The Montefuscos (partially found television sitcom; 1975)

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Montefuscos.jpg

Naomi Stevens and Joe Sirola as Rose and Tony "Papa" Montefusco, the heads of the family in the series.

Status: Partially Found

The Montefuscos is a television sitcom that aired on Thursday nights from September 4th to October 23rd as part of the 1975 NBC "superseason" lineup made to combat the success of rival network CBS.[1] The show was produced by Concept Plus II Productions, and was the only television series based in Connecticut that aired in the "television dry season" for the state between Bewitched in 1972 and Who's The Boss? in 1984. The series was originally set to air as either The Family Dinner or Sunday Night Dinner and diverted from the usual representation of "WASP" (White Anglo-Saxon Protestant) culture in the state by instead focusing on a working-class Italian-American family.[2][3]

The show, along with Fay which aired in the time slot before it, became doomed to fail due to the implementation of the Family Viewing Hour (FVH) by the FCC, which was legislation that enforced "family-friendly programming" during the first hour of television prime time.[4] In this time slot, the series was facing up against some of the most popular shows on television on other networks. These scheduling arrangements were highly criticized by those in the television industry, and were made by Marvin Antonowsky, who immediately cancelled the series in response to the decline in ratings, and replaced them with weekly hour-long specials until December.[5][6]

Plot Synopsis

The show follows the New Canaan family of Rose (Naomi Stevens) and Tony "Papa" Montefusco (Joe Sirola), who have their three-generation family come for dinner every Sunday as part of a family tradition. While the family is over for dinner, issues within the family are often brought up, bringing situational comedy to the show, especially with most of these issues being left unresolved at the end of the night.[7]

Availability

The only footage of the show currently online is on the promotional video made for NBC's superseason, which contains scenes from the episode Behind Papa's Behind. The amount of episodes that aired is varied between sources, with the range being as low as two with the highest being eight, although a total of 13 were filmed in front of a live-studio audience.[8] Despite this, at least one episode of the series is held at the Library of Congress, which limits the footage to in-library screenings due to copyright concerns.[9]

Gallery

Footage from the show from the NBC superseason promo starts at the 10:58 mark of this video.

References