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ABC Afterschool Special

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

ABC Afterschool Special
ABC Aferschool Special Title Screen.jpg
Title card, 1973.
Genre Anthology
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 25
No. of episodes 154
Production
Camera setup Single-camera
Running time 60 minutes
Release
Original network ABC
Picture format Color
Original release October 14, 1972 (1972-10-14) – July 1, 1997 (1997-07-01)

ABC Afterschool Special is an American television anthology series that aired on ABC from October 14, 1972, to July 1, 1997, usually in the late afternoon on weekdays. Most episodes were dramatically presented situations, often controversial, of interest to children and teenagers.[1] Several episodes were either in animated form or presented as documentaries. Topics included illiteracy, substance abuse and teenage pregnancy. The series won 51 Daytime Emmy Awards during its 25-year run.[2]

In 2004 and 2005, BCI Eclipse and Sunset Home Visual Entertainment issued six DVD collections of episodes from the series that had been produced by Martin Tahse, each collection containing four episodes. A boxed set, in the shape of a school bus, was also released containing all of the DVD releases, with a detailed information booklet of all the specials on the set and including an extra DVD of two specials that had previously not been released on DVD. The DVDs are currently out of print.

List of specials

Season One (1972–73)

Episode Synopsis Air date
Last of the Curlews Animated special about a father and son who go hunting, and debate whether or not to kill an Eskimo curlew, which may become [and may now be] extinct.
Follow the Northern Star A young boy helps his friend escape slavery through the Underground Railroad.
Santiago's Ark An imaginative, determined 14-year-old Puerto Rican boy builds a boat in which to sail around Central Park. Co-starring Bill Duke and René Enríquez. Followed in 1975 by the sequel Santiago's America.
William: The Life, Works, and Times of William Shakespeare Special introducing William Shakespeare to young people through sketches, readings and music.
The Incredible, Indelible, Magical Physical, Mystery Trip Animated special about two youngsters who are miniaturized and travel through their uncle's body to understand more about his health. Features the first appearance of Timer, a character later featured in ABC's Time for Timer shorts.
Alexander The story of a retired clown and his undying love for children. Starring Red Buttons, Robbie Rist and Jodie Foster. April 4, 1973

Season Two (1973–74)

Episode Synopsis Air date
Rookie of the Year 11-year-old Sharon Lee (Jodie Foster) encounters opposition when she joins her brother's Little League baseball team, which happens to be all male. (1972 was when girls were first allowed on Little League teams.) Co-starring Steve Gustafson; based on Isabella Taves's book Not Bad For a Girl.
My Dad Lives in a Downtown Hotel Joseph Grant, Jr. (Ike Eisenmann) is shocked when his parents announce their decision to separate. Beau Bridges portrays Joe, Sr.
Psst! Hammerman's After You! A sixth-grader has a run-in with the class bully, who then wants to meet with him after school. Starring Lance Kerwin and Willie Aames; based on Betsy Byars's novel.
Cyrano Long-nosed Cyrano de Bergerac helps an army officer woo Roxanne (voice of Joan Van Ark), the woman Cyrano himself loves, in this animated version of Edmond Rostand's play.
The Runaways Live-action;A small-town teenage girl teams up with a younger but wiser boy for survival. Co-starring Moosie Drier; written by Clyde Ware.
The Magical Mystery Trip Through Little Red's Head Timer shrinks down two youngsters and shows them around their teenage sister's head, to discover how the mind works.
The Crazy Comedy Concert Live action/animation special geared to educate young people about classical music. Starring Tim Conway and Ruth Buzzi.

Season Three (1974–75)

Episode Synopsis Air date
Sara's Summer of the Swans Teenage Sara (Heather Totten) must confront the problems regarding her mentally-challenged brother. Co-starring Chris Knight and Eve Plumb; based on Betsy Byars's novel.
The Bridge of Adam Rush 12-year-old Adam (Lance Kerwin) adjusts to a new way of life when his mother remarries and moves their whole family to the country.
Winning and Losing: Diary of a Campaign The 1974 Senate race is seen through the eyes of two teenage girls, each a campaign volunteer for George McGovern (Democrat) and Leo K. Thorsness (Republican).
The Toothpaste Millionaire Aspiring 12-year-old entrepreneur Rufus (Tierre Turner) decides to create and sell his own brand of toothpaste. Co-starring Wright King; based on Jean Merrill's book of the same title.
The Skating Rink A teenager with a stuttering problem overcomes his shyness to become a championship figure skater. Based on Mildred Lee's novel; co-starring Cindy Eilbacher and Rance Howard.
Santiago's America A Puerto Rican boy is invited to a prestigious conference in Los Angeles. With no money, he re-builds a broken taxi to get there. Bill Duke and René Enríquez reprise their roles.
The Secret Life of T.K. Dearing 12-year-old T.K. (Jodie Foster) invites her grandfather to join a "secret" club. Co-starring Tierre Turner; based on Jean Robinson's book.

