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Even though it was abruptly canceled in 1996,the fact that it ran in
national syndication for 26 years should tell you that "Donahue" was
the godfather and the innovative pioneer of the modern day talk show.
Let's face facts here. The majority of the shows that are on today
would not exist if it weren't for Phil Donahue. Today's talk shows are
nothing but utter garbage with nothing but chocolate pudding formats
and whipped cream topics that basically kills an hour in their time
slots(the prime examples of this are "Jerry Springer", "Maury", "The
View", "Wendy Williams",not to mention the trash that comes from "Live
with Micheal and Kelly", "The Real",and the worst of them all basically
coming from either CNN or Fox News)that have no subject matter or
appeal to their audience. The reason? Because the hosts rarely go after
the serious topics that affect people in their everyday lives,and
today's talk show hosts don't even know how to handle the hard, tough
in-your-face- questions. They're basically nothing but gossip headlines
that don't even make sense. Phil Donahue's fire and desire was way
ahead of its time when his daytime talk show premiered in national
syndication on January 5, 1970. But in the early-1970's at the height
of the Vietnam War,the Watergate scandal with President Nixon,and the
struggle for equality for minorities,nobody else on television wasn't
even thinking about this especially for daytime television. Think about
it. The talk shows at that time were still left over with musical and
celebrity guests that were outdated junk from the late-1950's and
early-to-mid- 1960's style to sugarcoat what was happening in the real
world and make people feel good. For example,during the Civil Rights
Movement and the Cuban Missile crisis of the early-1960's,there was no
talk show on television that kept the people informed to what was
happening in society. The television industry sugarcoated these topics
by showing people constant repeats of "My Three Sons", "Donna Reed",and
"Bewitched". Imagine if "Donahue" came on the scene at that time. You
can bet he would have been on the air and tackle these issues head on
with the hard,tough-in-your-face questions along with the open
Phil Donahue's daytime syndicated talk show was a breath of fresh air when it premiered in 1970 that was informed and not to mention tackling controversial issues that were considered taboo for television at that time. At the time "Donahue" premiered the daytime television landscape was filled with candy coated talk show hosts ranging from "Merv Griffin", to "Mike Douglas", "Dinah Shore", "John Davidson",and "Dick Cavett". Not to mention an array of children's programming, daytime game shows and weekday serials(daytime soap operas) that basically filled the daytime television line-up during the 1970's and 1980's. Most of the topics "Donahue" had were very controversial with the straight up hard in-your- face-questions and open dialogue with his guests and his studio audience not to mention the important topics that many people were interested in that became the discussion of the day. Along with the hard questions and tough answers "Donahue" would walk around with his microphone so that the audience can ask questions to the guests. Sometimes intense and sometimes straight to the point that made this daytime talk show stand out from the competition.
Some of the topics that "Donahue" discussed ranged from "Missing Children",to "Suicide","Homosexuality","The Adult Film Industry","Drug Addiction","Abortions","Civil Rights","Polygamy",to "Interracial Marriage", "Same Sex Marriage","Bigotry",and so forth that were not only controversial but at the time too intense for television but the man knew how to get his guests to answer the tough questions and get the answers with the most important dialogue his audience wanted to hear and more. No matter how his style of questioning was to his guests "Donahue" set the bar for what was to come and his daytime talk show surpass all expectations.
His guests ranging from top-name celebrities like Sammy Davis, Jr., to Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Jerry Lewis, Burt Reynolds, John Wayne, to Lucille Ball, Muhammad Ali, Dolly Parton, Natalie Wood, Robert Wagner, to Ann-Margret, Robin Williams, Joan Rivers, Bob Newhart, Dick and Tom Smothers, to Carroll O'Connor, Audrey Hepburn,Dick Clark, and Gore Vidal not to mention guest journalists like Dan Rather, Tom Brokaw, Peter Jennings, Mike Wallace, Jane Pauley, Connie Chung, Lesley Stahl, Barbara Walters, to Geraldo Rivera and Morton Downey,Jr. not to mention the founder and creator of Turner Broadcasting and CNN's own Ted Turner. Future talk show hosts themselves like Arsenio Hall, Conan O'Brien, David Letterman, Jay Leno,and Oprah Winfrey were some of his guests. One episode had the entire family of the "Jacksons" too. And there were the controversial guests that included Minister Louis Farrakhan, Dick Gregory, political activists Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson. Novelists Ayn Rand, and Jacqueline Susann and gossip columnist Rona Barrett. One episode had adult film stars Ron Jeremy, Annette Haven, Nina Hartley, Vanessa Del Rio, Georgina Spelvin, and Jamie Gillis. Even having U.S. Presidents come as guests ranging from Richard Nixon, to Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter, George W. Bush and future Presidential candidates at the time Bill Clinton and Al Gore for there 1992 elections. And more controversial subject including one episode that involved the Rodney King incident in Los Angeles that pushed the envelope not to mention the trial of "O.J. Simpson" in a explicit filled 1994 episode.
The phenomenal success of "Donahue" won 12 Emmys for Outstanding Talk Show and was nominated for an impressive 18 Emmys during its astounding 26-year-run. When the "Donahue" show ended its run on September 13,1996 it paved the way for Oprah Winfrey, Sally Jessy Rapheal and a host of others that would follow. And Phil Donahue made that possible. Thank you.
