TV Drama


BRENNER. “False Witness.” CBS; 6 June 1959. (Season 1, Episode 1.) Edward Binns, James Broderick. Guest Cast: Frank Overton, Kay Medford, Alan Ansara, Michael Conrad, with Dana Elcar (uncredited). Written by Loring Mandel. Director: Gerald Mayer.

   The series as a whole was reviewed here on this blog by Ted Fitzgerald almost seven years ago soon after a box set of DVDs was released. Now that I’ve watched the first episode, I’m impressed enough to want to see more.

   Ted described it as “character-driven drama about two New York City cops, Roy Brenner (Edward Binns) a veteran member of The Confidential Squad (aka Internal Affairs), and his son Ernie (James Broderick), a rookie detective,” details that for one reason or another weren’t completely nailed down in this first episode.

   This one’s about a hack assistant D.A. who wants Ernie to embellish, shall we say, his testimony against a man accused of splashing a container of lye in his wife’s eyes. No one saw the crime itself. The man says the lye was hers (in more ways than one) and she spilled it on herself.

   The D.A. guy puts all kinds of pressure on Ernie, but in the end he (spoiler) does the right thing. According to Wikipedia, the series was “filmed live,” by people who knew something about telecasting live TV. This particular episode begins with some interesting long tracking shots, and facial closeups are used to very good advantage. Skilled people were at work here.

   As for the guest cast, Kay Medford has the acting ability to make her quirky character, the victim of the attack, even more interesting than the lines she has to say, and Alan Ansara, as the cellmate of the accused assailant, sounds very much like Robin Williams to me in his exaggerated way of trying to say whatever he thinks he needs to that will earn him rewards from the police and D.A.’s office.

   What I found unusual, and the problem I alluded to above, is that there was no effort to “introduce” the characters. We do not even know who the younger Brenner is until he’s spoken to by name about ten minutes into the program. The father, Edward Binns, does not appear until there’s only two minutes to go. As he is sitting there in the courtroom awaiting the trial to begin as someone we have net seen before, the young Brenner sits next to him and calls him Dad. Presumably he has bigger roles in future episodes.

THE REPORTER: “Extension Seven.” CBS, 60m, 25 September 1964 (Season 1, Episode 1). Cast: Harry Guardino (Danny Taylor), Gary Merrill (Lou Sheldon). Guest Cast: Rip Torn, Shirley Knight. Series created by Jerome Weidman. Writer-director: Tom Gries.

   This was from all reports, a highly ambitious TV series, but it evidently didn’t catch on withe viewing public, since it ended in December the same year, with only 13 episodes aired.

   This is the only episode I’ve been able to see. Others don’t seem to be around, or else I haven’t been looking hard enough. But based on this sample of size one, it was obvious that a lot of effort and talent was put into it. Harry Guardino plays a columnist/reporter for the New York Globe, while Gary Merrill is his city editor. I was reminded of an old-time radio show starring Frank Lovejoy called Night Beat, in which he comes across all kind of crooks and other people with problems, all grist for his column for a Chicago newspaper, but the basic idea I’m sure has been around for a long time.

   According to Wikipedia, all kinds of big names (or soon-to-be big names) showed up in the 13 episodes: Nick Adams, Eddie Albert, Edward Asner, Dyan Cannon, Richard Conte, Herb Edelman, James Farentino, Anne Francis, Frank Gifford, Arthur Hill, Shirley Knight, Jack Lord, Archie Moore, Simon Oakland, Warren Oates, Claude Rains, Paul Richards, Robert Ryan, Pippa Scott, William Shatner, Barry Sullivan, Roy Thinnes, Daniel J. Travanti, Franchot Tone, Rip Torn, Jessica Walter, and Efrem Zimbalist, Jr.

   In this the first episode, Rip Torn plays a nobody of a man who is encouraged by one of Danny Taylor’s columns to not not stand idly by when he sees a woman being seriously harassed by a gang of juvenile delinquents. For this he gets a knife in the stomach, and he blames Danny Taylor, whom he calls to vent his frustration and feelings.

   Problem is, he will die if he doesn’t get medical attention, but he doesn’t know where he has found refuge, only the extension number on the phone. The hoods are also looking for him so they can finish off the job, which provides exactly the kind of suspense that makes a 60 minute program, including commercials, pass very quickly. On the other end of the line, while Danny is trying to have the call traced, is Shirley Knight, a copy girl for the paper and another lost soul, and a second kind of connection is made.

