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1st & Ten (1984 TV series)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

1st & Ten
  • Comedy
  • Sports
Created byCarl Kleinschmitt
Country of originUnited States
No. of seasons6
No. of episodes80
Executive producers
Camera setupSingle-camera
Running time25 minutes
Production companyThe Kushner-Locke Company
Original release
ReleaseDecember 2, 1984 (1984-12-02) –
January 23, 1991 (1991-01-23)

1st & Ten is an American sitcom that aired between December 1984 and January 1991 on the cable television network HBO. Featuring series regulars Delta Burke and veteran Reid Shelton, it was one of cable's first attempts to lure the lucrative sitcom audience away from the then-dominant "Big Three" broadcast television networks, by taking advantage of their freedom to include occasional profanity and nudity.

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The sports-themed series follows the on-and off-field antics of the fictional American football team, the California Bulls.[1][2] The team changed owners throughout the series' history, with the premise that a woman is in charge.

During the first season Diane Barrow (Delta Burke) becomes the owner of her ex-husband's team as part of a divorce settlement, after he has an affair with the team's tight end. She quickly learns the ups and downs of pro football. In one episode, she is forced to coach the team herself after the head coach, Ernie Denardo, is placed in the hospital. She also has constant battles with her General Manager/husband's nephew, who has dealings with the local mob, and fights off advances made by her quarterback (played by Geoffrey Scott).

The second season dealt with two themes: training camp and the playoffs. Barrow was dealing with her players taking recreational drugs during training camp. During this season, O. J. Simpson joined the cast as T.D. Parker, a veteran running back who is forced to make the transition from player to coach. Two real-life football stars made cameo appearances: Marcus Allen portrayed a rookie who was taking over T.D.'s spot on the team, and Vince Ferragamo played "Mainstreet" Manneti, a veteran quarterback. Jason Beghe joined the cast to play Tom Yinessa, a walk-on quarterback who deals with his overnight celebrity.

Delta Burke left the show midway through the third season, after committing herself exclusively to CBS' Designing Women, which she had begun starring on in 1986, and which was renewed. Diane loses control of the Bulls to Teddy Schraeder, her former lover, who manipulates everyone to his own ends. His antics include having T.D. fire Ernie as coach, letting Yinessa practice without a contract, and ignoring steroid use. Legal issues force him to leave the country and turn control over to his daughter, played by Leah Ayres.

Season 4 was briefly renamed 1st and Ten: The Bulls Mean Business. Shanna Reed joins the cast as the team's new female president, representing the new owners, the Dodds Corporation. Her attempts to innovate include bringing a female soccer player in to kick, and signing an Olympic sprinter as wide receiver. Joe Namath has a cameo appearance. Shannon Tweed would replace her in Season 5, and remain with the show to the end. The show was renamed 1st and Ten: Do it Again for the fifth season. The final season was 1st and Ten: In Your Face.

Series themes

  • The Bulls somehow manage to make it to the championship football game, yet lose in a controversial, heartbreaking manner.
  • Mad Dog and Dr. Death haze the rookies and rally the defense.
  • Bubba and Jethro help each other with their various (often sex-related) mishaps. Bubba's voracious appetite is also a running gag
  • The volatile ownership position of the franchise.
  • Controversial aspects of professional sports in the late 1980s: steroids, the instant replay, women in the locker room, the role of free agency, multi-sport stars, endorsements.

Game footage

Footage was used from USFL's Los Angeles Express. During simulated game shots, the Bulls football helmet has a decal of horns on the side. When the show uses actual game footage, you can clearly see the letters "L" and "A" on the helmets side, representing the L.A. Express. The Bulls quarterbacks wore #14 to match the actual game footage of L.A. Express real-life quarterback Tom Ramsey. Many generic shots of USFL stadiums were used to depict where the Bulls were playing. As the series went on, aerial shots were used of Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum to represent the Bulls home stadium. Game footage from the USFL stopped midway through the third season, as scripted football plays were being used instead, and the USFL had ceased operations by that point.

At one point, Denardo suggests trading for a running back. He mentions the Bulls from "that other league." He was talking about the Jacksonville Bulls from the United States Football League.


Only Donald Gibb, Cliff Frazier, Prince Hughes and Reid Shelton appeared in all six seasons. John Kassir and O.J. Simpson joined the cast the second season and stayed till the show's end.