"Wanted: Dead or Alive" was one of the "greatest" if not the "best" of
the Four Star produced television Westerns to come out of the late-
1950's and continued into the early-1960's that made an unknown actor
by the name of Steve McQueen into a bonafide star. This was his first
and only attempt to star in a weekly series before he went on to become
a huge theatrical star in his own right. His first big exposure in
either film or television. Long before "Wanted:Dead or Alive" went into
production,Steve McQueen was already making headway as a huge star in
the 1958 theatrical release "The Blob"(which was released in theaters
by Paramount Pictures on September 12, 1958)that became a runaway box
office hit. But it was McQueen's performance in "The Blob" that caught
the attention of Founder and Executive of Four Star Television Dick
Powell. It was here that Steve McQueen made his television appearance
as bounty hunter Josh Randall in an episode of another Four Star
produced series "Trackdown" starring Robert Culp titled "The Bounty
Hunter"(Season 1, Episode 21 of the series)that aired on March 7, 1958.
His performance was the greenlight for the spin-off to the series
"Trackdown" titled "Wanted:Dead or Alive" that premiered on CBS'
Saturday night schedule in prime-time on September 6, 1958. It was
sometime after "Wanted" premiered on television that his movie debut in
"The Blob" was released in theaters a week after his television series
premiered. By that time McQueen was already a star and with his success
as bounty hunter Josh Randall on "Wanted:Dead or Alive" the series
became one of the biggest hits of the late-1950's and a huge ratings
boost for the CBS Television Network.Out of the eight television
Westerns that premiered in 1958(which included "Northwest Passage"-one
of the earliest short-lived series that was produced in color,and the
ones that were in classic black and white included "The
Texan","Bronco", "Bat Masterson","Cimarron City","The Rough Riders",and
"Yancy Derringer" not to mention the premiere of another successful
Four Star produced Western "The Rifleman" which became a huge colossal
hit for ABC)only "Wanted" had a premise,and it worked.
"Wanted:Dead or Alive" for the three seasons that it aired on CBS, was placed on it's Saturday night time slot in prime-time between the courtroom drama "Perry Mason",and "The Gale Storm Show",and it faced strong competition against NBC's "The Perry Como Show In Color",and also the variety series "Jubilee USA" over at ABC. "Wanted:Dead or Alive" aired from September 6, 1958 until March 29, 1961 producing 94 episodes all in classic black and white and was produced by Malcolm Enterprises in association with Four Star Television and the CBS Television Network. Steve McQueen was the only actor that starred in all 94 episodes but during the show's second season McQueen's Josh Randall had a sidekick or assistant bounty hunter named Jason Nichols(Wright King) that appeared in 11 episodes from 1959-1960. Some of the best writers were in hand for some great episodes of this series ranging from D.D. and Mary Beauchamp, Don Brinkley, Calvin Clements, Christopher Knopf, Fred Freiberger, to Richard Matheson, Dan Ullman, Frank Gilroy, David Lang, Richard H. Landau, Tom Gries, Cy Chermak, Samuel A. Peeples, John Robinson, to Wells Root, George Slavin,and Tony Barrett to Ed Adamson contribute to some of the stories. Great directors ranging from Thomas Carr, George Blair, to future film director Richard Donner. Others included Harry Harris, to Murray Golden, Gene Reynolds, Don McDougall and actor-director-producer R.G. Springsteen just to name a few.
The guest stars that appeared on in this series were some of Hollywood's best ranging from future "Bonanza" television stars Michael Landon and Pernell Roberts,to future box office superstars Warren Oates, James Coburn, and Martin Landau. Others were Fay Spain, Mala Powers, Nick Adams, Cloris Leachman, Paul Burke, Constance Ford, Susan Oliver, Mara Corday, to Frank Silvera, Dyan Cannon, Royal Dano, Denver Pyle, Clu Gulager, along with Mary Tyler Moore, Vic Perrin, J. Pat O'Malley, Lee Van Cleef, Claude Akins, Jay Silverheels, John Carradine, Stafford Repp, Ed Nelson, Gerald Mohr, John Lupton, Wayne Rogers, Harold J. Stone, Beverly Garland, to Howard Morris, Stephen Talbot, Jay North, Jay C. Flippen, Regis Toomey and R.G. Armstrong(who directed and star in several episodes).
The best episodes from the series ranged from "Desert Seed"(Season 2, Episode 11), "Three For One"(Season 3, Episode 13), "The Prison Trail" (Season 2,Episode 31), "The Voice of Silence"(Season 3, Episode 20), "The Sheriff of Red Rock"(Season 1,Episode 13), "Eight Cent Reward:The Christmas Story"(Season 1, Episode 16), "Twelve Hours to Crazy Horse" (Season 2,Episode 12), "The Bounty"(Season 1,Episode 3) and from the premiere episode that started it all "The Martin Poster"(Season 1, Episode 1). Others included "Bounty on Josh"(Season 3, Episode 17), "The Bad Gun"(Season 2, Episode 8), "The Hostage"(Season 2,Episode 6), "The Choice"(Season 3, Episode 12), "The Trial"(Season 3, Episode 1),to "Death Divided By Three"(Season 2, Episode 29), "The Empty Cell" (Season 2, Episode 7),to the comedial "The Twain Shall Meet"(Season 3, Episode 5).
