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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Commemorating "Alias Smith and Jones" on it's 45th anniversary, 8 February 2016
9/10

Under the creation of Glen A. Larson and Roy Huggins(who serves as executive producer)along with Jo Swerling, Jr., the television series "Alias Smith and Jones" premiered on ABC's Thursday night schedule in prime time on January 5,1971 producing 50 episodes until January 13,1973. Out of the 50 episodes that this series produced,Season one produced 15 episodes airing from January 5, 1971 until April 22,1971. Season two produced 23 episodes airing from September 16,1971 until March 2,1972. The third and final season of the series produced 12 episodes airing from September 16,1972 until January 13,1973. The Western-adventure laced comedy series starred Pete Duel as Hannibal Heyes and Ben Murphy as Jedediah "Kid" Curry who were outlaw cousins trying to reform. The governor offers them a conditional amnesty,aiming to keep the pact a secret. The "condition" in which they had to follow was that they were still wanted by the law until it becomes advantageous for the Governor to sign their clemency.

"Alias Smith and Jones" was modeled after the phenomenal success of the 1969 theatrical feature "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford that was a colossal box office hit. So the powers that be over at Universal(which produced the series)though it would be a great idea to cash in on the success of the film. On March 17, 1970, the origin of "Alias Smith and Jones" began with a two hour made for television movie titled "The Young Country" about two con- artists in the Old West premiered as a special presentation on the ABC Movie of the Week. It was produced and directed by Roy Huggins(who also served as the executive producer) that also starred Walter Brennan and Joan Hackett. The two leads played by Roger Davis and Pete Duel were in the TV-Movie version with special guest star James Drury(of "The Virginian" fame). The TV-Movie version was indeed a smash hit and along with creator and producer Glen A. Larson on board gave the greenlight for the series. In fact both "The Young Country" and the series pilot originally aired as ABC Movies of the Week.

"Alias Smith and Jones" was made in the same spirit as his other American produced TV-series from Huggins' own shows such as "Maverick", "Cheyenne", "The Fugitive", "Run For Your Life" to "Renegade" just to name a few. "Alias Smith and Jones" was next to the last of the great American television Westerns which dominated the prime-time schedule with "Gunsmoke",and "Bonanza" still standing among the last of the dinosaurs of Westerns. The problem was that the network put this great Western series on it's prime time Thursday night schedule for the remainder of it's three season run where it went opposite NBC's top- rated variety series "The Flip Wilson Show",and went neck in neck in competition with CBS' "Bearcats!". In fact "Alias Smith and Jones" held it's own on it's Thursday night time slot...an astounding feat in prime time television until the sudden death of actor Pete Duel which almost brought the show to a halt in production. Series writer-director,and producer Roy Huggins contacted actor Roger Davis(who was the narrator in the opening credits of the series' first season) to replaced Pete Duel in both Season 2 and Season 3. The rest they say is history. Actor Ralph Story became the main narrator for Seasons 2 and 3 of the series .

"Alias Smith and Jones" brought in big time directors, big writers not to mention big time guest stars as well. Actress Sally Field appeared in two episodes of the series as the character Clementine Hale(Joan Hackett portrayed the character the TV-Movie Version). Other guest stars that were on the series included Burl Ives, Pernell Roberts, Alan Hale, Jr., Jack Cassidy, Cesar Romero, Neville Brand, John Russell, Rory Calhoun, Susan Oliver, Chill Willis, Slim Pickens, Claudine Longet, Denver Pyle, Susan Saint James, Jack Elam, Earl Holliman, Dennis Fimple, Michele Lee, Alejandro Rey, Sam Jaffe, and J.D. Cannon.

The series continued for two more seasons,but within the show's third and final season it never regained it's popularity after the tragic loss of actor Pete Duel. "Alias Smith and Jones" was indeed the next to the last of the Western genre that was giving way to gritty police dramas brought the show to an end on January 13,1973. Three days after "Alias Smith and Jones" was canceled by ABC,another long-running popular Western series "Bonanza" aired it's final episode after 14 seasons and 431 episodes for NBC on January 16,1973. Leaving the eighteen year-old "Gunsmoke"(which ended it's 20-year run on March 31,1975),and the syndicated comedy Western series "Dusty's Trail" and "Kung-Fu" as the only Westerns scheduled for the 1973-1974 Fall Season. The rest were cop dramas when "Alias Smith and Jones" was replaced on the ABC prime time scheduled by "Griff" starring former "Bonanza" member Lorne Greene and former "Alias Smith and Jones" member Ben Murphy.

