Thursday, October 17, 2013

What Might've Been: Police Squad! (1982)

After the success of their film, "Airplane!", producers Jim Abrahams and the Zucker brothers turned their attention to television. While their first attempt didn't last very long, it did spawn a movie franchise.

Police Squad! was a mid-season replacement that aired on ABC in the winter of 1982. Leslie Nielsen, who'd starred in "Airplane!", made his return to series television after more than a decade away (his previous series, both on NBC, were Bracken's World and The Protectors, a component of The Bold Ones), but his first as a comic actor lasted less than 2 months. Despite this, Nielsen and the producers parlayed this into a modestly successful movie trilogy, and Nielsen would spend the rest of his career doing comedies, including other spoofs, such as "Spy Hard".

Hank Simms, long time announcer for Quinn Martin's line of crime dramas, was the announcer, and played it straight, despite the obvious silliness that the viewers saw before them. Oh, the irony of it all! Had ABC marketed this show better, maybe it hangs around a little longer to properly set up the first film, "The Naked Gun".

Here's the intro to the opener, "A Significant Gift" (aka "The Broken Promise"):

A few years later, ABC would try again with another cop spoof, Sledge Hammer, which had a benefit that Police Squad! didn't, namely, a comic book tie-in. Unfortunately, that, too, didn't last.

Rating: B.

No comments: