Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Television Shows I Can't Believe Were Greenlit!

I'm just going to put it out there: these are TV shows that I can't believe got a green light. I'm not trying to say that all - or even any - of these shows were bad. (In all honesty, I watched them all.) I'm just saying that I can't believe some studio honcho gave the thumbs up to them, because on paper I'd think they sounded wacko. That said, without further ado...

Bigfoot and Wildboy

Okay, this show always made me think that somebody wanted to make a Tarzan series, but with Tarzan being from the U.S. Since great apes are not indigenous to North America, and the boy-raised-by-wolves thing was being done on the show Lucan (read below), who did that leave? Bigfoot! Yes, Bigfoot gets to raise a kid!
Set in the Pacific Northwest, Bigfoot and Wildboy is supposedly premised on the concept of Bigfoot finding a lost kid and raising him. (And raising him right – with morals and ethics and all that jazz. Pretty cool for a creature that couldn’t speak!) To be frank, I’ve always wondered what was going through the head of whoever said, “Yes” to this show. Of course, it was from Sid and Marty Krofft, who practically owned Saturday morning television back in the '70s. Those guys could get anything they wanted on television. (They never even bothered making pilot episodes; they just went in with sketches of what they wanted to do, and the bigwigs just seemed to always say, “Okay.”) Plus, I actually enjoyed the show, although some of it is laughable – especially the intro. Still, if the opportunity presents itself, you should check it out.


This was a boy-raised-by-wolves adventure series that aired during prime time in the ’70s. The premise of Lucan centered on a boy found in the wilderness after having been raised by wolves the first 10 years of his life. He is brought back to “civilization” for study and indoctrination into society. Although feral at first, he gradually – over the course of the next 10 years – becomes civilized while living (and being studied) at a research institute.

Source: http://ctva.biz/US/Adventure/Lucan_ad.jpg
One of his doctors is basically a father-figure to him, and when it seems that Lucan is in danger he encourages the young man to leave and try to find his true identity. He becomes a David Banner (Incredible Hulk) wanderer type, going from place to place and helping people along the way. Lucan has certain wolf powers: his eyes turn red when he’s angry, and he can see and smell with the senses of a wolf.

Basically, this was The Jungle Book transplanted to America. (Notice how U.S. studios have to Americanize everything?) The show only lasted a season, but again it’s one of those that you wonder how it got the go-ahead in the ’70s disco era. (Hmmm, maybe if Lucan occasionally cut loose in a club in a white bell-bottom suit – or if they had the BeeGees write a theme song – the show would have lasted longer.)

Anyway, I’m probably making it sound worse than it was, because it memory serves it was actually an okay show. You can see the intro here.


In Manimal, wealthy Jonathan Chase supposedly learned the secrets of shapshifting in deepest, darkest Africa while he was a boy. Now, he uses his abilities to help the police solve crimes.

To be honest, I thought this was a pretty cool series. I can only recall the guy shifting into one of three animals – a hawk (nice), a panther (cool) and a slow-moving snake (huh? What’s the purpose of that?). However, according to the promos, I think he was supposed to be able to change into any animal he wanted. (Of course, this was almost 30 years ago when the series aired, so maybe I just don’t remember.) Anyway, it’s another series that didn’t go the distance – but it was fun while it lasted!

The Man from Atlantis

Before he became a heartthrob on the mega-hit Dallas, Patrick Duffy was an amnesiac called Mark Harris, whom scientist believed to be from the lost city of Atlantis. He had webbed fingers and toes, and gills in addition to lungs so that he could breathe underwater.
To be frank, this was actually a neat series. I just can’t believe anyone in Hollywood was gutsy enough to get on board with it, because the premise was a little different. The lead character gets found in the ocean (I think he gets caught in a fishing net or something) and when they examine him they discover that he has all these marine attributes.

Hmmm…  Now that I think about it, this would probably make a great feature film.  (Of course, I hear an Aquaman film is already in the works, but that hasn't kept Hollywood from releasing similarly-themed movies before - eg, in a few weeks I think we'll get the second "Hercules" movie of 2014.)

Regardless of whether you think they were good or bad, I'm really happy to see that shows like this were actually being made.  It showed (or at least makes me think) that someone in Hollywood had an imagination.


  1. Okay, to be honest I didn't really read anything at all in this post, but I just finished you Sensation series today in one day. So.... WHEN IS THE NEXT ONE COMING??? Dude, I'm totally hyped right now. PLEASE tell me there is a next one... And that it's coming SOON.
    In gonna start the Warden series now. Hope that's as breathtaking as Sensation!!
    Am the best :)

    1. Thanks for the compliments, and yes, there will be more Kid Sensation novels. I've already begun the next one - the working title is "Revelation" - but I can't say when it exactly when it will hit the street. (I've still got a day job, and it's starting to push my writing schedule around a little more than usual. Plus, there's another book in my head that's demanding to move to the front of the publishing queue.) That said, I will try to finish and publish the book as soon as possible, and hopefully it won't disappoint.

    2. Can't wait *_*
      Meanwhile, Wendigo is doing a pretty good job in keeping me occupied. Keep up the good work!

  2. I remember watching Manimal it was great, the other series, kind of ehhh. But another show I would have added in was M.A.N.T.I.S. which was basically a paralytic Batman merged with Iron Man

  3. Actually, I remember M.A.N.T.I.S. (although it was well after the shows in my post). The main character wore some type of body armor that made him ambulatory.


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