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77 Sunset Strip / Hawaiian Eye, etc. (3 Viewers)

Flashgear

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We've talked about how the late season 5 episode, Lady In The Sun might have been intended as a possible back-door pilot for a prospective WB series featuring Dick Davalos and Yvonne Craig. That episode certainly has some hallmarks of a back-door pilot, but there's little doubt about several others that aired in the late winter and early spring of 1963, just as Jack Webb and William Conrad were preparing to take over and implement the radical rebooting of 77 Sunset Strip...two episodes that are (to me) obvious back-door pilots are Nine To Five and Flight 307...the only '77' continuity in both episodes was having Efrem Zimbalist's 'Stu' involvement, along with a fleeting glimpse of Roger Smith in the former and Louis Quinn in the latter...and well known bigger names such as Richard Long (sadly not as Rex Randolph), lovely Diane McBain (recently of Surfside 6) in the former and Jack Warden, Philip Carey and Gena Rowlands in the latter...quite the cast in that one, unusual also in being filmed to a great degree on location at LAX...

In Nine To Five (March 8, 1963), Stu arrives in Manhattan by way of 'Springfield' (state not specified), having been hired by his old friend Dick Lynnwood (Richard Long) to investigate if Lynnwood's business partner Frank King (Alan Hewitt) has greased the palms of city commissioners in a bid to bribe approval of his engineering firm's $400K project. Dick Lynnwood, burdened by his Stirling ethics and revolted by such business expediencies as bribery, is determined to buy out his less than honorable business partner, who is unwilling to part ways and demanding a $400K buyout if he loses a bet to retain ownership...but Dick has money problems, especially now, as his fashion model wife Lu-Ann (the stunning Diane McBain) is preparing to separate and is threatening divorce...these being the good ol' days, there's no guarantee that she'll not get everything and leave Dick without hearth and home, as well as his business...Stu jumps right in, trying to mediate their relatively mild marital discord as Lu-Ann has the furniture taken to the curb on Warner's backlot New York street...Oscar Beregi, Jay Adler, Bill Zuckert, Karl Held and lovely young Maggie Pierce (an MTM clone) as Lynnwood's love-struck executive secretary lend support...other than some quite realistic discussion of Dick Lynnwood's desperately creative attempts to finance his takeover, and another opportunity to study the exquisite symmetry of Diane McBain's beautiful face, this episode is pretty thin gruel with which to launch a new series...no surprise that it went nowhere...my screen caps from my homemade DVDs...
77 SS 73.JPG

77 SS 74.JPG

77 SS 99.JPG

77 SS 92.JPG

77 SS 78.JPG

77 SS 79.JPG

77 SS 82.JPG

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77 SS 126.JPG


Next up: Flight 307, filmed to a great degree on location at LAX with a remarkable guest cast and having a real 'Airport' feel to it, some 6 years before that big box-office disaster movie...Flight 307 might have proved to be a good WB TV vehicle for tough guy Jack Warden as an airport GM...comments welcome, let's keep the conversation going about 77 Sunset Strip and the other WB shows!
 

Rustifer

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We've talked about how the late season 5 episode, Lady In The Sun might have been intended as a possible back-door pilot for a prospective WB series featuring Dick Davalos and Yvonne Craig. That episode certainly has some hallmarks of a back-door pilot, but there's little doubt about several others that aired in the late winter and early spring of 1963, just as Jack Webb and William Conrad were preparing to take over and implement the radical rebooting of 77 Sunset Strip...two episodes that are (to me) obvious back-door pilots are Nine To Five and Flight 307...the only '77' continuity in both episodes was having Efrem Zimbalist's 'Stu' involvement, along with a fleeting glimpse of Roger Smith in the former and Louis Quinn in the latter...and well known bigger names such as Richard Long (sadly not as Rex Randolph), lovely Diane McBain (recently of Surfside 6) in the former and Jack Warden, Philip Carey and Gena Rowlands in the latter...quite the cast in that one, unusual also in being filmed to a great degree on location at LAX...

