Was America ready for a sitcom about gangsters? Apparently not, but CBS gave it a try in 1971.
Perhaps the real reason The Chicago Teddy Bears failed was where it was placed on the schedule. Fridays at 8, opposite the higher-rated Brady Bunch. Enough said. CBS dropped the show after 3 months.
Teddy Bears was built around a stable ensemble cast, headed up by Dean Jones, better known for his work in Disney movies such as "The Love Bug" and the original "Shaggy Dog". Jones' production company co-produced the series with WB, but this apparently was the only project he'd have on the air. The cast also included some familiar faces and voices, including Marvin Kaplan (ex-Top Cat, later of Alice), John Banner (fresh from Hogan's Heroes), ex-Bowery Boy Huntz Hall (primetime debut), and Jamie Farr (later of M*A*S*H & The Gong Show). Art Metrano, better known now for his comedy-magic act, was given second billing in his first primetime starring role.
Gilmorebox uploaded the open, which, sadly, is in black & white.
Admittedly, this was a welcome alternative to the Bradys, but not enough people thought that to be the case. Their loss. Rating: B.