Season Four (1975–76)

Episode Synopsis Air date
It Must Be Love ('Cause I Feel So Dumb!) A 13-year-old boy has a crush on a cheerleader at his school and dreams up creative ways to try to impress her. Starring Alfred Lutter.
Fawn Story Siblings Jenna, Toby, and Louisa McPhail (Kristy McNichol, Poindexter Yothers, and Karen Obediear) discover a wounded deer and nurse it back to health. Co-starring Gordon Jump.
The Shaman's Last Raid Despite his failing health, a Native American medicine man is determined to teach his great-grandchildren the traditions of the Apache nation. Based on Betty Baker's novel; starring Dehl Berti.
The Amazing Cosmic Awareness of Duffy Moon Tired of ridicule, undersized sixth-grader Duffy (Ike Eisenmann) buys a mysterious book which enables him to "Think Big"—literally. Based on Jean Robinson's book. Co-starring Lance Kerwin, Jim Backus, and Jerry Van Dyke.
Me and Dad's New Wife 12-year-old Nina Beckwith (Kristy McNichol) deals with her new stepmother. Co-starring Lance Kerwin, Melendy Britt, Leif Garrett, and Jimmy McNichol. Based on Stella Pevsner's novel, "A Smart Kid Like You".
Blind Sunday In order to better understand his blind girlfriend, teenage Jeff (Leigh McCloskey) spends an entire day blindfolded. Co-starring Robert Ridgely (as Jeff's dad), Cindy Eilbacher, and Corbin Bernsen.
Dear Lovey Hart: I Am Desperate Teenage Carrie Wasserman (Susan Lawrence) takes up writing an advice column for her school newspaper. Based on Ellen Conford's novel. Co-starring Al Eisenmann as Carrie's brother Jeff.

Season Five (1976–77)

Episode Synopsis Air date
Francesca, Baby In this adaptation of Joan Oppenheimer's novel, teenager Francesca James (Carol Jones) deals with her alcoholic mother Lillian (Melendy Britt) by joining the support group Alateen. Co-starring Jody Britt (Melendy's real-life daughter).
P.J. and the President's Son Update of Mark Twain's The Prince and the Pauper. A delivery boy and the President's son (Lance Kerwin in a dual role) meet, see that they are exact doubles, and decide to swap identities for mutual amusement. Co-starring Harry Kerwin and Rosalind Chao.
Mighty Moose and the Quarterback Kid A football coach (Dave Madden) tries to mediate a conflict between his star quarterback (Brandon Cruz) and the boy's father (Joseph Mascolo). Co-starring Alex Karras .
My Mom's Having a Baby A curious 10-year-old big-brother-to-be seeks answers as to where babies come from.
The Horrible Honchos The neighborhood youth gang makes a pact to bully and torment the new kid on their 17th Street turf. Based on Emily Cheney Neville's novel The 17th Street Gang. Starring Kim Richards.
Very Good Friends Sensitive Kate (Melissa Sue Anderson) gradually comes to terms with the accidental death of her younger sister in this adaptation of Constance Green's novel.

Season Six (1977–78)

Episode Synopsis Air date
Hewitt's Just Different A mentally-challenged 16-year-old attempts to make friends with his neighborhood peers. Starring Moosie Drier, Russell Johnson, and Tom Gulager.
The Pinballs In this adaptation of Betsy Byars's novel, three orphans (one portrayed by Kristy McNichol) from different backgrounds find themselves living with the same foster parents, while all three wait to be adopted.
Michel's Mixed-Up Musical Bird Live-Action/animation special featuring Michel Legrand in a true story about the bird that inspired him while studying at the Paris Conservatory of Music.
It Isn't Easy Being a Teenage Millionaire When 14-year-old Melissa Harrington (Victoria Paige Meyerink) wins the lottery, she thinks she'll never need to worry about money—or anything else—again. Unfortunately, fate has other plans.
The Rag Tag Champs A 14-year-old baseball player and his manager-uncle are at odds over their different interpretations of the philosophy "Winning isn't everything, it's the only thing". Starring Larry B. Scott.
Mom and Dad Can't Hear Me Teenage Charlie Meredith (Rosanna Arquette) is used to acting as the ears of her deaf parents, but she's ashamed when she introduces her peers to them; because of their reactions, the elder Merediths come off as being out-of-touch.
It's a Mile From Here To Glory After a high school track star is crippled by a near-fatal accident, he must learn to depend on others for day-to-day living. Anthony Kiedis has a role as Jimmy. Based on Robert C. Lee's novel.

