Saturday, November 3, 2012

What Might've Been: Human Target (1992)

After a lengthy run on General Hospital in the 80's, actor-singer Rick Springfield decided to give primetime a try. Nice idea, but as an action hero?

Producers Danny Bilson & Paul De Meo had previously adapted DC Comics' The Flash for television in 1990 for CBS, only for that series to fall victim to the then #1 show on the planet, The Cosby Show. Nearly 2 years later, they mined DC again, this time for the adventures of Christopher Chance, aka The Human Target, who debuted in the pages of Action Comics in the early 70's. Unfortunately, ABC opted to utilize Target as a summer replacement series at the end of the 1991-2 season. The series was revived by Fox just a few years ago and managed to hang on for about a year and a half before being cancelled, so why did the original fail?

The simple answer is that ABC didn't have much faith in the first place. As you'll see in the following video, Chance was given a team of assistants, when in the comics he was a solo act. In a sense, Bilson & De Meo wanted to create a vibe similar to Mission: Impossible, which was briefly revived by ABC at the end of the 80's and, coincidentally might've been the inspiration for this show. If ABC suits actually thought Target actually had a chance, pardon the expression, they'd have green-lighted a full season a lot sooner.

In recent years, Springfield has returned to General Hospital and at last check continues to record. Amazingly, I don't think he had to sing on Human Target, which might've been what fans were hoping for.

Here's the open:

Rating: B.


magicdog said...

I remember this version of HT and it had potential but part of what seemed silly was the "life like" masks Chance had to wear during impersonations. Then again, since it was from the same folk who brought us the live action version of The Flash, I guess I can forgive that.

Springfield tried other prime time shows and seemed to barely last a season (or in the case of "Forever Knight", the pilot stage).

I also seem to remember him having a syndicated series in which he played a retired cop, taking care of his much younger brother and both were spending their time surfing and solving mysteries.

hobbyfan said...

I remember him doing a guest shot on, I think, Wonder Woman before he was hired for General Hospital. As for other primetime work, I can always look up his bio......