   The script does get kind of preachy at times, especially when Merrill reminds Guardino that his job is not to feel guilty for getting the victim to risk his life on the basis of his newspaper column — Guardino seems to have been around long enough to not need a rookie reporter’s pep talk — but all in all, this was a top notch production that did what it was supposed too, keep the viewer’s eyes on the screen at all times.

HEAT OF ANGER. CBS-TV, 3 March 1972; 90m. Pilot for a proposed series to be called Fitzgerald and Pride. Susan Hayward (Jessie Fitzgerald), James Stacy (Gus Pride), Lee J. Cobb, Fritz Weaver, Bettye Ackerman, Jennifer Penny, Tyne Daly. Teleplay: Fay Kanin. Director: Don Taylor.

   In this better than average made-for-TV movie, Susan Hayward, her movie career well behind her, plays a high-powered defense attorney who is paired up with James Stacy, whose role is that of a young struggling former public prosecutor now trying to make a go of it on his own in small office on the lower levels of the building Jessie Fitzgerald owns.

   Their client is the owner of a large construction company who is accused of pushing a worker off the top of a tall work in progress. Motive? The young man (married) was having a fling with his estranged daughter.

   From what I’m told, Barbara Stanwyck was intended to have the leading role, but when she came down with kidney problems, Susan Hayward was given the part instead. There doesn’t seem to be any real chemistry between her and her co-star James Stacy, however, and there really was never any real reason the two of them should be working the same case together.

   Nor is this a case where detective work comes to play. It’s more of pop psychology sort of case: the dead man had spent his life pushing himself to every kind of limit he could find, and this is time that he kept the cherry bomb in his hand too long.

   But most of the cast have names you will recognize, and they surely didn’t get their reputation for turning in bad performances, nor do they here. While totally forgotten, I’m sure, it’s an entertaining movie, and if given the go-ahead, it might have lasted a season, probably not more.

A FUTURE FORGOTTEN TV SERIES
by Michael Shonk


THE PLAYER. NBC, 2015; Thursdays, 10pm-11pm. Kung Fu Monkey Productions and David Entertainment in association with Sony Pictures Television. Cast: Philip Winchester, Wesley Snipes, Charity Wakefield, Damon Gupton. Created by John Rogers and John Fox. Executive Producers: John Rogers, John Zinman, Patrick Massett, John Davis, and John Fox.

   It is the new fall TV season, and time for new series to be judged. Some new series will join our list of series we watch every week, more new series will be rejected and forgotten. While not the worse of the new series this season (Fox’s Minority Report is the worse) The Player shows all the signs of a doomed series. Rejected by critics and viewers alike, a strange premise ineptly handled, The Player is one to watch soon before it is gone forever.

   The premise of The Player is that there is a secret society of the world’s very rich and powerful that has set up a system where they bet on crime. Created in America around the turn of the 20th Century, the game grew popular with the ruthless rich and powerful of the era. Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage created the first computer to help with the game and Thomas Edison got it to work. The game went global and quickly was out of control and started WWI. To regain control of the game the House was created. The House is run by the Pitboss who sets up the game, the Dealer who monitors the game and offers assistance to the final employee of the House –The Player.

   But this is NBC, a major free network, so it should come as no surprise that a premise open to thought-provoking discussions on the immorality of the bored rich gambling on the outcome of crimes would instead be a mindless fast pace violent implausible immortal action TV series with the inability to avoid any TV cliché ever written.

   The next clip tells us more about the people and their role in the game:

   The Player is Alex Kane, a former special op with a dark past, now living in Las Vegas as the World’s Greatest Security consultant. Philip Winchester (Strike Back) does what he can with his limited range to play this standard issue TV action hero.

   In the type of creative thinking typical for this series Alex’s best friend is Police Detective Cal Brown (Damon Gupton) who worries about his friend and is always the cop in charge when Alex destroys part of the city fighting bad guys. Alex’s love of his life is his ex-wife Virginia Lee (Daisy Betts). They love each other very much and have finally decided to get back together. That night while our hero and ex celebrate in bed bad guys attack and she is killed. But this is modern comic book inspired fiction, so is she really dead?

   Meanwhile at the House is the Pitboss Mr. Johnson played by Wesley Snipes (Blade) in not his best performance. Mr. Johnson is an evil soulless man who believes in blackmail, murder, whatever it takes to serve the House. He also believes in tough love when dealing with The Player.