The phenomenal success of the "Wanted:Dead or Alive" television series propelled Steve McQueen's career as a bonafide Hollywood superstar. And it showcased his great talent in such great theatrical films as "The Magnificent Seven","Baby,The Rain Must Fall", "Soldier In The Rain","Nevada Smith","Love With The Proper Stranger","The Reivers", "Junior Bonner", "The Getaway","The Cincinnati Kid",not to mention the movie that cemented his status as a top box office star "Bullitt"(who became one of the top ten highest grossing pictures of 1968). Not to mention his Oscar nominated performance in "The Sand Pebbles"(Oscar nominated for Best Actor in 1966),and also for his work in "Papillion" (Oscar nominated for Best Actor in 1973). And to also mentioned his work opposite Paul Newman in Irwin Allen's "The Towering Inferno",and the movie that would be his last theatrical feature was 1980's "The Hunter"....the lists goes on and on.
Few shows in television history have sustained a high level of
directing as well as acting,production and writing. The anthology
series "Naked City" was one example of just how fine a great television
series was during that time. "Naked City" produced by Sterling
Silliphant and Herbert B. Leonard under his production company Shelle
Productions for Screen Gems Television/ABC-TV ran for four seasons on
the air with the exception of it's first season which lasted one season
and 39 episodes that aired from its premiere on September 30,1958 until
June 23,1959. It was the first series to be filmed on location within
New York City and was in classic black and white with locations filmed
at the Biograph Studios and in sections of Manhattan, Brooklyn, Bronx,
Queens, Staten Island and other areas. During the 1958-1959 season the
two principal players was James Franciscus and John McIntyre. This
half-hour version of "Naked City" was canceled by ABC after one season.
Then on October 12,1960,an hour long version of "Naked City" premiered
with Paul Burke and Horace McMahon replacing James Franciscus and John
McIntyre. This hour long version lasted three seasons producing 99
episodes,all in classic black and white that aired from October 12,1960
until May 29,1963. In all,a total of 138 episodes were produced for
During the show's fantastic run,it included some of the best writers and best actors in television history and it shows in the Four Prime-Time Emmys it won for Best Drama Series (1959,1961,1962,1963),and was nominated for three Golden Globes as Best Prime-Time Drama Series in 1962.
The best writers for this series came from Frank R. Pierson to Barry Trivers, Howard Rodman, Richard Levinson, Ivan Goff, Ben Roberts, to Sy Salkowitz, Stanley Kallis, Sterling Silliphant, Charles Beaumont, Alvin Sargent, Ken Kolb among others who contribute to some of the great episodes.
Some of the best top-notch directors ranging from newcomers like Sydney Pollack to Richard Donner and future Hollywood director Arthur Hiller to such greats as David Lowell Rich, Jack Smight, William Conrad, Paul Wendkos, Bernard McEveety, Robert Gist, Paul Stanley, James Sheldon, Boris Segal, Irvin Kershner, Ralph Senensky, Harry Harris, Vincent McEveety, to Lawrence Dobkin and Marc Daniels among others. But what made the show stand out was the acting were some episodes were nothing short of breathtaking but were absolutely incredible.
This series was a showcase for up and coming actors who made their debuts here ranging from Gene Hackman, Robert Redford, Dustin Hoffman, Brock Peters, Dabney Coleman, Jessica Walter, Eli Wallach, Peter Falk, Dennis Hopper, Bruce Dern, Roddy McDowell, Martin Sheen, Diane Ladd, Christopher Walken, to Jon Voight, Robert Duvall, William Shatner, James MacArthur, Burt Reynolds, Telly Savalas, Susan Oliver, Leonard Nimoy to future up and coming actors like Sandy Dennis, James Caan, George Segal to Robert Blake, Valerie Harper, Brenda Vaccaro, Greg Morris, to Ivan Dixon and Vic Morrow. Others were Suzanne Pleshette, Felicia Farr, Jack Klugman, Burgess Meredith, Godfrey Cambridge, Jack Lord, Leslie Nielsen, to Gilbert Roland, Carroll O' Connor, David Janssen, Cicely Tyson, Hari Rhodes, Ricardo Montalban to others like Barry Morse, Jan Sterling, Janice Rule, Piper Laurie, Diahann Carroll, to guest stars Jo Van Fleet, Edward Asner, Jack Lord, Constance Ford, to others like Herschel Bernardi, Eileen Heckhart, James Coburn, Dick York, Maureen Stapleton, Robert Culp, Cliff Robertson, Robert Vaughn to Lee Grant, Charles Bronson, Lois Nettleton, Walter Matthau, Sylvia Sidney, to George Maharis, Martin Milner, Mark Goddard, Glenn Corbett, Barbara Eden, George C. Scott, and a rare appearance by the famed acting teacher Sanford Meisner and one episode had a rare guest star appearance featuring Dorothy Dandridge. The show also had the rare occasion for actors who were just starting out and one episode had future television actor Conrad Bain in a small role along with future Oscar winning actress Faye Dunaway in bit parts.
"Naked City" was a series that featured a "ethnicity" of fine acting in various roles and for an anthology drama it did not stray away from several subject matters even though this was one of the great cop shows ever produced from television's golden age.
The television series "It Takes A Thief" came in as a mid-season
replacement for ABC-TV that ran for three seasons airing from its
premiere episode on January 9,1968 until the series finale on March
24,1970. A total of 66 episodes were produced all in color. "It Takes A
Thief",much like its precessdors like "The Man From U.N.C.L.E","The
Saint","I Spy",and other shows filmed on location,the Universal Studios
backlot was Paris,Istanbul,Rome,London for its first two seasons,but
the producers thought it would be a great idea in its third and final
season to filmed episodes on location in Italy,Greece,and France.
