The Most Cringeworthy TV Shows Of The 1970s

By Sarah Norman | November 7, 2023

Who's Watching the Kids?

Welcome to a journey back in time to the wild world of 1970s television, where disco grooves and bell-bottoms weren't the only unforgettable elements of the era. While the '70s brought us some iconic TV classics, it also birthed a slew of cringeworthy, head-scratching, and downright awful shows that left audiences baffled and entertained in equal measure. Whether you vividly remember these television travesties or are about to discover them for the first time, prepare yourself for a gallery that delves into the depths of television's dark and quirky corners.

Strap in for this nostalgic trip through the worst TV shows of the 1970s, featuring infamous flops like BJ and the Bear, Supertrain, The Ropers, and Mrs. Columbo.

Let's dive headfirst into the world of small-screen misfires, and maybe, just maybe, find some guilty pleasures along the way. Read on to explore the TV flops that even time couldn't forget.

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Gary Marshall, a renowned producer, aimed to create a compelling series with Who's Watching the Kids? in 1978, centered around the lives of two Vegas showgirls. Linda Goodfriend and Caren Kaye portrayed the protagonists, who shared a small apartment in Las Vegas while juggling their careers and family responsibilities. Comedy was brought into the mix by co-stars Jim Belushi and Scott Baio. Despite the promising elements, the show failed to resonate with viewers, as the storyline left them unimpressed.

NBC decided to pull the plug on Who's Watching the Kids? after just eleven episodes, marking it as a short-lived and ultimately unsuccessful venture in Gary Marshall's extensive career in television production.

Flying High

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Flying High, a 1978 series, entered the television scene as another attempt to replicate the success of Charlie's Angels. The show revolved around the personal lives of three stunning women who worked as stewardesses for Sunwest Airlines, boasting a beautiful cast that included Pat Clouse, Kathryn Witt, and Connie Sellecca. On paper, it seemed to have all the right ingredients for an entertaining story.

However, viewers didn't find these ladies' adventures compelling, and the show faced criticism for its stereotypical writing and production. Consequently, Flying High was canceled after just a few months on the air, underscoring the challenge of emulating the success of a popular series with a copycat format and the importance of originality in television storytelling.