Producer Ben Brady was one of the great pioneers in the history of television. Not only did changed the face of it,but brought on some of the best television shows ever made. Ben Brady was one of the first producers who brought to television one of the greatest courtroom dramas of all time "Perry Mason". He also was responsible for bringing television's first psychological western "Have Gun,Will Travel",as well as bringing three great landmark shows that became groundbreaking programming for ABC. In September of 1963,he brought to television the award-winning science fiction/horror anthology "The Outer Limits" that became one of the biggest hits for the network. In September of 1964,he brought to ABC television's first-ever prime time soap serial "Peyton Place" that launched the careers of Ryan O'Neal and Mia Farrow. "Peyton Place" became one of the monster hits for that network. In October of 1965,Producer Ben Brady along with pioneer television producer Quinn Martin were responsible for bringing to ABC one of the greatest cop shows of all time "The F.B.I." that became one of the greatest police/crime drama series of it's day,and brought a once struggling network ABC to acclaim status.
On September 23,1968,producer Ben Brady along with Leon Tokatyan brought to television another groundbreaking series,and this time around it's a western that became one of the most controversial shows of the season. "The Outcasts" was deadly simple and effective. It dealt with two bounty hunters,a white southerner named Earl Corey(Don Murray)who was a former slave owner who had lost everything during the Civil War and was reduced to being a bounty hunter just to make a living. His partner was a former slave named Jemel David(Otis Young)who along with Earl rid the West of all criminals both black and white during the mid-1860's,after the Civil War. However,this was no sappy can't we all get along type of show. Suffice to say,Jemel and Earl despised each other,but they were forced to stay and work together for survival in a hostile,cold,brutal,and unforgiving environment that was the Old West.
Jemel on the other hand was just about angry and displeased with the world around him in just about each and every episode. The show itself was bluntly about tension and in some episodes a lot of strong themes. There were episodes within this series where Jemel and Earl ride into a new town in which Jemel got into some trouble for something he didn't do,and his partner Earl had to decide whether he should side with the white guys,or defend his partner despite the fact that Jemel really hated his guts. It was up to Earl in just about other every episode to get Jemel out of a tight situation.
Needless to say,the show lasted one season on ABC-TV and was canceled on May 5,1969 after 26 episodes. If ABC had put this series in a different slot,it would have blossomed,since the network had "The Outcasts" on Monday nights opposite CBS' top-rated sitcom "Mayberry,RFD" not to mention up against the Number One show on television,"Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In". The series was just too raw and too controversial for audiences at the time to take. And considering the series premiered just months after the sudden deaths of Dr. Martin Luther King,Jr. and Robert Kennedy,and with the country over the boiling point with it's urban riots,violent protests,not to mention watching American soldiers being killed in Vietnam every night on the network news. For it's short run for the 1968-1969 season,"The Outcasts" was not the show television audiences wanted to see. It also made history as having Otis Young as the first black actor to star in a TV western,three years after Bill Cosby made television history for "I Spy". Some episodes were very controversial in their own right. One episode dealt with the pair wound up on a former plantation where an ex-slave(Roscoe Lee Browne) was still rooting for the Confederacy(Season 1;Episode 18 "Gideon" aired:February 24,1969). The hate and contempt Jemel had for Browne burned a hole through the screen. Other episodes during this series run had the same impact. And he wasn't the only angry black man on television. For further proof,see Linc Hayes of "The Mod Squad" who was even madder at the world and the society around him.
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