In Nine To Five (March 8, 1963), Stu arrives in Manhattan by way of 'Springfield' (state not specified), having been hired by his old friend Dick Lynnwood (Richard Long) to investigate if Lynnwood's business partner Frank King (Alan Hewitt) has greased the palms of city commissioners in a bid to bribe approval of his engineering firm's $400K project. Dick Lynnwood, burdened by his Stirling ethics and revolted by such business expediencies as bribery, is determined to buy out his less than honorable business partner, who is unwilling to part ways and demanding a $400K buyout if he loses a bet to retain ownership...but Dick has money problems, especially now, as his fashion model wife Lu-Ann (the stunning Diane McBain) is preparing to separate and is threatening divorce...these being the good ol' days, there's no guarantee that she'll not get everything and leave Dick without hearth and home, as well as his business...Stu jumps right in, trying to mediate their relatively mild marital discord as Lu-Ann has the furniture taken to the curb on Warner's backlot New York street...Oscar Beregi, Jay Adler, Bill Zuckert, Karl Held and lovely young Maggie Pierce (an MTM clone) as Lynnwood's love-struck executive secretary lend support...other than some quite realistic discussion of Dick Lynnwood's desperately creative attempts to finance his takeover, and another opportunity to study the exquisite symmetry of Diane McBain's beautiful face, this episode is pretty thin gruel with which to launch a new series...no surprise that it went nowhere...my screen caps from my homemade DVDs...
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Next up: Flight 307, filmed to a great degree on location at LAX with a remarkable guest cast and having a real 'Airport' feel to it, some 6 years before that big box-office disaster movie...Flight 307 might have proved to be a good WB TV vehicle for tough guy Jack Warden as an airport GM...comments welcome, let's keep the conversation going about 77 Sunset Strip and the other WB shows!
Great recap of this episode, Randall!
Makes me want to re-read my own commentary of this to see if it's anywhere near as good as yours.
Thanks for filling up some dead space in this thread that too many of us have sorrowfully neglected.
 

Jeff Flugel

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In Nine To Five (March 8, 1963), Stu arrives in Manhattan by way of 'Springfield' (state not specified), having been hired by his old friend Dick Lynnwood (Richard Long) to investigate if Lynnwood's business partner Frank King (Alan Hewitt) has greased the palms of city commissioners in a bid to bribe approval of his engineering firm's $400K project. Dick Lynnwood, burdened by his Stirling ethics and revolted by such business expediencies as bribery, is determined to buy out his less than honorable business partner, who is unwilling to part ways and demanding a $400K buyout if he loses a bet to retain ownership...but Dick has money problems, especially now, as his fashion model wife Lu-Ann (the stunning Diane McBain) is preparing to separate and is threatening divorce...these being the good ol' days, there's no guarantee that she'll not get everything and leave Dick without hearth and home, as well as his business...Stu jumps right in, trying to mediate their relatively mild marital discord as Lu-Ann has the furniture taken to the curb on Warner's backlot New York street...Oscar Beregi, Jay Adler, Bill Zuckert, Karl Held and lovely young Maggie Pierce (an MTM clone) as Lynnwood's love-struck executive secretary lend support...other than some quite realistic discussion of Dick Lynnwood's desperately creative attempts to finance his takeover, and another opportunity to study the exquisite symmetry of Diane McBain's beautiful face, this episode is pretty thin gruel with which to launch a new series...no surprise that it went nowhere...my screen caps from my homemade DVDs...

Very interesting post, Randall! You're right, the premise to this one sounds mighty thin gruel indeed for a spinoff...but any chance to look at the exquisite face (and figure) of Diane McBain is always welcome.

surfside 6.jpg

Looking forward to your next profile of "Flight 307."
 

criblecoblis

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In Nine To Five (March 8, 1963), Stu arrives in Manhattan by way of 'Springfield' (state not specified), having been hired by his old friend Dick Lynnwood (Richard Long) to investigate if Lynnwood's business partner Frank King (Alan Hewitt) has greased the palms of city commissioners in a bid to bribe approval of his engineering firm's $400K project.

Great review of Nine to Five, Randall. My favorite aspect of that episode is Lenny Weinrib's performance, and of course the presence of Jay Adler; I get the idea that Adler's character was intended to be, at least symbolically, the anchor of the show, or at least the common factor.
 

