Thursday, July 28, 2011

Nancy Walker in Blansky's Beauties (1977)

Obscurity factor: 9

After her eponymous 1976 series (The Nancy Walker Show, produced by Norman Lear) tanked, Walker had just enough time to step into this mid-season replacement show (during the same season!) about the trials of putting together a Vegas show. The series was produced by Gary Marshall and featured actors who had made good on other series in his stable, including Eddie Mekka (Carmine Ragusa from Laverne and Shirley) and Scott Baio. There were lots of ties to Happy Days and Laverne and Shirley, though the series was set in then present day Las Vegas - Eddie's character was Carmine's younger cousin, there were references to Laverne, Pat Morita joined the cast (he owned the drive-in in Happy Days) and Pinky Tuscadero even made an appearance.

Above is the show open with a short introduction that was aired only on the pilot. The series ran for 13 episodes and was then cancelled. Needless to say it hasn't made it to DVD.

Obscurity factor: 9 ( largely forgotten, occasionally aired on TV Land)


  1. I never saw this. I do remember seeing an episode of "The Nancy Walker Show" during its original run, and being very disappointed. Well, I guess a lot of other people also were disappointed with it! I always liked Nancy Walker, but I think she falls into the category of performer who is better in a supporting role than the focus of a TV series or movie or play. However, my vague recollection of "The Nancy Walker Show" is that it just was not funny, and maybe no one could have succeeded in the lead.

  2. I think it was a strange combination of talent and ideas - Nancy Walker, the first sympathetic gay character on TV, her marriage to a military officer, the glitz of showbusiness in LA and Norman Lear who usually did issue television about middle class families. With those combined elements it either had to be wackily brilliant, or an abject failure.

  3. Was that Laverne & Shirley's Cindy Williams as the first Blansky's Beauty in the clip above?

  4. No, she looked like her, though, didn't she?

  5. The Cindy Williams lookalike is the same actress who played Richie Cunningham's girlfriend Lori Beth on Happy Days.