"Switch" and "Feather and Father Gang" anyone? ("Hart to Hart" fans?)

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by MattHR, Feb 9, 2006.

  1. MattHR

    MattHR Screenwriter

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    After finishing the season one set of Hart to Hart, I remembered two similar shows, starring Robert Wagner and Stefanie Powers, that were aired before HTH started in 1979.

    Switch (1975-1978, 72 episodes) starred Wagner and Eddie Albert (Green Acres). Plot Outline (from IMDB): Former detective Frank MacBride joins forces with a con artist he once sent to jail, Pete Ryan, to operate their own private detective agency. Most of their cases involve running cons on the bad guys in order to trick them into surrendering or revealing the whereabouts of the stolen loot, jewels, etc. Maggie was their cute receptionist, and wacky restauranteur Malcolm, whose mastery of disguise often came in handy in helping MacBride and Ryan on their cases, provided the comic relief.

    Switch featured many famous guest stars, including: Ricardo Montalban, Jaclyn Smith, Cheryl Ladd, Anne Archer, Joan Collins, Margot Kidder, Sonny Bono, Howard Hesseman, Norman Fell, Robert Loggia, Linda Gray, Wayne Newton, Dionne Warwick, George Maharis, Kim Cattrall, Lorenzo Lamas, Juliet Mills, Dick Sargent and Natalie Wood, to name a few. Many of them had recurring appearances over the three seasons.

    Switch ran for three full seasons (plus the pilot), and is owned by Universal. Universal loves to promote famous guest stars to sell their shows, and Switch is loaded with them. Many of the guest stars have their own shows on popular DVD sets already available.



    The Feather and Father Gang starred Powers and Harold Gould (1977, 15 episodes). Plot Outline (from IMDB):Toni "Feather" Danton was a gorgeous Los Angeles attorney who often turned to her con man father Harry for assistance in investigating crimes. "Feather" and Harry often sought to "sting" the bad guys into giving themselves up; on those occasions, they turned to Harry's old partners for help, sometimes using disguises and elaborate playacting.

    FaFG was a failed show owned by Columbia/Sony, so I wouldn't count on it being released on DVD, unless sales of HTH are strong, and could be tied to it.


    Both shows were a lot of fun, especially if you enjoy HTH. The similarities between these three shows are undeniable. Anyone else want to see these shows (especially Switch) on DVD? Are you listening, Universal?
     
  2. Brett*H

    Brett*H Stunt Coordinator

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    Wow,I'm getting nostalgic just remembering Switch! I'd pick it up if it were released.

    Albert and Wagner were a great(and funny)duo that lent an air of class to the series. Definitely a couple of pros.

    Frankly,I'd pick up just about any 70's shows that get released,even the short-lived ones.There aren't enough of them on dvd.

    It gets frustrating though,when only the first 1 or 2 seasons of a show get released and then no more are produced.

    I guess the sales aren't good enough on some shows to warrant further releases. [​IMG]
     
  3. MattHR

    MattHR Screenwriter

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    I used to be really bothered when this happened, but I've come to accept the realities of the industry and marketplace. Now, I'm just thankful that any of my favorite shows are released on DVD. Of course, I still hope that my favorites are released in their entirety. But with over twenty unopened sets sitting on my shelf, I can afford to wait.
     
  4. Steve...O

    Steve...O Producer

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    In my opinion, Universal would have much better sales if their product didn't have such a poor reputation due to the problems with their double sided discs. They also glutted the market with similarly themed shows all being released at once.

    I have passed over several of their releases that normally would have been slam dunks because of these reasons.

    I have not seen SWITCH since its original run, but remember it to be a fun show with a very likable cast. I think it has the potential to do well on DVD.

    Steve
     
  5. Charles Ellis

    Charles Ellis Screenwriter

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    I loved Switch- that's where I saw Sharon Gless for the first time! Another highlight- Natalie Wood's cameo in a bubble bath (of course she was sharing it with you-know-who!). And yes, I also watched Feather & Father because of Stefanie (will someone please give this lady a show???), and I've always enjoyed Harold Gould's work.

    Trivia note: he played the role of Lew Marie (Ann's dad) in the That Girl pilot, but ABC felt he looked to "ethnic" (LOL!), and that's when Lew Parker was hired. Now that the 1st season is being released, I wouldn't be surprised if they included the pilot too.
     
  6. Dave Scarpa

    Dave Scarpa Producer

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    Yeah I might Spring for Switch it was a decent program and Albert and Wagner had good chemistry together.
     
  7. Jeff#

    Jeff# Screenwriter

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    SWITCH had it's moments, and I agree it was a well-done show.

    I first caught the series in 1990s cable reruns on the long-dead WWOR EMI Service -- the alternate programming signal for WWOR, created to comply with then new FCC regulations about two stations not being able to air the same sporting events in the same city.

    It was also on that station where I first saw Robert Wagner's best series: It Takes a Thief, which deserves to come out on DVD first. [​IMG]

    But getting back to Switch, I remember the episode set in a museum, in which Pete has to deal with beautiful Jaclyn Smith and hulking bad guy Richard Kiel!!

    This series had a major improvement with its opening theme music. Originally it was a jazzy theme with nothing more than a shot of a gold coin embossed with Wagner on one side and Pete on the other flipping repeatedly in the air!

    The newer, more modern sounding "pop" theme used for the 2nd and 3rd seasons was much cooler, and used clips from the show and also got Sharon Gless into the opening credits.

    Odd-looking, wide-eyed comedian Charlie Callas played Malcolm, by the way. I think he was a nightclub comic / owner character who was their street contact. He was sort of an aging white version of Huggy Bear from Starsky & Hutch.
     
  8. FrancisP

    FrancisP Screenwriter

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    Absolutely love the show. I would echo the fact that Robert Wagner and Eddie Albert worked very well together. I just loved the premise of the show. Conning the con men. Would love to see this on dvd but unfortunately I'm not holding my breath.
     
  9. David Lambert

    David Lambert Executive Producer

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    I'd buy Switch if it came out on DVD. [​IMG]
     
  10. FrancisP

    FrancisP Screenwriter

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    There are a lot of shows that ran around 3 seasons. That means it wasn't a total flop nor was it a total hit. I sort of like what Warner has done with some of it's TV Favorites label. It's a way of testing the waters without committing to a season release. You take the pilot movie or maybe a couple of episodes and release it at a reasonable price.
     
  11. Michael Alden

    Michael Alden Supporting Actor

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    That is true for lots of Universal TV shows from the 60s and 70s. Even the shows that themselves weren't great but good shows had fantastic guest stars. Ironside, Marcus Welby, It Takes a Thief, The Bold Ones, Run For Your Life, Bob Hope Chrysler Theatre, All of the Mystery Movies, Name of the Game, Alias Smith and Jones, and I'm sure a dozen more that don't immediately come to mind. So even if a series isn't well remembered, they always have the guest stars to promote.
     
  12. Doug_B

    Doug_B Screenwriter

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    Only saw Switch on its first run. As I'm generally only renting nowadays, I would likely give S1 a shot to see if it still has appeal. Most likely it will, as I like the con game story line.

    For some reason, this show makes me think of the less than one season run of the late '90s show "Players" with Ice-T.

    Doug
     

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