Flashgear

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Thank you Russ, Jeff, Rob and Neal for your comments and support. Much appreciated!

77 Sunset Strip S5E25, Flight 307 (Mar. 29, 1963)...Warner TV was trying a number of new approaches as the 1962-63 season wore on, and the sun appeared to be setting on several of their long-running series. The Andrew Duggan/Peggy McCay sit-com Room for One More not finding renewal, Maverick, Lawman and Bronco coming to an end, and Cheyenne in it's final outing...The Dakotas, a mid-season Western with a more cynical and harder edge, Gallant Men, a wildly uneven War series, and a sudden emphasis on expensive location filming as with about 8 episodes of Hawaiian Eye when Tina Cole joined the cast while Connie Stevens was on suspension/vacation/ working on WB feature films...clearly, WB hoped to continue Hawaiian Eye into renewal, along with the re-booted Jack Webb reincarnation of 77 Sunset Strip, but ratings casualties and sponsor fallout would ensue, upsetting the best laid plans...

Back to Flight 307, handsomely produced with well-known guest stars and familiar faces in the extensive supporting cast, and loads of location filming at Los Angeles International Airport, it was clearly intended to sell as a back-door pilot. As to plot, Stu Bailey really should know better, ha, ha...the poor guy is awaiting his flight to a vacation in Hawaii, but curiously spies a weasely crook (Lewis Charles) behaving suspiciously. Stu sent this crumb-bum up river and keeps an eye on him, unconvinced of his claimed rehabilitation...rather than just burying his head in a newspaper to keep out of trouble till his gate call...Stu never learns...after much drama, he will naturally miss his flight to Hawaii...another unseen crook (William Phipps), spotting Stu and knowing he represents the insurance company that would pay big to recover a fortune in stolen bearer bonds, barters with Stu over the phone for their return...

This being a pressure-packed melodrama that would later receive the big budget theatrical treatment with Airport six years later, other plotlines involve the airport manager (Jack Warden), an old friend of Stu, and his staff (Bill Williams and Russ Conway) frantic about the approaching flight 307, landing in fog and with the airline's star pilot (Phillip Carey) having a critical, but undefined, flight surgeon's report that will ground him forever...if he lives that long...also on board flight 307 is a notorious Hollywood starlet (Gena Rowlands), returning from filming a big overseas epic, and her co-star and lover (Tony Young)...the starlet, clearly modelled on the notorious contemporary extramarital scandal involving Liz Taylor and Richard Burton during the filming of Cleopatra, also happens to be Jack Warden's disaffected wife! With a Hollywood gossip columnist (Dan Tobin) waiting to expose her scandal, humiliation and possible career ruin beckon...oh, there's also a murder in the terminal to heighten the tension...and Madlyn Rhue shows up at the climax, playing the wife of her then-real life husband Tony Young!

My screen caps from homemade DVD...
77 SS 129.JPG

77 SS 130.JPG

77 SS 132.JPG

77 SS 133.JPG

77 SS 136.JPG

77 SS 141.JPG

77 SS 142.JPG

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77 SS 173.JPG


Real life married couple (at least for awhile in the Hollywood mode), Madlyn Rhue and Tony Young...
77 SS 178.JPG


Jeff shows up at the end too, bearing both good and bad news...having recovered the bonds, Bailey and Spencer will be cashing a nice cheque as a recovery fee...but Stu will be boarding a flight to Mexico City to tidy things up, instead of his Hawaiian vacay! His expression says it all, ha, ha...
77 SS 186.JPG

77 SS 190.JPG


I think this is a good episode, and possibly a good vehicle as a prospective series for Jack Warden, Bill Williams and Russ Conway...had it found a sponsor...the extensive filming in the LAX terminal is very welcome, as is the extensive gallery of familiar faces that people the cast...
 
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MartinP.

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Did anyone know this, or has it been previously mentioned? In looking up a movie title I saw these notes written: "On a trip to Hawaii, James Cagney met Roger Smith, stationed there in the Naval Reserve, impressed with his clean-cut good looks and appeal, he encouraged Smith to pursue an acting career. Following the advice and after success in several films, Smith reconnected with Cagney who hired him to play his son, "Lon Jr." in Man of a Thousand Faces (1957). Cagney later cast him as his co-star in the musical comedy-drama Never Steal Anything Small (1959)."
 

mark-edk

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I remember something about these pilots that I posted years ago...

