The San Francisco Examiner from San Francisco, California on October 4, 1981 · 108
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The San Francisco Examiner from San Francisco, California · 108

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Sunday, October 4, 1981
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108
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mmmmmm , i i . - ' ' ' fa v , -it Ay1- -- - ' t" m 1 1 Pag 4 Scene Oct. 4, 1981 S.F. Sunday Examiner & Chronicle f he starting lineup for fall From Page 1 fighting fires, especially those set on purpose. A recent addition to the cast is Adam Rich, that adorable tow-head with the quivering lower lip who played Nicholas on "Eight b Enough." The series is produced by disaster king Irwin Allen one would expect it to be subtitled: The Cartwrights Meet the Towering Inferno." There are enough elements in this one to make it a success, but the pilot was so turgidly written and interminable that it would take a thlracle for "Code Red" to make the cut It premiered Sept 1 The Powers of Matthew Star, 7 p.m., NBC While he might look like a red-blooded American teen-ager who is into athletics and girls, Matthew Star is really an alien prince from another world who at birth was marked for death and was rescued by his guardian. Max. Matthew wants to be a typical teen, but is imbued with super powers that he uses when he has to. Peter Barton stars as Matthew and Louis Gossett Jr. plays Max. What with "The Great American Hero's" magic flying suit and "Mr. Merlin's" special powers, it appears that this may be a year for superheroes. The show ijl suceed only if the scripts are good and if "Code Red" is sp awful no one watches. Give this one a "maybe" for renewal. Premiere: Dec. 6. " Today's FBI, 8 p.m., ABC Mike Connors was doing fine as "Mannix" but the anti-violence sentiment of the time helped the ..show 'off the air. Now Connors is back in a contemporary adaptation of the old "FBI," which starred . EfHm -Zimbalist Jr. Now that J. Edgar Hoover has gone to thieatllockup'mrthe sky, the FBI is probably a more interesting subject for the TV mills. Connors is iron-jawed Ben Slater, who has schlepped his wife and two kids all over the country from post to post; Joe Cali plays Nick Frazier, an undercover agent whose forte is disguise, and Carol Potter plays Maggie Clinton, a no-nonsense female agent (Hoover is probably spinning in his grave). The pilot was tightly written, given the restrictions put on the imaginations of the writers by the FBI, which approves all the scripts. This show could become a staple in ABC's Sunday line-up. A sleeper hit. Premiere: Oct. 25. two hours. TUESDAY Simon and Simon, 8 p.m.. CBS This show is ill-conceived for such an early viewing hour. Two radically different brothers, one a preppie, the other a left-over hippie type who loves the ladies, enter an uneasy partnership as detectives. There are a lot of car chases and soft-core violence". The exchanges between the two, played by Jameson Parker and Gerland McRaney, are inane. The pilot was a stinker; the show isn't given much hope. Premiere: Nov. 7. Father Murphy, 8 p.m NBC Merlin Olsen, who sometimes masquerades as a wall (he's enormous, but you have to be to play All-Pro defensive tackle for 11 years), stars as a kindly prospector who falls in with a mess of fine orphan kids. In order to keep them away from the mean old orphanage officials, he also masquerades as a priest and runs his own orphanage. Moses Gunn plays Murphy's partner and friend, and Katherine Cannon is Mae Woodward, a schoolmarm who seems a little too radical-feminist for the frontier period. However, it's wholesome family entertainment, albeit a little too goody-goody for my tastes, and it's brought to you by NBC's resident success, Michael Landon, whose "Little House on the Prairie" has been the only NBC show to make the Top Ten with any consistency. If NBC was searching for a sure-fire hit, look no further. This is it. Premiere: Nov. 3. Bret Maverick. 