Thursday, March 10, 2022

This Day in TV History: Hunter (1972)...maybe

No, not the Fred Dryer vehicle. 

No, not this Hunter:

50 years ago tonight, an unsold pilot called Hunter aired after an episode of O'Hara, U.S. Treasury on 1973. Or did it? According to IMDB, the movie was shot in 1970 but not aired until 1973, yet Ultimate 70s TV has it at 9:00 on March 10, 1973. TV Tango has nothing in the timeslot between O'Hara and The Don Rickles Show, yet another of the many frustrating gaps that site's grids have.

Well, Lee Goldberg's book of unsold pilots lists the airdate as January 9, 1973, so maybe the movie didn't air March 10, 1972. I will continue to investigate, but in the meantime, hey, this is interesting enough to discuss today!

This is the only clip I could find of the program, which comes from Mission Impossible's Bruce Gellar (and even has music from Lalo Schiffrin):

Goldberg describes the pilot as John Vernon "assumes the identity of of a fellow agent brainwashed by unknown enemies into releasing a virus that could kill half the U.S. population. Yes, Vernon is the HERO! Goldberg makes a funny remark about "Hunter" being the most common name in law enforcement on TV.

Check out the cast. In addition to Vernon, there is Edward Binns, Barbara Rhoades, Fritz Weaver, Ramon Bieri, JOHN SCHUCK (!), Genius Award winner Ed Flanders, and more! I don't know why it didn't work out, but it sounds interesting, even if it did NOT air 50 years ago tonight!

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