Battle of the Network Shows-logo

Battle of the Network Shows


Each week, hosts Rick Brooks and Mike Cowgill explore the TV of the '70s and '80s through hand-picked episodes.

Each week, hosts Rick Brooks and Mike Cowgill explore the TV of the '70s and '80s through hand-picked episodes.


United States




Each week, hosts Rick Brooks and Mike Cowgill explore the TV of the '70s and '80s through hand-picked episodes.




Episode 10-13: Little House on the Prairie

In our season 10 finale, Christmas Eve arrives in Walnut Grove...but so does a blizzard! The men must head into the storm in a desperate search for the children, who left school early. Bucolic it ain't! We also cover important topics like religion, paste-eating, and orangutans. #podcast #tv #retrotv #seventies #eighties #littlehouseontheprairie #michaellandon #melissagilbert #victorfrench #blizzard #christmas


Episode 10-12: Bosom Buddies

When Buffy (Tom Hanks) and Hildy (Peter Scolari) accidentally drop a water balloon on Richard Milhous Nixon's car, Kip (Tom Hanks) and Henry (Peter Scolari) get into hot water with the Secret Service, and Kip (Tom Hanks) has a mid-twenties crisis. Could "Waterballoongate" mean the end for the Bosom Buddies (Tom Hanks and Peter Scolari)? #podcast #tv #retrotv #eighties #sitcom #bosombuddies #tomhanks #peterscolari #donnadixon #telmahopkins #hollandtaylor #wendiejosperber


Fame Game 10

Will Mike's Fame Game hot streak continue, or will it all fall part? Plus, what do "Slylock Fox," the stone age, produce, and bowling balls all have in common? They appear in this episode! #podcast #tv #retrotv #seventies #eighties #games #famegame


Episode 10-11: McMillan and Wife

This week, we focus on another spoke of the NBC Mystery Wheel with McMillan and Wife, starring Rock Hudson, Susan Saint James, and most importantly John Schuck! In "Cop of the Year," Schuck's Sergeant Enright finds himself accused of murdering his ex-wife. He and Mac (with a little help from the great Jon Astin) work to clear his name and find the real killer. #podcast #tv #retrotv #seventies #rockhudson #susansaintjames #johnschuck #mcmillanandwife #mystery


Episode 10-10: Kolchak: The Night Stalker

In past episodes, we've encountered vampires, space vampires, Frankensteins, and space mummies, but this time, we sink our teeth into a show featuring another monster! In the cult classic "Kolchak: The Night Stalker," intrepid reporter Karl Kochak finds himself stuck on a singles cruise with Dick Gautier, Nita Talbot, and a werewolf! Will anyone believe him? Will anyone stop the man-beast? Will any of the singles pair up? #podcast #tv #retrotv #seventies #kolchakthenightstalker #werewolf...


TV Guide Game: August, 1977

Our Facebook Group voted on a year to cover in our long-running TV Guide Game feature. They ended up in a two-way tie, so this week, we return to the BOTNS Vaults and pull out a TV Guide from 1977. Disney, the Hardy Boys, Ethel Merman, a BOTNS theoretical favorite, and more vie for Mike's viewership. Can Rick guess what he would watch, and if he does, will he celebrate in Jim Crockett's Victory Garden? #podcast #tv #retrotv #seventies #tvguide #tvguidegame


Episode 10-9: High School U.S.A.

In this season's listener poll winner, Michael J. Fox and Nancy McKeon lead a cast of thousands in a story of teen romance, school politics, and class warfare that could only be called High School U.S.A.! Plus a robot! #podcast #tv #retrotv #seventies #eighties #tvmovie #michaeljfox #nancymckeon #crispinglover #tonydow #toddbridges #thegreatmichaelzorek #highschoolusa #teencomedy


Ep. 10-8: It's Garry Shandling's Show

This is the one about Garry's Show. In "Go Go Goldblum," Garry Shandling (Garry Shandling) and Jeff Goldblum (Jeff Goldblum) find themselves in quite the pickle. Rick (Rick) and Mike (Mike), on the other hand, don't have any trouble heaping praise on the underappreciated gem It's Garry Shandling's Show. #podcast #tv #retrotv #seventies #eighties #itsgarryshandlingsshow #garryshandling #jeffgolodblum.