"It Takes A Thief" was the last of the espionage-spy shows of the 1960's,only to be clipped by "Mission:Impossible" which continued onward into the early-1970's.
"It Takes A Thief" was created by television writer Roland Kibbee,and the series featured the adventures of an international cat burglar,pickpocket,and thief Alexander Mundy(Robert Wagner),who steals to finance his life as a polished playboy and sophisticate. He is in prison with the U.S. Government's secret intelligence agency proposes a deal to Mundy: steal for the government in exchange for his freedom. Mundy is puzzled,and asks,"Let me get this straight. You want me to steal?" In the opening titles,his boss,Noah Bain(Malachi Throne for Seasons 1 and 2 only)uses the catch phrase,"Oh,look,Al,I'm not asking you to spy.I'm just asking you to steal." Malachi Throne was replaced in Season 3 by Edward Binns. Veteran stage and film actor Fred Astaire joins the cast in Season 3 for five episodes as Alistair Mundy,Alexander's father,who was also a international thief as well.
Creator and producer Roland Kibbee(a television writer who wrote and produced classic shows like "Leave It To Beaver","The Deputy","Laredo", "The Munsters",and "McHale's Navy")along with executive producers like Frank Price, Jack Arnold, and Glen A. Larson produced a weekly espionage series like no other and it shows in some of the earlier episodes of the series that was a favorite with the college crowd. Action packed episodes and exciting stories kept viewers tuned in each week where Robert Wagner's character is sent by his boss from the S.I.A. for a range of dangerous,yet sometimes various assignments with the notion of saving the world from disaster while making a fashion statement. This show had it all. Beautiful women,exotic locations,dangerous assignments while dealing with diabolical villains. No matter what Al Mundy went he could be the playboy who knew the best bistro in Cannes,the grooviest discotheque bar in Piccadilly,and the best casinos in Monaco and Las Vegas while saving the world and making a statement doing so while being the "cool" of the "coolest" secret agent.
About this show. "It Takes A Thief" was moved around to different time slots during its run. Season 1 aired on Tuesday nights at 8:30e/7:30c where it opposite Diahann Carroll's "Julia",and the long-running "The Red Skelton Show". For the remainder of Seasons 2 thru 3,ABC moved the series from Tuesday nights to Thursday nights at the 10:00e/9:00c time slot opposite NBC's "The Dean Martin Show",and "The CBS Thursday Night Movie".
About the episodes. Before Rock Hudson,actress Susan Saint James appeared in five episodes of this series which includes the "Pilot" episode,along with "When Thieves Fall In","It Takes One To Know One", "Payoff In The Piazza",and "The Susie Simone Caper". Actress Charlene Holt appear in three episodes of the series.
The guest star roster consisted of Hollywood greats like Joesph Cotten(in a two-part episode "Hans Across The Border" from Season 2),to Bette Davis("A Touch Of Magic" from Season 3),and Paul Heinreid. Other guest stars included Peter Sellers("Who'll Bid Two Million Dollars" from Season 3),to Wagner romancing a different femme fatale each week from Tisha Sterling,Tina Louise,Petula Clark,Stefanie Powers,Joey Heatherton(in a two-part episode "A Matter of Grey",from Season 2),to even linked to a interracial fling with Marilyn McCoo of the Fifth Dimension("To Sing A Song of Murder" from Season 3),and the lists goes on and on. Other guest stars included Cesar Romero,Frankie Avalon,Lex Barker,Raymond Burr,Doug McClure,Ida Lupino,Fernando Lamas,and Stuart Margolin.
ABC canceled this series on March 24,1970 due to bad ratings. On September 14,1970,the show that replaced "It Takes A Thief" was the short-lived science fiction drama "The Immortal". After the success of this series,actor Robert Wagner would go on to do "Switch" co-starring Eddie Albert at CBS(1975-1978),and starred opposite Stephanie Powers in the Aaron Spelling produced crime drama "Hart to Hart" for ABC(1979- 1981),and the short-lived detective series "Lime Street" for NBC(1982- 1983).
This was one of the great police dramas in television history. This was
one of the few cop shows of that era that dealt with the day to day
activities of the average policeman and they weren't portrayal as your
run-of-the-mill "good" cop nor that they weren't portrayed as average
"superheroes". These were the men and women who risk their lives in
order to wear the badge and to protect the citizens of the city.
"Police Story" was that show and during its five-year run it was one of
the highest rated series on television. "Police Story" portrayed a
sheer dose of realism of the average cop and it went as far as going
beyond the psychological concepts of the police officer whether on the
job and the relationships that they faced on the street and at home.
"Police Story" dealt with good cops and the cops that were corrupt and
hostile behind the badge.
"Police Story" was an anthology television crime drama that was brainchild of former author and former Los Angeles Police Officer Joesph Wambaugh and represented a major step forward in the realistic depiction of police work and it featured some of the best acting ever depicted for network television. Creator Joesph Wambaugh along with producers Mel Swope and David Gerber(who serves as executive producer) brought along intense and sometimes riveting stories about previously untouched issues confronting police officers with issues such as job related stress,marriage,break-up,alcoholism,retirement,partner conflicts and even push the envelope for what was the boundaries for what was shown on network television like suicide and drug abuse. So many police dramas in later years like "Hill Street Blues","Cagney and Lacey","NYPD Blue","Law and Order",and even "The Shield" owe their roots to the ground breaking plots ans solid scripts that were the backbone of "Police Story". This series dealt with cops as real people with real problems that was added on with a mix of humor and reality in some of the episodes.
