Friday, June 16, 2017

Forgotten TV: Trauma Center (1983)

In 1983, producer Glen Larson's production company was working with 2 studios, Universal (Knight Rider was in its 2nd season) and 20th Century Fox (Fall Guy was in its 3rd season). Larson sold 2 new shows for Fox to the two networks he was already working with, NBC (Manimal) and ABC.

People forget, what with all the to-do over the infamous flop that Manimal was, that Larson also failed with what amounted to his answer to Jack Webb's Emergency! (1972-7). Trauma Center was also about paramedics, and had a quality ensemble cast, including Dorian Harewood, Jack Bannon (ex-Lou Grant), Eileen Heckart, James Naughton (ex-Planet of the Apes), and Lou Ferrigno, who was looking to avoid typecasting, as this was a year after The Incredible Hulk ended its run.

Pilot aside, there was an early crossover with Fall Guy which, today, would have fanboys plotzing, considering the likely debates over Hulk and The Six Million Dollar Man (Lee Majors' last series prior to Fall Guy) at the time.

As memory serves, Trauma Center aired on Thursdays, and started off opposite CBS' Magnum, P. I.. Ballgame over before it began, as the series was cut just 2 months later.

Following is a teaser for an episode, followed by the intro, narrated by William Conrad, who also had those chores on Manimal.

Yes, Medstar was the original title, but it was changed before launch, likely at the request of the network. Series regular Wendie Malick would later resurface on Just Shoot Me, among other places, and some kids might remember Alfie Wise as Rabbit Ears, second banana to Charles Nelson Reilly on Uncle Croc's Block, another notable ABC flop, back in 1975.

No rating. Never saw the show.

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