Monday, May 25, 2009

Seven Crime Dramas from the 1980s and 90s Coming to DVD

Video Business is reporting that Mill Creek Entertainment will distribute seven crime dramas from Stephen J. Cannell Productions on DVD beginning this fall. Cannell, at one time one of the most prolific series producers on television, developed and/or wrote The Rockford Files, Hardcastle and McCormick, Hunter, 21 Jump Street, Riptide, The Greatest American Hero, Adam-12, and about 20 or so more series.

The seven series mentioned in the deal are (in alphabetical order): Booker, Broken Badges, Cobra, Missing Persons, Palace Guard, Unsub, and Wiseguy. We admit, we'd only heard of one of these, so we did a little research to find out more.

Booker, a spin-off of 21 Jump Street, aired on Fox in 1989 for one season and starred Richard Grieco as Dennis Booker (the same character he played on 21 Jump Street), the head investigator for a large Japanese corporation. 22 episodes were produced.

CBS aired a pilot of Broken Badges in November 1990 but it's unclear how many episodes were actually shown or produced. The ensemble cast were all ex-cops, suspended from the force for various reasons, reassembled to form a maverick unit to solve tough cases.

Cobra was a syndicated series that aired during the 1993 / 1994 television season. The series starred Michael Dudikoff as Robert "Scandal" Jackson as the lead member of an elite undercover anti-crime government agency. 22 episodes were produced.

Also on during the 1993 / 1994 television season was Missing Persons, which aired on ABC for 17 episodes. The series starred Daniel J. Traventi (Hill Street Blues) as the head of a Chicago police task force specializing in missing persons.

D. W. Moffett starred as an expert jewel thief in Palace Guard, a series that aired on CBS during the fall of 1991. Moffett was responsible for security for a global hotel chain. It's not clear how many episodes actually aired or were produced since the series was quickly cancelled.

An expert FBI forensic team that investigates serial murderers and other unsolved violent crimes was the premise behind Unsub. A mid-season replacement series on NBC in 1989, only 7 episodes aired.

The most successful of these seven series was Wiseguy, which aired for 3 plus seasons on CBS (from 1987 through 1990). Ken Wahl starred as Federal Agent Vincent Terranova of the Organized Crimes Bureau who went deep undercover to solve cases. The series was previously released on DVD.

Come September when these series begin to become available, we'll feature them on Mysteries on TV, your source for one of the largest selections of detective, amateur sleuth, private investigator, and suspense television mystery series that are now available or coming soon to DVD.

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