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The Classic Sitcoms Guide to...
The Bob Newhart Show
Season Six: 1977-78



SEASON ONE: 1972-73
SEASON TWO: 1973-74
SEASON THREE: 1974-75
SEASON FOUR: 1975-76
SEASON FIVE: 1976-77
SEASON SIX: 1977-78
CREDITS

1977-78: THE SIXTH SEASON

Year-End Rating: 16.2 (67th place)

By the time Bob Newhart reconsidered his earlier decision to end the series after the fifth year, most of the show's longtime staff had already moved on to other projects. But despite the loss of so many key writers and producers, the show's final and least consistent season is redeemed by a handful of memorable and funny episodes.

Executive producer Michael Zinberg assembled a sixth-season staff that included producers Glen Charles and Les Charles, story editor Lloyd Garver, and executive script consultant Tom Tenowich. Directing chores are divided almost equally between Peter Bonerz, Michael Zinberg, and Dick Martin, who also serves as creative consultant in the show's final year.


121 Bob's Change of Life    Original Airdate
Writers: Glen Charles, Les Charles
Director: Peter Bonerz
Guest Star: Martha Scott

Bob faces a mid-life crisis when he and Emily decide to move to a new apartment.


122 Ex-Con Job    Original Airdate
Writer: Ziggy Steinberg
Director: Michael Zinberg
Guest Stars: Bert Rosario, H. B. Haggerty, Allen Case, Taurean Blacque

Bob's newest therapy group has a unique set of problems--all five are freshly paroled ex-convicts.


123 A Jackie Story    Original Airdate
Writer: Lloyd Garver
Director: Michael Zinberg
Guest Stars: Hope Alexander Willis, Sam Kwasman

Bob treats a schizophrenic ventriloquist and his dummy; and Jerry is convinced that his beautiful new girlfriend is too good for him.


124 Who Was That Masked Man?    Original Airdate
Writers: Glen Charles, Les Charles
Director: Dick Martin
Guest Stars: John Fiedler, Toni Lamond, Florida Friebus

After his wife kicks him out, Mr. Peterson finds an unlikely soulmate in Mr. Carlin.


125 Carlin's New Suit    Original Airdate
Writer: Andrew Smith
Director: Dick Martin
Guest Stars: Loni Anderson, Mark Lenard, Sparky Marcus, Pat Cranshaw

Carlin decides to take advantage of a bogus paternity suit to pal around with the son he never had.

Loni Anderson would soon make waves as the sultry receptionist of MTM's WKRP in Cincinnati.


126 A Day in the Life    Original Airdate
Writers: Kathy Donnell, Madelyn Dimaggio Wagner
Director: Dick Martin
Guest Stars: Richard Stahl, Bud Kenneally, Joan Kenneally, Rob Kenneally, Pamm Kenneally

Bob accepts a spur-of-the-moment invitation to Mardi Gras and then has but a single day to convince his patients that they can survive a week without him.


127 My Son the Comedian    Original Airdate
Writer: David Lloyd
Director: Dick Martin
Guest Stars: Moosie Drier, Bobby Ramsen, Elizabeth Kerr, Johnny West

Howard laughs at all his son's jokes, until Howie decides to quit high school to pursue a career as a professional comedian.


128 You're Fired, Mr. Chips    Original Airdate
Writer: Lloyd Garver
Director: Peter Bonerz
Guest Stars: Ralph Bellamy, Richard Roat, Howard Witt

Bob hires his old college professor to help out with his practice and then faces the unenviable task of firing his mentor when things don't work out.


129 Shallow Throat    Original Airdate
Writer: Earl Pomerantz
Director: Dick Martin
Guest Stars: Richard Libertini, Frank Maxwell, J. Jay Saunders, Lorrie Gia, Alan Haufrect, Julienne Wells

Bob convinces a closed-mouthed patient to open up but wishes he'd left well enough alone when the man's confession makes him an accessory to larceny.


130 A Girl in Her Twenties    Original Airdate
Writer: Laura Levine
Director: Peter Bonerz
Guest Stars: Mildred Natwick, Sondra Currie, J.J. Johnston, Macon McCalman

While Bob's away on business, Emily becomes better acquainted with an eccentric neighbor--an elderly woman who's perfectly content to live her life in the past.

As a condition of his return to the series's final year, Newhart's sixth-season contract allowed him to sit out five of the final twenty-two shows. Emily takes the spotlight in this episode, as well as in "Grizzly Emily," "Emily Carlin, Emily Carlin," "It Didn't Happen One Night," and "Crisis in Edukation," while Bob makes only token appearances in all five.


131 Grand Delusion    Original Airdate
Writer: Lloyd Garver
Director: Dick Martin
Guest Stars: Morgan Fairchild, F. William Parker, Michael Evans

On the evening of their tenth anniversary, Bob and Emily imagine how their lives might have been different had they each married someone else.


