Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Fitz & Bones

Yes, I am fully aware that I am the only person who has not only heard of this series, but also watched it.

I have always suspected that FITZ & BONES was something of a reward given to the Smothers Brothers by NBC, after Tom and Dick helped the network fill airtime with original programming during the 1980 Screen Actors Guild and the 1981 Writer's Guild strikes. The Smotherses were among the very few celebrities to appear on the 1980 Emmy Awards telecast, and they came through with a pair of comedy/variety specials that year too.

Since the 1981 fall season was delayed a couple of months by the writer's strike, NBC quickly assembled a new hour-long dramatic series for the Smothers Brothers called FITZ & BONES. Although the Glen A. Larson series included the producer's trademark light touch, it was a mystery show starring Dick as San Francisco TV newsman Ryan Fitzpatrick and Tom as his somewhat bumbling photographer Bones Howard. It lasted only a handful of low-rated episodes before NBC quickly pulled the plug in favor of various specials and movies.

As a fan of the Smothers Brothers, I'd love to see these shows again, particularly because I'm certain there are several that never aired. I doubt FITZ & BONES is that great--hardly anything on NBC was during that dark period--but, hey, I've seen ROSETTI AND RYAN. I have a great tolerance.

P.S. Any ideas on who composed the catchy theme? My guess is Stu Phillips.


KaBluie said...

I used to watch this show!

Booksteve said...

I not only fondly recall the show but I, too,speculated at the time about it being a "reward" from NBC.

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Excellent post, and I just adore the way like you redact the storytelling because FITZ & BONES had been increasing my curiosity since the first edition until this year. I think we can't ignore its characteristics. 23jj