   The Dealer is the blonde beauty Cassandra King. Charity Wakefield (Mockingbird Lane) has shown she is capable of portraying the series most conflicted character. She is aware of the immorality of the game but in some of TV’s lamest dumb-down dialog tries to convince Alex that they are doing good, saving the victims of crimes enjoyed by the evil rich gamblers.

   The series features more property destruction than a Marvel’s superhero movie, more pointless car chases and stunts than a Bond movie and a believability level that wouldn’t convince a 12 year old. The suspense is weaken by the number of deus ex machina devices used – from an all knowing computer named ADA that Cassandra can use to get Alex out of any jam to Johnson’s ability to call in a get out jail card whenever the cops get too close.

   You can view the pilot episode for free at iTunes. This is just one of many TV series that first episode can be downloaded for free at iTunes.

   The odds are against The Player. While handicapped by a bad time slot it has a strong lead-in (Blacklist). How much of the Blacklist audience it loses will tip you off on its future. Personally, I would bet The Player doesn’t survive to see January.

REVIEWED BY MICHAEL SHONK:


RADIO SERIES: NBC. 4 July to 19 September 1951; 30 minutes. Cast: Jack Webb as Pete Kelly, Meredith Howard as Maggie Jackson. Pete Kelly’s Big 7: Dick Cathcart, Matty Matlock, Moe Schneider, Ray Schneider, Bill Newman, Marty Carb and Nick Fatool. Announcer: George Fenneman. Created by Richard Breen. Writers: James Moser and Jo Eisinger.

TV SERIES: NBC / Mark VII Ltd., 1959; 30 minutes. Cast: William Reynolds as Pete Kelly, Connee Boswell as Savannah Brown, Than Wyenn as George Lupo, and Phil Gordon as Fred. Music by Dick Cathcart. Additional Music by Matty Matlock, Gus Levene and Frank Comstock. Produced and directed by Jack Webb.

   Pete Kelly was born from Jack Webb’s love of jazz and survives because of the music. Pete Kelley’s Blues began as a summer replacement series on radio in 1951 (On The Air – the Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio by John Dunning (Oxford University Press, 1998. The radio series lasted just thirteen episodes but that was not the end for Pete Kelly.

   There was a film, a television series and the music. Besides the more famous film’s soundtrack there was music released from both the radio and TV series. Capitol Records released music from the radio series featuring Pete Kelly’s Big 7 led by Dick Cathcart with singer “Maggie Jackson,” including the song “Funny Man” (1951). An on the air credit announced the TV series music was available from Warner Brothers and featured the sounds of “Pete Kelly’s Big 7” (Dick Cathcart, Eddie Miller, Jud De Naut, George Van Eps, Moe Schneider, Nick Fatool and Ray Sherman).

   While the TV series had been planned to follow the radio series (more on that later), it would have to wait until 1959 when it aired on NBC as a summer series that lasted only 13 episodes.

   Both the radio series and the TV series focused on the daily struggles of Pete Kelly, a cornet player and leader of a Dixieland jazz band called Pete Kelly’s Big 7. All Pete wanted was to avoid trouble and play his music but it was the 1920s in Mob-run Kansas City, and even accepting the corruption was not enough to keep Pete out of trouble.

   Surviving TV episodes are a rare find. Thanks to the collector’s market I found one episode of the TV series, “Poor Butterfly Story.”

“Poor Butterfly Story.” Teleplay by Jack Webb. Based on Radio Play by Jo Eisinger. Produced and Directed by Jack Webb. Guest Cast: Whitney Blake, John Hudson, and Marshall Kent. *** Pete finds himself trapped, surrounded by a deadly romantic triangle involving Matty his record producer, Matty’s ex-wife Zelda and Zelda’s new husband gangster Johnny Angel.

   Zelda begs Pete to help her get a record back from Matty. The record featured the Pete Kelly’s Big 7 performing “Poor Butterfly.” Matty and Angel are not happy about Pete getting involved. Pete is not happy about his involvement either, especially when finding that record becomes a matter of life or death — his.

   While I have been unable to find any TV episode of Pete Kelly’s Blues available online to watch, the radio version is available. It was common during the fifties for TV series based on radio series to reuse the radio scripts. The TV episode “Poor Butterfly Story” was a remake of the radio episode “Zelda” that aired originally September 5, 1951 on NBC. The Great Detectives website has all six of the known surviving episodes of the radio series. Click on the link and scroll down for the episode “Zelda.”

