reeves & Cristy Lane.


Comment posted in Marriott's Great America (Commercial, 1979) by T.K. on Wednesday, September 17th, 2014 at 4:04pm CT

I was able to stop on two frames... the first with M in the upper-right corner and H in the lower-right and the second frame with O in the upper-right and 3 in the lower-right. So... MO, H3? If it was flashing M-O-M, I'd think maybe it was a subliminal message to ask your mother to buy a ticket.


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