Season Seven (1978–79)

Episode Synopsis Air date
One of a Kind A free-spirited woman realizes her daughter is no longer a child and experiments with giving her more independence. However, the girl is puzzled by this sudden lack of attention and feels like her mom is pushing her away.
A Home Run For Love In 1947, a young white boy and an elderly black man enjoy a warm and wonderful friendship based on their mutual love of the Brooklyn Dodgers, and of Jackie Robinson in particular. Co-starring Anne Ramsey and Edie McClurg; based on Barbara Cohen's novel.
Gaucho A young New York boy knows his mother misses her Puerto Rican homeland. Accordingly, he becomes an errand boy for a small-time hood, in order to earn enough money that she can move back to the Caribbean. Based on Gloria Gonzalez's novel; co-starring Danny De La Paz.
Dinky Hocker Overweight teenager Susan "Dinky" Hocker (Wendie Jo Sperber) is obsessed with food and cannot stop eating. Finally she turns to a friend who helps her change her eating habits. Co-starring June Lockhart and Alan Oppenheimer as Dinky's parents; based on the novel by M. E. Kerr.
Make Believe Marriage High school students take a marriage course where they are coupled up and must complete assorted everyday tasks that go with married life. Co-starring Janina Mathews.
The Terrible Secret After teenage Bobbie Marston commits a hit and run, guilt takes its toll on her everyday life. Co-starring Michael Biehn.
Seven Wishes of a Rich Kid Wealthy-but-lonely Calvin Brundage (Robbie Rist) is granted seven wishes by a genie. Calvin uses them in an effort to impress Melanie Gamble (Cynthia Nixon), the most popular girl in his school. But things don't work out the way he anticipated. Co-starring Christopher Hewett and Butterfly McQueen.

Season Eight (1979–80)

Episode Synopsis Air date
Which Mother Is Mine? Arthur Allan Seidelman directed this adaptation of Joan Oppenheimer's novel My Other Mother. 16-year-old Alexandria (Melissa Sue Anderson) is stunned when her biological mother arrives to take her away from her adoptive parents. Co-starring Marion Ross and Woody Eney.
A Movie Star's Daughter When shy teenager Dena (Trini Alvarado) enrolls in a new school, she doesn't make friends easily until they discover that her father is famous actor Hal McKain (Frank Converse). Overnight, she becomes the most popular student in school—but this brings its own problems. October 10, 1979
A Special Gift Arthur Allan Seidelman directed this adaptation of Marcia L. Simon's novel. Needing a new challenge, a 14-year-old basketball star takes up ballet. Then he worries about what friends and family will think of his decision. Co-starring real-life brothers Al and Ike Eisenmann. October 24, 1979
The Late Great Me! Story of a Teenage Alcoholic A 15-year-old girl takes up drinking to impress a boy; instead, she soon develops a serious problem. Based on Sandra Scoppettone's novel The Late Great Me.
The Heartbreak Winner: One Girl's Struggle For Olympic Gold Bruce Malmuth directed this adaptation of Michael Bonadies's novel The Gold Test. Ambitious teenage figure skater Maggie MacDonald (Melissa Sherman) learns what champions are truly made of when she meets a paraplegic youngster.
Where Do Teenagers Come From? 12-year-old girl wonders about all of the changes happening to her body. Sequel to My Mom's Having a Baby.
What Are Friends For? Two inseparable 12-year-old girls (Melora Hardin, Dana Hill), each one the daughter of a separate divorcing couple, are determined to keep their friendship alive despite the odds. Stephen Gyllenhaal directed this adaptation of Mildred Ames's novel. March 19, 1980

Season Nine (1980–81)

Episode Synopsis Air date
A Family of Strangers A widower (Danny Aiello) with two daughters marries a widow with one daughter, creating a stepfamily.
Schoolboy Father When high school senior Charles Elderberry (Rob Lowe) discovers that his summer girlfriend has given birth to his child, he decides to fight for custody. Co-starring Dana Plato, Sharon Spelman, and Nancy McKeon. October 15, 1980
The Gymnast Holly Gagnier stars as 16-year-old Ginny Coker, who's determined to become a world-class athlete.
Stoned Jack (Scott Baio) is a motivated high schooler until he experiments with marijuana and falls in with a fast crowd; soon he's dabbling in harder drugs, such as LSD, quaaludes, and cocaine. Will he wise up before it's too late? Co-starring Largo Woodruff and Anthony C. Sena. November 12, 1980
A Matter of Time Teenager Lisl Gilbert (Karlene Crockett) must find the inner strength to deal with her mother Jean's (Rosemary Forsyth) impending death from cancer. Co-starring Rob Lowe.
Run, Don't Walk A teenage girl does not know how to deal with being in a wheelchair, after an accident leaves her paralyzed. Then she befriends a boy in the same situation, and the future suddenly looks brighter for both of them. Starring Toni Kalem, Scott Baio, Dee Wallace, and Hal Williams.
My Mother Was Never a Kid A teenage girl is convinced that her mother does not understand the younger generation. Mysteriously, she is sent back in time and meets her mother as a teenager. Based on the novel by Francine Pascal.

