Glen A. Larson's 1st sale to NBC since moving his production company to 20th Century Fox was perhaps his worst.
Manimal told the story of Dr. Jonathan Chase, who possessed the ability to transform into any animal he wished, although most of the time he seemed to limit himself to panthers and birds. To be frank, Manimal lost viewers on Fridays, airing as it did in back of another Larson entry, Knight Rider (his last for Universal at NBC), and ended up cancelled after a little more than 2 months on the air.
Simon MacCorkindale toplined as Chase, a pleasant enough fellow without his powers. Viewers felt shape changers belonged on weekends, though technically that was the case since it was airing on Fridays. William Conrad, who had occupied the Friday 9 pm (ET) slot himself for a time with Nero Wolfe, narrates the cursory origin video that makes up half of the intro:
Chase's drawback was the same as that of Maya (Catherine Schell) on Space: 1999 a few years earlier. In his animal form, he can't talk. Had this been a cartoon, it might've been more successful.