The Roller Girls

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The Roller Girls (on-screen title: Rollergirls) is an American sitcom that aired on NBC from April 24, 1978 to May 10, 1978.

Rollergirls Promo in TV Guide

Rollergirls, originally set to be titled as Roller Girls, is a television sitcom that was produced by Komack Company and aired on NBC from April 24th to May 16th of 1978. Upon release of the pilots for both it and Joe and Valerie, NBC had high hopes for the series, as it had followed the trend set by Charlie's Angels where the main cast was composed entirely of women, and incorporating elements of what would come to be coined as "Jiggle Television".

Despite the show promoting the sport of Roller Derby by having a guest appearance by the Los Angeles Thunderbirds (T-Birds), as well as being the television debut of Candy Brown, the series was widely disliked by audiences, critics, and government agencies. It was criticized for not being family-friendly by the Parent Teacher Association, being sold as a "package deal" with Joe and Valerie when the two shows were completely unlike, having terrible humour, weird character names, and overall being unbelievable in nature. After four episodes were produced and broadcast, NBC announced the series' cancellation on May 16th, less than a month after the show's first broadcast.

Plot Synopsis

The series follows the Pittsburgh Pits, a Roller Derby team composed of five members, as is a standard team. The team's members include Mongo Sue Lampert (Rhonda Bates), Mary Francis Johnson (Candy Brown), Selma Books Cassidy (Joanna Cassidy), Honey Bee Novak (Marcy Hanson), and Pipeline (Marilyn Tokuda). Together they train and compete, but often personal matters get in the way of things, and they find themselves in comedic situations.

Availability

The intro credits, as well as a clip of the show, have both made their way online. However, no episodes in full have surfaced either on the internet, or in any notable archive. However, a script for the episode "Battle of the Sexes" is currently held at the University of Illinois.

Premise

The series features the exploits of a fictional all-female roller derby team, the Pittsburgh Pitts, owned and managed by Don Mitchell (Terry Kiser).

Cast

  • Terry Kiser as Don Mitchell
  • Rhonda Bates as Mongo Sue Lambert
  • Candy Ann Brown J.B Johnson
  • Joanna Cassidy as Selma 'Books' Cassidy
  • Marcy Hanson as Honey Bee Novak
  • Marilyn Tokuda as Shana 'Pipeline' Akira
  • James Murtaugh as Howie Devine

Episodes

Season # Episode # Title Plot/Notes Original air date
1 1 "Battle of the Sexes" A five-woman roller skating team, the Pittsburgh Pitts, sets out to strike a rock 'em, sock 'em blow for womanhood in a race with an all-male team April 24, 1978
1 2 "Come to Me, My Melancholy Mongo" Her teammates secretly arrange for lonely, dateless Mongo to have a night of romance with the team's owner-coach. May 1, 1978
1 3 "The Birth of the Pitts" A half-time pep talk by their owner-coach prods members of the Pittsburgh Pitts to reflect on how they met and became a unit. May 3, 1978
1 4 "One of Our Players Is Missing" Honey Bee is angry when she is traded to the Rhode Island Hens team whose owner is threatening to foreclose the mortgage on the Pitts rink. May 10, 1978