Season Ten (1981–82)

Episode Synopsis Air date
She Drinks a Little 16-year-old Cindy Scott (Amanda Wyss) and her younger brother Brett gradually wise up to their single mother Miriam's (Bonnie Bartlett) drinking problem. Cindy wonders if she should join Alateen for help. Arthur Allan Seidelman directed this adaptation of Anne Snyder's novel First Step.
Starstruck An aspiring teen folk singer (Trini Alvarado) is torn whether to continue her singing or to accept an educational scholarship. Co-starring Lee Curreri.
Tough Girl A streetwise teenager from inner-city Los Angeles (Karin Argoud) is sent to live in the suburbs with her father's new family. Based on Barbara Morgenroth's novel Will the Real Renie Lake Please Stand Up?. Laurence Lau also appears.
The Color of Friendship Two teenagers, one black and one white, hit it off. Starring James Bond III, Chris Barnes, Cleavon Little, and Kadeem Hardison. November 11, 1981
The Unforgivable Secret Amanda Plummer portrays a 15-year-old who's stunned to discover that her "deceased" father is very much alive, and that's just the beginning of the story. Co-starring Barbara Feldon and Danny Aiello; based on Hila Colman's novel Tell Me No Lies.
Daddy, I'm Their Mama Now A 12-year-old girl assumes responsibility for her two younger brothers (one of them portrayed by Jason Hervey), after their mom passes away. Based on Betsy Byars's novel The Night Swimmers.
Sometimes I Don't Love My Mother After her father's death, teenager Dallas Davis (Melinda Culea) struggles with her mother Ellen's (Patricia Elliott) total dependency on her.

Season Eleven (1982–83)

Episode Synopsis Air date
Amy & the Angel Depressed 17-year-old high-schooler Amy Watson (Helen Slater) is visited by aspiring guardian angel Oliver after wishing she had never been born. As with George Bailey and Clarence in It's a Wonderful Life, Oliver shows Amy how important she is to the people in her life, particularly her divorced mom, her paternal grandfather (David Huddleston), and her best friend (who's a lot more troubled than Amy realizes). The twist is that Oliver himself committed suicide and, as a punishment, was forced to roam the world for years afterward, witnessing the repercussions of his action. Now senior angel Gabriel (James Earl Jones) is giving Oliver a chance to redeem himself by making sure Amy doesn't make Oliver's mistake. Also starring Matthew Modine and Meg Ryan. September 22, 1982
Between Two Loves Teen violinist is torn between her musical career and her boyfriend. Co-starring Robert Reed.
A Very Delicate Matter Teenage girl is shocked when a former boyfriend tells her he has gonorrhea. Not only does she get tested, she must tell her current boyfriend to get tested as well. Co-starring Zach Galligan.
Please Don't Hit Me, Mom Teenager Nancy Parks (Nancy McKeon) stumbles upon a case of child abuse. It turns out her new boyfriend's (Lance Guest) younger brother is regularly beaten by their mom (Patty Duke, whose real-life son Sean Astin portrays the victimized little boy).
The Woman Who Willed a Miracle A blind, mentally-retarded infant with cerebral palsy is left in the care of an elderly English woman who refuses to let him die. Starring Cloris Leachman, M. Emmet Walsh, James Noble, and Kirk Cameron.
Have You Ever Been Ashamed of Your Parents? Kari Michaelsen and Jennifer Jason Leigh star as two teenagers—one rich, the other middle-class—who become best friends over the summer. Co-starring Marion Ross and Julie Piekarski.
But It's Not My Fault Billy Warlock portrays 16-year-old Craig Foster, whose efforts to prove himself to his peers land him in juvenile hall. Co-starring Al White.
The Wave High school teacher decides to conduct a social experiment, asking his students to take part. What they don't know is that the experiment is on mind control. (Previously broadcast on ABC in October 1981 as a standalone special.)

