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Fall promo palooza: NBC's "We're Proud" (1980)

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NBC deployed showgirls and a stiff upper lip “We’re Proud” theme song to herald it’s 1980-81 season.

But the Peacock was cowed at the time, with nowhere to go but up. NBC’s 1979-80 season had yielded just four shows in prime-time’s top 30; none made the top 10. Its highest-scorer had been No. 14 Real People, with Little House on the Prairie (No. 16), CHiPS (No. 18) and Diff’rent Strokes (No. 26) also running far behind juggernauts such as CBS’ No. 1 60 Minutes and ABC’s runner-up Three’s Company.

NBC’s 1980-81 newcomers included Hill Street Blues, a ratings bomb in its first season but an Emmy champ that also became a ratings success in Season 2. NBC otherwise threw out the likes of Lobo, Games People Play, Marie, Speak Up America and Walking Tall. None were invited back.

Here’s how NBC went into battle in fall 1980 opposite the heavy artillery of CBS and ABC.

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