Saturday, March 14, 2015

What Might've Been: Hell Town (1985)

It's almost as if Baretta swapped his badge for a Bible.

Robert Blake returned to primetime in 1985 with Hell Town. It was on the same night as Baretta (Wednesdays), but on a different network (NBC). I think you know where I'm going with this, right? Yep. The show lasted just 4 months, the last episode airing on, ironically, Christmas night.

Blake was cast as ex-con-turned-Catholic priest Noah "Hardstep" Rivers, whose parish was in the same Los Angeles neighborhood where he grew up. Whitman Mayo (ex-Sanford & Son) co-starred. The theme song was performed by-----who else?----Sammy Davis, Jr., who made Baretta's theme, "Keep Your Eye On The Sparrow", as much of an icon as he or Blake.

Suffice to say, viewers just weren't ready. It wasn't long, though, before NBC tried again with a religious themed series on Wednesdays. Michael Landon came along with Highway To Heaven about a year or two later, and we'll cover that in due course. Also, we'd be treated to a lighter dose with Amen.

No rating. Never saw the show.


magicdog said...

I remember this show, although I didn't watch regularly. I had the feeling even then that Blake was trying to have another shot at being Baretta - albeit in a priest's collar.

Everything about this show seemed very out of date by the time it aired - too 70s despite the 80s wardrobe.

hobbyfan said...

Anachronistic, eh? Turned out to be Blake's last series gig, IIRC.