132 'Twas the Pie Before Christmas    Original Airdate
Writer: Phil Davis
Director: Dick Martin
Guest Stars: Florida Friebus, John Fiedler, Rik Pierce

Bob's group decides to boycott his Christmas party after they each discover a rate increase notice that was accidentally included with their Christmas cards.


133 Freudian Ship    Original Airdate
Writer: Earl Pomerantz
Director: Peter Bonerz
Guest Stars: John Crawford, Jeff Donnell

Even though he and Emily are supposed to be enjoying themselves on a ten-day pleasure cruise, Bob can't seem to resist solving other people's problems.


134 Grizzly Emily    Original Airdate
Writer: Laura Levine
Director: Peter Bonerz
Guest Stars: Barnard Hughes, Alice Nunn, Bob Yerkes

Emily is one disgruntled camper after Bob's father insists that she stay behind to cook and clean while he and Howard go fishing.


135 Son of Ex-Con Job    Original Airdate
Writer: Lloyd Garver
Director: Dick Martin
Guest Stars: Bert Rosario, Wyatt Johnson, Taurean Blacque, Norman Parker, Ric Mancini, Allen Case

Unable to find work on the outside, the parolees from Bob's ex-con therapy group decide to go into business for themselves.


136 Group on a Hot Tin Roof    Original Airdate
Writer: Andrew Smith
Director: Michael Zinberg
Guest Stars: Howard Hesseman, Jerry Devine, Florida Friebus, John Fiedler, Frank Ashmore, Ty Wilson, Lou Cutell, Amzie Strickland

Mr. Plager invites Bob's group to see his play--a turgid World War I drama with characters who bear more than a passing resemblance to the other members of the group.


137 Emily Carlin, Emily Carlin    Original Airdate
Writer: Laura Levine
Director: Peter Bonerz
Guest Stars: Karen Ericson, Michael Alldredge, Woody Skaggs, Carole Shelyne Barry

Carlin convinces Emily to attend his high school reunion posing as his wife, and then takes shameless advantage of the situation.


138 Easy for You to Say    Original Airdate
Writer: Andrew Smith
Director: Dick Martin
Guest Stars: Jerry Fogel, K.C. Martel, J.R. Miller

Bob treats Ralph Alfalfa, a stuttering radio personality who dreams of hosting a children's TV show.


139 It Didn't Happen One Night    Original Airdate
Writer: Laura Levine
Director: Dick Martin
Guest Star: David Hedison

The Hartleys' friends assume the worst when Emily renews her friendship with a handsome old boyfriend while Bob's away on business.


140 Carole Ankles for Indie-Prod    Original Airdate
Writer: Lloyd Garver
Director: Mark Tinker
Guest Stars: Madeleine Fisher, John Terry Bell, Mert Rich, Joe George

Bob and Jerry are shocked when Carol announces that she's quitting to accept a better job offer--working as personal assistant to Mr. Carlin!

Director Mark Tinker, the son of MTM founder Grant Tinker, was also associate producer of the final two seasons of The Bob Newhart Show. He would later produce MTM's The White Shadow and St. Elsewhere.


141 Crisis in Edukation    Original Airdate
Writer: Earl Pomerantz
Director: Peter Bonerz
Guest Stars: Edward Andrews, Robert Costanzo, Jan Fisher, Patricia Stevens, Bill Zuckert, Brian Miller, Delores Albin

Emily is left to fend off a group of irate parents after her principal skips town to avoid the brewing protest.


142 Happy Trails to You    Original Airdate
Writers: Glen Charles, Les Charles, Lloyd Garver
Directors: Michael Zinberg, Peter Bonerz
Guest Stars: Bobby Ramsen, Bill Quinn, Florida Friebus, John Fiedler

Jerry, Howard, and Carol exchange tearful farewells at the Hartleys' good-bye party after Bob accepts a teaching job at a small college in Oregon.

When the show went off the air, it seemed almost unimaginable that Bob would trade in the hustle and bustle of the big city for the bucolic pace of small-town life. And yet, four years later, Newhart reappeared in a new MTM series set, coincidentally, in a small town. Before Newhart premiered in 1982, the star actually considered returning to his former stomping grounds. "At one time," Newhart told TV Guide, "I thought of simply picking up the old show four years later. I think it might have worked."

Perhaps. But given the unlikelihood of any such officially sanctioned postscript, fans of The Bob Newhart Show can always take solace in the show's continued afterlife in nightly rerun syndication. For it's there that the infectious wit and cockeyed wisdom of Bob and Emily and Carol and Jerry and Howard will continue to illuminate the late night landscape as long as there are people willing to smile in the darkness.

 

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