Episode 10-7: Perry Mason

In this season's Retro-Retro episode, we return to the silver age of TV and TV's wiliest lawyer--the great Perry Mason in "The Case of the Treacherous Toupee." You read that right. Crime, shenannegans, and a toupee! Plus a young Robert Redford! #podcast #tv #retrotv #seventies #eighties #fifties #sixties #perrymason #raymondburr #robertredford #lawyers #courtroomdrama


My Favorite Martin

"Imagine if you will a pyramid of Martins." What could this mean? The wizards in the BOTNS Game Labs have done it again, that's what! Can Mike guess the BOTNS-era celebrity Martins (first or last name) and build the pyramid, or will the pyramid crumble like so many misplaced bricks? #podcast #tv #retrotv #seventies #eighties #game #myfavoritemartin #martin


Ep. 10-6: Bob Hope

If you watched NBC in the seventies and eighties (and nineties), you saw Bob Hope smirking, mugging, singing, dancing, flirting, and reading cue cards. "Bob Hope's All-Star Comedy Spectacular" features all that and a who's who of variety TV from Ann-Margret and Charo to Sammy and Dino, not to mention Mac Davis! Join us as we discuss all this and Texaco! #podcast #tv #retrotv #seventies #eighties #bobhope #macdavis #sammydavisjr #deanmartin #annmargret #variety #comedy #charo


Ep. 10-5: Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends

Before Spider-Man teamed up with Spider-Man and, uh, Spider-Man (let-alone Spider-Man Noir, Spider-Gwen, and Spider-Ham) at the movies, he teamed up with Ice Man and Firestar on Saturday morning TV in Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends. Not only that, but in "The X-Men Adventure," Spidey and his friends also join forces with the X-Men to defeat a deranged cyborg with a personal connection to one of the heroes. By fan request from our celebrated 2-11-year-old demographic, we nerd out over...


Ep. 10-4: Siskel and Ebert

The thumbs, the tension, the balcony--who can forget Siskel and Ebert and their various movie review shows? They helped create a new TV format and defined and dominated it with their winning personalities and unique dynamics. We take a look at an episode fron 1989 and also discuss some of their competitors and imitators.


Fame Game 9

We take a break from our regularly scheduled programming to bring you another round of the Fame Game, where Mike has to guess a famous personality (real or fictional) from the BOTNS era based on a series of clues. Will his hot streak continue, or will he crash and burn? Find out! #podcast #tv #retrotv #seventies #eighties #game #famegame #bonusepisode


Ep. 10-3: Maude

In the past, we've visited a wide array of locations in the Normal Lear Universe: the Park Avenue penthouse of the Drummond-Jackson family on "Diff'rent Strokes"; the Jeffersons' de-luxe apartment in the sky; the Eastland School on "Facts of Life"; the Chicago projects on "Good Times." Then there's Maude! This week, we head to Tuckahoe as Maude (the great Bea Arthur) directs a charity salute to burlesque only to butt heads with Arthur (the great Conrad Bain) over the content! Songs, jokes,...


Ep. 10-2: Mister Rogers' Neighorhood

This week, we once again cater to the 2-11-year-old demographic and discuss the venerable child "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood." Mister Rogers takes on Speedy Delivery duties for a vacationing Mr. McFeely and plays with elaborate masks. In the Neighborhood of Make Believe, Lady Aberlin wrestles with the eternal question "What is love?" #podcast #tv #retrotv #seventies #eighties #misterrogers #misterrogersneighborhood #fredrogers


Ep. 10-1: The Easter Bunny is Comin' To Town

In our Season 10 opener, Sunny The Easter Bunny braves a grouchy bear, a grouchy duchess, and more to spread joy to the dismal Town. Yet again, Rankin-Bass manage to consolidate and convolute holiday traditions into a single mythology, and yet again Rick and Mike do their best to make sense of it all. #podcast #tv #retrotv #seventies #eighties #easter #easterbunny #fredastaire #rankinbass #holidayspecial #seasonpremiere


Catching Up, Looking Ahead, and More

With season 9 and the BATTYs in the rearview mirror but always in their hearts, Rick and Mike catch up on life and some BOTNS-era viewing and look ahead at season 10. Plus a bonus Fame Game. #podcast #tv #retrotv #seventies #eighties


Season 9 BATTY Awards

Live on tape from Jim Rockford's trailer in beautiful Malibu, California, the Season 9 BATTY Awards honor the best from season 9 in categories ranging from outstanding non-human and best facial hair to outstanding lead actor and actress and best show! Join us for the excitement as we determine the winners on air!


Episode 9-13: Battlestar Galactica (1978)

In a "rag-tag fleet," the remnants of humanity flee the robotic Cylons and search for a new home...Earth! For our season finale, we discuss the series finale of the original Battlestar Galactica "Hand of God," a show perhaps not remembered as fondly as it should be.