Variety was certainly the spice of life in the 1960s and ’70s. Back then, everyone from Sonny and Cher to Donny and Marie had a TV variety hour. Now, “Saturday Night Live” vet Maya Rudolph is hoping to revive the format with her self-titled special tonight at 10 on NBC. If it gets picked up, let’s hope her show is more successful than these long-forgotten variety outings.
v “THE BRADY BUNCH HOUR” (1976): We always knew Jan was the smart one. Eve Plumb was the sole cast member who avoided this nine-week misfire.
v “THE CAPTAIN & TENNILLE” (1976-77): There was no muskrat love for this show starring ’70s husband-and-wife hit makers Daryl Dragon and Toni Tennille. As a comedian, the Captain missed the boat.
v “THE STARLAND VOCAL BAND SHOW” (1977): Skyrockets definitely weren’t in flight with this summer variety show from the group that reached its climax with the song “Afternoon Delight.” It did, however, give an up-and-comer named David Letterman a start.
v “MARY” (1978): Mary Tyler Moore could turn the world on with her smile, but not with her singing and dancing in this “Carol Burnett Show” knockoff that ran three weeks. A revamped version in 1979 featuring a young Michael Keaton lasted 11 weeks.
v “ROSIE LIVE” (2008): Rosie O’Donnell’s attempt at a variety show really took the cake. In fact, it ended with a half-baked production number featuring dancers dressed as cake and cookies. “Rosie Live” was dead on arrival after one airing.
“The Bachelorette” (9:30 P.M., ABC): Our condolences go out to Andi Dorfman. She’s the new leading lady on “The Bachelorette,” which kicks off another season of romantic dysfunction and mascara-running drama.
“The Maya Rudolph Show” (10:01 P.M., NBC): “The Maya Rudolph Show” has the former “Saturday Night Live” dynamo presiding over an old-school kind of variety special. Her guests include Andy Samberg, Kristen Bell, Sean Hayes and others.
TV listings, B6
Movies available Tuesday on DVD and through digital providers include:
“3 Days to Kill” (PG-13)
“About Last Night” (R)
“The Monuments Men” (PG-13)
“Vampire Academy” (PG-13)