Saturday, December 29, 2012

What Might've Been: Max Monroe, Loose Cannon (1990)

Legendary television producer & executive Fred Silverman, like others before him and since, does have a clunker or three on his resume. It just happened that one of those clunkers didn't deserve to be.

Max Monroe, Loose Cannon spent a month of Fridays on CBS in 1990, marking time for the network before a revival of the 70's icon, The Brady Bunch, was ready to air (and lasted just as long as this show did). Posited as a sort-of cross between Martin Riggs (Mel Gibson's "Lethal Weapon" character) & Jim Rockford (James Garner), Monroe (Shadoe Stevens, ex-Hollywood Squares) was an eccentric detective with many talents. In one instance, he was presented as being able to play chess blindfolded. Go figure.

Where this show went wrong was, predictably, where it was placed on the schedule. CBS needed a lead-off show for its Friday block to lead into the fading Dallas. Stevens was a hot commodity thanks to his 3 years as announcer-panelist on Squares and had at the time inherited (to an extent) American Top 40 from co-creator and founding host Casey Kasem, who'd take the show back a few years later. Unfortunately, it would take a few more years for Stevens to land another, and more successful, acting gig, this time as part of an ensemble in support of Harry Anderson on Dave's World. Carrying his own show, sad to say, didn't work as well as hoped.

I wanted to like this show. I really did. Unfortunately, it just didn't work out. Shadoe currently is back at CBS, this time as announcer and sort-of-sidekick to Craig Ferguson on the Late, Late Show. He also has his own YouTube channel, from whence we get this Max Monroe sample clip:

It's kind of like Silverman thought he saw something when Shadoe was a panelist on Squares, and wanted to make him a bigger star. It just wasn't meant to happen.

Rating: C.

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