Even at the tender age of 8 I just knew, knew, that it was Sammy Davis Jr. singing the theme to Baretta.
I also just knew, knew, that in one episode that I was witnessing the the entire dynamic acting spectrum of star Robert Blake. Which wasn’t much.
Nice touches, such as Baretta’s pet Cockatoo Fred, and curmudgeonly old Hotel Manager Billy Truman added a bit of the comedic element. We always liked Baretta’s worn out 1966 Impala 4 door, “The Blue Ghost”, since we had a rather pristine blue 1966 Impala 2 door (with a very eager 327!).
But the nicest touch of all:
Little Moe – Midget snitch and shoeshine boy. You can never go wrong with midgets.
SO please, don’t do the crime, if you can’t do the time.
I remember one of the Harry O TV Movies better than the series itself.
It seemed a shame to waste David Jansen on this series, since he was so good in The Fugitive. I always think of him as Dr. Richard Kimmel. I also liked him in O’Hara U.S. Treasury.
This show only lasted for 2 years 1974 – 1976. And it wasn’t ratings that killed it, ABC just wanted to go in a different direction with their network (Battle Of The Network Stars no doubt).
Strangely, the series started in San Diego, as Harry was a Police officer forced to retire from the San Diego PD after being shot in the back while on duty. It relocated to Los Angeles in it’s second season because it was too expensive to film in San Diego. Next set of detectives for San Diego? In the next decade with Simon And Simon
The show voted “most realistic” by police officers.
A show that, the more you watched it, the fonder you grew of the characters. And not just the officers, but of the cantankerous and disheveled parade of criminals and other regulars. The final episode was heartwarming, in that each character expressed their affection for each other, and the long suffering 12th Precinct.
But it was the title sequence, with that slap happy bass, and the warm lead.
There were better quality clips to choose from, but I went with this one, because of the very beginning. In this clip, a shot of the New York skyline.
My memory of Mike Conners as Mannix is that he reminded me of my Dad. An everyman. Been to war, no nonsense, physical, dark haired.
I had forgotten that the first season of Mannix focused on his square peg / round hole setting working at a Detective Agency named Intertect. They relied heavily on computers (heh, 1967 computers. A bunch of punch cards and reel to reel tapes!). Our boy Joe Mannix did not fit that mold, and he solved investigations his own way. An against the grain antihero.
Following that first season, Desilu Chief Lucille Ball ordered the computers and Intertect nixed. She felt they were just too modern and confusing to the TV audience (at least she didn’t jump in the way of tech with Star Trek, another Desilu product!).
So, from the second season forward, Mannix was on his own at his own Agency. Joe’s always helpful secretary Peggy Flair (the lovely Gail Fisher) was on his side, as were some Police Force contacts like M*A*S*H’s Larry Lindville and Mr. Brady himself, Robert Reed. But he always had some old Army buddy that was after him. I don’t know what Mannix did in the Army that got so many of his comrades ticked off at him, but it seemed that every 4 or 5 weeks one of them was after him. Maybe he stuck them with the KP duty once too often, or was the platoon trouble maker, getting leave canceled…
Best thing evah about Mannix was the veritable fleet of cars he went through. Let’s see, he drove:
If there’s one thing I remember about Burt Reynolds on TV (well, other than that he was a bad guy on Flipper and seeing him on Gunsmoke) is that guy could leap! I remember that my brother and I used to try to copy his keen slide in the church, at home in our kitchen. Maybe we should have tried it in church because we usually just hit the wall at the back of the kitchen. If only our parents had left the wood floors as they were instead of installing the wall to wall carpeting…
But here he is running. And leaping. And running. And racing. And leaping. And fighting. And leaping. I suppose this hearkens back to his football days at Florida.
This show aired for one season. But that was enough. How could you not like this show? Mr. Roper, The Six Million Dollar Man’s Oscar Goldman… what more could you ask for?