Monday, March 31, 2014

What Might've Been: Bert D'Angelo: Superstar (1976)

Quinn Martin, to be perfectly blunt, ran into a streak of bad luck in the mid-70's.

With Streets of San Francisco doing well on ABC, and Cannon & Barnaby Jones in the top 20 on CBS, Martin proved he still had a Midas touch. Unfortunately, even the best are prone to clunkers. His first sale to NBC, Banyon, was a bust, and the only other QM series NBC gained came after the studio'd been sold to Taft Broadcasting, making it a sister company to Hanna-Barbera. And, like Banyon, Tales of the Unexpected & A Man Called Sloane lasted but one year each.

Over at ABC, Martin had bombed out headlining Burt Reynolds in Dan August, but in the winter of 1976, he tried out another Bert---Bert D'Angelo: Superstar, about an egotistical cop (Paul Sorvino) who wasn't in the mold of your typical Martin cops. Superstar lasted six months (February-July) before being given the boot. By that point, Martin had long been usurped by Aaron Spelling as the go-to producer for crime drama at ABC.

No episodes are available on YouTube, which tells you how obscure this series is. However, it wouldn't be the last sale to ABC. All we have is a promo, narrated by studio announcer Ernie Anderson:

No rating. Never saw the show.


magicdog said...

Never heard of this show but "superstar" definitely is NOT the word I'd use in the title of a cop show!

I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Sorvino twice. The first time was at MGM Hotel & Casino - he walked into the gift shop I was working in and burst out into song! He sang a lovely version of ""Over The Rainbow"! The second time, he was being interviewed as a guest at a TV station I was working at many years later. He recognized me (I was impressed!) and we chatted briefly. Nice guy! He was at the studio chatting about his art/sculpting career; at the time he was debuting his work at a local art gallery.

hobbyfan said...

I think the "Superstar" part of the title spoke to the character's ego. As we both know, Sorvino had one more failed series (Oldest Rookie), and IIRC, spent some time on Law & Order.....!

I've heard about his singing. I will look for some videos and put it up sometime.

Cindylover1969 said...

It's telling that ITV in England didn't buy in this series and they imported nearly every QM show.

hobbyfan said...

There weren't enough episodes of Bert D'Angelo, unlike most QM shows.