Wednesday, March 23, 2022

This Day in TV History: Q.E.D. premieres

Q.E.D.? Isn't that what, uh, smart people write at the end of, uh, smart stuff?

Indeed, it is, but it's also the title of a 6-episode adventure series CBS ran in Spring 1982. The premiere episode 40 years ago tonight.

At least two different reference books of mine compare this to The Wild, Wild West, and the Sherlock Holmes influence is strong as well. The setting is 1912 England, and star Sam Waterston's character is named Quentin Everett Deverill, which I love. Get it? Q...E...D.

The show's creator, John Hawkesworth was writer and producer on Upstairs, Downstairs and Duchess of Duke Street, two British programs that did stick. I don't know how Q.E.D. fared in the UK (it aired on ITV as it ran here in the States), and notice that years before cross-network sharing was a common thing, Showtime aired this CBS series as well! I don't know when the pay cable channel had the show, but you can see from the promos above it serialized the 6 episodes at some point.

CBS slotted it Tuesday nights at 8:00 against Happy Days/Joanie Loves Chachi (ABC) and Bret Maverick (NBC; one week it was pre-empted by a pair of Easter-themed cartoon reruns), where it lasted a mere 6 weeks. Happy Days was in reruns at the time, Joanie Loves Chachi was replaced by Laverne and Shirley reruns, and Bret Maverick was no winner--it's final first-run episode aired just a week after Q.E.D.'s finale--but this interesting-sounding adventure series was dropped.

It's not hard to find the episodes online if you want to check them out yourself!

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