T.H.E. Cat

T.H.E. Cat is an American action drama that aired on NBC during the 1966–1967 television season.

T.H.E. Cat
Robert Loggia in T.H.E. Cat
GenreAction drama
Crime drama
Created byHarry Julian Fink
Written byRonald Austin
James D. Buchanan
Harry Julian Fink
Robert Hamner
Herman Miller
Bernard C. Schoenfeld
Jack Turley
Directed byAlan Crosland, Jr.
Paul Baxley
Don McDougall
Maurice Vaccarino
Boris Sagal - Jacques Tourneur
StarringRobert Loggia
R.G. Armstrong
Robert Carricart
Composer(s)Lalo Schifrin
Gerald Fried
Ruby Raksin
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes26
Production
Producer(s)Boris Sagal
Running time30 minutes
Production company(s)NBC Productions
DistributorNBC Films
(1968-1969)
CBS Television Distribution
Release
Original networkNBC
Original releaseSeptember 16, 1966 (1966-09-16) 
March 31, 1967 (1967-03-31)

The series was co-sponsored by R.J. Reynolds (Winston) and Lever Brothers and was created by Harry Julian Fink.

Robert Loggia starred as the title character, Thomas Hewitt Edward Cat. The series preceded the 1968–1970 ABC television series It Takes a Thief, which was also about a cat burglar who used his skills for good.

Synopsis

Out of the night comes a man who saves lives at the risk of his own. Once a circus performer, an aerialist who refused the net. Once a cat burglar, a master among jewel thieves. Now a professional bodyguard. Primitive... savage... in love with danger. The Cat![1]

The series had a hero who was a reformed thief, having spent an unspecified term in prison,[2] and of Gypsy heritage. In the mold of famed private eye Peter Gunn and the waterfront bar Mother's, Cat operated out of the Casa Del Gato (House of the Cat) in San Francisco, of which he was part owner. Thomas (The Cat) was a master of the martial arts, who used his skills numerous times to stop antagonists in his pursuit of justice for the downtrodden, and for his various clients. He always worked on the side of the law...occasionally using his skills for the local police. His police contact was Police Capt. McAllister, played by R.G. Armstrong , who played in 12 episodes of the series. [3] He was one of two characters of TV series in the 1966 season who employed martial arts skills in the cause of justice. The other was Bruce Lee's character of Kato on the ABC-TV series The Green Hornet. These two characters were among the first on network television to employ martial arts skills as weapons against crime.[4] Cat was also a master gymnast and acrobatic artist,who used his acquired skills as a circus performer to get into places that the police couldn't reach. [5]

Casting

Series star Robert Loggia had previously played a character known as "the Cat" in the 1958–60 Walt Disney television miniseries The Nine Lives of Elfego Baca, in which Loggia played Baca, an Old West Mexican-American lawman whose nickname was "the Cat", a fact viewers were reminded of each week in the series' theme song.[6] The series ran for 10 episodes and was recut into a feature movie.

After T.H.E. Cat, Loggia, an actor with a long history of film and television credits, went on to star in a number of high-profile hit Hollywood films, including the Tom Hanks hit film Big, the sci-fi film Independence Day, An Officer and a Gentleman, Scarface, and Sylvester Stallone's Over the Top. In 1985, Loggia was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of crusty private detective Sam Ransom in the thriller Jagged Edge and had the starring role in another NBC series, Mancuso, FBI, for which he was nominated for an Emmy in 1989.

Reception

Though T.H.E. Cat was popular among children and teens, the series fared poorly in the ratings overall, a situation that prompted its cancellation after a single season.[7]

