Thursday, May 14, 2015

What Might've Been: Holmes & Yoyo (1976)

The late Leonard Stern was still developing series well into the mid-70's, but had moved his tack to Universal. Sometime after Get Smart had ended its run, Talent Associates had begun partnering with Universal on a couple of NBC Mystery Movie entries, particularly The Snoop Sisters and McMillan & Wife, as well as a few others.

By 1976, however, Stern decided to revive his 60's production company, Heyday Productions, which had produced a one-year wonder of a sitcom, I'm Dickens, He's Fenster, to develop a new fantasy-oriented sitcom for Universal. Unlike the others, Holmes & Yoyo would air on ABC. In hindsight, that might not have been the best of ideas.

The Holmes in the title is no relation to Sherlock Holmes, thankfully. Police detective Alex Holmes (Richard B. Shull) is a clumsy sort, such that 4 partners had wound up in the hospital because of Holmes' bungling. Enter Gregory Yoyonivich (John Schuck, ex-McMillan & Wife), or, Yoyo, for short, a 400 pound robot. Holmes wasn't supposed to learn the truth about his new partner, but in the pilot, he did. Like, what did you expect?

Stern and long time collaborator Arne Sultan thought they had a winner. They thought that they could help ABC laugh at itself with a comedy that satirized the network's other police shows, such as Starsky & Hutch. It didn't work. 13 weeks, and done. ABC had tried a similar series with the one hour comedy-drama, Future Cop, with Ernest Borgnine, and that flopped, as well.

I referenced I'm Dickens, He's Fenster for a reason. Its star, John Astin, who later gained icon status with The Addams Family, directed a few of the episodes, while Jackie Cooper directed the pilot. However, we've picked out the episode, "The Dental Dynamiter", for your perusal.

Schuck would later star in the late 80's series, The Munsters Today, which proved to be far more successful, running for 3 seasons. Schull would later turn up in a Billy Joel music video for "Keeping the Faith".

No rating.

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