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In this light-hearted, comic variation of "In the Heat of the Night," a white police chief and his officers (including a newly arrived black officer) must keep the peace in a small town located in the Southern USA. Written by
This was one of those quickie sitcoms that came around in development that was in reaction to the current events of that era. In this case,when this sitcom "Carter Country" premiered on ABC-TV in September of 1977,and stayed on the air until its demise in the April of 1979,after 43 episodes,this sitcom was around when the current events were happening:Jimmy Carter was the 39th President Of The United States,the crisis in Iran was about to explode,and not to mention the films "Star Wars",and "Smokey and the Bandit",were box office powerhouses at the theaters,The Bee Gees ruled the pop charts,and the top three television networks at the time,ABC,NBC,and CBS were fighting from supremacy and power at the top of the Nielsen ratings,not to mention to "CB" trucking country craze that was sweeping the United States. This was also at the Hollywood gave us that not-so-good badly titled waste of time that basically featured incoherent and incompetent rednecks getting their comeuppance on a weekly basis.
It wasn't as pathetic as "She's The Sheriff" with Suzanne Somers but with some of the fakest Southern accents ever depicted. Let's face it: this was a sitcom that went by the original book by John Ball and also took some cues from Norman Jewison's Oscar winning classic 1967 film "In The Heat Of The Night" that starred Rod Steiger and Sidney Poitier,but with a unexpected twist. This was in fact,the reversal of this where the character was an educated African-American male whom for some reason ends up becoming the town's Police Sergeant,and then from there toward the end of the series becomes the town's Police Chief in a small Southern town. But why for some reason decided to live in Deliverance territory where bigotry and racism are still rampant is very strange. The character of Curtis Baker played by Kene Holliday has to live by and goes through the motions of trying to adjust to the new conditions of the townsfolk he has to deal with under the watchful eye of the Police Chief Roy Mobey,played by Victor French, and the town Mayor,played by Richard Paul.
However,out of all the actors in this series,actress Melanie Griffith went on to become anything but spectacular in Hollywood,and still is to this day,but most of the cast are very recognizable especially with actress Vernee Watson(who plays Holliday's love interest,Lucille)who was basically throughout the 1970's and 1980's in every black-oriented show there was including appearances of such shows as "Sanford and Son","That's My Mama","Good Times","What's Happening!","The Jeffersons","Amen","227","Martin","The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air",and so forth. Before this series,Vernee Watson was a regular on another ABC show "Welcome Back Kotter". Aside from Griffith and Watson,the most recognizable character on the show would be Victor French,who created many memorable characters in productions like "Gunsmoke","Little House On The Prairie", "The Waltons","Highway To Heaven",Father Murphy",and did several turns as heavies in movies like "Flap","Savannah Smiles","Hooper",and "An Officer And A Gentlemen". Victor French's character on the series was the world-weary,but sometimes(mostly)fair sheriff. But his assistant deputies? They're were just as incompetent and dumb as they can be. The deputies on this show were no where near the intelligence of Deputy Fife.
Was this series stereotyping Southerners and country folk? This series had plenty of that and more,and this is why ABC ran it for two seasons.
In order to understand exactly how this series was ever created,and this was from the brainchild of David Gerber. Gerber was responsible for some of the most luminary events ever displayed for television.... "Policewoman","The Love Boat","The Fall Guy","Buck Rogers","Saved By The Bell",among others while the other brainchild behind this series too Bud Yorkin,was responsible for the shows "Sanford and Son","Maude", "All In The Family","Good Times","What's Happening!","Hello,Larry", "Different Strokes",among others,but "Carter Country" and "Hello,Larry" were some of the biggest flops ever conceived under his tutelage. By the way,take a good look at the filmographies of both David Gerber and Bud Yorkin and you'll see why that this series hasn't been seen since.
After 25 years.
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