Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Forgotten TV: Nakia (1974)

Every so often, someone comes up with the idea of using Native Americans as positive role models. However, aside from Tonto, the Lone Ranger's partner in peril, Native American heroes are few and far between. Way too far.

In the 50's, DC Comics, inspired by Lone Ranger, came up with their own Native American heroes, including police detective Pow Wow Smith. Four Star spun off Law of the Plainsman after two guest appearances by Michael Ansara on The Rifleman in the latter series' 1st season. Unfortunately, Law lasted one season.

In 1974, ABC gave it another try, working with Columbia Pictures Television (now Sony Pictures Television) and producer David Gerber, who came over to CPTV from 20th Century Fox, with Nakia.

Nakia Parker (Robert Forster, ex-Banyon) was a 30-something Navajo working as a deputy sheriff in New Mexico. There were two problems that led to the show's quick demise after 4 months. One, it was airing on Saturday nights, opposite The Carol Burnett Show at 10 (ET). Secondly, it should've been on at an earlier time, perhaps on a different night (like, airing opposite NBC's Emergency! would have led to the same result). I never got to see the show as memory serves, so there's no rating.

We'll leave you with a sample episode, "No Place To Hide":

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