My Friend Tony

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My Friend Tony
My friend tony.jpg
Genre Crime drama
Created by Ivan Goff
Ben Roberts
Warren Duff
Starring James Whitmore
Enzo Cerusico
Theme music composer Earle Hagen
Composer(s) Earle Hagen
Richard Shores
Hugo Friedhofer
Carl Brandt
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 16
Production
Executive producer(s) Sheldon Leonard
Producer(s) Art Seid
Ernest Frankel
Running time 45–48 minutes
Production company(s) Sheldon Leonard Productions, in association with NBC (filmed at Paramount Studios
Broadcast
Original channel NBC
Picture format Color
Audio format Monaural
Original run January 5, 1969 (1969-01-05) – August 31, 1969 (1969-08-31)
Chronology
Related shows The Danny Thomas Hour

My Friend Tony is an American crime drama that aired on NBC in 1969. The pilot originally aired as "My Pal Tony" on The Danny Thomas Hour on March 4, 1968.

Synopsis[edit]

The series features Enzo Cerusico as the title character, Tony Novello, and James Whitmore as John Woodruff, a professor of criminology who served in Italy during World War II. As a child, Novello had been a street urchin who survived as a pickpocket, with Woodruff being one of his intended victims. The premise of the series was that the adult (and reformed) Novello had emigrated to the United States to join Woodruff in a private investigation team. Novello handled the legwork and physical side of the investigations while Woodruff conducted painstaking analysis of the most obscure clues.[1]

My Friend Tony debuted on January 5, 1969. NBC slotted the program in the 10 p.m. Eastern timeslot on Sundays, following Bonanza.[2] The network ended production of the series after 16 episodes[3] but continued airing reruns of the show through that summer. The program aired for the last time on August 31, 1969.[4]

Reception[edit]

Despite having the highly successful Bonanza as its lead-in, Sheldon Leonard — who developed My Friend Tony and was its executive producer — attributed the program's low ratings to its timeslot.

"First, the 10-to-11 P.M. time spot didn't take full advantage of Enzo's youthful audience, as shown by his flood of fan mail, which exceeds anything in our experience," Leonard told TV Guide. "Second, because of the one-hour length and the network's commitment to 27 new projects all demanding air time, there was no 8 or 9 o'clock spot into which to move it."[5]

Critics had savaged My Friend Tony, calling the series "hackneyed and confusing" ... "the kind of minimal fare that has been ground out ad nauseam" ... "mundane" and "bilge."[6]

Episode list[edit]

Episode # Episode title Original airdate
1-1 "Corey Doesn't Live Here Anymore" January 5, 1969
1-2 "Death Comes In Small Packages" January 12, 1969
1-3 "Voices" January 19, 1969
1-4 "Let George Do It" January 26, 1969
1-5 "The Lost Hours" February 2, 1969
1-6 "The Hazing" February 16, 1969
1-7 "Encounter" February 23, 1969
1-8 "Dead Reckoning" March 9, 1969
1-9 "Wedding Cake Blues" March 23, 1969
1-10 "The Twenty-Mile Jog" April 13, 1969
1-11 "Molly" May 18, 1969
1-12 "Intermission" May 25, 1969
1-13 "Casino" June 1, 1969
1-14 "Kidnap" June 8, 1969
1-15 "The Shortest Courtship" June 15, 1969
1-16 "Welcome Home, Jerry Stanley" June 22, 1969

References[edit]

  1. ^ Brooks, Tim and Marsh, Earl. (1979) The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network TV Shows, p 427. Ballantine Books, New York.
  2. ^ Brooks and Marsh, op cit
  3. ^ Goodwin, Fritz. (1969, May 31-June 6). The operation was a failure ... but the patient survived, pp 12-14. TV GUIDE.
  4. ^ Brooks and Marsh, op cit
  5. ^ Goodwin, op cit
  6. ^ Goodwin, op cit

External links[edit]