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Fall promo palooza: "Get Ready for CBS" (1990)

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CBS rolled out The Temptations in fall 1990 for a “Get Ready” promotional campaign that pretty much fell on deaf ears in terms of new series.

This spot begins with a familiar face, though. Candice Bergen of Murphy Brown does a little wailing -- or maybe that’s someone else’s voice -- to get everyone in the mood. Los Angeles Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda later jiggles and throws viewers a kiss.

But at the end of the 1990-91 TV season, CBS had just six attractions in Nielsen’s prime-time Top 30 -- 60 Minutes, Murphy Brown, Designing Women, Murder, She Wrote, The CBS Sunday Movie and Major Dad. It had appreciably more freshman flops than that. Roll call: Uncle Buck, Lenny, WIOU, Bagdad Cafe, Over My Dead Body, The Family Man, E.A.R.T.H. Force, The Flash (being re-birthed this fall on The CW) and Doctor, Doctor.

A couple of other fall 1990 newcomers, Top Cops and The Trials of Rosie O’Neill, lingered on the air for a couple of seasons without ever catching fire.

The running joke for that season, among some of us snide, younger critics, was that there were more black people in The Temptations than in CBS’ entire prime-time lineup. Still, the “Get Ready” spot remains a finger-snapper. So go for it.

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