Stephen J. Cannell Television Productions

A History of All Series and Pilots


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About the Book

The face of 1980s television was shaped by a man who stayed behind the scenes. Stephen Cannell’s reluctant white knights—put-upon private eye James Rockford, World War II fly-boys the Black Sheep Squadron, hapless superhero Ralph Hinckley, fugitive mercenaries the A-Team, and maverick cop Hunter—traversed the television landscape from the 1970s to the 1990s. Cannell changed the face of the action-adventure genre, updating the crime-show format with a hybrid of rebellious morality, juvenile wit, intelligent sarcasm, and radical conservatism. This book discusses in detail the programs of the writer-producer and lists every episode of his award-winning productions from the early 1970s to the early ’90s. The book features publicity photos and descriptions of unsold pilots.

About the Author(s)

Freelance writer Jon Abbott has written more than 400 articles on American television and related topics for more than 20 magazines. He lives in Brighton, England.

Bibliographic Details

Jon Abbott
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 394
Bibliographic Info: 39 photos, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2009
pISBN: 978-0-7864-4173-0
eISBN: 978-0-7864-5401-3
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      v

Preface      1

Introduction      3

Part One: Beginnings

The Rockford Files: September 1974–January 1980      43

Baretta: January 1975–May 1978      71

City of Angels: February 1976–May 1976      82

Black Sheep Squadron: September 1976–April 1978      86

Richie Brockelman, Private Eye: March 1978–April 1978      96

The Duke: April 1979–May 1979      99

Stone: January 1980–March 1980      101

Unsold Pilots (1)      106

Part Two: The Golden Years

Tenspeed and Brownshoe: January 1980–June 1980      109

The Greatest American Hero: March 1981–February 1983      113

The Quest: October 1982–November 1982      127

The A-Team: January 1983–December 1986      131

Hardcastle and McCormick: September 1983–May 1986      156

Rousters: October 1983, June 1984–July 1984      170

Riptide: January 1984–April 1986      175

Unsold Pilots (2)      190

Part Three: From L.A. to Canada

Hunter: September 1984–April 1991      192

Stingray: March 1986–May 1987      221

The Last Precinct: April 1986–May 1986      231

21 Jump Street: April 1987–May 1991      236

Wiseguy: September 1987–December 1990      258

J.J. Starbuck: September 1987–February 1988      295

Sonny Spoon: February 1988–December 1988      305

Unsub: February 1989–April 1989      313

Unsold Pilots (3)      317

The Wrap-Up      318

Sources of Quotations      335

Bibliography      345

Index      349