Special Sub-Topic: Title Characters From TV Shows Through The Decades
|1960s: "Stoney Burke", a short lived 1962 television series centered around a professional rodeo rider competing for the coveted "Golden Buckle", a prize awarded to the world champion rodeo rider. Which actor played the title role?|
Jack Lord. Born John Joseph Patrick Ryan on December 30, 1920, Jack Lord eventually appeared in 19 movies and in over 60 television series during his career.
He portrayed the title character in the 1962 series.
"Stoney Burke" aired 23 episodes, all filmed in black and white, during the 1962-1963 television season for the American Broadcasting Network (ABC)
Lord, an established actor is probably best remembered for his 12 seasons starring as Detective Steve McGarrett, head of a special state police unit in the hit series "Hawaii Five-O" (1968).
|1960s: April Dancer was an attractive lady who worked undercover as an agent for the United Network Command for Law Enforcement in the 1966 spin-off series, "The Girl From U.N.C.L.E". Which actress played the title role in the series?|
Stefanie Powers. Stefanie Zofya Paul, under her stage name Stefanie Powers, starred in the 1966 spy thriller series, a spin-off series from "The Man From U.N.C.L.E." In contrast to her male counterparts, April Dancer preferred to use her feminine charms instead of firepower in the fight against the rival spy agency, T.H.R.U.S.H.
Unfortunately, "The Girl From U.N.C.L.E." did not share the same success of the original series, airing only 29 episodes during its single season in 1966. The spy thriller series failed to gain an audience and was cancelled after it's one and only season.
Powers found more success playing the role of Jennifer Hart, a freelance journalist married to corporate millionaire Jonathan Hart in the series "Hart to Hart". The series ran five seasons (1978-1984), and generating 110 episodes. The Hart's hobby was acting as amateur detectives, solving industrial crimes. Robert Wagner starred as the dashing Jonathan Hart.
|1970s: "Cannon", a crime drama series starring William Conrad in the title role, first aired in the 1971-72 television season. What was the first name of the title character?|
Frank. Frank Cannon was a former detective with the Los Angeles Police Department.
After suffering a family tragedy, he resigned and set up shop as a private investigator.
"Cannon" aired for five seasons from 1971-1976, and produced 124 hour long episodes. The series reached its most popular season in 1973-1974, when it reached the number ten position on the Nielsen Television Ratings.
William Conrad, who starred in the title role, enjoyed a successful career as an actor, director, producer and voice over artist during his nearly 50 years show business.
Notable was the role Conrad played from 1952-1961, providing the voice of Marshall Matt Dillon on the radio series "Gunsmoke". Known for his big voice, Conrad performed the narrations for numerous commercials and TV series including "The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show" (1959), "The Fugitive" (1963) and "Knight Rider"(1982). Conrad also played the title characters in the TV series "Nero Wolfe" (1981) and "Jake and the Fatman" (1987).
William Conrad (born John William Cann, Jr.) passed away of February 11, 1994, at the age of 73, a victim of congestive heart failure.
|1970s: "He was a complicated man, but no one understood him like his woman". A TV series premiered in 1977 which bore his name, or part of his name. Which TV series character fits this description?|
John Shaft. During the 1973-1974 television season, Richard Roundtree reprised his movie character John Shaft for the small screen in the TV series "Shaft". Based on three movies, "Shaft" (1971), "Shaft's Big Score" (1972) and "Shaft In Africa" (1973), Roundtree presented a "toned down" version of the black private detective to TV audiences while capturing the essence of the tough, suave character.
"Shaft" aired seven episodes during its only season, as part of "The New CBS Tuesday Night Movies", airing on alternate weeks with the legal drama series "Hawkins"(1973), starring acting icon James Stewart in the title role.
Isaac Hayes wrote and performed the Academy Award winning theme song used in both the movies and the TV series. In the popular theme song from the album "Theme from Shaft" (1971), Hayes described the lead character (in his soulful voice) as "a complicated man, but no one understands him like his woman". The "Theme From Shaft" earned Isaac Hayes the 1972 Academy Award for "Best Original Song".
Speculation at the time that the similarities between the characters Shaft and Hawkins in their respective series hurt the ratings, resulting in the cancellation of both series.
|2000s: Which actor had the title role in a series that featured a likable public servant who happened to be a serial killer?|
Michael C. Hall. Michael C. Hall starred in "Dexter" in the title role as Dexter Morgan, a dedicated public servant who happened to also be a serial killer.
To most, Dexter Morgan was a "lab geek" who analysed blood spatter for the Miami Metro Police Department at crime scenes, but the "dark" side of Dexter was that of an "avenger" who took the law into his own hands and dispatched his own brand of justice to those who the law couldn't seem to catch and convict. Dexter's mild manner made him a favorite of viewers on this critically acclaimed Showtime original series.
Dexter debuted on October 1, 2006. During the 2008 television season, a "toned down" version of the first season episodes of "Dexter" were broadcast on the CBS television network. A high point for the series was in February of 2008, when the season four finale was viewed by an audience of 2.6 million people, making the the episode the most watched original series on the Showtime Network.
