Its first season, Hill Street Blues received poor ratings. But then it received 21 Emmy nominations. It didn't have rating problems again. Uploaded by dvdtimes.co.uk.
From the moment the great Mike Post theme song came on, you knew you were going to see a different kind of show. Hill Street Blues wasn’t just a great cop show, it created the template for ensemble dramas to come. So N.Y.P.D. Blue, E.R., L.A. Law, St. Elsewhere – the least you can do is send Hill Street Blues a Christmas card each year.
Uploaded by peterjurasik.com.
HSB ran on NBC from 1981 to 1987. Most episodes began at roll call, when Sgt. Phil Esterhaus would admonish his team, “Hey, let’s be careful out there.” The show usually went through a day in the lives of officers at a single precinct in an unnamed Midwest city. The language was gritty, as realistic as TV would allow at the time. And like most successful shows, the casting was outstanding, no small feat considering that the cast consisted of 15 or 16 regulars each season.
This is one of those times when network executives rewarded quality in spite of low ratings. The show’s first season would normally have let to cancellation, but NBC renewed it for a second season. Or at least, for 10 episodes of a second season. One factor that may have rescued the run is that it dominated the Emmy Awards. People wanted to know what was this program that got a record 21 Emmy nominations, and won eight. They tuned in, the ratings rose, and we got to have 132 episodes of the Blues.
Every cool detective or private eye in TV history owes a debt of gratitude to Jim Garner and The Rockford Files. Uploaded to Photobucket by rikerdonegal.
There have been lots of private investigator shows in the history of television. But no P.I. was cooler than Jim Rockford.
The Rockford Files premiered in 1974 and stayed on NBC for six seasons. James Garner (Great American Things, October 30, 2009) had experienced success with Maverick during America’s obsession with westerns, and was looking for a more contemporary character. He found it in Rockford, created by producers Roy Huggins of Maverick and Stephen J. Cannell, fresh from the Jack Webb empire.
With James Garner are Stuart Margolin (Angel) and Noah Beery, Jr. (Rocky). Uploaded by digitaljournal.com.
Rockford was an ex-con, wrongly convicted of armed robbery and paroled, who eked out a living at his dilapidated trailer on the beach at Malibu. Probably the most inspired casting for the show was Stuart Margolin as “Angel” Martin, Jim’s former cellmate. Margolin drew such a wonderful character that I can still hear him saying “Jimmy…Jimmy” thirty years later.
As with many classic shows, there are specific elements I remember with special fondness. For example, I wanted to drive a Pontiac Firebird like the one Jim drove. I remember the answering machine message that opened each show. And I remember the show’s theme, penned by Mike Post and Pete Carpenter, that was released as a single and went to number 10 on the charts…