   The story and most of the dialog from the radio show remained the same in the TV version. Different songs were used but in the same style, with Dixieland for Pete Kelly and the blues for Maggie Jackson (in radio and film) and Savannah Brown (in television). The most noticeable difference was changes in two characters. Pete’s friend “across the river” blues singer Maggie Jackson (on radio and film) got a new name Savannah Brown in the TV series. Pete’s other friend, the failed bootlegger and loquacious drunk Barney in the radio series was replaced by the band’s piano player, a Southern with a folksy sense of humor, named Fred.

   I preferred the radio version mainly because of the cast. Webb was the better Pete Kelly. When Angel confronts Kelly about Zelda, Webb’s voice in the radio version ranges in emotion from fear to anger while in the TV versions Reynolds failed to show those emotions. Known best for his role in The F.B.I (1965) as Special Agent Colby (1966-74), William Reynolds was a bland actor at best. Webb was visually limited in range as an actor, but his voice talent was among the best in radio.

   Webb’s former high school classmate, Meredith Howard as radio’s Maggie had the voice and acting ability to make you believe she lived on “the other side of the river” (the black side). Ella Fitzgerald made the character of Maggie her own in the film. Connee Boswell as Savannah had the voice but being white and shot in the pre-Elvis TV style (where the singer stands stiff and still as he or she sings) ruined the character. But it did allow Southern NBC stations to carry the series.

   According to TV Tango, TVGuide.com and IMDb the TV episode aired April 26, 1959, Sunday at 8:30pm. There is some confusion over dates the show aired. The NBC series premiere date is uncertain. Broadcasting (April 6, 1959) and Billboard (March 30,1959) claim Pete Kelly’s Blues premiered on Tuesday March 31, 1959 at 8-8:30pm. Yet today’s databases and books give the premiere date as Sunday April 5, 1959 at 8:30pm. IMDb has the skill to disagree with itself. The database gives March 31, 1959 as release date for TV series but the episode index list April 5, 1959 as the premiere’s airdate.

   Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows, 1946-Present by Tim Brooks and Earle Marsh (Ballantine, Ninth Edition) claim the series debuted April 5, 1959 and aired on Sunday until July when it move to Friday at 7:30 pm until its final broadcast September 4, 1959. The episodes on Friday were probably reruns as the series lasted just thirteen episodes. TVTango.com agree with the Sunday and Friday time slots.

   It took jazz fan Jack Webb several years to get the TV series on the air. While the radio series aired first, there were plans for a TV series from nearly the beginning. In Broadcasting (December 22, 1952), details of the proposed TV version of Pete Kelly’s Blues was reported with shooting to begin in June 1953 and Webb as director, Stan Meyer as executive producer and Michael Meshekoff as producer. There was no mention of the cast.

   In July 13, 1953 Broadcasting, during a report about Dragnet starting syndication in the fall under the title The Cop (that would be later changed to Badge 714), the article mentions Webb’s plans to do a Pete Kelly’s Blues TV series in color with Webb as star.

   According to Hedda Hopper (Chicago Tribune, August 11, 1954), Webb had originally planned to follow the radio series with a TV series version, but “instead of which he’ll make it into a movie, playing the title role, a trumpet player.”

   Plans to make a TV series continued as the film version played in the theatres (Broadcasting, March, 28, 1955). Billboard (May 27,1957) reported Jack Webb and ABC were in talks for a Pete Kelly’s Blues weekly TV series with sixty-minute episodes.

   The December 16,1957 issue of Billboard claimed Bob Crosby was being considered for the part of Pete Kelly in the possible TV series. A few months later Broadcasting (February 17, 1958) noted that Bob Crosby would not star due to commitments he had with CBS. A new lead was been sought. The magazine added that Webb would supervise production with Harper Goff as producer and George Stevens Jr. and Joseph Parker also involved in production. Plans were to start shooting in May.

   In a Chicago Tribune (April 30, 1961) interview Webb said he thought the failure of the TV series was in part due to timing. He believed airing Pete Kelly’s Blues at the end of the season rather the beginning hurt and regretted it aired only a year or so before interest in the 20s music, fashion, and crime would explode among the public.

   I doubt timing was the problem. The more entertaining ABC’s Roaring 20s (1960) had the timing but lasted only a season and a half. The real problem with both the radio and television series was with the protagonist Pete Kelly, who lacked the qualities of the type of hero the audience at the time wanted. Joe Friday would have disapproved of Pete Kelly. I think the audience did as well.

