The Waverly Wonders
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The Waverly Wonders
The Waverly Wonders
Created byWilliam Bickley
Michael Warren
StarringJoe Namath
Kim Lankford
Charles Bloom
Tierre Turner
Ben Piazza
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes3 (9 total, 6 unaired)
Running time30 minutes
Production companyLorimar Productions
Original networkNBC
Original releaseSeptember 7 -
October 6, 1978 (1978-10-06)
Joe Namath (top center) and The Waverly Wonders

The Waverly Wonders is an American sitcom starring Joe Namath that aired Fridays at 8:00 pm on NBC from September 7 to October 6, 1978.


Conceived as a vehicle for Namath (who had retired from the Los Angeles Rams after the 1977 NFL season), the show focused on the misadventures of Joe Casey, a washed-up professional basketball player who now taught history at Waverly High School (in Eastville, Wisconsin) and coached the school's basketball team, the Waverly Wonders.

Casey wasn't much of a teacher (he knew nothing about history) and his team wasn't much on the court (they hadn't won a game in three years); about the only decent player they had was a girl, Connie (Kim Lankford). Other "Wonders" included Tate (Charles Bloom), Faguzzi (Joshua Greenrock) and Parks (Tierre Turner). Ben Piazza co-starred as stodgy former coach George Benton, who served as a foil to Casey.


Episode list

Title Directed by Written by Original air date
1"Pilot"Bill PerskyWilliam Bickley & Michael WarrenSeptember 7, 1978 (1978-09-07)
2"Pied Piper"Dick MartinThad Mumford & Dan WilcoxSeptember 22, 1978 (1978-09-22)
3"Tate vs. Tate"Dick MartinThad Mumford & Dan WilcoxSeptember 29, 1978 (1978-09-29)
4"Rafkin's Victory Dance"Dick MartinStory by : Roger Garrett & Sally Wade
Teleplay by : Deborah Zoe Dawson & Victoria Johns
October 6, 1978 (1978-10-06)
5"Joe Checks Out the Librarian"Dick MartinAlvin Eisenstock & Larry MintzN/A
6"The Kiss"Dick MartinStory by : Stephen Neigher
Teleplay by : Dennis Koenig, Thad Mumford, John Rappaport and Dan Wilcox
7"Joe Goes to Press"Dick MartinDeborah Zoe Dawson & Victoria JohnsN/A
8"The Revolution"Dick MartinJim RogersN/A
9"Mock Marriage"Dick MartinStory by : Brook Smith
Teleplay by : Brook Smith and Thad Mumford & Dan Wilcox


Up against Donny and Marie on ABC and Wonder Woman on CBS, The Waverly Wonders drew poor ratings. A total of nine episodes were produced. However, only three were shown from September 22 through October 6, 1978.[1][2][3] Less than two months after The Waverly Wonders failed, a new show with a similar premise -- The White Shadow--started its three-year run as a 60-minute comedy-drama on CBS. Meanwhile at NBC, its time slot was replaced by a more successful tv series, Diff'rent Strokes, which in its first year, got to Number 27 of 114 prime time shows that year.

Namath never starred in another TV series, although he did do guest spots on such programs as The Love Boat and Fantasy Island.

Larry Hagman was originally offered the role of Joe Casey, but instead chose to play J.R. Ewing on Dallas.[4]


  1. ^ McNeil, Alex. Total Television: The Comprehensive Guide to Programming from 1948 to the Present. 4th ed. New York: Penguin, 1996.
  2. ^ (subscription required) (4 October 1978). ABC Racks Winnings In Latest Nielsens, Fort Walton Beach Playground Daily News (Associated Press) (The show was in the basement of the Nielsen rating for the week of September 25-October 1, 1978: "The six programs at the bottom of the ratings were new this season -- NBC's "Waverly Wonders" and CBS' "American Girls," tied for 62nd")
  3. ^ (subscription required) Hanauer, Joan (12 October 1978). NBC juggles lineup as ratings booster, Salina Journal (Associated Press) (episode which aired the week of October 2-8, 1978 was the fourth-least watched prime time program of the week)
  4. ^ A Few Facts About Larry Hagman, Eddie Deezen,, 27 November 2012

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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