The critically acclaimed series received Primetime Emmy nominations in 2008 for "Outstanding Drama Series" (for its second season) and Michael C. Hall received a nomination for "Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series", a first for the Showtime television network.
|1960s/'70s: Three of the title characters listed were dedicated to fighting crime and apprehending the guilty. Which character starred as an entertainer trying to balance her career with her married life?|
Mona McCluskey. Famed dancer Juliet Prowse starred in the title role as Mona McCluskey.
The series aired 26 episodes during the 1965-1966 television season.
Mona was a successful, high salaried actress who was married to Mike McCluskey (Denny Scott Miller), a sergeant in the United States Air Force. Mike insisted that he and his bride live on his Air Force salary, which was considerably less than Mona's paychecks.
|1980s: The short lived 1985 television series "Half Nelson" featured a title character who worked as a private investigator for the fictional Beverly Hills Patrol. Who starred in the role of Rocky Nelson?|
Joe Pesci. Joe Pesci starred as Rocky Nelson, a former New York City Police Officer who chose to seek his fame and fortune in Hollywood, California. Officer Nelson, who was responsible for a high profile arrest in New York, sold the rights to his story to Hollywood, and relocated in hope of going into show business.
His notoriety led to a job offer by a Beverly Hills Security Agency, which would allow Rocky to work and possibly "hobnob" with the Hollywood insiders and maybe a lead to someone who could help him with his fledgling acting career.
|1970s: The 1976 television season featured a series on the ABC television network called "Mr. T. and Tina". Actress Susan Blanchard co-starred as Tina Kelley. Who starred in the title role as Mr. T?|
Pat Morita. Actor Nuriyuki "Pat" Morita starred in the title role of the short lived series "Mr. T. and Tina". The series aired five episodes during the 1976 television season.
In the premise of the story, prominent inventor Taro Takahashi (Morita) had been transferred by his employer from his home in Tokyo to Chicago, Illinois.
Once settled in their new home, Takahashi and his family, somewhat unfamiliar with the customs of America, received cultural assistance from their new housekeeper, Tina Kelley, an all-American young lady, who added an element of "culture shock" to the newly arrived.
The series had ties to the hit comedy series "Welcome Back Kotter" (1975). The character Taro Takahashi was first introduced in the premier of the second season of "Welcome Back Kotter", as the distinguished inventor addressing the class of "Sweathogs" during a Career Day visit to James Buchanan High School.
Pat Morita's career spanned for 25 years, starting as a nightclub and television stand-up comedian, then billing himself as "Pat Morita, the Hip Nip". Morita appeared in numerous movie and television roles, including the role of Mr. Meyagi in the movies "The Karate Kid" (1983) and "The Karate Kid Part II" (1986).
The real TV couch potatoes will also recognize the name of incorrect answer Laurence Tureaud, who gained television fame under his stage name of Mr. T. and starred in the 1984 hit series "The A Team" as the team's muscle man, Bosco Albert (B.A.) Barracus.
|1950s: Which television title character was described in the series theme song as a "tall dark stranger"?|
Maverick. A slight departure from the serious Western series of the 1950's was "Maverick". The series ran for five seasons (1957-1962), and produced 124 episodes. The series, which provided a lot of comedic relief, starred James Garner in the title role, as Bret Maverick.
The stories throughout the series centered on Bret and his clan, who were professional gamblers, as they practiced their trade in the gambling establishments in the South and aboard many of the Mississippi Steamboats, which were then floating casinos on the river. During the first season, Bret was joined by his brother Bart (Jack Kelly) and through the seasons by a cousin, Beau (Roger Moore) and another brother, Brent. The story lines of the shows centered around one of the Mavericks, and a few episodes featured several of the Mavericks.
Theme from "Maverick"
Written by David Buttolph and Paul Francis Webster
"Who is the tall dark stranger there?
Maverick is the name
Ridin' the trails to who know where,
Luck is his companion,
Gamblin' is his game
Smooth as the handle on a gun
Maverick is the name,
Wild as the wind in Oregon
Easier to tame
Riverboat ring your bell
fare thee well, Annabel
Luck is the lady that he loves the best
Natchez to New Orleans
Livin' on jacks and queens
Maverick is the legend of the West"
|1950s: One popular 1950s series was described as "America's favorite comedy show" and featured a title character married to a judge. What was this zany character's first name?|
Joan. Joan Davis starred in the title role of the 1952 classic black and white sitcom series, "I Married Joan". Co-starring as Joan's loving and understanding husband was TV veteran Jim Backus, in the role of Family Court Judge Bradley Stevens.
Episodes in this 30-minute series usually revolved around personal stories Judge Stevens would share with the litigants of his court about incidents (very similar to the court matters) of his home life and the often hysterical situations he encountered with his zany wife, Joan. The stories would conclude with a moral that the court participants could use to resolve their matters.
The spoken opening of the show each week boasted, "America's favorite comedy show, starring Joan Davis as Mrs. Joan Stevens". "I Married Joan" aired for three seasons (1952-1955) and yielded 99 episodes.
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