Saturday, April 29, 2017

Forgotten TV: The Cases of Eddie Drake (1949-52)

If you thought network executives have itchy trigger fingers for early cancellations now, it's actually a tradition as old as broadcast television itself.

Take, for example, The Cases of Eddie Drake.

Nine episodes of the series were filmed by CBS in 1949, but six of those nine never made it to air. Three years later, DuMont picked up the series and added four new episodes to complete the series. Incredibly, the research guide I've been using doesn't list Eddie Drake, assuming it was meant to be a primetime show.

Don Haggerty top-lined as Drake, who narrated each tale, a la Dragnet or, later on, Richard Diamond. Standard fare, really, but I think you're going to see why CBS gave up on it so quickly.......! Here's "Shoot The Works".

As you can see, they saved money on credits by having actress Patricia Morrison read off the cast at the end of the show. Who'dathunk?

Rating: C+.


Mike Doran said...

Over at a blog called Mystery*File, several years back, I got involved with some posters in a lengthy back-and-forth over Eddie Drake.

First off: the copyright date on the imbedded episode is MCMXLVIII - 1948 to the rest of us.
This predates network television by at least a year; what few filmed shows there were were earmarked for sales to the few stations that were on the air at that point - I haven't got the exact figures at hand, but if it was as many as 100 stations, scattered over 50 cities nationwide, that was a lot - and this is even before the East-Midwest coaxial cable was hooked up.

Our other "researches" indicate that IMPPRO, the identified producer of Eddie Drake, was an independent, and CBS's involvement was mainly financial.
Eddie Drake ran on local stations during the late '40s/early '50s; here in Chicago it was on Channel 7, the ABC station, in 1951, for the 13-episode duration.
The Mystery*File gang, led by a doughty soul named Michael Shonk, had three good-sized posts, accompanied by many comments (more than a few by myself), concerning The Cases Of Eddie Drake. They're still over there, if you care to look ...

hobbyfan said...

1948, eh? The graphic did look a bit fuzzy. When I found this on YouTube, there was a debate there over whether it actually aired on CBS at all, or had been in syndication. Your account lends credence to the syndication angle.