"Police Story" originally aired on NBC-TV for 95 episodes airing from its premiere episode on September 25,1973 until the series finale on May 28,1978 for five astounding seasons. Out of the 95 episodes that were produced,the series consisted of 84 hour long episodes,3 episodes that were 90 minutes in length,and 8 two hour episodes totaling 95 episodes in all in color. The setting for this series was in Los Angeles with most of the characters working under or one of the branches of the Los Angeles Police Department. The anthology format allowed the show to try out characters and settings for series development,and during its broadcast run,"Police Story" generated three spin-offs. An episode from Season 1,"The Gamble"(March 26,1974),starring Angie Dickinson,became the pilot for the successful "Police Woman" television series(also produced by David Gerber),that run on NBC for four seasons from 1974 to 1978. An episode from Season 2,"The Return of Joe Forrester"(which was a 90-minute episode that aired on May 6,1975),was developed into a weekly series starring Lloyd Bridges that aired from 1975 to 1977. Finally,an episode from Season 5,"A Chance To Live"(which was a two hour episode that aired on May 28,1978),was spun off into the short-lived series "Man Undercover" starring David Cassidy.
"Police Story" brought along some of the finest writers for this series ranging from Rick Husky to Donald Bellsario, Ivan Goff, Ben Roberts,Don Ingalls, Sy Salkowitz, Mark Rodgers, E. Jack Neuman, Robert L. Collins,to Ed Waters,Jerrold L. Ludwig, Stanley Kallis, Kenneth Pettus, Allan Balter, William Woodfield, Jonathan Christie, and Michael Mann.
Not to mention the best directors in Hollywood ranging from Virgil W. Vogel,Barry Crane, Richard Benedict,Gary Nelson,Barry Shear,David Friedkin, Leo Penn, E.W. Swickhamer, Joesph Pevney to other directors like Paul Wendkos, Oscar Rudolph, Jack Smight, Richard Donner, Ivan Dixon, Ralph Senesky, Alf Kjellin,Seymour Robbie,Don McDougall,to Corey Allen, Charles S. Dubin, Christian Nyby, and Lee H. Katzin along with future Hollywood director John Badham contribute to some of the astounding episodes.
This anthology series attracted the cream of Hollywood for their episodes and featured several stars depicting several different characters. The dynamic actors that appeared here ranged from Darren McGavin,Vic Morrow,Claude Akins,Tony LaBianco,Ralph Meeker,Ricardo Montalban,Mike Connors,along with Joe Santos,Glenn Corbett,Chuck Connors,Diane Baker,Michael Ansara,Norman Fell,Pernell Roberts,Tina Louise,Robert Stack,Robert Vaughn,Christopher George,Kim Darby,to Alex Rocco,Jan Michael-Vincent,William Shatner,Edward Asner,Robert Conrad,Gary Collins,Ina Balin to Sal Mineo,and even appearances from soul legends Issac Hayes and William "Smokey" Robinson in several episodes along with newcomers like James Woods,Harvey Keitel,Clifton Davis,Sylvester Stallone,and regulars like Don Meredith(at the height of his Monday Night Football Career),Scott Brady and John Forsythe. Even dramatic appearances from Frankie Avalon,Alex Rocco,Fred Williamson,Brock Peters,Eddie Egan,Bernie Casey,Eddie Albert,Robert Culp,James Gregory,Joe Santos,Howard Duff,Bo Svenson and James Farentino along with Earl Holliman.
The best episodes from Season 1: "Slow Boy","Requiem for an Informer", "The Ho Chi Minh Trail","Chain of Command","Countdown"(parts 1 and 2), "Cop In The Middle","The Wyatt Earp Syndrome","Chief","The Gamble".
The best episodes from Season 2: "Requiem for C.Z Smith","Robbery:48 Hours","Captain Hook"," A World Full Of Hurt","Explosion","Year of the Dragon"(parts 1 and 2),"Sniper","The Execution","Man In The Shadows","War Games","The Witness","The Return of Joe Forrester".
The best episodes from Season 3: "Odyssey of Death"(parts 1 and 2),"Breaking Point","Fifty Cents,First Half Hour-One Dollar and Seventy Five Cents All Day","The Other Side of the Fence","Vice: 24 Hours","Open City",and "The Test of Brotherhood".
The best episodes from Season 4: "Three Days To Thirty","The Other Side of the Badge","Nightmare on a Sunday Morning","Monster Manor","Spitfire","One of Our Cops Is Crazy","The Jar"(parts 1 and 2),and "Two Frogs On A Mongoose","Hard Rock Brown",and "The Malflores".
