Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Forgotten TV: Hawk (1966)

Before Burt Reynolds became a box office superstar in the 70's, he'd tried his hand at television. Aside from a run as a supporting player on Gunsmoke, he hadn't had much luck. Riverboat, in which he co-starred with Darrin McGavin, lasted a year at the most. In 1966, producer Hubbell Robinson, who moved his tack from Universal to Screen Gems, cast Reynolds as Hawk in a one hour ABC crime drama.

John Hawk (Reynolds) was a full-blooded Iroquois Indian. In real life, Reynolds was part Cherokee in background, so it made a bit of sense in a way. Unfortunately, Hawk was cancelled after 1 season, and the same fate would befall Reynolds' next TV project, Quinn Martin's Dan August, 4 years later.

Curiously, Reynolds would land a hit TV show as his film career was winding down, returning to CBS in the 80's to headline the sitcom, Evening Shade.

The following is taken from ABC's fall preview special for 1966, with clips of the series opener. The villain is another future movie superstar, Gene Hackman.

NBC obtained the rights to Hawk in 1976 to cash in on Reynolds' growing popularity at the box office. CBS had done the same thing, acquiring Dan August. This particular practice has gone the way of the Edsel, sad to say, leaving a lot of shows like this in the vaults.

No rating.

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