9 p.m., NBC James Garner patented the Bret Maverick style 20 years ago. He is urbane, funny, obstinate, quirky, an iconoclast with a six gun and a deck of cards. This time, Bret Maverick is a little older and, the producers hope, a lot wiser. He's won a half interest in a saloon and has bought himself a ranch: he's plagued by a female newshen (not cast as yet) and a larcenous Indian scout, Philo Beaudlne. played by Stuart Margolin, held over from "The Rockford Files." Waylon Jennings has written the theme music and Meta Rosenberg, "Rockford's" producer, is supervising this one. While "Bret Maverick" has been on the drawing board for a long time waiting for Garner to decide w hether or not to revive him, it's still not "Rockford,"which Garner quit when it was burning up the ratings. Jim Rockford owed an awful lot to Bret Maverick; let's hope there's some reciprocity. Call this one a maybe-hit. Premiere: Dec. 1, two hours. WEDNESDAY Mr. Merlin, 8 p.m., CBS CBS spent a lot of money on the pilot for this fantasy show about Merlin the Magician, who lives on earth as a garage owner in San Francisco. Merlin will lose his powers if he doesn't find a suitable apprentice. When a teen-age boy with two left feet and a powerful curiosity pulls a tire iron out of a piece of concrete (symbolically removing the sword Excalibur from the Stone), Meflin gets his reprieve, but also picks up a peck of trouble babysitting his new boy. The concept is charming; the execution in the pilot gets a slow start, but the special effects (mostly pink bubbles and flying objects) are not "Star Wars," nor are they worth the reported $1.5 million CBS spent for the pilot. The series may be salvaged by the charm of veteran actor Barnard Hughes as Max Merlin and the offbeat sexiness of Elaine Joyce as Alexandria the mysterious courier from "them." Clark Brandon stars as the modern-day sorcerer's apprentice, Zac, and Jonathan Prince, a promising young comic actor, is Leo, Zac's best friend. A middling chance for success I liked it, but the competition is tough. Premiere: this Wednesday. r The Fall Guy, 9 p.m, ABC marks the return to the tube of the $6 Million Man, Lee Majors, He is bringing his steel-jawed presence to a shoot-'em-upor-chase-boomboom adventure series about a stunt man who works as a detective when show biz slows down. The pilot script was filled with r V7'. I 1 ) it i j f , i I ; pW? i t $ . J f tri it . A . - Iriiiv till 1 itiimf'sm tw ill Winh Tony Randall: 'Sidney Shorr' Helen Shaver: 'Jettica Novak' James Arnete: 'McClaln's Law' One more time: James Garner as 'Bret Maverick' guest stars, including Farrah Fawcett, Lee's ex. It also has Eddie Albert as the meanest, crookedest sheriff this side of Louisiana. Majors plays Colt Seavers who is joined in his sleuthing endeavors by a klutzy cousin, Howie, played by Doug Barr, who has been in college long enough to buy the place and who isn't fit for too much else. Count this one a hit. Premiere: Oct. 28 (tentative). Love, Sidney, 9:30 p.m., NBC The two-hour pilot for this show, "Sidney Shorr, which should air tomorrow, is a sensitive drama about an aging homosexual commercial artist who befriends a fledgling actress; she moves into his apartment as a platonic roommate, and when she becomes pregnant, Sidney becomes surrogate father. After years of being terribly lonely, he has a family. It is a sensitive, lovely show, one in which Sidney's homosexuality is not a factor, he just is, period. Well, NBC has cleansed the series under pressure from the Coalition for Better Television and the Moral Majority. Sidney is just middle-aged now, and if he is gay, that's his business. Billed as a "warm-hearted" comedy, "Love, Sidney" has going for it Tony Randall in the title role, but because of the writers' strike and the delay in the start of the season, the production lost Lorna Patterson, who appeared in the pilot, to CBS' "Private Benjamin." If the series is as good as the pilot, it may have a chance. Premiere: Tomorrow, two hours; regular series premiere, Oct 28. Shannon, 10 p.m., CBS This show brings Kevin Dobson, who played Bobby Crocker to Telly Savalas' Kojak, back to TV. Essentially, Dobson is playing Bobby Crocker-West, a recently widowed New York cop who transfers to the San Francisco P.D. and brings with him his son and an Eastern work ethic that makes his new co-workers think he's a hot dog. As Jack Shannon, Dobson is the right combination of he-man toughness softened by vulnerability. Unfortunately, the strike put a crimp in