Tuesday, April 26, 2016

What Might've Been: Get Christie Love! (1974)

African-American actors were gradually making inroads in television. Before his career went down in flames and disgrace, Bill Cosby won 3 Emmy awards for his work on I Spy, and eventually gained additional plaudits for Fat Albert & the Cosby Kids and The Cosby Show. Diahann Carroll became the first African-American female to headline a sitcom since the Golden Age of television with Julia (1968-71), while Barbara McNair and Sammy Davis, Jr. headlined their own variety shows.

In 1974, producer David L. Wolper, better known for fronting documentary specials like The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau and the National Geographic series, ventured into scripted dramas for the first time with Get Christie Love!, which started as an ABC Movie of the Week in January before graduating into a weekly series 8 months later. Wolper lured Teresa Graves away from Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In to essay the title role of Christie Love, an undercover detective. Cosby had already proven that comedians also serve well as action heroes on television, and, as memory serves, I Spy was in syndicated reruns at the time.

Graves was given a full season to prove herself worthy of being considered in the same breath as film star Pam Grier ("Foxy", "Cleopatra Jones"). Unfortunately, ABC gave Christie Love the axe after 1 season, but it wasn't for lack of trying.

The Rap Sheet offers an intro, pulled from a 2014 run on Centric.

Late in the series' run, Jack Kelly (ex-Maverick, Sale of the Century) was cast as Love's new boss, but that didn't help do anything but postpone the inevitable.

No rating. Never saw the show.

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