Calucci's Department (partially found television sitcom; 1973-1974)
Calucci's Department is a 1973 television sitcom produced by Sullivan Productions and aired on CBS. Unlike many other shows in the Fall 1973 television season, the show was not unionized, and was, therefore, one of the only shows that season to be premiered as planned due to writer's strikes at the time of release. The series was created by married couple Renee Taylor and Joseph Bologna and was based off a pilot they did with star James Coco simply named Calucci.
The show was praised by critics as being the best new comedy show of the season, but despite these praises, the show dropped to the very bottom of the Nielsen Television ratings at 63rd, largely because it was scheduled opposite of NBC's Sanford and Son, one of the most popular sitcoms on television at the time, being at the third spot in the ratings partly due to its appeal to the African American demographic. On top of that, the shows humour was said to be too urban for the average viewer. Due to these issues, the show was cancelled in December of 1973, airing reruns shortly into January of 1974.
The series follows the life of Joe Calucci (James Coco) and his team at a state unemployment office. While the team was purposely made as diverse as possible to assist the unique struggles of each individual, they're mostly rude, self-centred, lazy, or simply uninterested in the job, meaning that Calucci has to work around these issues in order to get the job done. At the same time, he also has to factor in his romantic relationship with his secretary Shirley Balukis (Candy Azzara) who isn't usually the brightest individual.
To date, there are three clips of the series available online, as well as the opening credits. The pilot episode of the series is also available at the Paley Center for Media, though it is limited to in-library screenings due to copyright concerns.
- A newspaper containing an article stating that the series was one of few to premier as scheduled that season due to unionized protests. Retrieved 21 Sept '19
- A newspaper article interviewing James Coco upon the show's debut, in which he states the show was based off a pilot titled Calucci. Retrieved 21 Sept '19
- A newspaper article detailing the odd case of the show, being the top new comedy of the season, but at the bottom of the ratings list. Retrieved 21 Sept '19
- A newspaper Q&A Mail Bag segment where James Coco stated that he wished the show was scheduled in a different slot so it wouldn't have to compete with Sanford and Son. Retrieved 21 Sept '19
- A newspaper article from 1978 stating that the urban humour in the series was a factor in its cancellation. Retrieved 21 Sept '19
- An article interviewing Fred Silverman, stating that it was disappointing for him to cancel the series. Retrieved 21 Sept '19
- A page giving a description of the plot for the series. Retrieved 21 Sept '19
- Paley Center for Media site on Calucci's Department's pilot episode. Retrieved 21 Sept '19