The Beverly Hillbillies In Reverse. Commemorating Green Acres' 50th Anniversary, 2 February 2016
9/10

"Green Acres" when it premiered on CBS' Wednesday night prime time schedule opposite "The Beverly Hillbillies" on September 15,1965 was one of the trilogy of "rural comedies" that were created and produced by Paul Henning(who was also behind the success of "The Beverly Hillbillies", and "Petticoat Junction"). The overall premise of "Green Acres" started on radio under the title "Granby's Green Acres" that was broadcast on CBS Radio as a replacement for the Lux Radio Theatre that aired for 13 episodes from July 3, 1950 until August 21,1950. Created and produced by Jay Sommers and starred Gale Gordon and Bea Benederet.

The television version that it was based on was also created and produced by Jay Sommers and Paul Henning(who served as executive producer) the series lasted six seasons and 170 color episodes until April 27,1971. The overall premise was built around a big city lawyer Oliver Douglass(Eddie Albert),and his fashionable wife Lisa(Eva Gabor)that abandon their upscale Manhattan Park Avenue penthouse and affluent and hectic lifestyle for the rustic and more "civil" world of farming in the fictional Midwestern town of Hooterville. Though Oliver is happy to make the transition to farm life,his upscale wife Lisa is less enthusiatic,though she adapts the best she can in spite of her thick Hungarian accent. Of all the running gags that this series had involves her inability to prepare anything other than "Hotcakes", and even those leave much to be desired. The other running gag centers around the frequent visits by Oliver's mother(Eleanor Audley) who begs with Oliver to go back to Manhattan to the law business but in turn sides with her daughter-in-law in regards to her son's desire to live the simple life.

Having the series set in the same locate as Henning's "Petticoat Junction"(which there were several crossover episodes)that allowed frequent appearances by Edgar Buchanan, Frank Cady, and others. Frank Cady did double duty on "Petticoat Junction",and was a guest star on "The Beverly Hillbillies" before he became a series regular on "Green Acres". Oliver's assistant and Farmhand Eb(Tom Lester)was "The Beverly Hillbillies" version of Jethro, a doofus who was shorthanded on brains and no muscles. The other mixed bag of weirdoes were The Monroe Brothers(Sid Melton and Mary Beth Canfield)were the carpenters from hell,forever causing chaos wherever they had a project to do but would never quite finished it. Then there was the biggest scam artist of them all,the slimy and unpredictable Mr. Haney(played by veteran cowboy sidekick Pat Buttram who was a regular of the Gene Autry movies of the 1940's and 1950's) who was forever pulling a fast one or con scam out of Mr. Douglass who was forever plying his oily wares at unreasonable prices. Other characters were the County Extension Agent Hank Kimball(played by veteran actor Alvy Moore)who was always giving Oliver Douglass fits when it came agricultural things which the agent had no experience about.

Another inspired bit that was also part of a running gag of jokes was the opening credits of one installment and this went on in several episodes where the names of the episode's writer, producer, creator, and director were listed. One of the directors,veteran Richard L. Bare was part of this. Bare,who was a director of "B" movie 1950's standard fare and his work on several television shows,directed more than 166 episodes of "Green Acres" that aired between 1965-1971. The writing and production of Jay Sommers(170 episodes) and Dick Chevillat(152 episodes) were also listed on the opening credits as well. Other directors that contribute to "Green Acres" episodes were Ralph Levy, Bruce Bilson,and Vincent Sherman. Comedical writing came from Al Schwartz, John L. Greene, Elroy Schwartz, Phil Leslie, Joel Kane, Bob Marcus, Dan Beaumont, Lou Huston, Buddy Atkinson, Joel Rapp, Larry Scott Anderson, along with Stan Dreben and Bobby Bell just to name a few.