Season Twelve (1983–84)

Episode Synopsis Air date
It's No Crush, I'm in Love A high-school girl (Cynthia Nixon) has a crush on a soap-opera star and believes she's in love with him. At school, her new English teacher (Mark LaMura) closely resembles the soap star. September 21, 1983
The Hand-Me-Down Kid Tired of receiving hand-me-downs from her sister, an 11-year-old girl "secretly borrows" her bicycle, which then gets stolen. Tracey Gold and Cheryl Arutt portray the sisters; Terry O'Quinn plays their dad. Also starring Corey Parker and Martha Plimpton; based on the Francine Pascal novel.
The Celebrity and the Arcade Kid Video-arcade whiz and teen movie star discover they are exact doubles and decide to switch identities. A modern version of Mark Twain's The Prince and The Pauper.
Andrea's Story: A Hitchhiking Tragedy Teenage Andrea Cranston (Michele Greene) is traumatized after surviving an assault by a stranger from whom she hitched a ride. Co-starring Moosie Drier, Carrie Snodgress (as Andrea's mom), Robert DoQui and Kirk Cameron. Based on Did You Hear What Happened to Andrea? by Gloria D. Miklowitz. December 7, 1983
The Great Love Experiment Teenagers bait a timid girl to get her involved with various displays of affection. Starring Tracy Pollan, Pete Kowanko, and Jennifer Grey.
Backwards: The Riddle of Dyslexia Real-life brothers River and Leaf Phoenix star in this tale of a 13-year-old boy who has reading problems which his teachers attribute to laziness. It is ultimately discovered that he has dyslexia.
The Hero Who Couldn't Read A teacher discovers that one of his students, the school's star basketball player, is illiterate and makes it his mission to teach him to read. Starring Clarence Williams III; with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Michael Dorn.

Season Thirteen (1984–85)

Episode Synopsis Air date
Summer Switch Ken Kwapis directed this adaptation of Mary Rodgers's novel about a man who magically switches personalities with his son and the comical chaos that ensues.
Out of Step An aspiring teenage dancer gets the chance to try out for a dance troupe, but fear of failure might keep her from auditioning. Terry Donahoe stars as Lisa Williams.
The Almost Royal Family A family inherits a house on a tiny island between Canada and the United States, outside the jurisdiction of either country. Sarah Jessica Parker stars.
Mom's on Strike An overworked homemaker goes on strike to persuade her family to share household chores. Co-starring Yeardley Smith, George Gaynes, Jonathan Ward, and Sam McMurray.
I Want to Go Home Tommy and Mary Sanders (Seth Green, Maddie Corman) go on the run with their divorced mom Louise (Lindsay Crouse), then realize that she is kidnapping them from their dad Tom (John Getz).
First the Egg A group of high-school students take part in a parenting class where their first assignment is to 'parent' an egg. Starring Justine Bateman, Jimmy McNichol, Chris Hebert, and Helene Udy. March 6, 1985
One Too Many Actor Peter Horton directed this tale of four high-school friends (Lance Guest, Val Kilmer, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Mare Winningham) who find their lives changed forever when one of them drives drunk with devastating results. This special was originally shown in prime-time.[3] May 21, 1985[4]

Season Fourteen (1985–86)

Episode Synopsis Air date
No Greater Gift Anson Williams co-wrote and directed this tale of two terminally ill boys who hit it off in a hospital ward. One makes the ultimate sacrifice to give the other a fighting chance at life. Co-starring Betty Thomas and Jeff Cohen.
Cindy Eller: A Modern Fairy Tale Actress Lee Grant directed this contemporary remake of Cinderella aimed at preteens. Starring Pearl Bailey, Kyra Sedgwick (in the title role), Jennifer Grey, Kelly Wolf, Grant Show, Melanie Mayron, Stephen Keep Mills, and Sylvia Miles.
Don't Touch After a teenage babysitter discovers that her young charge is being molested by a family friend, harrowing memories of her own past molestation by her uncle resurface. Co-starring Blair Brown, Corey Parker, John Glover, Lisa Bonet and Danielle Carin; featuring real-life brothers Joey and Matthew Lawrence. November 6, 1985
High School Narc A 22-year-old police officer (Michael E. Knight) poses as a student to sniff out the drug supplier for an inner-city high school.
Can a Guy Say No? A 17-year-old student learns how deceiving looks can be when he befriends the prettiest girl in school and discovers that her beauty compensates for unhappiness and low self-esteem...or does it? Starring Steve Antin, Heather Langenkamp, Christa Denton, Khrystyne Haje, and Beau Bridges.
Are You My Mother? A teenage girl is stunned to discover that her supposedly-deceased mother is actually mentally ill and institutionalized. Co-starring Marian Mercer and Michael York.
Getting Even: A Wimp's Revenge Tired of being bullied at school, a boy starts drawing a master scientist. He begins to imagine what it would be like, as the scientist, standing up to the bullies at school. Directed by James Scott and starring Adolph Caesar. March 19, 1986

Season Fifteen (1986–87)

