For the 2nd time in a four year span, Warner Bros. decided to revive Maverick, this time on NBC, under the title, Bret Maverick, with James Garner, not too far removed from The Rockford Files, reprising the first of his iconic roles.
NBC slotted Bret Maverick on Fridays, not at the same exact time as Rockford, but they figured that Garner's drawing power, assuming he had any left, would be enough opposite CBS' Dukes of Hazzard, a WB stablemate. Wrong! NBC made the same tactical mistake they'd made earlier in the year with the sitcom, The Brady Brides, thinking that the sequel to The Brady Bunch, airing on the same night as the original series, would find the same audience. Apparently, program mogul Fred Silverman never read the works of George Santayana.
The other problem was this. The original Maverick was in syndication in some parts of the country. Local cable viewers could find it on WSBK in Boston, for example. This time around, Bret is going solo, as brother Bart (Jack Kelly) & cousin Beau (Roger Moore) aren't around. Moore, of course, had long moved on, and had starred as James Bond in "For Your Eyes Only" earlier in '81.
I seem to recall my parents sampling Bret Maverick, but I didn't see enough of the show to give it a rating. Following is a sample teaser and the intro. Co-star Ed Bruce, otherwise a prominent country singer of the period, performs the title song.
Bruce & Garner recorded a version of the theme song for an album. Bruce does sound a wee bit like a cross between two other country singers, Waylon Jennings and Don Williams, at least to my ears, and as we've previously noted, Garner later recorded a duet with Jennings.