Editorial Comment:   The video clip obviously comes from the movie version of Pete Kelly’s Blues, and more than likely the two photo images do, too. I apologize for that, but I thought it was more important to give you an idea of what the radio and TV series were like, in spite of the bit of inaccuracy involved.

CANTERBURY’S LAW. Pilot episode. Fox, 10 March 2008. (Season 1, Episode 1.) Julianna Margulies, Ben Shenkman, Keith Robinson, Trieste Kelly Dunn, Terry Kinney, Ardan Quinn, James McCaffrey. Guest Cast: Charlie Hofheimer, Boris McGiver, Alison Bartlett. Creator/screenwriter: Dave Erickson. Director: Mike Figgis.

   This is a series that came and went very quickly. In fact, you might even say that it sunk without a trace. With only six episodes aired before it was axed, I’m surprised that it came out on DVD, but it did.

   Julianna Margolies (best know, perhaps, as the good wife on The Good Wife), here plays Elizabeth Canterbury, a fiery, tough-minded and determined defense attorney who (and here’s the gimmick) is willing to break all of the rules to get her clients off.

   And in this pilot episode, she pulls off all the stops (telling her client to lie on the witness stand) in order to get the real killer on the stand, where she knows she can break him down. What makes this subterfuge necessary is that her client’s initial confession was coerced by the police by denying him the meds he needed.

   There is all kinds of back story that is brought out along the way, including her affair with a private eye, one which she has broken off (she also happens to be married), but his assistance on the case she does not mind in the least asking for.

   As gimmicks go, I didn’t mind this one, and as a matter of fact, I liked it. Elizabeth Canterbury certainly is skirting the edges of legality, and in fact (as you can tell) she verges into illegality far more than Perry Mason ever did. And playing her to perfection, Julianna Margulies is an actress that makes me sit up and like it.

   She was on The Sopranos before this one, then a nurse on ER for a season or so before starring in The Good Wife, a series I’ve never seen a single episode of, and now I’m convinced I should.

REVIEWED BY MICHAEL SHONK:


JERICHO. CBS, 1966-67. MGM/Arena Productions. Created by William Link and Richard Levinson in association with Merwin A. Bloch. Cast: Don Francks as Franklin Sheppard, John Leyton as Nicholas Gage, and Marino Mase as Jean-Gaston Andre. Executive Producer: Norman Felton. Supervising Producer: David Victor. Produced by Stanley Niss (pilot episode produced by David Victor). Theme by Jerry Goldsmith.

JERICHO TV series

   JERICHO was set in war-torn Europe during World War II. It told the adventures of three men. American Captain Franklin Sheppard was the leader and an expert on explosives. British Royal Navy Lieutenant Nicholas Gage was a former circus performer and expert in getting in and out of tough situations. Free French Lieutenant Jean-Gaston Andre specialized in weapons, ancient and modern. Together they fought the Nazis behind enemy lines as a group, code named Jericho.

   I watched this series at Warner Archives Instant (free two week trial membership) here.

   Considering the talent behind this series I was very disappointed. The series first reminded me of another CBS series premiering that fall, MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE for its premise and soundtrack. However, JERICHO took on the style of the two other MGM and Norman Felton’s Arena Productions, MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. and GIRL FROM U.N.C.L.E.

   The theme and opening featured a narrator (no on air credit) introducing the characters over the actor names with clips of each in action. The story then began with the narrator giving the date, location and Jericho’s mission.

JERICHO TV series

   Today, a major reason to watch this series is who created it. William Link and Richard Levinson would become two of television’s greatest creators of TV series with such series as COLUMBO, ELLERY QUEEN, and MURDER SHE WROTE. But JERICHO was before they joined Universal Studios. Link has discussed how little control they had over their freelance scripts such as their pilot script for MANNIX (in the commentary on MANNIX season one DVD).

   The pilot script for JERICHO would air as episode three “Upbeat and Underground.” From the credits it can be assumed Dean Hargrove (MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E.) rewrote some of the script. Paris 1942, the Nazis plan to force the French National Symphony Orchestra to play Wagner on Bastille Day, so Jericho smuggles the entire orchestra (one hundred people) under Nazis guard in occupied Paris to London. If only Jericho had been available for THE GREAT ESCAPE (John Layton was in the 1963 film but sadly did not play his Jericho hero).

