Flash! Stephen J. Cannell reported dead

Flash! Stephen J. Cannell reported dead

1970s and 1980s TV wouldn’t have been the same without super-producer and writer, Stephen J. Cannell.

His bread and butter were heroes who were faster with their quips than with their fists.  They were likely to look like they were going to lose, but somehow, they get through it anyway…and justice is done.  You didn’t see people get hurt, usually, although there might have been a lot of gun (and cannon, for that matter) play.  For New Millenials, a lot of you will say these were your Dads’ favorite shows. 

While he wrote literally hundreds of TV episodes, he also created some of America’s all-time favorite series.

Here’s a partial list of credits:

  • Black Sheep Squadron (Robert Conrad) (creator and writer)
  • Baretta (Robert Blake)  (creator and writer)
  • The Rockford Files (James Garner) (creator and writer)
  • Tenspeed and Brown Shoe (Jeff Goldblum and Ben Vereen) (creator and writer)
  • The Greatest American Hero (William Katt and Robert Culp) (creator and writer)
  • Hardcastle and McCormick (Brian Keith and Daniel Hugh Kelly) (creator and writer)
  • Riptide (creator and writer)
  • The A-Team (creator and writer)
  • Stingray (Rick Mancuso) (creator and writer)
  • Wiseguy (Ken Wahl) (creator and writer)
  • 21 Jump Street (Johnny Depp) (creator and writer)
  • The Commish (Michael Chiklis) (creator and writer)
  • Renegade (Lorenzo Lamas) (creator and writer)
  • Silk Stalkings (creator and writer)

Wouldn’t you love to have brought that many good evenings to that many people? 

So, the next time you see a show with a bit of a roguish character, a twinkle in the eye…and a lump on his head, you know you can thank the success of Stephen J. Cannell.  From our couches, we salute you.

Stephen J. Cannell at IMDb

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle.

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