Guest Stars

  • Mariann Aalda as Ellen
  • Robert Costanzo as Jake
  • Alexa Hamilton as Kay
  • Liam Sullivan as Doctor

Special Guest Star


Season 1: 1984–85

No. in
Title Directed by Written by Original air date
11"By the Bulls"UnknownUnknownDecember 2, 1984 (1984-12-02)
22"The Opener"UnknownUnknownDecember 2, 1984 (1984-12-02)
33"All Roads Lead to Dayton"UnknownUnknownDecember 9, 1984 (1984-12-09)
44"The Slump"UnknownUnknownDecember 16, 1984 (1984-12-16)
55"Play Me or Trade Me"UnknownUnknownDecember 23, 1984 (1984-12-23)
66"You Are Who You Eat"UnknownUnknownDecember 30, 1984 (1984-12-30)
77"Uneasy Lies the Head"UnknownUnknownJanuary 6, 1985 (1985-01-06)
88"The Sins of the Quarterback"UnknownUnknownJanuary 13, 1985 (1985-01-13)
99"I Only Read Defenses"UnknownUnknownJanuary 20, 1985 (1985-01-20)
1010"Wine Time"UnknownUnknownJanuary 27, 1985 (1985-01-27)
1111"Rona's Fling"UnknownUnknownFebruary 3, 1985 (1985-02-03)
1212"Not Quite Mr. Right"UnknownUnknownFebruary 10, 1985 (1985-02-10)
1313"Super Bull Sunday"UnknownUnknownFebruary 17, 1985 (1985-02-17)

Season 2 (The Championship, 1986–87)

No. in
Title Directed by Written by Original air date
141"The Rookies"UnknownUnknownAugust 25, 1986 (1986-08-25)
152"The Veterans"UnknownUnknownSeptember 1, 1986 (1986-09-01)
163"A Second Chance"UnknownUnknownSeptember 8, 1986 (1986-09-08)
174"Quarterbacks Tell No Tales"UnknownUnknownSeptember 15, 1986 (1986-09-15)
185"California Freeze Out"UnknownUnknownSeptember 22, 1986 (1986-09-22)
196"The Unkindest Cut"UnknownUnknownSeptember 29, 1986 (1986-09-29)
207"Yinessa's Interview"UnknownUnknownDecember 30, 1986 (1986-12-30)
218"Easy Come, Easy Go"UnknownUnknownJanuary 6, 1987 (1987-01-06)
229"A Family Affair"UnknownUnknownJanuary 13, 1987 (1987-01-13)
2310"The Big One"UnknownUnknownJanuary 20, 1987 (1987-01-20)

Season 3 (Going for Broke, 1987)

No. in
Title Directed by Written by Original air date
241"Ernie's Last Quarter"UnknownUnknownAugust 5, 1987 (1987-08-05)
252"A Second Chance Once Removed"UnknownUnknownAugust 12, 1987 (1987-08-12)
263"A Loaded Gun"UnknownUnknownAugust 19, 1987 (1987-08-19)
274"The Comeback Trail"UnknownUnknownAugust 26, 1987 (1987-08-26)
285"Illegal Use of Love"UnknownUnknownSeptember 2, 1987 (1987-09-02)
296"The Bulls Change Hands"UnknownUnknownSeptember 9, 1987 (1987-09-09)
307"Mutiny on the Bull Team"UnknownUnknownOctober 7, 1987 (1987-10-07)
318"Blood on Blood"UnknownUnknownOctober 20, 1987 (1987-10-20)
329"The Brink of Death"UnknownUnknownNovember 4, 1987 (1987-11-04)
3310"Land of the Free (Agent)"UnknownUnknownNovember 27, 1987 (1987-11-27)
3411"Call for the Hall"UnknownUnknownDecember 2, 1987 (1987-12-02)
3512"Of Scalpers and Superstars"UnknownUnknownDecember 9, 1987 (1987-12-09)
3613"Championship Game Jinx"UnknownUnknownDecember 16, 1987 (1987-12-16)

Season 4 (The Bulls Mean Business, 1988–89)

No. in
Title Directed by Written by Original air date
371"The Bulls Own Up"UnknownUnknownOctober 5, 1988 (1988-10-05)
382"The Inmates Buy the Asylum"UnknownUnknownOctober 12, 1988 (1988-10-12)
393"Caught in the Draft"UnknownUnknownOctober 19, 1988 (1988-10-19)
404"Down and Out in Bulls' Stadium"UnknownUnknownOctober 26, 1988 (1988-10-26)
415"…The Clock Runs Out"UnknownUnknownNovember 2, 1988 (1988-11-02)
426"The Dark Side"UnknownUnknownNovember 9, 1988 (1988-11-09)
437"Saturday, Bloody Saturday"UnknownUnknownNovember 16, 1988 (1988-11-16)
448"Injustice for All"UnknownUnknownNovember 23, 1988 (1988-11-23)
459"Team Picture"UnknownUnknownNovember 30, 1988 (1988-11-30)
4610"Out of the Past"UnknownUnknownDecember 7, 1988 (1988-12-07)
4711"Final Bow"UnknownUnknownDecember 14, 1988 (1988-12-14)
4812"Duty Calls"UnknownUnknownDecember 21, 1988 (1988-12-21)
4913"The High and the Mighty"UnknownUnknownDecember 28, 1988 (1988-12-28)
5014"The Irreducible Bottom Line"UnknownUnknownJanuary 4, 1989 (1989-01-04)

