Thursday, June 26, 2014

What Might've Been: The Wackiest Ship in the Army (1965)

Let's consider the scenario for a moment.

It's 1965. McHale's Navy is entering its final season on ABC. Hogan's Heroes was beginning a 6 year run on CBS. Screen Gems figured they had something in the Columbia vault that would fit right in. Well, they thought they did.

The Wackiest Ship in The Army, based on the movie of the same name, aired for 1 season on NBC, airing in back of Bonanza on Sundays. A 1 hour comedy-drama with an ensemble cast that included Jack Warden and Gary Collins at the front. So, why did it fail? Easy. CBS had Candid Camera & What's My Line? at the bottom of their Sunday lineup, often bumped further back by football over-runs, I would think, since that practice continues today.

The series was dusted off the Sony vaults and aired on cable several years later, airing on Saturday nights this time, as memory serves, on the then-Family Channel (now ABC Family). I never really got into it.

Post-series, some of the cast moved on to other series. Rudy Solari would have another 1 year wonder two years later on ABC with Garrison's Gorillas. Jack Warden, also in 1967, starred in N.Y.P.D. for producer David Susskind's Talent Associates. That same year, Mark Slade went to the Old West in another NBC series, The High Chapparal. It would be a while before Gary Collins would land another series, this time on ABC with The Sixth Sense, before starring in an adaptation of Born Free.

Here's "Liberty Was a Lady":

Rating: B.

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