Do You Remember 1979’s Cliffhangers On NBC?

As I’ve mentioned before a lot of the things I enjoy were shaped at an early age thanks to spending so much time with my Grandparents. Big Band music. Old Time Radio shows. All of these types of entertainment were very much part of my upbringing. That included hearing stories from both my Grandparents and my Father about movie matinee serials featuring the likes of Spy Smasher, Flash Gordon and of course one of my favorites, Radar Men From The Moon featuring Commando Cody!

So my Family was quite excited when NBC began airing television spots for a then upcoming series that looked to be attempting to bring back those serials or cliffhangers as they were more commonly known.

[Via] Robatsea 2009

Running an hour long and premiering on February 27, 1979, Cliffhangers presented three different types of stories at 20 minutes a piece. You had the man out of time element with The Secret Empire when a U.S. Marshall discovers a hidden city far beneath the surface of the Earth.

The Secret Empire - Cliffhangers

Then there was the plucky reporter who constantly found herself in deadly peril around the globe in Stop Susan Williams!

Stop Susan Williams - Cliffhangers

Last but not least there was a modern day tale of horror with Curse of Dracula, aka Dracula ’79, which finds Count Dracula tiring of his long life and attempting to obtain the knowledge to become mortal again…while working as a College Professor…naturally for night school.

Curse of Dracula - Cliffhangers

Sadly Cliffhangers just wasn’t embraced by the viewing public in 1979 nor did it help them that they were running against the likes of both Happy Days and Laverne and Shirley. Only ten episodes were released, which was enough to finish the story line for Curse of Dracula but truly left a cliffhanger in regards to Stop Susan Williams and The Secret Empire. Thankfully the Stop Susan Williams segments were edited into a two hour TV movie entitled The Girl Who Saved The World…but as for The Secret Empire…who knows how it might have ended?


Editor at Retroist
Searching through the alleys for useful knowledge in the city of Nostalgia. Huge cinema fanatic and sometimes carrier of the flame for the weirding ways of 80s gaming, toys, and television. When his wife lets him he is quite happy sitting in the corner eating buckets of beef jerky.
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