   And who was fellow JERICHO creator Merwin Bloch? Bloch’s greatest success would come later as one of the most influential and successful producers of movie trailers. He would also produced the 70s cult film comedy THE TELEPHONE BOOK. At this time he was just starting out from advertising and had wrote one episode of BLUE LIGHT (which I reviewed here ). According to his IMDb bio, Bloch would supply many of JERICHO’s plots. At least one JERICHO plot was obviously inspired by BLUE LIGHT, in “Panic in the Piazza” Jericho was assigned to blow up a heavily guarded Nazi headquarters buried deep underground.

   JERICHO’s production values for a network show were embarrassing, from inept reusing of a few studio lot exterior sets to the too many times when you wondered if anyone was paying attention or cared.

JERICHO TV series

   In the episode “Long Walk Across a Short Street,” action took place at night and in an area where all power was out, yet the streets where bathed in sunlight and the interiors brightly lit. The only way we knew it was dark was when the characters told us. Surprisingly, the director was the talented Richard C. Sarafian (VANISHING POINT, 1971), and the director of photography was the experienced, Emmy award winner and innovator Lester Shorr. Both of these men would have known better, leaving one to wonder how such amateur mistakes could have happened.

   The scripts, because of its YA take on the plots, had problems maintaining the proper balance of believability, humor, action and suspense. For me the most successful was writer Jackson Gillis (MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E.) in “Have Traitor, Will Travel.” A French General and known spy is fed false information. Jericho escorts him to the front hoping to get captured, but encounter problems when the local underground rescues them. The story’s surprising twists had a darkness to them that kept the absurdity from overwhelming the drama.

   The soundtrack was a cross between MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. and MISSION IMPOSSIBLE. The “Film Score Monthly” review of the record featuring the soundtrack to JERICHO (and THE GHOSTBREAKER), noted that the theme used by JERICHO was scored by Jerry Goldsmith (MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E.) from the second episode, and the pilot music score (and unused theme) was done by Lilo Schifrin.

   Schifrin would find a place for some of the rejected music in his next series, MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE. JERICHO, especially episodes scored by Richard Shores (MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E.), often had scenes with background music familiar to viewers of MISSION IMPOSSIBLE. While one of the more noticeable MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. influences was the sound used with the graphic break for jump cuts.

   This YouTube clip is from a promo sent to local stations. It is terrible visually and features a different narrator, but illustrates my point about the soundtrack (around 2:05 on the clip):

   Perhaps the oddest element of JERICHO was Norman Felton producing CBS’s JERICHO while under exclusive contract to NBC. “Broadcasting” reported the story in issues December 27, 1965 and January 10, 1965. Norman Felton was one of MGM’s most successful producers until NBC signed Felton to an exclusive contract. Felton’s obligations to MGM would end June 30, 1966, but there were exceptions. Felton would continue to produce the show if either of Arena Production’s pilots for CBS went series. JERICHO did. Thus a NBC producer and company (Arena) produced a prime time series for CBS.

   Don Francks’ (HEMLOCK GROVES) performance was the best of the three regulars but lacked a dramatic depth to counter the silliness of the stories leaving him at times bordering on camp such as in “Wall To Wall Kaput” where he posed as a worker wallpapering the office where the top-secret papers were kept. John Leyton had been a British pop star and appeared in films (VON RYAN’S EXPRESS -1965), but by JERICHO his career was in decline. Marino Mase went from starring in films such as Jean-Luc Godard’s LES CARABINERS (1963) to minor roles in films such as GODFATHER 3 (1990).

JERICHO TV series

   Fans of actors will enjoy spotting such people as Barbara Anderson, John Drew Barrymore, Billy Barty, Tom Bosley, John Dehner, James Doohan, Marianna Hill, Walter Koenig, Mark Lenard, Jay North, Michael Rennie, Mark Richman, Gia Scala, Malachi Throne, and Ian Wolfe.

   The series featured one minor recurring character, Jericho’s contact Mallory played in the pilot by Ben Wright and in two episodes by John Orchard.

   The ratings were never good. The hour-long JERICHO aired in color on Thursday night at 7:30-8:30PM opposite of the popular BATMAN and F-TROOP on ABC and DANIEL BOONE on NBC (which usually finished second in the time slot).

   The November 28, 1966 issue of “Broadcasting” reported CBS had cancelled JERICHO, saying the series would remain on until mid-January.

   There was a tie-in original paperback by Bruce Cassiday titled Code Name: Jericho – Operation Gold Kill (Award, 1967).

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