Videos: Ten TV shows you didn't know were set in Colorado
Quite a few well-known TV series have been set in Colorado over the years, from Mork & Mindy to Everwood to South Park.
But what about more obscure Colorado-set shows? Turns out there have been plenty of those, too -- sitcoms, Westerns, animated series and more. The vast majority of them have been all but forgotten, by everyone other than us. Check out ten examples below.
Lots of us remember the popular Honey, I Shrunk the Kids film series, which launched in 1989. But Disney tried to expand the brand with a TV series circa 1997, and the results managed to stay on the air for three years.
Wayne Szalinski, the patriarch of the clan, was played in the movies by Rick Moranis. Who filled his shoes on the small screen? None other than Peter Scolari, Tom Hanks's Bosom Buddy. At the outset of the series, the family moves to Matheson, Colorado, a community in Elbert County -- not that it was actually filmed here. According to Wikipedia, it was mainly shot at a decommissioned Canadian Forces dormitory in Calgary.
A Western sitcom, Pistols 'n' Petticoats debuted in September 1966, during a period when the success of the hayseed fave Petticoat Junction apparently convinced network executives that any program mentioning undergarments was a guaranteed success. Wrong. By the following March, it was history.
Still, the program deserves to be remembered for a couple of reasons: It's set in the fictional Colorado burg of Wretched -- shocking that no town chose that as its name! And the theme song is as corny as a Del Monte packaging plant. Click and you'll hear what I mean.
Continue to keep reading our list of ten TV shows you didn't know were set in Colorado. Good Luck Charlie:
Good Luck Charlie isn't a part of TV's past. It launched in April 2010 and is still being broadcasted -- news, no doubt, to those of you who don't regularly tune in the Disney Channel. The show revolves around the Duncans, a family living in Denver, although naturally, the show is filmed in Los Angeles. The Duncan clan has just welcomed a fourth child, with big sis Teddy (Bridgit Mendler) taking it upon herself to make video diaries intended to help guide Charlie through life. And just in case you forget the program's title, each episode ends with someone saying, "Good luck, Charlie."
Another series that fell short of smash status, Hotel de Paree lasted from October 1959 to June 1960. The star, Earl Holliman -- familiar to a subsequent generation (but probably not the latest one) for his role in the Angie Dickinson hit Police Woman -- played a gunfighter just released from prison after seventeen years. In the first episode, he's in Georgetown, Colorado, where he kills the town villain. Instead of putting him back behind bars, though, the townspeople encourage him to become the town marshal. Talk about a rehabilitation program.
Continue to keep reading our list of ten TV shows you didn't know were set in Colorado. The Kids From Room 402:
Our friends at Wikipedia tell us that The Kids from Room 402, aired on Fox Family back in 1999, and can still be seen in the United Kingdom. However, they don't let us know precisely where in Colorado the action is supposed to take place -- so use your imagination. And also listen closely to the voice of Nancy Francis, the red-haired girl who's arguably the most prominent member of Miss Graves's class on the show. Yes, that's right: It's Mindy Cohn, best known as a primary cast member of The Facts of Life, as well as the 21st Century voice of Velma in the Scooby Doo franchise.
Make It or Break It, launched on ABC Family in 2009, was canceled just months ago, maybe because its premise dealt with gymnasts training for the 2012 London Olympics; if the producers had been smart, they would have had them shooting for 2016. And where did the three central flippers (Ayla Kell, Josie Loren and Cassie Scerbo) train? In Boulder, at a fictional gym called the Rocky Mountain Gymnastics Training Center, nicknamed the "Rock." How Dwayne Johnson resisted the urge to sue, we'll never know.
Continue to keep reading our list of ten TV shows you didn't know were set in Colorado. Two Faces West:
A syndicated Western that lasted less than a year after its October 1960 bow, Two Faces West nonetheless provides the sort of idea so dumb that it's amazing more series creators haven't tried to rip it off. The protagonists are identical twins, both played by Scottish actor Charles Bateman, with one being a doctor and the other a marshal.
Imagine the applications! Instead of deciding to watch Gray's Anatomy or Law & Order: SVU, watch both of them at the same time!
House Rules is hardly the oldest of the programs we're featuring here. It ran in 1998 -- for a grand total of three months. But no videos are available on YouTube, maybe because it was an NBC product, and that company tries to funnel all of its video through Hulu. And yet we couldn't find any episosdes there, either.
What was it about? Three childhood friends (Maria Pitillo, Bradley White and David Newsom) living together in a Denver house in what one online reference I saw described as a Three's Company knockoff. Hard to tell why that didn't become a smash....
Continue to keep reading our list of ten TV shows you didn't know were set in Colorado. Whispering Smith:
The back story for Whispering Smith sounds every bit as interesting as the premise, in which declining movie star Audie Murphy played Tom "Whispering" Smith, a detective looking into crimes that were sometimes based on vintage Denver Police case files.
The show was supposed to reach eyeballs in 1959, but one actor, recording artist Guy Mitchell, broke his shoulder, causing so long a delay that Murphy began filming a movie, resulting in a production delay. Then, another principal, Sam Buffington, committed suicide at age 28, necessitating his replacement. And after the show aired, it became a subject of criticism for being too violent -- although today, it looks only slightly more brutal than an after-school special.
Camp Candy didn't get its name because all of the trees were marshmallow Peeps. Nope, the animated series' namesake was the late John Candy, cast as a Colorado camper who helped kids to navigate nature. Still, it's not exactly a finger-wagging bit of Hollywood environmental activism, as evidenced by the intro that kicks off the video above; it's built around the idea of Candy being big and fat. Sophisticated.
The show was part of the Fox Kids lineup in 1989 and 1990, with a few new episodes created a couple of years after that. In 1998, Fox Family aired it again in 1998, giving Colorado another close-up. Sort of. Kind of. In a way.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Westword's biggest stories.