CBS' plans for shooting the series totally on location, but a lot of San Francisco's hills and fog, V. : mk mmmmi smmj v. K Vi : Barnard Hughes: 'Mr. Merlin' Mike Connors: 'Today's FBI' Lee Majors: 'The Fall Guy' not to mention Broadway, Castro Street and other environs, will be in the series. Classify the series adventure-tempered-with-compassion and give it a B-plus. Premiere: Nov, 1L THURSDAY Best of the West, 8:30 p.m., ABC This is the only series completely finished -bef ore the writers' strike. Starring Joel Higgins as Sam Best, ex-Union army officer and erstwhile general store proprieter and part-time sheriff, the series is a parody of every Western to come down the pike since nickelodeon days. Carlene Watkins is Sam's Southern belle wife; Meeno Peluce is his wise-cracking son; and Leonard Frey is Parker Tillman, a feline, fey, doublelealing, fancy-pants bad guy. He's so suavely slimy, you want to boo him. ABC's Nielsens on this one have been promising, scoring well within the Top Ten. The show premiered Sept 10. Lewis and Clark, 8:30 p.m., NBC This one is also about a transplanted Eastern, Gabe Kaplan, alias Stewart Lewis, a New Yorker who has nurtured a dream to live in Texas. He lands in Luckenbach, glorified in song and story by Waylon Jennings, as the proprietor of a run-down bar managed by Roscoe Clark, played by Guich Koock, who appears to have been born with a foxtail between his teeth. Kaplan spends a lot of time doing a stand-up routine face front to the audience. It's really Welcome Back to Texas, Kotter, and not very good. Premiere: Oct 29. Gimme a Break, 9:30 p.m., NBC Nell Carter who won a Tony for "Ain't Misbehavin'," is a glorified housekeeper hired by a widowed police captain (Dolph Sweet) to take care of his three children and his home. Carter is a huge, homey woman with a terrific set of pipes; Sweet can be properly curmudgeonly. A big question mark here. Premiere: Oct 29. Jessica Novak, 10 p.m., CBS Helen Shaver, who starred last year with Beau Bridges in "United States," is a hotshot TV reporter who longs for more investigative stuff. Her boss, realistically played by David Spielberg, thinks she's a topnotch human interest reporter and sends her out to cover playground openings and things of that ilk. The pilot was an overwrought number about a hysterical father who kidnaps his kids; it tends to get more melodramatic than necessary and perhaps too far out for reality. However, Shaver is an electric presence with a marvelously quirky voice and acting style. If the show can do for broadcast journalism w hat "Lou Grant" did for newspapering, it could be a big, big hit Premiere: Nov. 5. FRIDAY Open All Night, 8:30 p.m., ABC This mean-spirited sitcom is based on the kooky goings on in an all-night market. George Dzundza stars as George Feester, a genial sort of everyman w hose brains must have been left in his one good suit when he married a dippy blond who has a son with a junk food addiction. The only savings grace is Bubba Smith, a gigantic ex-football player who comes on like the 500-pound canary. Not funny, McGee. Premiere: Oct. 30. Maggie, 9 p.m., NBC Erma Bombeck's reputation as a gentle pundit is on the line here, but unfortunately, she doesnt translate well off the printed page. Maggie, played by Continued on next page jspkiO.yVt ip'" u2v tL it GET TOTALLY ORGANIZED 'Strike Force,' about an elite corps of undercover cops, stars (from left) Richard Romanus, Michael Goodwin, Robert Stack, who plays the commander, Trisha Noble and Dorian Harewood new fa houtftettes, so beautifully amalf i with Anulti's heavenly soil, padded insoles. 'Rdncio' mid-hi-heel taupe, cranberry, or black suede wilh malr hing call trim, ' f abbro'-med-lo-heel sling pevvter-grey, brown, navy, black suede matching call trim. Convertible clutc h ust one from our Bloc k collec tion. $78. Shoe Sizes: S,b-I(); N,V;-1Q; M.4-10. $72. "iabbrio" also to 10' j and II. Ausliins 11 w JA Rcprt'Si niaiivc selcc lion rvw n SAN FRANCISCO, Union Square Open MON & TMURS Evelings Until 6 30 SUN 1? 00 Until 00 . b't Ce.i'w S,'t'f' f i.ic '.co C.i J'Ct T(.-' jsi7 6900 Vri'i & Poo 0'ii"s P'o;:". f Pu.p idd S,i f--. t,i, z AN :,AC SCDOAAiVD rCJ'.!OND L Ctf'iJ'IO CONCOPC t MMJ C?V. 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