"Nine to Five" was intended as a pilot for an anthology series. Each week a different cast of characters and what happens to them over the course of a work day. If they focused it on that same office building they could have ancillary characters like the concession stand guy recur week after week. As a 77 episode though, it didn't fit. They didn't even bother to use the big black 77 fade-out on one of the commercial breaks. There's another pilot coming up, about an airport. What I remember most about it is how little it resembled a standard 77 because of all the location filming.​
 

oldtvshowbuff

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Here's an episode that was never made, "The Mother Road Caper", where Jeff and Kookie take off in a T-Bird on Route 66 to investigate a case of blackmail in Flagstaff, AZ. Along the way, they would crack jokes about two guys in some sports car on a TV show about being hundreds of miles away from 66, that would have been a neat 77 SS episode to see!
 

criblecoblis

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Here's an episode that was never made, "The Mother Road Caper", where Jeff and Kookie take off in a T-Bird on Route 66 to investigate a case of blackmail in Flagstaff, AZ. Along the way, they would crack jokes about two guys in some sports car on a TV show about being hundreds of miles away from 66, that would have been a neat 77 SS episode to see!
James,

I love that idea! Route 66 was a show that needed some fun being made of it, because as I recall they made no real effort to keep the action along the eponymous highway.
 

RBailey

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Received a notice from BearManor Media that this book on Surfside 6 is now available.

 

Tom.W

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Good news! At long last, Hawaiian Eye is back on the air! It's on MeTV+, MeTV's sister station, weeknights at 7 PM Pacific/10 PM Eastern. They have also added Sugarfoot, Bronco and Lawman on Sundays.

Here's hoping that breathes new vim and vigor into our beloved thread!
Thanks, Rob. Great news! I never thought I'd see the day Hawaiian Eye appeared on air in a regular slot with all the music clearance obstacles. Hopefully it'll be as close to complete as possible with Cricket's songs intact. Good news about the Warners westerns too.

Burke's Law fans might be interested to see that it airs on the station at 7 AM ET weekdays. It may have been airing already. Some other shows of interest, which have aired previously on one or another of the digital network's channels are Stagecoach West, Broken Arrow, The Saint, Route 66, etc.
 
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criblecoblis

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Thanks, Rob. Great news! I never thought I'd see the day Hawaiian Eye appeared on air in a regular slot with all the music clearance obstacles. Hopefully it'll be as close to complete as possible with Cricket's songs intact. Good news about the Warners westerns too.

Burke's Law fans might be interested to see that it airs on the station at 7 AM ET weekdays. It may have been airing already. Some other shows of interest, which have aired previously on one or another of the digital network's channels are Stagecoach West, Broken Arrow, The Saint, Route 66, etc.

Yes, there are a number of interesting things on MeTV+ right now. I am especially encouraged that Hawaiian Eye is on in prime time, not at 4 AM. Plus, if someone at Weigel Broadcasting even thought to consider airing HE, hopefully they may consider SurfSide 6 too.

Regarding music clearance, as far as I understand the matter music rights for broadcast are already baked in. The issue is music rights for other forms of presentation---DVD, streaming, etc.
 

Tom.W

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Yes, there are a number of interesting things on MeTV+ right now. I am especially encouraged that Hawaiian Eye is on in prime time, not at 4 AM. Plus, if someone at Weigel Broadcasting even thought to consider airing HE, hopefully they may consider SurfSide 6 too.

HE's prime time slot may have been helped by having two episodes of Hawaii 5-0 precede it, sort of theme there.

Regarding music clearance, as far as I understand the matter music rights for broadcast are already baked in. The issue is music rights for other forms of presentation---DVD, streaming, etc.
Yes, thanks for the reminder about that. I suppose the reason it took so long for Weigel to acquire HE is that 77SS was the prototype for the Warner Bros. PI show and was remembered more so over the years. Plus being more popular back then. Some 30 years ago, KTZZ in Seattle aired Surfside 6 as well as the other PI shows and the westerns. So maybe there is hope for S-6.
 

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