×

ABC Promos Go 1970s Retro In Honor of ‘Live In Front of a Studio Audience’ (WATCH)

ABC’s harkening back to the days when it was “Still the One!” in a new slate of retro promos scheduled to air during Wednesday’s “Live in Front of a Studio Audience.”

In honor of the Norman Lear/Jimmy Kimmel special, which is re-creating 1975 episodes of “All in the Family” and “Good Times” with modern casts, ABC promos that evening will use throwback voiceovers, graphics and title treatments inspired by the Alphabet network’s actual on-air campaigns from that era. (Yes, that includes a voice-over actor emulating Ernie Anderson’s famous announcing from back then.)

ABC Entertainment and Walt Disney Studios marketing president Shannon Ryan said the idea came out of a conversation with Kimmel. “We hatched an idea to ‘retro-fit’ — get it? — all of our promos so that when viewers turn on ABC on Wednesday, it will appear as if they’re stepping back in time,” she said. “The graphics package, the logo, the voiceover, the music and the copy will all look and feel as if viewers are watching television in the ’70s.”

That means extra touches like utilizing the old television 4:3 ratio, and even mentioning the Mountain time zone (a practice that disappeared some time in the 1990s) in the spots.

The retro promos will include spots for “The Good Doctor,” “A Million Little Things,” “The Rookie,” “Stumptown,” “The Bachelor,” “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” “Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time,” “The Oscars” and “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve,” the last two featuring actual footage from 1975. ABC also created combined spots from its Tuesday and Wednesday night comedy blocks.

To create the look, Ryan said her team tracked down the original ABC graphic packages and the ABC logo from 1975 and recreated them.

“The team went through so many classic TV spots from the ’70s for inspiration,” she said. “We pulled promos for ‘Charlie’s Angels’ and ‘Hart to Hart’ that served as inspiration for ‘Stumptown.’ ‘Starsky & Hutch,’ ‘The Streets of San Francisco,’ ‘Kojak’ and ‘The Rookies’ inspired ‘The Rookie’ spot. ‘Marcus Welby, M.D.’ inspired ‘The Good Doctor’ promo. Also, shows like ‘Family’ inspired ‘A Million Little Things’ and ‘The Dating Game’ inspired ‘The Bachelor’ and we’re using both of those theme songs in the spots. We also took inspiration from the big brand campaigns back in the day like ‘Come on Along with ABC,’ and we’re using that song in the Tuesday comedy combo spot.”

In the new spots, it’s Steve French doing an impersonation of classic VO announcer Ernie Anderson.

Meanwhile, Ryan’s team also shared the idea with ABC News, which created a retro-spot for GMA. ABC’s affiliate marketing team also recruited several stations are creating retro-spots for their local news.

Here is a sneak preview of some of the spots set to run on Wednesday:

Promo for Tuesday comedies:

Promo for “Stumptown”:

Promo for “The Rookie”:

Promo for “A Million Little Things”:

More TV

  • Thanks a Million Quibi

    TV News Roundup: Quibi Releases 'Thanks A Million' Trailer

    In today’s TV news roundup, Quibi released a trailer for Jennifer Lopez’s “Thanks A Million,” and Variety got an exclusive first look at the trailer for “JJ Villard’s Fairy Tales.” DATES CBS All Access has announced “Tooning Out The News” has resumed production and will now premiere April 7. The show was postponed due to [...]

  • CBS logo

    CBS Studios Says It Is Not Retroactively Cutting Assistant Pay (EXCLUSIVE)

    In the wake of an email sent to CBS Studios term-deal assistants informing them that their wages for the week ending March 28 would be capped at 52 hours, CBS tells Variety that the memo was sent out in error, and that there is no plan to retroactively reduce pay for those support staffers. “It [...]

  • No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No

    'General Hospital' Shifts to Four Days a Week Amid Coronavirus Shuffle

    Iconic daytime medical drama “General Hospital” is being forced to switch up its schedule, joining a growing list of shows which have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic. ABC has announced that the show will now air four episodes per week, Monday through Thursday, instead of its usual five. Starting this Friday April 3, the [...]

  • CONJURING DAD – In Disney and

    What's Coming to Disney Plus in April 2020

    Disney Plus will continue to expand its library next month, adding older films as well as new episodes of its original programming. Less than a month after its release on March 6, Pixar’s “Onward” is making an early jump to Disney’s streaming platform amid the coronavirus pandemic. With the vast majority of theaters now closed [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content