Episodes

  1. "To Kill a Priest", written by Harry Julian Fink, directed by Boris Sagal
  2. "Sandman", written by J.D. Buchanan, directed by Boris Sagal
  3. "Payment Overdue", written by Robert Hamner, directed by Boris Sagal
  4. "Brotherhood", written by Harry Julian Fink, directed by Maurice Vaccarino
  5. "Little Arnie From Long Ago", written by Ronald Austin and James D. Buchanan, directed by Don McDougall
  6. "None to Weep, None to Mourn", written by Herman Miller, directed by Harvey Hart
  7. "The Moment Of Truth", written by A. Rowe, directed by John Rich
  8. "Marked For Death", written by S. Adams, directed by Alan Crosland
  9. "Crossing at Destino Bay", written by R.E. Thompson, directed by Boris Sagal
  10. "To Bell T.H.E. Cat", written by Bernard C. Schoenfeld, directed by Sutton Roley
  11. "Curtains for Miss Winslow", written by Bernard C. Schoenfeld, directed by Herschel Daugherty
  12. "King of Limpets", written by Herman Miller, directed by Boris Sagal
  13. "The System", written by Robert Hamner, directed by Don Mc Dougall
  14. "The Canary Who Lost His Voice", written by Shimon Wincelberg, directed by Joseph Pevney
  15. "The Ring of Anasis", written by Herman Miller, directed by Jacques Tourneur
  16. "Queen of Diamonds", Knave of Hearts, written by Jack Turley, directed by Boris Sagal
  17. "A Hot Place to Die", written by Jack Turley, directed by Paul Baxley
  18. "A Slight Family Trait", written by Jack Turley, directed by Boris Sagal
  19. "If Once You Fail", written by Harry Julian Fink, directed by Maurice Vaccarino
  20. "Design for Death", written by Jack Turley, directed by Alan Crosland
  21. "Matter Over Mind", written by Ronald Austin and James D. Buchanan, directed by Boris Sagal
  22. "The Blood-Red Night", written by Bernard C. Schoenfeld, directed by Bert Freed
  23. "The Ninety Percent Blues", written by Robert Hamner, directed by Harry Harris
  24. "The Long Chase", written by Robert Hamner, directed by Paul Baxley
  25. "Twenty-One and Out", written by Preston Wood, directed by Paul Stanley
  26. "Lisa", written by Ronald Austin and James D. Buchanan, directed by Jud Taylor

Cast

Guest stars: Chris Alcaide, Barbara Stuart, Steve Ihnat, Robert Duvall, Laura Devon, Yvonne Romain, Sorrell Booke, Diana Muldaur

Custom car

Several times he drove a Chevrolet Corvette. It was a mid-'60s convertible Stingray. It was customized with a bar that extended up and over the back of the driver. It was not, however, a roll bar—there were two flaps on the top portion. When the headlights were rolled to the "on" position, there were accents by each light that mimicked a cat's eye shape. Its body was painted black.

See also

  • The A-Team—a television show in which a team composed of former military personnel helps those in need.
  • Burn Notice—a television show in which an ex-spy helps those in need.
  • Cobra
  • The Equalizer
  • Leverage—a television show in which a small group of odd characters with special skills help people in need against corporations, etc.
  • Person of Interest—a television show in which an ex–Special Forces soldier and a billionaire attempt to stop crimes before they happen. Shares many similarities to The Equalizer, including the New York setting and a recurring character simply known as Control.
  • The Pretender—a genius named Jarod, who was abducted at an early age, escapes his abductors and, while trying to find his past and his parents, targets criminals who have gone unpunished or undetected by the law.
  • Stingray—a TV drama featuring a mysterious character who helps people in distress and advertises in newspapers.
  • Vengeance Unlimited—about a mysterious stranger driven by an unknown tragedy in his past to serve justice to those who had been ignored by the law.

References

  1. "» A TV Series Review by Michael Shonk: T.H.E. CAT (1966-67)". mysteryfile.com.
  2. Gowran, Clay (October 31, 1966). "Plan More Kisses for Bone Busting Cat". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved September 4, 2016.
  3. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0060030/
  4. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fWgHqRraCW0
  5. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8-hXsMbUqEs
  6. "Elfago Baca". Legends: Outlaws & Lawmen. Boulder, Colorado USA: Active Interest Media, Inc. June 2013. Special edition of American Cowboy magazine. Page 28: "Walt Disney, the only producer of 1950s TV Westerns to focus on minority issues, powerfully told the full story of Baca's career in a ten-episode mini-series for ABC between 1958–1960, starring Robert Loggia. The title The Nine Lives of Elfago Baca, played off the hero's nickname "El Gato", "the cat".
  7. https://www.nndb.com/people/318/000023249/
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