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1970s / Blanskys Beauties - 1977 Sitcom Flop
After being part of two successful TV series in the early 1970s, Nancy Walker had two sitcoms in which she played the starring role cancelled in the same 1976-77 TV season. In September 1976, The Nancy Walker Show premiered. In it Walker played talent agent Nancy Kitteridge who was learning to live with her husband who had been away at sea for most of their 29-year marriage. The show bombed and was cancelled before New Year's Day. Undeterred, ABC cast Walker in another sitcom. This time she played Howard Cunningham's visiting cousin Nancy Blansky from Las Vegas on the February 4, 1977 episode of Happy Days. Blansky's Beauties premiered eight days later. In this show Nancy Blansky was a Las Vegas showbiz vet and current den mother to a bevy of beautiful showgirls. In addition to keeping order in the chaotic apartment complex where they all lived, Nancy staged the girls' big numbers at the Oasis Hotel. (Strangely, the Happy Days episode on which Nancy first appeared took place circa 1960, yet Blansky's Beauties was set in 1977.) Sixteen-year-old Scott Baio played the role of a "12-year-old going on 28." Eddie Mekka from Laverne and Shirley was also part of the cast. Blansky's Beauties ran for just 13 weeks before being axed. Recalled once critic, "This show had every 1970s teeny bopper element aimed to appeal to the lowest intellect and thus make it a hit--except this time cute boys and inane, jiggly, dumb blondes were not enough to cover for horrible scripts, contrived situations, bad acting, and unbelievable plots. The show tried to be a spin-off/tie-in to Happy Days and Laverne and Shirley (or at least ride on their successes) by utilizing actors - most notably Eddie Mekka and Scott Baio - from those shows and making the title role the cousin of Happy Days' Howard Cunningham. Having Nancy Walker as its star, scantily-clad bimbos wiggling around the set, and pretty boy co-stars to elicit screams from young girls in the audience, however, could never have saved it from itself. This show is a best-forgotten footnote to bad television."