One upon a time, my job consisted of inserting commercial spots into television shows on the weekends and late at night (because, if you turned the transmitter off too often, it might not come back on.)  As such, I got to watch an astounding array of (mostly syndicated) television, from Poltergeist: The Legacy (low-rent monsters) to The Queen Of Swords (low-rent gender-swapped Zorro knockoffery) to the wonder that was Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (actually a quality program, once you get past a wobbly debut season.)  I even got to enjoy that glorious ode to the 1980s known as ‘Team Knight Rider,’ a show that chose to end its first season with a massive cliffhanger, once again proving the words of Cicero, who opined that “Hope springs eternal in the human breast.”  From the success of Xena and Hercules to… whatever Cleopatra 2525 was, these show are essentially the TV equivalent of the comics and pulp magazines I have always loved: quick entertainment, made on the cheap to fill an empty hour with a grand adventure or two, which leads us to today’s first-run query…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) still has a fondness for the first couple of seasons of ‘Gene Roddenberry’s Andromeda’, especially Trance Gemini, the mysterious purple girl from the future (or something), asking: What’s your favorite weird weekends-and-late-nights only syndicated television vice?

The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.

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12 Comments

  1. Starks Scraps
    June 13, 2014 at 11:33 am — Reply

    I really liked Jack of All Trades but that may just be because of Bruce Campbell. The most I recall from any of those was having some background noise to my Saturday afternoon naps. I remember watching Thunder in Paradise more than a handful of times but I could not tell you what happened at all. The same goes for Relic Hunter.

  2. June 13, 2014 at 11:36 am — Reply

    OK, it’s not late night but it was syndicated… as a kid most fell into the Knight Rider camp… me, I always thought – why drive when you can fly? So, I was a Stingfellow / Dom kinda guy, and always dreamed of taking “The Lady” out for a spin… yes, I love and miss Airwolf.

    • June 13, 2014 at 11:37 am — Reply

      that – and the theme music synth was just cool in the 80s…

  3. Dino
    June 13, 2014 at 11:46 am — Reply

    Before it was picked up by the Sci Fi network, I would watch Stargate SG-1 at 1 am every Saturday on my local Fox affiliate. Not exactly a guilty pleasure, because it is quality television, at least after a few rough patches in the first couple of seasons. I think Richard Dean Anderson sold it more than anything else.

  4. June 13, 2014 at 1:07 pm — Reply

    Mystery Science Theater and Kung Fu theater come to mind almost immediately. I truly miss the Saturday matinees that would do marathon sessions of Planet of the Apes movies or the aforementioned kung fu movies.

  5. Frank
    June 13, 2014 at 2:17 pm — Reply

    The CGI show, Roughnecks: Starship Trooper Chronicles. It was a hybrid of Verhoeven’s movie and the book, but without the political overtones.
    Being syndicated, it jumped timeslots constantly. Forty episodes were planned, 35 were made and aired.

  6. June 13, 2014 at 3:08 pm — Reply

    Does “Forever Knight” count? While it did run on CBS for a time, I mostly remember seeing it in late night syndication until Sci-Fi Channel picked it up for a while.

    “Highlander: The Series” is also still one of my favorites (although I still despise the spinoff, “Highlander: The Raven”, which was shown at 2:00 AM Sunday Morning, right after the not entirely unbearable “The Crow: Stairway to Heaven” on my local channel).

    And I also somewhat enjoyed the very brief “Tracker”, which starred the stars of both of my previous choices.

  7. Gehrigan
    June 14, 2014 at 3:43 am — Reply

    La Femme Nikita was great late night viewing to wind down to after finishing a very late shift.

  8. Ryan
    June 14, 2014 at 11:15 pm — Reply

    Red Dwarf on PBS. Came on super late on saturdays.

  9. June 15, 2014 at 2:02 am — Reply

    What happened to original syndicated TV shows? There used to be tons of them out there (Star Trek: TNG, DS9, Hercules, Xena, Andromeda, etc.), but I don’t think I’ve seen any on air since Legend of the Seeker.

    • June 15, 2014 at 5:22 pm — Reply

      Changing marketplace. Show that might have been syndicated back in the day end up being first-run on channels like AMC and Bravo and such…

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