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An original, interesting idea for a series-from Aaron Spelling
7 April 2007
Lloyd Bridges became a big star as skin diver Mike Nelson on "Sea Hunt"
(1958-61). Bridges returned to television a year later in this
ambitious 30-minute series, designed to showcase his range and depth as
an actor. Bridges was 49 years old.
Aaron Spelling was the creator and executive producer. The production
company was Four Star ("The Dick Powell Show", "Burke's Law"). Bridges
played journalist Adam Shepherd. When Shepherd was researching a story,
he would imagine himself as the protagonist. Thus each week Bridges was
playing a new character in a new situation.
The line producer was Everett Chambers who had produced "Johnny
Staccato" with John Cassavetes (and would later produce "Peyton Place"
and some episodes of "Columbo"). Chambers also had an acting role in
the Cassavetes film "Too Late Blues". Bosley Crowther of the New York
Times said Everett Chambers gave that film's best performance. Chambers
got his pal Cassavetes to direct two episodes of the Bridges series and
to guest star in another.
Gena Rowlands also appeared in an episode, and later worked for Everett
Chambers on "Peyton Place". Seymour Cassell ("Minnie and Moscowitz"
-1971) had a small role in the Rowands episode. Robert Towne
("Chinatown") wrote the episode and Don Taylor directed.
I wonder if Chambers offered Cassavetes the role of convicted killer
Elliot Carson on "Peyton Place". Then Cassavetes could have played Mia
Farrow's father in "Peyton Place" in addition to her husband in
The first "Lloyd Bridges Show" episode directed by Cassavetes was "A
Pair of Boots". While doing a story on the 100th anniversary of the
Civil War, Adam Shepherd imagines he is a Union soldier in a stand- off
skirmish with Confederates. Beau Bridges, John Marley, Seymour Cassell,
Lawrence Tierney and Royal Dano were featured in the futility of war
drama. Marley and Cassel would appear in Cassavetes' "Faces" (1968).
The second episode directed by Cassavetes was "My Daddy Can Lick Your
Daddy". Bridges played an aging middle-weight boxing champion in the
1920's. He is put in a fight with his son (Gary Lockwood), who he has
pretty much ignored his whole life. The self-hating son plans to kill
his father in the ring. Lelia Goldroni ("Shadows") played Bridges' girl
friend. Robert Towne wrote the episode.
In "Mr. Pennington's Machine", Bridges played a somewhat crude, noisy
business man, apparently an "Ugly American". But he is touched by the
starvation he sees while on vacation in the orient. He tries to help a
destitute Chinese village with the aid of his cautious wife (Betty
Garrett) and a cynical American adventurer (Lee Philips).
Jeff Bridges appeared in three episodes, and Beau was in two. Lloyd's
daughter Cindy was also in an episode.
When the series got unimpressive ratings, the Adam Shepherd character
was dropped and the series became a straight anthology series hosted by
and starring Bridges.
I remember seeing Bridges on the daytime game show "Your First
Impression" at the time of this series. When host Bill Leyden asked
Bridges the title of his new show, Bridges was embarrassed to tell him.
He said the show really should have been called "The Aaron Spelling
Show". Bridges said Spelling was a genius.
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