To avoid a year in jail, swimming pool cleaner Morris Buttermaker agrees to coach a Little League baseball team called the Bears. Unfortunately, the Bears are the worst team in the league, boasting a roster of the most inept and least disciplined players in school. Buttermaker, with the help of principal Rappant, eventually wins the respect of the Bears, and they even win a few games along the way. Written by
Marty McKee <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Some changes were made in adapting the premise for television. The ages of the kids were moved back slightly, the language was cleaned up (though Tanner continued to call the coach "Buttercrud"), alcoholic beverages all but disappeared, and Amanda changed from Buttermaker's would-be stepdaughter to his granddaughter. The essence of each character remained the same. See more »
The Bad News Bears is one of my all-time favorite baseball movies that spawned two sequels and a prime time sitcom. The good news is that the show had an outstanding cast, anchored by Jack Warden who took over Walter Mattheu's role as Buttermaker and Catherine Hicks, years before she played Annie on 7th Heaven. There were also outstanding young actors, including Kristoff St. John as Ahmad, Corey Feldman as Regi and Meeno Peluce (Soleil Moon Frye's brother) as Tanner.
With a cast like that, the show had lots of potential. Warden's Buttermaker was still a swimming pool cleaner who was faced with going to jail after driving a client's car into a pool or coaching a little league team. He chose the latter and as the season progressed it was better than the big house.
Also, the producers did the right thing in keeping "March of the Toreadors" from the Bizet opera Carmen as the sitcom's theme music. It was also used over the closing credits in the original Bad News Bears movie.
Unfortunately, CBS kept moving the show around, confusing viewers over when it would be shown and three episodes into its second season, it struck out. Hopefully someday, the episodes will be available on DVD, proving to viewers that The Bad News Bears wasn't bad news.
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