|Directed by||Harry Keller|
|Opening theme||Cannonball theme song|
|Country of origin|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||39 (list of episodes)|
|Production locations||Bolton, Ontario, Canada|
|Running time||22 minutes|
|Production company||Incorporated Television Company|
|Original release||October 6, 1958 –|
July 13, 1959
Cannonball is a British/Canadian adventure drama series starring Paul Birch and William Campbell, and aired on CBC Television in Canada, ABC Weekend TV in the United Kingdom, and in syndication in the United States. Produced by Normandie Productions and ITC Entertainment, the series' interiors were filmed at Canadian Film Industries Limited, a studio in Canada. Exteriors were shot in and around Toronto.
The series is one of the few ITC productions to air on ABC Weekend TV in the UK. Because Associated TeleVision (ATV) owners of ITC, also ran the London weekend and Midlands weekdays ITV companies, they tended to hold the rights for ITC series in order to show each one in the Midlands (where ABC was the weekend operator) during the week. The series aired from October 6, 1958 to July 13, 1959, for 39 episodes in black-and-white.
The series follows the adventures of Mike Malone (Paul Birch), whose nickname is 'Cannonball', and Jerry Austin (William Campbell), two truckers who haul cargo across the US and Canada for the fictitious Toronto-based C&A Transport Company Ltd. The truck depicted is believed a GMC Model 950 COE (cab-over engine) diesel tractor built and sold in the same decade by General Motors. The supporting cast includes Beth Lockerbie as Mary Malone, Mike's wife, and Beth Morris as Ginny Malone and Steve Barringer as Butch Malone, the couple's two children. Howard Milsom appears as C&A Transport Company Ltd.'s dispatcher Harry Butler.
The duo's adventures come to an end in the series's final episode, "Tunnel Vision". Austin, who is Malone's co-driver on the truck, has an opportunity to go back and finish college. Malone knows this but realizes Austin will not take the opportunity because it will break up their partnership. In his yearly medical check up, Malone pretends to have tunnel vision (lack of peripheral vision) which means he no longer qualifies to drive trucks. This frees Austin who is able to finish his college education.
- Paul Birch as Cannonball Mike Malone
- William Campbell as Jerry Austin
- Beth Lockerbie as Mary Malone
- Beth Morris as Ginny Malone
- Steve Barringer as Butch Malone
- Howard Milsom as Harry Butler
The original production order appears to be lost and all that remains is a partial list based upon Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and ITV air dates. As titles were not shown on-screen, these titles may be speculative.
The Cannonball TV series had a theme that opened and closed each episode. Though IMDb claims the words and music were written and performed by the American country artist Merle Haggard the singer was incarcerated in San Quentin State Prison from 1957 to 1960 and would have been unavailable to work on the series.
- Tate, Marsha Ann (2007). Canadian Television Programming Made for the United States Market: A History with Production and Broadcast Data. McFarland. p. 25. ISBN 978-0-786-42745-1.
- Erickson, Hal (2001). Syndicated Television: The First Forty Years, 1947-1987. McFarland Classics. p. 22. ISBN 0-786-41198-8.
- Aaker, Everett (2006). Encyclopedia of Early Television Crime Fighters: All Regular Cast Members in American Crime and Mystery Series, 1948-1959. McFarland. p. 57. ISBN 0-786-42476-1.
- Cannonball (TV Series 1958– ) - IMDb, retrieved 12 November 2020
- Thomas Winfrey, Merle Haggard: San Quentin Parolee, Music Icon, San Quentn News, May 1, 2016