The best episodes from it's final season:"Pressure Point","Stigma", "Day of Terror,Night of Fear","The Broken Badge","No Margin for Error", "A Chance To Live","A Cry For Justice","Confessions of a Lady Cop",along with the explosive "River of Promises" and one of the most riveting episodes of the final season "Gladiator School"
Telly Savalas, a film,stage,and television actor whose career span more
than four decades with television guest appearances ranging from "The
Twilight Zone",to "The Virginian","Combat!","The Fugitive","Wagon
Train",and "Hawaii Five-O" all the way to his Oscar nominated for Best
Supporting Actor for the 1962 motion picture "Birdman of Alcatraz",to
his roles in such movie classics as "The Greatest Story Ever Told",his
villain role as Blofeld in the James Bond film "On Her Majesty's Secret
Service" to box office movie gold with "The Dirty Dozen","Kelly's
Heroes","Pretty Maids All In A Row","Battle of the Bulge",and "The
Scalphunters",and "Terror Train",to name a few.
In 1973,Telly Savalas premiered in a weekly crime drama series that would change everything on television. On Tuesday October 24,1973,the television series "Kojak" premiered on CBS-TV with Telly Savalas as title character,New York City Police Department Detective Lieutenant Theo Kojak. A total of 118 episodes were produced in color. When it premiered in 1973,the show was on Tuesday nights at 10:00e/9:00c where it took the time slot of "Cannon" which was moved one hour earlier for all of Season 1. From Season 2 onward,CBS moved the series from Tuesday nights to Sunday nights for the remainder of its entire run where it was placed at the 10:00e/9:00c time slot until its cancellation on March 18,1978. Out of the 118 episodes that this series produced,only 35 episodes were produced for Season 1. For Season 2 thru 5,a total of 83 episodes were produced. Filmed entirely on location in New York City and in some segments on the Hollywood backlot of Universal Studios.
The show was created by Abby Mann,who was an Oscar winning film writer for such classics as "Judgment at Nuremberg","A Child Is Waiting",and for "The Detective". Mann was also known for his best known work for such television drama anthologies as "Robert Montgomery Presents",and "Playhouse 90" Creator Abby Mann along with executive producers James Duff McAdams and James Moser set the television series "Kojak" around the daily operations of the New York City Police Department's Eleventh Precinct in Manhattan's South Patrol Borough with Telly Savalas as the tough and incorruptible Lieutenant Theo Kojak who have a knack of solving crimes and murders in his investigation of crimes with a tendency to break the rules to bring the criminals to justice. Theo not only had a sense of solving mysteries but Savalas also did it with a fashion statement with displaying a dark cynical wit to the role. In the early episodes of the series,and this was during its first season,Kojak is seen smoking thin brown More cigarettes. He substituted cigarettes for lollipops as an alternative where the lollipop made its debut in the Season 1 episode "Dark Sunday" that aired on December 12,1973:where Kojak lights a cigarette as he begins questioning a witness,but thinks better of it and sticks a lollipop in his mouth instead to cut his habit of smoking.
His supervisor was Capt. Frank McNeil(Dan Frazer). Later in the series McNeil was promoted to Chief of Detectives in Manhattan where Kojak is the commander of the Manhattan South Precinct's Detective Squad. His squad consists of Detective Bobby Crocker(Kevin Dobson),Detective Stavros(played by Telly Savalas' real-life brother George Savalas),who originally used the name "Demosthenes" in the screen credits. Others were Detective Saperstein(Mark Russell,Season 1),and Detective Rizzo(Vince Conti,Season 1)who all gave Kojak support. Roger Robinson appeared in 12 episodes of Season 1 as Detective Gil Weaver.
Only actors Telly and George Savalas along with Dan Frazer and Kevin Dobson remained throughout the show entire five-year run.
The guest star roster consisted of new talent where future up and coming actors like James Woods, Harvey Keitel,John Ritter,David Proval,to Paul Michael-Glaser,Christopher Walken,Danny Aiello,and Richard Gere,and Kathleen Quinlan where making their marks where as other guest stars ranging from Lynn Redgrave,Forrest Tucker,Ann Jillian, Haywood Nelson, Eli Wallach,Shelley Winters,Ruth Gordon,Jess Walton,Tina Louise,Blair Brown,Paul Benjamin,Robert Hooks, Antonio Fargas, Janet DuBois,Hector Elizondo,Sheree North,along with former Bond girl Maud Adams,Paula Kelly,Isabel Sanford to Marla Gibbs,and Danny Thomas.
The scripts were for this series outstanding,especially in the first three seasons were pinned by Abby Mann,Jack Laird,Robert Foster,and Halston Wells with superb direction from the likes of Jeannot Szwarc, Joel Oilansky,Charles S. Dubin, Leo Penn, Christian Nyby and Russ Mayberry. Even Telly Savalas directed several episodes of this series.
Several episodes from this series as memorable classics from the premiere episode "A Siege of Terror",to "Dead On His Feet","Therapy In Dynamite","Last Rites For A Dead Priest",to "Halls of Terror","Web of Death","Cross Your Heart And Hope To Die","Lady In The Squadron",to the two-part episodes "A Shield of Terror",and "Kojak's Days" to others like "Where Do You Go When You Have Nowhere To Go",to the final episode of the series "In Full Command" as one of the great cop shows to come out of the 1970's. After the success of this series and 11 years after it was canceled by CBS, ABC-TV revised the series with Telly Savalas returning as Theo Kojak for a number of made for television mystery movies that ran from 1989 until 1992.
