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Tuesday, March 19th, 2019
40 Years Ago Today

Here's the opening (and first few minutes) of the premiere episode of 13 Queens Blvd., "For Better or Worse," as aired over WLS Channel 7.

This short-lived sitcom - about a diverse group of middle-class residents at a Queens, New York apartment complex, and referred to as 13 Queens Boulevard by both IMDb and Wikipedia - ran on the ABC Network until July 24th 1979, lasting only eight episodes (plus one that never aired).

It starred Eileen Brennan (a year before the Private Benjamin movie, and a few years before the TV series adaptation thereof) and Jerry Van Dyke (formerly of My Mother, the Car and later of Coach) as happily married couple Felicia and Steven Winters, and also featured Marcia Rodd as divorcée Elaine Dowling (she had been the original Carol Traynor in an All in the Family episode that served as the pilot for Maude; that role would be played in the subsequent 1972-78 series by Adrienne Barbeau), Helen Page Camp as Mildred 'Millie' Capestro, Susan Elliot and Louise Williams as her daughters Helen and Jill, Karen Rushmore as Camille, and Frances Lee McCain as Lois. (All except Ms. Elliot, Ms. Rushmore and Ms. McCain were seen in the opening credits.)

The show was created by Richard Baer, developed by Bud Yorkin, Bernie Orenstein and Saul Turteltaub (all of whom were previously involved with Sanford and Son, What's Happening!! and Carter Country), and produced by their TOY Productions concern.

Includes:

Station ID / promo for The 3:30 Movie presentation of "Kisses For My President" [1964] for Thursday, March 22nd (voiceover by Al Parker)

Brief shot of sheet with writing: "13 Queens Blvd. - #5-TQB-79 - 'For Better or Worse' "

Taxi bumper, with notice that it will return two weeks from this date at this time (voice over by Bill Owen?)

Opening titles, beginning with bird's-eye shots of Triborough Bridge and Brooklyn-Queens Expressway(?) and going from there, with shots of the major stars and supers with info on the series' creator and developers (does anyone have any information as to the theme song and who wrote and sang it?)

Series bumper, with sponsor billboard for Gillette, makers of Dry Idea roll-on anti-perspirant ("It Doesn't Make You Wet, So It Doesn't Make You Wait") (voice over by ?? - sounds almost like Jim McKay of ABC Wide World of Sports fame)

Commercial: Dry Idea anti-perspirant - © The Gillette Company 1979

Commercial: Gillette Trac II Microsoft Blades (was this where Bill Gates got the idea for the name of his computer company?) - with George S. Irving as salesman with a bad hairpiece, trying once again to pitch inferior razors to a customer after the product is sold out - "A Better Shave" (ending voice over by Allen Swift)

First five-plus minutes of Act I (though not shown, this episode was written by Margie Peters and Linda Marsh and directed by Kim Friedman)

This aired on March 20, 1979.

WLS Channel 7 - 13 Queens Blvd. - "For Better or Worse" (Opening, 1979)

Here's the opening (and first few minutes) of the premiere episode of 13 Queens Blvd., "For Better or Worse," as aired over WLS Channel 7.

This short-lived sitcom - about a diverse group of middle-class residents at a Queens, New York apartment complex, and referred to as 13 Queens Boulevard by both IMDb and Wikipedia - ran on the ABC Network until July 24th 1979, lasting only eight episodes (plus one that never aired).

It starred Eileen Brennan (a year before the Private Benjamin movie, and a few years before the TV series adaptation thereof) and Jerry Van Dyke (formerly of My Mother, the Car and later of Coach) as happily married couple Felicia and Steven Winters, and also featured Marcia Rodd as divorcée Elaine Dowling (she had been the original Carol Traynor in an All in the Family episode that served as the pilot for Maude; that role would be played in the subsequent 1972-78 series by Adrienne Barbeau), Helen Page Camp as Mildred 'Millie' Capestro, Susan Elliot and Louise Williams as her daughters Helen and Jill, Karen Rushmore as Camille, and Frances Lee McCain as Lois. (All except Ms. Elliot, Ms. Rushmore and Ms. McCain were seen in the opening credits.)

The show was created by Richard Baer, developed by Bud Yorkin, Bernie Orenstein and Saul Turteltaub (all of whom were previously involved with Sanford and Son, What's Happening!! and Carter Country), and produced by their TOY Productions concern.

Includes:

Station ID / promo for The 3:30 Movie presentation of "Kisses For My President" [1964] for Thursday, March 22nd (voiceover by Al Parker)

Brief shot of sheet with writing: "13 Queens Blvd. - #5-TQB-79 - 'For Better or Worse' "

Taxi bumper, with notice that it will return two weeks from this date at this time (voiceover by Bill Owen?)

Opening titles, beginning with bird's-eye shots of Triborough Bridge and Brooklyn-Queens Expressway(?) and going from there, with shots of the major stars and supers with info on the series' creator and developers (does anyone have any information as to the theme song and who wrote and sang it?)

