rest in peace, mr. cannell

you may not know his name, but i’m pretty sure if you watched television in the ’80s and the ’90s you’d know his shows, which include “the greatest american hero,” “the a-team” and “21 jump street.” in fact, you may remember his production logo, which features him typing away and then tossing away the sheet of paper that transforms into a C.

today, writer/producer/sometime actor stephen j. cannell died of complications associated with melanoma. i was stunned when i heard the news; i didn’t know he was sick. and i saw him on tv a couple of days ago — he occasionally popped up on the abc show “castle” (starring nathan fillion of “firefly” and “serenity) as one of the titular hero’s poker buddies.

i actually felt like i lost somebody i knew. and in a way, i guess i knew him — through his television shows, which were a huge part of my childhood … a lot of people’s childhoods. there’s one show in particular that really made an impact —”wiseguy,” about an undercover fbi agent who infiltrates the mob. his cover is so deep that even his mother and his brother, who is a priest, didn’t know the truth. they thought he turned dirty and became a criminal. what was different about this show is there’s always a story arc that lasted through the whole season. we’re used to that kind of storytelling these days, but that was a bit unusual in the ’80s. most of the shows during that time neatly tied up the story at the end of the hour.

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5 Comments Add yours

  1. Betis Boy says:

    oh i remember that production logo. my favorite though is the old lady who falls off her rocker.

    the a-team and 21 jumpstreet. good memories 🙂

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  2. Guagua Girl says:

    do you remember the a-team episode featuring boy george? that was near the end, when the show had “jumped the shark.” 😛 anyway, i didn't see the big-screen version that came out earlier this year … will probably catch it on DVD.

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  3. Betis Boy says:

    same here abou the movie. and i don't remember seeing the boy george guesting too. i wonder if he was a villain in that episode 🙂

    trivia: where did “jump the shark” come from? it's an actual tv show, but we're too young to have watched it. besides, i don't think it was shown here.

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  4. Guagua Girl says:

    THE FONZE! well, actually, the tv show is “happy days” but the phrase refers to a scene in the show where henry winkler's popular cool dude, wearing his trademark leather jacket (can't remember if he had on jeans or shorts) literally jumped over a shark while water-skiing 🙂

    and boy george was not a villain in the ep. he was one of the guys the a-team was trying to save. can't remember much of the plot, but i do believe he sang karma chameleon in the end 😛

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  5. Betis Boy says:

    LOL. i wonder if mr. t danced to karma chameleon 😀

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