When people who aren’t television fans are asked why they don’t watch, they usually answer with something like, “It’s just the same old stuff,” or “No one has tried anything new on television in years.” It’s safe to say that these people were either living under a rock or simply not paying attention when Cop Rock debuted on ABC in the fall of 1990. The short-lived but much-remembered run of this show was one of the more memorable television events of its era.
Cop Rock represented the first (and probably only) time that music has been mixed into the format of a cop show. It was the creation of Steven Bochco, the veteran writer/producer behind such television favorites as Hill Street Blues and Doogie Howser, M.D., and was modeled after a theatrical revue Bochco had produced. His idea was to blend the gritty realism of the cop drama with the theatricality of the musical, creating one of the most unusual and hotly debated shows ever to hit the airwaves.
Set in Los Angeles, Cop Rock focused a group of cops and other police officials living out their lives on the city’s streets. Captain Hollander was the no-nonsense chief officer who shepherded these cops. He reported to Chief Kendrick, an aging officer with a yen for Westerns. Kendrick was also romantically involved with the city’s corrupt Mayor Plank, an intensely ambitious woman who had earned the name “The Iron Lady.” Other characters included vicious Detective Vincent LaRusso, who wasn’t above killing someone and covering the incident up, and Officers Quinn and Campo, a pair of beat cops who fell in love despite the fact that Quinn was married.
True to modern cop show format, Cop Rock plot lines dealt with such tough topics as police corruption, drug dealing, and even a black-market baby ring. It all sounded normal enough, until viewers saw the actual show itself: each episode worked in interludes in which the entire cast (even extras) would sing four to five original songs and often perform complex choreography. On any given show, a pair of cops making an inner city bust might be taunted by a group of street-corner toughs rapping “On these streets, we got the power!”, or a jury might sing its verdict gospel-style: “He’s guilty! He’s guilty!”
No expense was spared on Cop Rock, making it one of the costliest shows of its time. It’s estimated that the producers spent an average of $1.8 million on each episode, and coming attractions previews for the show were shown in movie theaters. Cop Rock even boasted a custom-crafted theme song, “Under The Gun,” by highbrow pop songsmith Randy Newman. Despite the show’s ambition and well-utilized resources, Cop Rock never found an audience, ending its run after only 11 episodes. True to form, the show tied up its finale with the entire cast singing.
Today, Cop Rock is remembered as one of modern television’s most intriguing and offbeat oddities.
USA / ABC – Steven Bochco Productions / x50 minute episode / Broadcast 26 September – 26 December 1990
Larry Joshua as Captain John Hollander
Ronny Cox as Chief Roger Kendrick
Barbara Bosson as Mayor Louise Plank
Peter Onorati as Detective Vincent LaRusso
Anne Bobby as Officer Vicki Quinn
David Gianopoulos as Officer Andy Campo
Ron McLarty as Det Lt Ralph Ruskin
Vondie Curtis-Hall as Cdr. Warren Osborne
Dennis Lipscomb as Sidney Weitz
Paul McCrane as Det. Bob McIntire
James McDaniel as Officer Franklin Rose
Mick Murray as Det. Joseph Gaines
William Thomas Jr. as Det. William Donald Potts
Teri Austin as Trish Vaughn
Jeffrey Alan Chandler as Ray Rodbart
Clochemerle (BBC-2 1972, Cyril Cusack, Roy Dotrice)
Period sitcom, based on a novel by Gabriel Chevallier that was adapted by Ray Galton and Alan Simpson, that saw the French villagers of Clochemerle kick up a fuss over plans to install a new toilet.
CYRIL CUSACK as Major Piechut
ROY DOTRICE as Ponosse
KENNETH GRIFFITH as Ernest Tafardel
WENDY HILLER as Justine Putet
HUGH GRIFFITH as Alexandre Bourdillat
BERNARD BRESSLAW as Nicholas the Beadle
MADELINE SMITH as Hortase Girodet
GEORGINA MOON as Rose Biraque
PETER USTINOV as Narrator
Writers: Ray Galton, Alan Simpson
Novel: Gabriel Chevallier
Producer: Michael Mills
Network and Production Companies: BBC Two – Bavaria
Duration: 9×30 minute episodes
Aired From: 18 February – 14 April 1972 Fridays at 10.05pm
Clairvoyant, The (BBC-2 1986, Roy Kinnear, Sandra Dickinson)
In Roy Clarke penned sitcom The Clairvoyant used car salesman Arnold Bristow is knocked down in a car accident and suddenly finds himself with psychic powers – or so he believes. There was a pilot broadcast 27 Nov 1984.
ROY KINNEAR as Arnold Bristow
SANDRA DICKINSON as Lily
HUGH LLOYD as Burma
SHAUN CURRY as Newton
GLYNIS BROOKS as Dawn
CARMEL CRYAN as Carmen
Writer: Roy Clarke
Producer and Director: Alan J.W. Bell
Network and Production Companies: BBC-2
Duration: 6×30 minute episodes
Aired From: Pilot – 27 November 1984 and Series – 15 May – 19 June 1986
Christmas Princess (UP 2017, Nicole Munoz, Zak Santiago)
Christmas Princess is the true story of Donaly Marquez who, through a childhood of neglect and abuse, achieved her dream of becoming a rose bowl princess. An inspirational story of resilience, strength and finding a family to call your own.
Nicole Muñoz as Donaly Marquez
Rosa Blasi as Sara
Zak Santiago as Ignacio Marquez
Olivia Steele Falconer as Emily Marquez
Jaedon Siewert as Abraham Marquez
Lina Renna as Young Donaly
Paloma Kwiatkowski as Chloe
Ty Wood as Trent
Pendo Muema as Monique
Kalyn Miles as Maria
Kaaren de Zilva as Roberta
Garfield Wilson as Dr. Miller
Clay St. Thomas as Judge #1
Patti Allan as Judge #2
Natalie von Rotsburg as Judge #3
Director: Allan Harmon
Writer: Tracy Andreen
Network and Production Companies: UP
Duration: 1×120 minute episode
Aired From: Sunday 10 December 2017
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