Season 5 (Do It Again, 1989–90)

No. in
Title Directed by Written by Original air date
511"The Book According to Zagreb"UnknownUnknownOctober 11, 1989 (1989-10-11)
522"The Con"UnknownUnknownOctober 18, 1989 (1989-10-18)
533"False Start"UnknownUnknownOctober 25, 1989 (1989-10-25)
544"Mind Games"UnknownUnknownNovember 1, 1989 (1989-11-01)
555"Love and Marriage"UnknownUnknownNovember 8, 1989 (1989-11-08)
566"Clean and Sober"UnknownUnknownNovember 15, 1989 (1989-11-15)
577"Blood Money"UnknownUnknownNovember 22, 1989 (1989-11-22)
588"Vindication"UnknownUnknownDecember 6, 1989 (1989-12-06)
599"Gunn & Bullette"UnknownUnknownDecember 13, 1989 (1989-12-13)
6010"Heaven Help Me"UnknownUnknownDecember 20, 1989 (1989-12-20)
6111"Surprise, Surprise"UnknownUnknownDecember 27, 1989 (1989-12-27)
6212"All's Fair in Love and Football"UnknownUnknownJanuary 10, 1990 (1990-01-10)
6313"Earn This One for Ernie"UnknownUnknownJanuary 17, 1990 (1990-01-17)
6414"Who Stole Johnny Gunn?"UnknownUnknownJanuary 24, 1990 (1990-01-24)

Season 6 (1990–91)

No. in
Title Directed by Written by Original air date
651"Opening Night"UnknownUnknownOctober 3, 1990 (1990-10-03)
662TBAUnknownUnknownOctober 10, 1990 (1990-10-10)
673"She's Ba-ack"UnknownUnknownOctober 17, 1990 (1990-10-17)
684"Altared States"UnknownUnknownOctober 24, 1990 (1990-10-24)
695"Going in Style"UnknownUnknownOctober 31, 1990 (1990-10-31)
706"Don't Powerburst My Bubble"UnknownUnknownNovember 7, 1990 (1990-11-07)
717"The Squeeze"UnknownUnknownNovember 14, 1990 (1990-11-14)
728"Take My Wives...Please"UnknownUnknownNovember 21, 1990 (1990-11-21)
739"Bull Day Afternoon"UnknownUnknownNovember 28, 1990 (1990-11-28)
7410"Sex, Bulls & Videotape"UnknownUnknownDecember 5, 1990 (1990-12-05)
7511"Irma-Zagreb"UnknownUnknownDecember 12, 1990 (1990-12-12)
7612"If I Didn't Play Football"UnknownUnknownDecember 19, 1990 (1990-12-19)
7713"A Roast is a Roast"UnknownUnknownDecember 26, 1990 (1990-12-26)
7814"Close Encounters of the Third Down"UnknownUnknownJanuary 9, 1991 (1991-01-09)
7915"Flashbacks"UnknownUnknownJanuary 16, 1991 (1991-01-16)
8016"Championship Game"UnknownUnknownJanuary 23, 1991 (1991-01-23)

Syndication and home media

At the height of the O. J. Simpson murder case, the show made its way to syndicated reruns. The complete series was released on DVD on January 24, 2006.

The original HBO versions ran for 30 minutes, while the edited-for-syndication versions ran for 22 minutes, and had some dialog and scenes edited for content, as well as the addition of a laugh-track. The majority of episodes on the "Complete Collection" DVD are the syndicated versions.[3]

The original opening credits showed former professional football player Fran Tarkenton introducing the players and the plot points at the beginning of each episode. Completely different closing credits were originally used, too. They showed credits rolling over scenes from the episode. In syndication, these were replaced with later opening credits featuring Miracle Miles Coolidge (even though he did not join the cast until the last season) and a generic "Copyright 1991" disclaimer on a blue background respectively.

In popular culture


  1. ^ "Television & Film Helmets". Archived from the original on 16 July 2011. Retrieved 2011-08-12.
  2. ^ "Movie/TV helmets". Archived from the original on 14 July 2011. Retrieved 2011-08-12.
  3. ^ "HBO Classics: 1ST & TEN". 12 November 2013. Archived from the original on 2020-11-15. Retrieved 2018-10-26.
  4. ^ "O.J.: Made in America (2016)-Connections-IMDB". IMDb. Archived from the original on 2020-11-15. Retrieved 2018-10-26.
  5. ^ "1st & Ten: The Championship Season (TV Series 1984-1991)-Connections-IMDB". IMDb. Archived from the original on 2020-11-15. Retrieved 2018-10-26.

External links

This page was last edited on 30 August 2023, at 22:48
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