Episode Synopsis Air date
A Desperate Exit When his best friend commits suicide, a stunned teenager is left with one unanswered question: Why? Based on Eve Bunting's novel Face at the Edge of the World; co-starring Malcolm-Jamal Warner and Rob Stone. September 19, 1986
Wanted: The Perfect Guy Sensing that his widowed mom Ellie (Madeline Kahn) is lonely and looking for companionship, 13-year-old Danny Coleman (Ben Affleck) places a personal ad for "The Perfect Guy". Co-starring Keith Szarabajka.
Teen Father Actor Kevin Hooks directed this tale of a college-bound 18-year-old (Corey Parker) whose life is turned upside-down when his 16-year-old girlfriend announces that she is pregnant.
The Gift of Amazing Grace A teenager (Tempestt Bledsoe) is frustrated about being the only member of her gospel-singing family who cannot carry a tune. When she writes a song about her problems, she discovers that she's got musical talent after all, just not where she or anybody else suspected. Co-starring Della Reese.
Supermom's Daughter A career-driven woman opposes her daughter's future plans. Starring Barbara Bosson and Marisa Tomei.
Divorced Kids' Blues 15-year-old struggles through the politics of divorce as his parents split up. Written by Donald Margulies. March 4, 1987
Class Act: A Teacher's Story A wealthy businessman returns to teaching after conquering the stock market. He inherits a class of underachievers and sets out to make them winners. Starring Ralph Garman. March 18, 1987

Season Sixteen (1987–88)

Episode Synopsis Air date
Just a Regular Kid: An AIDS Story Teenager Kevin Casio (Christian Hoff) discovers he has been infected with AIDS by a blood transfusion. Co-starring Florence Henderson and Ronny Cox as Kevin's parents; featuring Lewis Arquette as one of his doctors. September 9, 1987
The Kid Who Wouldn't Quit: The Brad Silverman Story True story about a teen with Down syndrome who begins attending college classes.
The Day My Kid Went Punk Teenage musician Terry (Jay Underwood) hopes to distinguish himself from "the crowd", by becoming a punk rocker. Also starring Bernie Kopell, Albert Hague, and James Noble.
Seasonal Differences A Christmas Nativity scene is displayed at a high school, where it sparks debate and protest from the student body; this leads to the separation of church and state being examined, formally, and in depth. Co-starring Megan Follows.
Terrible Things My Mother Told Me Hard-working 16-year-old Julia (Katherine Kamhi) does not realize that her mother Eleanor (Beth Howland), who alternately harasses and ignores Julia and dotes on lazy younger daughter Katie (Ita DeMarco), is being emotionally and verbally abusive. But when Julia gets the lead in a school play directed by popular Randy (Ian Ziering), she realizes she's every bit as worthy of Eleanor's support and encouragement as is her pampered sister. January 20, 1988
Daddy Can't Read Teenager Alison Watson (Cheryl Arutt) does not understand why her father Bill (Edward Albert) opposes her campaign to promote literacy at his factory until she discovers that he cannot read. Co-starring Joey Travolta, Michael Jackson (as himself), gymnast Cathy Rigby, and Richard Roundtree.[5][6]

Season Seventeen (1988–89)

Episode Synopsis Air date
Date Rape A teenage girl goes on a date with the most popular boy in her school—who rapes her. Co-starring John Savage, David Patrick Kelly, and Gabrielle Carteris. September 15, 1988
A Family Again A family must come to grips with the sudden death of their eldest daughter (Sherilyn Fenn). With Jill Eikenberry and Michael Tucker; also featuring Judith Barsi, Rob Stone, Ricki Lake, Rhea Perlman, and Tonya Crowe. This special was originally shown in primetime under the name "ABC Family Theater",[7] and was dedicated to Judith Barsi.[8]
Tattle: When to Tell on a Friend Four girls on their high-school swim team are inseparable until two of them experiment with cocaine and get hooked. Tammy Lauren portrays one of the addicts; also starring Katharine Ross and Allison Smith. October 27, 1988
Taking a Stand An entire neighborhood examines their feelings of racism after the home of a black family is vandalized by a neighbor. Co-starring Dan Lauria, Betty Buckley, and Michael Beach. January 19, 1989
Just Tipsy, Honey Teenager Patty Adams (Ellie Cornell) is in total denial about her mother Carolyn's (Joanna Pettet) drinking problem, which is glaringly evident to everybody else.
The Cheats Three girls steal the answers to their final exam. When the headmistress finds out, she gives those responsible one day to confess before she expels and/or prosecutes everybody with any connection—no matter how remote—to the theft/cover-up.
Torn Between Two Fathers Actor Richard Masur directed this tale of a divorced couple's teenage daughter who wages a custody battle of her own: After her natural mother dies in an accident, she sues her biological father for the right to live with her disabled stepdad.

