Monday, November 23, 2020

What Might've Been: The Eddie Capra Mysteries (1978)

 Seems some executives at Universal found some unused scripts that were intended for Ellery Queen in 1975, but shelved when that series was cancelled.

Fast forward three years, and a completely original concept, The Eddie Capra Mysteries, inherited those unused scripts, reworked to fit the new hero.

Capra (Vincent Baggetta) was a practicing lawyer who opted for detective work simply because he didn't like wearing neckties in court. The series was your classic whodunit formatted detective drama, but because it was on ratings-challenged NBC, it was largely ignored by viewers. CBS had taken over Friday nights, and Capra was slotted opposite Dallas. Ballgame over.

"Murder, Murder" features guest stars Tricia O'Neil, Eric Braeden (The Young & The Restless), and Normann Burton (Wonder Woman).

The above video was pulled from a 1990 CBS rebroadcast. The network acquired the series for that summer simply because Capra creator Peter Fischer had hit the jackpot with a Sunday night anchor series for CBS----Murder, She Wrote.

No rating.


Mike Doran said...

Scanning the imbedded episode, I note that the original story is credited to "Ted Leighton".
That's a registered pseudonym, which the Writer's Guild allows its members so they can remove their real names from a script that got mucked up during production, while protecting their future royalty payments.
"Ted Leighton" was actually William (Theodore) Link and Richard (Leighton) Levinson, who had occasion to use this disguise several times in the past (such as on the Peter Lawford/Ellery Queen pilot of some years before).
In the past, I've given limited credence to the "second-hand EQ scripts" story, but this might be an example of that, so there too.
Anyway, there is a documented example of a Murder, She Wrote episode that seemed to clearly derive from a potential EQ segment ("The Grand Old Lady", from Season 6, written by EQ bossman Peter S. Fischer), so there too - also.

Did I ever tell you about Me And MURDER, SHE WROTE, Peter Fischer's memoir, from which I cribbed much of the foregoing?
Worth checking out, if you can ...

hobbyfan said...

If I can find it, I'll get it. With my luck, it's probably out of print.

As for Leighton being Link & Levinson, I was not aware of this little nugget.