"Kojak:The Marcus-Nelson Murders" was a made for television movie that
premiered as a CBS Special Presentation on March 8,1973. It was based
on the book by Selwyn Raab(who was a reporter for the New York
Times)titled "Justice In The Back Room". Written by Abby Mann and
Directed by Joesph Sargent,this Emmy-winning television drama was based
on the 1963 Wylie-Hoffert "Career Girls Murders". The crime involves
the brutal rape and murder of two young professional women in
Manhattan. The movie serve as the basis as the pilot for the "Kojak"
television series starring Telly Savalas. An African-American male by
the name of Lewis Humes(Gene Woodbury)was arrested for a crime that he
did not commit. To find the real killer,Lt. "Theo" Kojak conducts a
second investigation with a different team of detectives(Ned Beatty,
William Watson)along with his superior officer Sgt. Dan McCartney(Bruce
Kirby). After illegally obtaining a confession,the police have
identified the real suspect in the murders which exonerated the suspect
and identified the culprit,who was a Puerto-Rican junkie.
"Kojak:The Marcus-Nelson Murders" was a gritty and intense police drama with a subtext focusing on institutionalized prejudice and the civil rights and suspects and witnesses. The opening and closing titles of the film emphasize that it was a fictional account of the events that led to the creation of "Miranda" rights by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1966. As for the TV-Movie on which the series "Kojak" was based on,there was no other actor out there that did it better than the great Telly Savalas. The supporting cast features Chita Rivera,to Tol Avery, Robert Walden,Jose Ferrer,Val Bisoglio,Lorraine Gary and Allen Garfield,many of these stars would make guest appearances later on for the "Kojak" television series during the early-to-mid 1970's.
Character actor Nick Adams was an unlikely choice for the lead on an
action-packed television western series where the genre was dominated
by "Gunsmoke","Wagon Train","Have Gun Will Travel","The Rifleman",and
"Tales of Wells Fargo",and "Cheyenne" just to name a few were the stars
that dominated the "western" genre were Ward Bond,Robert Horton,Chuck
Connors,not to mention James Arness and Clint Walker. "The Rebel" came
out when the television landscape was dominated by "westerns",and
"family situation comedies" that ruled the late-1950's and
early-1960's. The series portrays the adventures of a young Confederate
Army veteran named Johnny Yuma(Nick Adams)who was an inspiring writer
who kept details of his activities in his journal. Haunted by the
memories of the Civil War,Yuma,in search of inner peace,roams the
American West specifically the Texas Hill Country and the South Texas
plains who also fights injustice wherever he finds it and takes care of
manners in his own hands with a double-barreled sawed off shotgun.
Whereas virtually all the others "westerns" consisted of work,romance
and adventure,"The Rebel" was about Johnny Yuma "finding himself" and
along the way his encounters with ruthless gunslingers,hostile
villains,and the like while Johnny Yuma comes out of these episodes
Out of the 76 episodes that this series produced,all in classic black-and-white,"The Rebel" had Nick Adams as not only the star of the series,but also was involved with the show's design,inception,and writing,not to mention serving as its creator and executive producer along with producer Andrew J. Fenady(who appeared twice in the series once as United States Army General Philip Sheridan in the episode "Johnny Yuma at Appomattox"). The series was one of the few that producers Mark Goodson and Bill Todman,through their production company Goodson-Todman Productions did outside of their game show ventures. The other series that Goodson and Todman produced was another western called "Branded" starring Chuck Connors that ran for 23 episodes. "The Rebel" originally aired on ABC-TV from October 4,1959 until the series finale on June 18,1961. The show's sponsor was the Proctor & Gamble Company. This series was the first "teenage western" whose audiences were the younger crowd. The show's title song was done by Johnny Cash. It was grand western,but it ended up getting canceled with the powers that be over at ABC entered into a hostile relationship with the company that produced the series,ending up canceling one of their top rated shows. In 1962,"The Rebel" was picked up by NBC in repeats as a mid-season replacement where all 76 episodes were re-runs. After that the series went into syndication in repeats.
All right,so TV Guide rated this sitcom as the top 50 worst television
shows of all time,but "Gilligan's Island" does stands out as one of the
most maligned sitcoms of the era in a decade that was full of
fantasy-themed shows ranging from "My Favorite Martian","My Mother The
Car", "I Dream of Jeannie","Bewitched","It's About Time","F-Troop","The
Ugliest Girl In Town","Batman","Get Smart","Green Acres","The Beverly
Hillbillies",and much more.
Created and produced by Sherwood Schwartz,and originally produced by United Artists Television in association with the CBS Television Network,the series starred Bob Denver(formerly of "Dobie Gillis")as the main character Gilligan along with Jim Backus,Russell Johnson,Alan Hale, Tina Louise,Dawn Wells and Natalie Schafer. It aired for three seasons at CBS from its premiere episode on September 26,1964 until the series finale on April 17,1967. Only Season 1 of "Gilligan's Island" was in black-and-white for 36 episodes that aired on Saturday nights after "The Jackie Gleason Show" at 8:30e/7:30c and had stiff competition against "Lawrence Welk". For Season 2 the network moved the show from Saturday nights to Thursday nights this time in color for 32 episodes where CBS put it at the 8:00e/7:00c time slot opposite "Daniel Boone",and "The Donna Reed Show". For the third and final season the show again moved from Thursday nights to Monday nights at the 7:30e/6:30c time slot for the remaining 30 episodes in color where it got clobbered opposite NBC's powerhouse hit "The Monkees" until its cancellation on April 17,1967(a total of 62 color episodes were produced from 1965 to 1967). Repeats of Season 3 aired from April 19,1967 until September 4,1967. The series ran for a total of 98 episodes.