Season Eighteen (1989–90)

Episode Synopsis Air date
My Dad Can't Be Crazy...Can He? Actress Joanna Lee wrote and directed this tale of a teenager and his mom (Wil Wheaton, Loretta Swit) who make up their minds how to deal with a schizophrenic husband/father (Don Murray).
Private Affairs Teenager Madeline (Kerri Green) discovers her father's affair with her mother's best friend. Will it tear her family apart? Co-starring Christopher Daniel Barnes, Michael Warren, Nancy Kulp, Lynne Thigpen, Wendy Brainard, and Christopher Collet.
A Town's Revenge Teenager Eric Nelson (Keith Coogan) urges his town to farm without the use of pesticides, but many of these farmers are resistant to change.
All That Glitters Several high school students (including Marc Price) learn about ethics versus seductive power when they start a cookie company as their class project. Co-starring William H. Macy.
Over the Limit High-schooler Matt Thompson (Keith Coogan) must decide whether to come forward with the truth about a tragic drunk-driving accident. Co-starring Sam Rockwell.
The Perfect Date A 16-year-old student is sure that his upcoming date with the school prom queen will be perfect. But the way the evening unfolds is far from perfect. Co-starring Will Smith, Art LaFleur, and Charles Hallahan.

Season Nineteen (1990–91)

Episode Synopsis Air date
A Question About Sex Tracey Gold portrays Shauna Kelly, a cheerleader who advocates sex education at her high school. As a result, she locks horns with her mother Joanne (Cindy Pickett) who aspires to a seat on the school board. Co-starring Tom Skerritt (who also directed), Kristin Dattilo, Renée Estevez, and Vince Vaughn.
Testing Dirty Having never used illegal drugs in his life, model teenager Will Hatch (Christopher Daniel Barnes)—a competitive swimmer who works as delivery boy for a medical clinic—is shocked when he tests positive for amphetamines (actually, it was medication for swimmer's ear). He's even more shocked when "speed" is found in his locker, which school security forcibly searches—in his absence—over the test results. Also shocked are his mom (Alley Mills) and his girlfriend Carla (Lisa Dean Ryan), who believe in his innocence; and swim-team coach Stanley Daniels (Chris Rich) and Will's high-school principal (Art LaFleur), who do not. Stan is also Carla's father and Mrs. Hatch's fiancé; he even turns against his own daughter when she's expelled for refusing to take the same drug test as Will. Adam Sandler has a cameo as a pusher.
Stood Up! After getting stood up for the prom a high-school girl sues her date.
The Less-Than-Perfect Daughter A demanding woman and her daughter knock heads when the daughter (Robyn Lively), aspiring to be less reliant on her family, moves in with a troubled friend (Andrea Elson). Robyn's real-life father Ernie Lively portrays her character's dad. Co-starring Renee O'Connor.
It's Only Rock & Roll A teenage musician (Alison Bartlett) finds her song lyrics being scrutinized as too suggestive. Co-starring Davy Jones and Carole King.

Season Twenty (1991–92)

Episode Synopsis Air date
In the Shadow of Love: A Teen AIDS Story Two high-school journalists write a story about a teen HIV support group and are stunned by some of the stories they hear.
Summer Stories: The Mall - Part 1 Three-part series about high-school graduates contemplating their futures while working at the mall. In "First Impressions", a girl has mixed sentiments about meeting her birth mother for the first time.
Summer Stories: The Mall - Part 2 In "Second Chances", a girl struggles with mixed feelings about her widowed mother's upcoming remarriage.
Summer Stories: The Mall - Part 3 In "Temptations" the gang prepares to go their separate ways as summer winds down. Meanwhile, a recovering teenage alcoholic struggles to stay sober when an old drinking buddy shows up. Co-starring Todd Graff.

Season Twenty-One (1992–93)

Episode Synopsis Air date
Surviving a Break-up Oprah Winfrey moderates a panel of teens, celebrities and experts to discuss surviving the end of a relationship.
Shades of a Single Protein Oprah Winfrey moderates a panel of teens discussing race relations in America. January 28, 1993
Learning Not to Hurt Roz Abrams hosts a special report on youth violence and later moderates a panel discussion.
Girlfriend Two teenage girls, one black and one white, become friends while working on a mural to honor a black classmate killed by random gunfire. April 15, 1993

Season Twenty-Two (1993–94)

Episode Synopsis Air date
Love Hurts 16-year-old Christie (Holly Shaw) turns to a support group when her boyfriend begins to physically abuse her. September 16, 1993
Montana Crossroads Julia Morrow-Wheeler (Jacklyn Zeman) struggles with her daughter Samantha (Kellie Martin) wanting to leave the nest...and her father Frank's (Don Murray) reluctance to enter a retirement home. Co-starring Michael Cutt.
I Hate the Way I Look Oprah Winfrey moderates a panel of teens, celebrities and experts to discuss the obsession teens have with their appearance.
Jacqui's Dilemma A pregnant 16-year-old girl examines her choices over what to do with her unborn baby amidst interviews with teens, parents, educators, counselors, social workers, and doctors that amplify the issues. January 27, 1994

Season Twenty-Three (1994–95)

