This series chronicles the adventures--in the air and on the ground--of the men of the 918th Bombardment Group of the U.S. Eighth Air Force. First commanded by irascible General Frank Savage--and later by Colonel Joe Gallagher, the son of a Pentagon General--the Group is stationed in England, and flies long-range bombing missions into German-held Europe.
At the dawn of the 20th century, Indiana Jones discovered the world. From globetrotting family expeditions as a 9-year-old to the battlefields of World War I as a teenager, Indy's experiences shaped the heroic, whip-cracking archaeologist he would become. At every turn, Indy encounters history in the making, meeting true-life activists, soldiers, writers, artists, and thinkers who helped influence the world we live in today.
An outgrowth of a two-part dramatization on the CBS anthology Desilu Playhouse, The Untouchables was inarguably one of the most violent cop series ever seen on American network television. It was also one of the most popular, so draw your own conclusions! The series was based on the autobiography of Eliot Ness, a lifelong law enforcement officer and civil servant, and former treasury-department agent. While assigned to Chicago in the early 1930s, Ness and a small band of dedicated, incorruptible fellow agents--nicknamed "The Untouchables" by the press because of the fact that they could be neither bought off nor scared off--were instrumental in crushing the criminal empire of notorious gangland chieftan Al Capone. Though Ness spent much of the rest of his career in other cities, notably Cleveland, his Chicago years were, understandably, the focus of the series, which debuted October 15, 1959 on ABC. Winning the role of Ness over such candidates as Van Johnson, Van Heflin and Fred MacMurray, Robert Stack brought to the character just the right amount of tough, gimlet-eyed diligence, resisting the tempation to leaven the character with even a trace of humor or sentiment--at least during the first few seasons. Stack was seen in the two-part pilot (later released theatrically as The Scarface Mob) opposite Keenan Wynn as a fellow "Untouchable" and Neville Brand as scarfaced Al Capone. Wynn was abset for the series proper, in which Ness' team included agents Flaherty (Jerry Paris) and Youngblood (Abel Fernandez)--and, perhaps in a move to counter complaints that many of the series' real-gangsters were Italians, an Italian-American "Untouchable", Enrico Rossi (Nick Georgiade), was prominently featured in several episodes. Later additions to the "Ness boys" were agents Allison (Anthony George), Hobson (Steve London) and Rossman (Steve London). Throughout its four-season run, the series was narrated by legendary journalist Walter Winchell in his patented rat-a-tat-tat fashion. It proved to be the veteran newshawk's most successful TV venture, even though he almost never appeared on-camera (it wouldn't have made sense anyway, since Winchell's berat was New York, not Chicago) Of course, the series' real selling card was its colorful lineup of gangsters, murderers, thieves and extortionists. During the firs season, most of the villains was drawn from life, notably Capone's second-in-command Frank Nitti (Bruce Gordon), who appeared so often that he was virtually a costar. Among the other infamous reprobates who appeared in the series (usually played by top-rank guest stars) were Jake "Greasy Thumb" Guzik, Ma Barker, Bugs Moran, Jake Lingle, Mad Dog Coll, Dutch Schlultz and the Genna Brothers (the series sustained the illusion that Ness was in one way or another responsible for the downfall of all these characters, forcing the FBI and other official organizations to register complaints with ABC!) Inevitably, the writers ran out of genuine miscreants and began introducing ficitional villians--though after the series' second season, pressure from various special-interest groups dictated that none of the "imaginary" bad guys and bad guys be given Italian names (which explains why many of the lowlifes were played by such WASPish actors as Robert Redford. Its ratings reaching a peak during its second season, The Untouchables began bleeding viewers during season three thanks to competition from--of all things--the family-oriented musical series Sing Along With Mitch. Moving from Thursday to Tuesday during its final season, the series made a bid to broaden its appeal by "humanizing" the taciturn Elliot Ness and making the many killings "more motivated" (though the victims were just as dead!) Also, there were several eleventh-hour attempts to create Untouchables spinoffs starring the likes of Barbara Stanwyck, Dane Clark and Scott Brady, the latter cast as fabled newsman Floyd Gibbons. The Untouchables ended its network run on September 10, 1963, and thereafter thrived in off-network syndication: one of the few black-and-white, hour-long series to do so. A movie version of The Untouchables, starring Kevin Costner as Ness, Robert DeNiro as Capone, and Sean Connery, and directed by Brian DePalma, was released in 1987. The film inspired a second Untouchables TV series, which was syndicated for two seasons beginning in 1993. This time around Tom Amandes was seen as Ness (though he was replaced by a fictional hero after 15 episodes, while William Forsythe was an uncharacteristically sympathetic Capone.
Based on the life and career of Tony Schembri, police chief of Rye, NY, the weekly, hour-long ABC crime series The Commish starred Michael Chiklis as Tony Scali, police commissioner of the fictional New York community of Eastbridge. Although dedicated to his job and extremely tough on perpetrators, Tony often took an unorthodox approach to police methods, and he was often known to be quite a jovial fellow amongst his co-workers. Tony also enjoyed his "down time," especially with his wife, Rachel (Theresa Saldana), son David (Kaj-Erik Eriksen), and infant daughter Sarah (played by twins Dayna and Justine Cornborough), who was born at the end of the series' first season. Anoher member of the Scali household -- at least during the show's first year or so on the air -- was Tony's cheerfully indolent brother-in-law, Arnie Metzger (David Paymer). Back on the job, Tony's associates included three different Chief of Detectives: Irv Wallerstein (Alex Bruhanski), Paulie Pentangeli (John Cygan), and Cyd Madison (Melinda McGraw). Among the other crew members were officer Stan Kelly (Geoffrey Nauffts), who is killed by a car bombing at the end of season three, patrol car officer Ricky Caruso (Nicholas Lea) and his partner officer Carmela Pagan (Gina Belafonte), officers Jonathan Papdakis (Ray Scrivano), Gordy Tuefel (Michael Patten), and Mike Rose (Pat Bermel) and detectives Lopez (Jason Scott Schombing) and Hibbs (Ian Tracey). Another fine product from Stephen J. Cannell's production firm, The Commish was filmed in its entirety in Vancouver, despite its distinctively "New Yawk" setting and attitude. The series lasted four full season, plus a limited run of four "movie specials" in 1995.