Big name guest stars appeared on "Green Acres" too. From Al Lewis, to Parley Baer, Bea Benederet, Melody Patterson, Lyle Talbot, Anthony Caruso, Regis Toomey, Peter Whitney, Johnny Whitaker, Ketty Lester, Doris Packer, Ray Kellogg, Virginia Sale, John Stephenson, Henry Corden, Ray Teal, Bernie Kopell, J. Carroll Naish, Alan Hale, Jr., Francine York, Rusty Hamer, Allan Melvin, Pat Morita, Rich Little and Don Porter. Even theme composer musician Vic Mizzy had a guest starring role in one episode.

The best episodes from the series I will start with the premiere episode "Oliver Buys A Farm"(Season 1,Episode 1),and "Lisa's First Day On The Farm"(Season 1,Episode 2),and "The Decorator"(Season 1,Episode 3). The other episodes included "The Case Of The Hooterville Refund Fraud" (Season 5,Episode 21); "I Didn't Raise My Pig to Be A Soldier"(Season 2,Episode 3);"My Husband,The Rooster Renter"(Season 1,Episode 5),and "An Old Fashioned Christmas"(Season 2,Episode 13); "The Beverly Hillbillies" (Season 2,Episode 23);just to name a few.

"Green Acres" for the first four seasons had solid ratings where it was placed between "The Beverly Hillbillies" on CBS' Wednesday night schedule from 1965-1969. By the 1969-1970 the network moved the series from Wednesday nights to Saturday nights in an earlier time slot opposite "Adam-12" and the long-running "The Lawrence Welk Show". And in it's sixth and final season for the 1970-1971 season saw the show moved again from Saturday nights to Tuesday nights where it was opposite "Julia", "The Don Knotts Show",and "The Mod Squad" where it was clobbered in the ratings. The series that replaced "Green Acres" for the 1971-1972 season was "The Glen Campbell Show" aka "The Glen Campbell Goodtime Country Hour",and "The John Byner Comedy Show". "Green Acres" when it was abruptly canceled in the Spring of 1971 was the victim of CBS' "rural purge" of shows that also included "Hee Haw"(2 seasons), "The Beverly Hillbillies"(9 seasons); "Petticoat Junction"(7 seasons), "Lassie"(17 seasons); "The Ed Sullivan Show"(23 seasons); "Mayberry RFD"(3 seasons); "Hogan's Heroes"(6 seasons); "Family Affair" (5 seasons),"The Jackie Gleason Show"(19 seasons), and "The Red Skelton Show"(18 seasons). The shows that were canceled by the network were replaced with shows to attracted an urban audience.

Commemorating "Hogan's Heroes" on it's 50th anniversary, 15 January 2016
9/10

"Hogan's Heroes" followed a group of prisoners of war inside fictional "Stalag 13". Using the camp as a base to coordinate resistance groups,Colonel Robert Hogan(Bob Crane of "The Donna Reed Show"),and his group of American,British,and French soldiers(Played by Ivan Dixon, Richard Dawson, Robert Clary,and Larry Hovis) were unintentionally assisted by incompetent camp leaders Colonel Klink(Werner Klemperer),and Sergeant Schultz(John Banner)who regularly said "I See Nothing," to avoid trouble. The duo's ineptitude often caused Hogan to defend their roles,lest skilled soldiers to replaced them most of the time causing chaos and hilarious mischief throughout. This was basically "Mission:Impossible" with a laugh track set in World War II. Created by Albert S. Ruddy and Bernard Fein and loosely based on the 1953 theatrical feature "Stalag 17" starring William Holden,the series "Hogan's Heroes",ushered in a new way of thinking about the conflict(that took place during World War II) and the absurd comic situations that could arise.

"Hogan's Heroes" also made milestones as well. It was the second series produced under Bing Crosby Productions for CBS(after the success of "Shattery's People")and it was the first series under Bing Crosby's production company that was produced and filmed in color at Desilu Studios where the series was produced. Only the first episode of the series was in black and white. Episodes 2 through 167 were in color. A total of 168 episodes were produced. Premiered on CBS' Prime-Time schedule on September 17,1965, the series remained for the next six seasons ending on April 4,1971.