The reason why "Gilligan's Island" remains a cult classic among the very few? For one,this series was really targeted for kids instead of adults and that what made it so great to this day in recycled repeats. It was based on sophisticated humor. It was silly,stupid and corny but the cast was lovable by all aspects. But speaking of the characters:
You have First-Mate Willy Gilligan(Bob Denver)who was just as clumsy and naive when getting into all sorts of predicaments with those who want to get off the island. Every episode had Gilligan getting into one hilarious situation after another. And for all 98 episodes!!!
Skipper Jonas Grumby(Alan Hale,Jr.) is everything that Gilligan isn't but perfectly capable of taking charge and keeping the rest of the castaways in line.
Thurston Howell III(Jim Backus)is the archetypal crass capitalist who doesn't do any work,and sits around all day talking about money and bonds knowing that his grand ambition is to defraud all the other castaways.
Eunice "Lovey" Howell(Natalie Schafer)is much the "heiress" as she can be.
Profession Roy Hinkley(Russell Johnson) is not the college professor,but in aspects a high school chemistry teacher,but is truly too smart for his own good. He is the only one that keeps the other alive on the island where he can take materials that are wherever resources are available on the island and whip it up in jiffy(imagine making a radio transmitter out of a coconut).
Ginger Grant(Tina Louise)always the glamorous movie star who can seduce the men for information about what goes on surrounding the island.
Mary Ann Summers(Dawn Wells)the naive farm girl from Kansas who can be classified as normal and the only castaway with "common sense" who also tends the island's crops and keeps herself entertained by listening to soap operas on the radio.
The success of "Gilligan's Island" enjoyed solid ratings during its original run,but then grew in popularity during decades of repeats in the 1970's and 1980's in national syndication. The success also spawned two animated Saturday Morning cartoons series("The New Adventures of Gilligan",and "Gilligan's Planet),and three made for TV-movies in he late-1970's and early-1980's,and there are talks of a big screen version based on the classic 1960's sitcom as well.
This television series originally aired on NBC-TV on September 10,1967
as part of its Sunday Night Lineup of shows where it aired at
10:00e/9:00c right after the long-running "Bonanza",and faced stiff
competition with "Mission:Impossible",and the "ABC Sunday Night Movie"
for all 28 color episodes of Season One that aired from September 10,
1967 until March 31,1968. Then from Season Two onward the network moved
the series to a different time slot from Sunday nights to Friday nights
for the remainder of its four-year run from September 20,1968 until the
series finale on March 12,1971 where it aired at 7:30e/6:30c on its
Friday night schedule(where it replaced the action-adventure series
"Tarzan" after 2 seasons and 57 episodes) right before another one of
television's greatest programs,"The Name Of The Game",and the wildly
popular science-fiction series "Star Trek". "The High Chaparral",was
produced by David Dortort,the creator of the successful "Bonanza"
television series where Dortort was the creator and executive producer
that ran for four seasons and produced 98 episodes all in color.
The show revolved around "Big" John Cannon(Leif Erickson),a rancher who lived in the Arizona Territory in the 1870's. He ran the ranch with his brother Buck Cannon(Cameron Mitchell),and son Billy "Blue Boy" Cannon (Mark Slade). Blue Boy's mother Annalee(Joan Caulfield)was killed in the first episode by an Indian arrow,and John Cannon then married Victoria Montoya(Linda Cristal),the daughter of the powerful neighbouring rancher Don Sebastian Montoya(played by Frank Silvera,who was one of several African-American actors who played "ethnic" roles for this series)in what is initially a marriage of convenience. His marriage to Victoria brought her brother Manolito Montoya(Henry Darrow) into the picture,and he also not came to live with the family but becoming a hired hand for the ranch. The stories for this series were impeccably written and directed by some of the best in the business while the series was filmed entirely on location. While doing much the same as "Bonanza" would do alternative between high drama and humor with the mix of action-packed and high adventure each week.
The guest stars that were on "The High Chaparral" were some of Hollywood's best ranging from William Windom to Adam West along with Scott Brady, Anthony Caruso, Chief Dan George, Roberto Contreras, Dennis Cross, John Dehner, Paul Fix, Ron Foster, Yaphet Kotto, to Connie Hines, Cesar Romero, William Conrad, Joanna Moore, Dub Taylor, Barry Sullivan and Morgan Woodward. Even Robert Loggia and Ricardo Montalban made guest appearances on this show. Several episodes of this series do stand out as sheer brilliance were the two-part pilot episode "Destination Tucson",and to "The Arrangement" not to mention "The Firing Wall",and "Champion of the Western World","A Time To Laugh,A Time To Cry","A Man To Match The Land", not to mention the two-part episode "The New Lion of Sonara".
When this series was canceled on March 12,1971 after 98 episodes,the powers that be at NBC-TV moved the show around different time slots resulting in its cancellation where it went opposite two powerhouse shows "The Wild,Wild West",and "The Brady Bunch" were it got clobbered on that same Friday night schedule. On September 12,1971, the show that replaced "The High Chaparral" after four seasons was the Jack Webb produced drama "The D.A." starring Robert Conrad(formerly of "The Wild,Wild West" fame),and on January 22,1972,the show that replaced both "The D.A.",and "The High Chaparral" was the comedy "Sanford and Son".
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