Saturday, April 15, 2017

Forgotten TV: Flamingo Road (1981)

The success of CBS' Dallas had shown that a primetime soap opera was feasible again, more than a decade after Peyton Place had ended its run on ABC, and a few years after NBC had failed with a daytime sequel to Peyton. Of course, NBC executives wanted some of the new pie, and they knew where to go to get some of the action.

NBC contracted with Lorimar, the studio behind Dallas and its companion series, Knots Landing, to produce the network's first primetime soap. Flamingo Road, based on a 1949 movie of the same name, which in turn had been adapted from a novel, began as a TV-movie in May 1980, and went to series nearly a full year later. It marked the return to series television of Howard Duff (ex-The Felony Squad), this time as a corrupt Florida sheriff, Titus Semple, drunk with delusions of grandeur. The ensemble also included movie veteran Kevin McCarthy, and rising stars such as Morgan Fairchild and Mark Harmon, the latter of whom is still active today (NCIS).

Unfortunately, over the course of 37 episodes, covering a scant more than a full calendar year (1981-2), NBC programmers made a critical error by scheduling Flamingo, save for the summer of 1981, on Tuesday nights, opposite ABC's Hart to Hart (Flamingo moved to Mondays for the summer of '81, and should've stayed there if they really cared). Ballgame over.

Now, I never saw the show, so there won't be a rating. All I can offer for now is an intro for the first season:

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