Only actors Bob Crane, Richard Dawson, Larry Hovis,and John Banner along with Werner Klemperer and Robert Clary were the only regular cast members that stayed with the series throughout it's entire six year run. Actor Ivan Dixon appeared in Seasons 1 thru 5 for 141 episodes. He left the series at the end of the fifth season to pursue other interests. He was replaced by actor Kenneth Washington at the start of the sixth and final season for 26 episodes. Interesting note about this show. Out of the impressive 12 Emmy nominations it received the series won 2 Prime- Time Emmys for Werner Klemperer as Outstanding Supportive Actor in 1968 and 1969. Other nominations went to Actor Bob Crane in 1966, 1967, and 1970,and Actress Nina Talbot(Outstanding Supportive Actress in a Comedy Series) in 1968,along with cinematopgrapher Gordon Avil in 1968 and 1970.

Throughout the series run,it's first two seasons(1965-1967) were telecast on Friday nights where it was opposite ABC's "The Addams Family",and NBC's "The Man From UNCLE". Seasons 3 and 4(1967-1968 and 1968-1969) saw "Hogan's Heroes" moved from Friday to Saturday nights opposite NBC's "Get Smart",and ABC's long-running variety series "The Lawrence Welk Show". The fifth season(1969-1970)of "Hogan's Heroes" saw the series move again back to Friday nights opposite NBC's "The Name of the Game",and ABC's "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir". But what killed it in it's sixth and final season saw the show move to Sunday nights in an earlier time slot for the 1970-1971 season opposite NBC's "The Wonderful of Disney",and ABC's "The Young Rebels".

The sudden cancellation of "Hogan's Heroes" in the spring of 1971 saw a dramatic change of CBS' programming to bring in a more urban audience with the debut of "All In The Family" that premiered on January 12,1971. The result brought down the axe on several shows that were abruptly canceled by the network which were "Lassie"(17 seasons),"Green Acres"(6 seasons),"Family Affair"(5 seasons),"The Ed Sullivan Show"(23 seasons),"The Beverly Hillbillies"(9 seasons),"Hee Haw"(2 seasons), "Mayberry RFD"(3 seasons), "The Jackie Gleason Show"(19 seasons),and "The Red Skelton Show"(18 seasons). The series that replaced "Hogan's Heroes" after 6 seasons was the crime drama "Cade's County" starring two-time Oscar nominee Glenn Ford(that also replaced the long-running "The Ed Sullivan Show" on that same Sunday night timeslot for the 1971- 1972 season).

"Hogan's Heroes" was criticized for it's farcial interpretation of significant events,but the actors playing the German soldiers were actually Jewish(Werner Klemperer and John Banner) and fled Germany in World War II during the rise of Hitler. Actor Robert Clary spent three years in a concentration camp during World War II. The other actors like Bob Crane, Larry Hovis, Ivan Dixon, Richard Dawson, and Kenneth Washington did not serve in any branch of the United States military.

"Gunsmoke" (1955)
1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
The longest running Western in television history. Commemorating the legendary "Gunsmoke" on it's 60th anniversary, 15 January 2016
10/10

For many,"Gunsmoke" remains the ultimate Western series, if only by virtue of it's longevity. At it's peak no other prime-time scripted,live action drama ran for longer than it did and alongside "Wyatt Earp",and "Cheyenne",it ushered in a veritable gold rush of television Westerns for adult viewers. Central to the show's success was James Arness' earnest performance as craggy faced Marshal Matt Dillon of Dodge City who was a hero and a paternal figure who held law and order in the West whose relationship with saloon owner Kitty Russell(Amanda Blake) was implicit but chaste. Alongside his trusted deputy Chester Goode(Dennis Weaver),and the dependable town physician,Doc Adams(Milburn Stone) the series from the first episode became one of the bonafide hits of the mid-1950's becoming during the first couple of seasons the Number One show on television between 1955- 1961,and again was back in the Top Ten of the Nielsen during the late- 1960's and throughout the early-1970's. The astounding success of "Gunsmoke" spawned seven Emmy nominations and won four Prime-Time Emmys in 1958(Best Dramatic Series);1959(Best Supporting Actor Dennis Weaver);1968(Outstanding Actor in a Support Role Milburn Stone);1970(Outstanding Achievement in Film Sound Editing). It was nominated for four Golden Globes with actress Amanda Blake nominated for Best Actress in a Dramatic Series three times in 1970,1971,and 1972 and Milburn Stone for Best Supporting Actor in a Dramatic Series in 1972.