Series bumper, with sponsor billboard for Gillette, makers of Dry Idea roll-on anti-perspirant ("It Doesn't Make You Wet, So It Doesn't Make You Wait") (voiceover by ?? - sounds almost like Jim McKay of ABC Wide World of Sports fame)

Commercial: Dry Idea anti-perspirant - (C) The Gillette Company 1979

Commercial: Gillette Trac II Microsoft Blades (was this where Bill Gates got the idea for the name of his computer company?) - with George S. Irving as salesman with a bad hairpiece, trying once again to pitch inferior razors to a customer after the product is sold out - "A Better Shave" (ending voiceover by Allen Swift)

First five-plus minutes of Act I (though not shown, this episode was written by Margie Peters and Linda Marsh and directed by Kim Friedman)

This aired on local Chicago TV on Tuesday, March 20th 1979 during the 9:30pm to 10:00pm timeframe.

Click here to search for related videos.

This clip aired on Tuesday, March 20th 1979, and is included in the following categories:

Viewer Comments

Two things jumped out at me in this clip:

The Gillette ad features a product placement by their own Cricket Lighters on the back wall.

The kitchen really reminds me of the layout of the kitchen from the Golden Girls.

Comment posted by Smctopia on Tuesday, October 4th 2016 at 8:24pm.

This may've been taped at the same studio where The Golden Girls was later produced, who knows?

But then, I saw an episode of the 1973-74 series Diana (with Diana Rigg of The Avengers fame) where they had apartment sets that looked almost exactly like what the Mary Tyler Moore show was using - and both shows were filmed at the CBS Studio Center (though Diana ran on NBC and, therefore, did not show the CBS 'eye' at the point they mentioned where filmed in the end credits).

Comment posted by W.B. on Wednesday, October 5th 2016 at 8:50am.

Modified clip description, with notice of who else was missing from the opening title sequence and ending voiceover for the Gillette Trac II commercial (information on the latter provided by Barry I. Grauman at YouTube).
Comment posted by W.B. on Wednesday, October 5th 2016 at 10:14am.

After the shots of the expressway, we bid goodbye to New York completely - the building is actually 3000 miles away, on the southwest side of Lindenhurst Avenue between S. Fuller and S. Sierra Bonita in Los Angeles's Park-La Brea neighborhood.
Comment posted by ChrisBCritter on Friday, October 7th 2016 at 8:55pm.

I thought the buildings looked nothing like what was lined up and down what has long been referred to in recent years as "The Boulevard of Death." (And though a Manhattanite, I've in the past walked up and down that major roadway.) The building number as on the title is another clue - most Queens Boulevard addresses have "###-##" before the thoroughfare, with the first one, two or three numbers before the hyphen signifying an avenue or street.
Comment posted by W.B. on Saturday, October 8th 2016 at 9:10am.

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This clip has been viewed 1173 times.
This clip debuted on FuzzyMemories.TV on Tuesday, October 4th 2016.
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5-x-9LciYA is basically the same ad about 13 years earlier sans the baby.


Comment posted in DAS Smurf Modelling Set (Commercial, 1983) by Szake on Thursday, March 14th, 2019 at 8:57pm CT

Mark-Paul Gosselaar's first commercial is for DAS Smurf Modelling Clay. He would have been 8 years old here.


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The reaction of how Moe and Curly turned around to look at the wall paper is still funny as heck to me!! LOL!!!!


Comment posted in WGN Channel 9 - The Transformers (Break #3, Ending, & Opening Of The Facts of Life, 1987) by VintageCanada on Monday, January 21st, 2019 at 6:33pm CT

Additional note: CHCH in Hamilton began rerunning the series as of January 21, 2019, with special guest appearances by the Diff'rent Strokes main cast in that first episode (originally aired August 24, 1979 on NBC), and a larger cast than what we'd be accustomed to in later seasons as the girls grew up over the years.


Comment posted in WGN Channel 9 - G.I. Joe (Commercial Break #2, 1987) by VintageCanada on Monday, January 21st, 2019 at 6:24pm CT

George Clooney appeared in a number of Season 7 episodes of The Facts of Life starting with S7E2, which was the episode WGN ran on this particular day.


Comment posted in WGN Channel 9 - The Transformers (Break #3, Ending, & Opening Of The Facts of Life, 1987) by VintageCanada on Monday, January 21st, 2019 at 6:21pm CT

The Facts of Life information: Season 7 Episode 2: "Into the Frying Pan", originally aired on NBC on September 21, 1985, and the first to have George Clooney in the opening credits, and the second of only three episodes in this particular season to have Edna's Edibles as the opening backdrop. The next opening backdrop to be used (Over Our Heads) debuted two episodes later (S7E4) and would last right to the two-part series finale in 1988.


Comment posted in National Education Association - "Strong Schools" (PSA, 1979) by Burr-Rabbitt on Friday, January 11th, 2019 at 1:33am CT

I see Emmanuel Lewis (Webster) in the last take.


Comment posted in The Alcoholism Center Featuring Ron Palillo (PSA, 1983) by Burr-Rabbitt on Saturday, January 5th, 2019 at 1:35pm CT

That video was from yesterday. They got the title and video mixed up. In 1959 Ron was a child then, probably not an actor yet.


Comment posted in The Alcoholism Center Featuring Ron Palillo (PSA, 1983) by Pushbutton on Friday, January 4th, 2019 at 5:56pm CT

The voiceover sounds like George Fenneman.


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"I'm not worried...". LMBO!!


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