The premise is that local TV producer Michael (Peter Scolari) gets his long-awaited chance at a big network job, only to discover that the head of the network -- who seems to be loosely based on MTM and NBC's Grant Tinker -- is only interested in quality programming. Michael, who can't enjoy a show "without a catchy theme song that explains the premise" and utterly hates quality television, is devastated: all his life he's loved schlocky TV, and now nobody seems to want it. But Dick (Bob Newhart) reassures him that his time will come again:
DICK: Michael, I think you're missing an important point here. Your kind of shows -- the shows that you like -- are going to come back.
MICHAEL: You're just saying that to make me feel better.
DICK: No, I'm not. Television always runs in cycles. Remember back in the '70s, that great lineup: All in the Family, M*A*S*H, Mary Tyler Moore, The Carol Burnett Show...
MICHAEL (disgusted): Dick, don't remind me. And how about that show with the shrink who stuttered?
DICK: Stammered. But, Michael, what came on after that, a few years later? Think. Or, a better clue would be, don't think.
MICHAEL: Three's Company.
DICK: Right. What else?
MICHAEL: Manimal. Supertrain. Sheriff Lobo!
DICK: Hello, Larry!
MICHAEL: Yeah! Dick, you're right! This stupid golden age of television can't last forever, and when it's over, I'll be there, leading the way!
DICK: Michael, I don't doubt it.
MICHAEL: Oh, Dick -- thanks.
DICK: Don't thank me.
MICHAEL: You're right. Maybe I should thank the American people.