ABC thought they might be doing something right by reviving an iconic series from the 70's last fall, but, marking its 35th anniversary, Charlie's Angels fell flat and was cancelled well before Christmas. Where did it go wrong? Well......
First, the series was set in Miami, rather than in Los Angeles and/or its surrounding environs. Second, it was airing on Thursdays, instead of Wednesdays, which was its home during the original series' run (1976-81). Third, the detectives weren't true Angels in the purest sense, as they were ex-cons instead. Finally, aside from co-executive producer Drew Barrymore, who'd starred in two feature films based on the franchise a few years prior, the only "name" was model Minka Kelly, better known for having been the armpiece of New York Yankees superstar Derek Jeter for a few years. It was a coincidence of bad timing that saw them break up just before the new Angels hit the air.
Today, the original Angels was given an all-day marathon on Cloo, spotlighting mostly season 2 episodes, but let's cover the series in general.
When it launched in 1976, Charlie's Angels was yet another crime drama from the Aaron Spelling factory. Spelling had been supplying series almost exclusively to ABC ever since he'd launched his own studio in the mid-60's after leaving Four Star. The concept had a small element of The Millionaire in that the Angels' boss, private eye Charlie Townshend, was heard but never seen (voiced by an uncredited John Forsythe, ex-Bachelor Father). As Charlie explains in the open, he'd plucked a trio of police academy graduates from menial duties with the LAPD to become his operatives, aided by on-site supervisor John Bosley (David Doyle). After the first season, pin-up icon Farrah Fawcett(-Majors), at the time married to Six Million Dollar Man star Lee Majors, left to pursue a movie career. Cheryl Ladd, at the time more known as one of the singing voices behind Josie & The Pussycats, was brought in. After the third season, Kate Jackson (ex-The Rookies), who'd been a Spelling standby for so long, left, replaced by Shelley Hack. Tanya Roberts took over the following---and final---season. Got all that?
Charlie's Angels came under criticism from the predictable corners (i.e. moral zealots) due to being one of the leaders of the "jiggle TV" movement of the period, which put more emphasis on the use of its female leads as sex objects. The way I look it, watching the reruns through the years, is that if you just follow the stories, and pay no mind to how the characters are dressed, there are no issues to be had.
Let's go back to the Cheryl Ladd era intro:
At the end of the day, Charlie's Angels was just another cookie-cutter crime drama of the period. Spelling would churn out a few more of those, of course.