What’s Your Favorite TV Series with actor James Franciscus?

JohnHopper

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Among the television shows starring actor James Franciscus, find:

  1. Naked City (1958) as detective James 'Jimmy' Halloran
  2. The Investigators (1961) as investigator Russ Andrews
  3. Mr. Novak (1963) as English teacher John Novak
  4. Longstreet (1971) as insurance investigator Mike Longstreet
  5. Doc Elliot (1973) as Dr. Ben Elliot
  6. Hunter (1977) as special agent James Hunter

Which one you pick as your favorite one and why?
 

Blimpoy06

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Sadly I've only seen him in Naked City. I'm not familiar with the rest. I'd like to see them based on what others here have mentioned. It's not a TV show, but I really enjoyed his performance in Youngblood Hawke. He's a good actor with a great screen presence. Why are all of his TV shows short lived? Was he not available when Naked City returned in an hourly format? Or just not part of the plan? I look forward to seeing what other perceive as his best work.
 

Pathfiner

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I read somewhere that James Franciscus found 'The Naked City' rather a drag to do - much as he enjoyed the role and show - because the filming often required very early starts - presumably due to the 'live in NY' nature of the show which must have required very early filming starts at the famous locations for many scenes before the bustling city really came to life each day...(back in those 'pre 24/7' days)

I've also read that earlier John McIntire dropped out about 2/3 of the way through season one as he found it a chore staying and filming in NY when he lived on the West Coast and back then travelling would have taken alot longer etc

- it probably all turned out for the best as John was available to then succeed the late great Ward Bond in 'Wagon Train' after Bond's sudden death (as John later did again for Charles Bickford in 'The Virginian' - a spooky co-incidence !)

'THE Naked City' was axed after season one...and returned a year or so later as 'Naked City' in the 50 minute episode format, they must have asked James Franciscus to return (Horace McMahon and Harry Bellaver both came back as Lt. Mike Parker and Det Frank Acarro) and it seems James wasn't interested - hence (the not much different looking to James Franciscus) Paul Burke came in as Det. Adam Flint (which was the name of the ferry captain back in 'Nickel Ride' in season one) and they introduced his girl Libby (Nancy Malone) as the semi regular fourth cast member

while most rate 'Naked City' as being THE version with it's deeper human drama often featuring the guest stars most....I really liked 'THE Naked City' as well - both the John McIntire / James Franciscus and later James Franciscus / Horace McMahon first season episodes

I do tend to split season one into 'two' seasons itself - and I end the John McIntire version with 'Fire Island' episode

although John came up with the (then) shocking idea of killing off his character Lt. Dan Muldoon after the producers released him from the show, I tend to not bother with 'The Bumper' - for me dear old Dan Muldoon simply 'retired' with a gold clock to look after his beloved pidgeons !

I then pick up 'A Running of Bulls' as later with Jimmy having a rough ride from his new chief crusty old 'bark much worse than his bite' Lt. Mike Parker - who wants to keep Jimmy 'mad at the world' (but in order to keep the young Detective alive !!)

just my idea - but I find I enjoy it more

while Lt. Mike Parker can still be a 'bear with a sore head' at times in the Paul Burke later 'Naked City' he rather mellows his overall attitude more as the show went on...

I never allowed Chin Ho Kelly to 'die' in Hawaii Five-O either ! lol

James was great in 'Longstreet' too - the blind private investigator, he managed to 'look blind' very convincingly in that show - love to see that out on DVD !

James Franciscus was also very good in the sci fi films 'Beneath The Planet of The Apes' (as a survivor of another spacecraft crash looking for Chuck Heston) and in 'Marooned' with Gregory Peck, David Janssen, Richard Crenna and Gene Hackman - playing a crew member stranded in space when their retro rockets fail to fire after a stay on Skylab or something like it...
 
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Mr. Handley

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Of the shows listed, I've only seen Naked City. BTW, I just finished the complete series set of that show. I love both incarnations of the show. Especially love the numerous guest appearances of future famous actors from the hour-long episodes.
 

JohnHopper

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I was raised with the spy series Hunter (1977) and Franciscus remained agent James Hunter working with Mary Shaw (actress Linda Evans) and supported by the fine music scores of Richard Shores (see his work on The Man from UNCLE, The Wild Wild West, Hawaii Five-0).

WBBM Channel 2 - Hunter - “The Costa Rican Connection” (Opening, Preview Breaks & Ending 1977)



PS: I discovered ten years ago the existence of the series Longstreet which I enjoyed a lot, especially the Bruce Lee episode ("The Way of the Intercepting Fist") and the music scores of Oliver Nelson (see his work on Ironside and The Six Million Dollar Man).
 
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Randy Korstick

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I haven't seen him in any of those and have never heard of any of them except for Mr. Novak and Naked City. I have always liked Franciscus but know him only from his many movies and tv movies. Didn't realize he did all these tv series.
 
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cherisland

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So far my favorites have been Hunter with Linda Evans and Longstreet. I have seen a few episodes of The Naked City first season online and enjoyed them as well and intend to see more. I have not seen his other 3 series with the exception of clips from Mr. Novak which I enjoyed. I am looking forward to Mr. Novak being released on DVD this year and have purchased the book on it as well. I would also really like to see his 1973 Doc Elliot series - short lived as it was with only 15 episodes it had some interesting (in my opinion) guest stars -Meredith Baxter, Merle Haggard,Brandon Cruz, Sam Elliot. Jeanne Cooper, Beverly Garland, John David Carson, Tyne Daly, Will Geer, Leif Garrett and Joe Don Baker to name a few.
 
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