CTV Television Network

Downright Disco

Network: CTV Television Network

Broadcast Run: 1978 to 1979

Broadcast Medium: Television

Downright Disco arrived as the disco era had passed its peak, but CTV did its best to compensate for any dwindling appeal in the music by mounting an impressive-looking production with  four big sets, a sixteen-piece orchestra under the baton of trumpeter Dave Woods, ten dancers under the direction of choreographer Kirsten Etherington, comedy inserts by a team of actors that included Robin Duke, Tony Rosato, and Gordon Thompson (then little-known, but later famous as Joan Collins’ son on Dallas for many seasons), and an impressive  list of disco guest stars, including Grace Jones and Evelyn “Champagne” King. The half-hour series was fronted by host/D.J. Barry Flatman, who later went on to a successful acting career in television movies and series in the U.S. and Canada. 

Downright Disco was produced by Jim McKenna (who provided much helpful information for this piece), and directed by Trevor Evans. It was slotted into the CTV schedule on Fridays at 7pm at the start of the 1978-79 season, when the planned drama series Shape of Things to Come failed to materialize for this slot. In December 1978 it moved to Mondays at 10:30pm (not an ideal slot for a Disco show, perhaps);  in May 1979 it moved again, this time to 7:00pm on Tuesdays, where it stayed until the end of the season.  It was not included in the 1979-80 CTV schedule.

Written by Pip Wedge – March, 2003