Saturday, September 10, 2016

What Might've Been: 87th Precinct (1961)

Crime novelist Ed McBain's legendary series, 87th Precinct, was adapted for television by producer Hubbell Robinson in 1961. That was the good news. The bad? It was cancelled after just 1 season, and it deserved a better fate than that.

The TV version had an ensemble cast, headed up by Robert Lansing, and also featuring Ron Harper and Norman Fell. Robinson had hitched his wagon to Revue Studios, which also co-produced Boris Karloff's anthology series, Thriller, but after Thriller was cancelled, Robinson was not heard from again.

So why did it fail? There were plenty of crime dramas on the air at the time, some were a half-hour, and others, like 87th Precinct, were one hour shows. Perhaps it came along at just the wrong time. We'll never know.

Right now, let's take a look at the opener, "The Floater", with guest star Robert Culp.

The cast in this episode also includes Victor Sen Yung (Bonanza) and Dallas McKennon, later of Daniel Boone, but at the time better known to millions of kids as the voice behind Gumby & Courageous Cat.

Rating: A.

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