John Wayne,who legend has it,was considered for the role of Marshal Dillon,and recommended his good friend James Arness for the job,and subsequently introduced viewers to the pilot episode("Matt Gets It" on September 10, 1955). Created by John Meston and Norman Macdonell,the series "Gunsmoke" began on radio in 1952 with William Conrad as Dillon,then made the transition to television. The series premiered on CBS' Saturday night schedule on September 10,1955 producing 233 half- hour episodes in black and white until June 17,1961(Seasons 1-6). On September 30,1961 the show expanded to a hour long format producing 176 episodes in black and white until May 7,1966(Seasons 7-12). Then the series evolved into color for 266 episodes in the final nine seasons airing from September 17,1966 until March 31,1975(Seasons 12-20). Only actors James Arness and Milburn Stone were the only cast members that stayed with the series throughout it's entire 20-year run.

Actress Amanda Blake(Kitty Russell) was in Seasons 1-19 only,while other actors such as Dennis Weaver(Chester Goode)was in Seasons 1 thru 9 only. Weaver was gone at the end of the show's ninth season and was replaced by actor Ken Curtis(Festus Hagen) in 1964 and remained with the series throughout it's run until 1975(Seasons 10 thru 20). Ken Curtis actually appeared in several episodes as a guest star. Actor Burt Reynolds(Quint Asper)appeared in Seasons 8 thru 10 for 50 episodes until the end of the show's 10th season when he was replaced by Actor Roger Ewing(Thad Greene) for Seasons 11 thru 13 only. Buck Taylor(Newly)replaced Roger Ewing when he left at the end of Season 12. Taylor also appeared as a guest star in Season 12 episodes,but became a regular in Seasons 13 thru 20 until 1975,when the show ended it's triumph run.

"Gunsmoke" during it's first eight seasons was in the Top Ten of the Nielsens,but when the ratings were slipping during the mid-1960's, a sudden move of the schedule sent the show from Saturday nights where it had been for the past 12 seasons to Monday nights at the beginning of Season 13,sent the show surging back into the Top Ten of the Nielsens becoming one of the top five shows on television from 1967-1975. When it was abruptly canceled on March 31,1975 after 635 episodes and 20 seasons the cast has no warning and learned their fate from press reports. In the fall of 1975, the two shows that replaced "Gunsmoke" were two spinoffs of "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" which were "Rhoda" and "Phyllis",to fill that Monday night schedule. The phenomenal success of "Gunsmoke" helped established a standard for adult Western storytelling that has rarely been matched on the small or big screen. "Gunsmoke" spawned a spin-off called "Dirty Sally" starring Jeannette Nolan(who was a guest star in several episodes of "Gunsmoke" appearing in numerous roles)that lasted one season in 1974. James Arness did reprised the role of Marshal Dillon again when CBS aired five made for television sequels based on "Gunsmoke" that aired from 1987 until 1994. "Gunsmoke" held the title as the longest running prime time drama on television which has now been eclipsed by "Law and Order",and the animated "The Simpsons" for its longevity.

"Donahue" (1967)
1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
The Godfather of the daytime talk show....commemorating "Donahue" on its golden 45th anniversary, 21 October 2015
10/10

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 dialogue.

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.

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
The series that launched Steve McQueen's career that became one of the best of the Four Star produced Westerns to come out of the late-1950's, 7 October 2015
9/10

"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.

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
One of the best cop shows of the genre from the golden age of television...the Emmy award winning "Naked City", 20 December 2013
9/10

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 ABC.

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.

2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
The last of the great espionage shows of the 1960's starring Robert Wagner as International Man of Mystery Alexander Mundy, 31 October 2013
9/10

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).

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
40 years ago,one of the greatest cop dramas on television premiered in 1973, 31 October 2013
9/10

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"

"Kojak" (1973)
2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
40 Years Ago in 1973...one of the greatest cop shows of all time premiered starring the great Telly Savalas, 24 October 2013
9/10

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.


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