Episode Synopsis Air date
Boys Will Be Boys: the Ali Cooper Story Not to be confused with the same-named TV series, this chronicles the ordeal of a high-school marching band-member (Ami Dolenz) who becomes the victim of sexual harassment by several male classmates, including some close friends of her elder brother Steve (David "Viper" Lipper of Full House fame). Fortunately, he takes her side. Ali and her family decide upon suing the school after Principal Pritchard (Steven Gilborn) cites the title excuse instead of doing anything to protect her. Directed by Joan Van Ark, who also portrays Ali and Steve's mom; Larry Wilcox plays their dad. Also starring Jeremy Jordan and Danny Cooksey. September 15, 1994
Magical Make-Over Teenage girl desperately wants to be popular. One day an angel grants her that wish by giving her a new image every day. Soon she wishes she could just be herself.
Bonnie Raitt Has Something to Talk About Whoopi Goldberg interviews musician/singer Bonnie Raitt about her life, career and future plans.
Notes for My Daughter Teenage girl struggles with her mother's illness from breast cancer.
Long Road Home Teenager Hank Atkins (Micah Dyer) does not know what to think of his dad John's (Jameson Parker) new wife Amanda (Kristen Cloke), who's young enough to be his daughter. Then Hank takes a long road trip alone with Amanda.

Season Twenty-Four (1995–96)

Episode Synopsis Air date
Fast Forward A teenager is shown how being involved with booze will shape his life: ultimately, he will become a bombed-out derelict (Gerald McRaney).
Positive: A Journey Into AIDS Documentary following two actors from ABC's General Hospital (Kimberly McCullough, Michael Sutton) as they research and talk to people living with HIV and AIDS.
Just Chill After the senseless death of his twin brother, a teen drug pusher decides to seek revenge against all who have wronged him in the neighborhood.
Educating Mom Soccer mom Nancy Gallagher (Jane Kaczmarek) feels like a hypocrite when lecturing her kids Jason and Carly (Will Friedle, Lacey Chabert) about the importance of finishing one's education, since she's a high-school dropout. She decides to practice what she's been preaching by sharing classes with Jason. Co-starring Kevin Connolly.
Daddy's Girl Teenage girl Alica (Elise Neal) reunites with her father for the first time in 10 years and yearns to reunite her family despite their opposition. Featuring Lauryn Hill as Alicia's friend Malika.
Through Thick & Thin Twin sisters, one slim and one overweight, magically switch personalities, giving them a new appreciation of each other.

Season Twenty-Five (1996–97)

Episode Synopsis Air date
Too Soon for Jeff In this adaptation of Marilyn Reynolds' novel, a high school senior's (Freddie Prinze, Jr.) future plans change abruptly when he learns that his girlfriend is pregnant. Co-starring Ed Begley, Jr., Breck Wilson, and Jessica Alba. September 12, 1996
Me and My Hormones Three women from three generations deal with the various changes taking place in their lives. Starring Courtney Peldon, Marion Ross, Bruce Boxleitner, Sara Gilbert (whose real-life sister Melissa directed), and Chad Lowe.
Teenage Confidential Andrea Mattson's (Lauren Woodland) overprotective parents (Morgan Fairchild and Sam McMurray), out of excessive concern for their daughter's well-being, hire a private eye to shadow her every move. Predictably, this does much more harm than good. Co-starring Danny Cooksey.
Miracle at Trapper Creek Underprivileged and troubled teens join the Trapper Creek Jobs Corp in Montana to learn a trade, work in the wilderness, and achieve a solid work ethic.

Reception

In 1993, TV Guide named the series the best kids' show of the 1980s.[9]

See also

References

  1. ^ Terrace, Vincent (2009). Encyclopedia of Television Shows, 1925 through 2007 (Volume 1). Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, Inc. ISBN 978-0-7864-3305-6.
  2. ^ Awards for ABC Afterschool Special (1972), retrieved 2009-04-13
  3. ^ "The Lost Art of TV Guide Advertising, Vol. 8 of 265,890". www.platypuscomix.net.
  4. ^ O'Connor, John J. "Teen-Age Drinking Examined," The New York Times, Monday, May 20, 1985. Retrieved August 14, 2018
  5. ^ "Article". Anchorage Daily News. March 13, 1988.
  6. ^ Margulies, Lee (March 11, 1988). "ABC-TV to target literacy". The Bulletin. Central Oregon. The Bulletin and LA Times. Retrieved May 19, 2016.
  7. ^ "The Lost Art of TV Guide Advertising, Vol. 8 of 265,890". www.platypuscomix.net.
  8. ^ Heffley, Lynne (15 October 1988). "Television Reviews :  'A Family Again' Shows the Impact of a Child's Death" – via LA Times.
  9. ^ TV Guide April 17-23, 1993. 1993. p. 79.

External links

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