Wednesday, July 19, 2017

What Might've Been: Riptide (1984)

In the 80's, Stephen J. Cannell was churning out action shows, one right after the other, for both ABC & NBC, including The A-Team and Hunter for NBC and Hardcastle & McCormick, Tenspeed & Brown Shoe, & The Greatest American Hero for ABC.

As 1984 began, Cannell added another notch on his belt at NBC with Riptide, about a pair of Army buds (Perry King, Joe Penny) who start a detective agency after mustering out of the military. Aided by a computer whiz (Thom Bray) whom they met while in the Army, the sleuths, operating out of the titular houseboat, took on the bad guys for 3 seasons total (1984-6).

Could it have gone longer? Maybe, but halfway through the 3rd season, NBC moved the show from Tuesdays to Fridays. At that time, they parodied ABC's Moonlighting, which conceivably could've been a jump the shark point. NBC's mistake was moving it off Tuesdays, where it had stablemate A-Team as a lead-in. After Riptide was cancelled, NBC doubled down on the stupidity by moving A-Team for Fridays for its final season.

Chuck Collins supplies the intro:

Currently, reruns are airing on Get TV (check listings).

Rating: B.


Hal Horn said...

If I recall right, the show was moved because ABC's MOONLIGHTING took over the time slot decisively in the fall of 1985, and RIPTIDE was the victim, falling from the top 20 to third in the time slot on Tuesday at 9 PM ET. THE A-TEAM also took a hit during 1985-86, as ABC's WHO'S THE BOSS? and GROWING PAINS moved ahead of it the hour earlier. THE A-TEAM only outlasted RIPTIDE by half a season, as it was moved to that same Friday night slot for Fall 1986 and NBC began tinkering with it by adding Robert Vaughn to the cast.

Chuck Collins said...

I apologize for the terrible aspect ratio, but that was the equipment that I had at the time when I posted it 8 years ago.