Checkmate (TV series)

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Checkmate
Sebastian Cabot Doug McClure Carolyn Craig Checkmate 1962.JPG
GenreDetective/Mystery
Created byEric Ambler
Directed byFrank Arrigo
Jules Bricken
Herschel Daugherty
Walter Doniger
Robert Florey
William A. Graham
Tom Gries
Douglas Heyes
James Wong Howe
Robert Ellis Miller
Alexander Singer
Don Taylor
Don Weis
StarringAnthony George
Sebastian Cabot
Doug McClure
Theme music composerJohn Williams
Composer(s)Marty Paich
Pete Rugolo
Morton Stevens
John Williams
Stanley Wilson
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes70
Production
Producer(s)Richard Berg
Herbert Coleman
Joseph T. Naar
CinematographyJoseph F. Biroc
Dale Deverman
Ray Flin
Lionel Lindon
Fred Mandl
John L. Russell
Bud Thackery
John F. Warren
Editor(s)Howard Epstein
Lee Huntington
Tony Martinelli
Running time60 mins.
Production company(s)JaMco Productions
Revue Studios
DistributorMCA TV
(1963-1964)
NBCUniversal Television Distribution
Release
Original networkCBS
Picture formatBlack-and-white
Audio formatMonaural
Original releaseSeptember 17, 1960 –
September 1, 1962

Checkmate is an American detective television series created by Eric Ambler, starring Anthony George, Sebastian Cabot, and Doug McClure. The show aired on CBS Television from 1960 to 1962 for a total of 70 episodes. It was produced by Jack Benny's production company, "JaMco Productions" in co-operation with Revue Studios. Guest stars included Charles Laughton, Peter Lorre, Lee Marvin, Mickey Rooney and many other prominent performers.

Synopsis[edit]

The program chronicles the cases of the San Francisco detective agency called Checkmate, Inc. Don Corey and Jed Sills run the agency, which specializes in preventing crimes before they happen from Corey's stylish apartment supposedly at 3330 Union Street. Sebastian Cabot portrays Dr. Hyatt, a college professor whom they employ as an adviser. Dr. Hyatt's dachshund, Bismarck, occasionally appears. Ken Lynch is frequently seen as police dept. contact Lt. Thomas Brand.

The series was a critical favorite. Many exterior scenes were shot in San Francisco. In 1961 John J. Lloyd won the show's sole Emmy nomination for Outstanding Achievement in Art Direction and Scenic Design.[1] The icon for this series is swirling liquid shapes at the opening and closing of each episode with theme music by John Williams. Series star Anthony George left his recurring role as Federal Agent Cam Allison on The Untouchables (starring Robert Stack), to front this series.

In 1962, Gold Key Comics published a two-issue comic book run based on the series.

Episodes[edit]

Season 1 (1960–61)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
Title Directed by Written by Original air date
11"Death Runs Wild"Jules BrickenTeleplay by: James Gunn & John Kneubuhl
Story by: John Kneubuhl
September 17, 1960 (1960-09-17)
22"Interrupted Honeymoon"TBATBASeptember 24, 1960 (1960-09-24)
33"The Cyanide Touch"TBATBAOctober 1, 1960 (1960-10-01)
44"Lady on the Brink"Frank ArrigoTeleplay by: Howard Browne & Joel Murcott
Story by: Howard Browne
October 15, 1960 (1960-10-15)
55"Face in the Window"Robert FloreyTeleplay by: Leigh Brackett & Harold Clements
Story by: Leigh Brackett
October 22, 1960 (1960-10-22)
66"Runaway"Don MedfordTeleplay by: James Gunn & Richard Nelson
Story by: Richard Nelson & Steve Fisher
October 29, 1960 (1960-10-29)
77"Target: Tycoon"Frank ArrigoTeleplay by: Robert Yale Libott
Story by: Johnathan Latimer
November 5, 1960 (1960-11-05)
88"Deadly Shadow"Don WeisTeleplay by: Harold Clements & William McGivern
Story by: William McGivern
November 12, 1960 (1960-11-12)
99"The Dark Divide"Don WeisTeleplay by: James Gunn & Robert Bloomfield
Story by: Robert Bloomfield
November 19, 1960 (1960-11-19)
1010"Moment of Truth"Walter DonigerTeleplay by: Jameson Brewer & Leonard Heideman
Story by: Leonard Heideman
November 26, 1960 (1960-11-26)
1111"The Mask of Vengeance"TBATBADecember 3, 1960 (1960-12-03)
1212"The Murder Game"Douglas HeyesDouglas HeyesDecember 17, 1960 (1960-12-17)
1313"The Princess in the Tower"Herschel DaughertyTeleplay by: Halsey Melone
Story by: Betty Ulius
December 31, 1960 (1960-12-31)
1414"Terror from the East"Herschel DaughertyHarold ClementsJanuary 7, 1961 (1961-01-07)
1515"The Human Touch"Don WeisTeleplay by: James Gunn
Story by: John Falvo & Pete Mamakos
January 14, 1961 (1961-01-14)
1616"Hour of Execution"TBATBAJanuary 21, 1961 (1961-01-21)
1717"Don't Believe a Word She Says"TBATBAJanuary 28, 1961 (1961-01-28)
1818"Laugh Till I Die"TBATBAFebruary 4, 1961 (1961-02-04)
1919"Between Two Guns"TBATBAFebruary 11, 1961 (1961-02-11)
2020"A Matter of Conscience"Richard IrvingTeleplay by: Edmund Morris
Story by: Leonard Heideman
February 18, 1961 (1961-02-18)
2121"Melody for Murder"TBATBAFebruary 25, 1961 (1961-02-25)
2222"Phantom Lover"TBATBAMarch 4, 1961 (1961-03-04)
2323"The Gift"TBATBAMarch 11, 1961 (1961-03-11)
2424"One for the Book"TBATBAMarch 18, 1961 (1961-03-18)
2525"The Paper Killer"TBATBAMarch 25, 1961 (1961-03-25)
2626"Jungle Castle"TBATBAApril 1, 1961 (1961-04-01)
2727"The Deadly Silence"TBATBAApril 8, 1961 (1961-04-08)
2828"Goodbye Griff"TBATBAApril 15, 1961 (1961-04-15)
2929"Dance of Death"TBATBAApril 22, 1961 (1961-04-22)
3030"Voyage Into Fear"Jules BrickenTeleplay by: Edmund Morris & Harold Clements
Story by: Edmund Morris
May 6, 1961 (1961-05-06)
3131"Tight as a Drum"TBATBAMay 13, 1961 (1961-05-13)
3232"Death by Design"TBATBAMay 20, 1961 (1961-05-20)
3333"The Thrill Seeker"TBATBAMay 27, 1961 (1961-05-27)
3434"Hot Wind in a Cold Town"TBATBAJune 10, 1961 (1961-06-10)
3535"A Slight Touch of Venom"TBATBAJune 17, 1961 (1961-06-17)
3636"State of Shock"TBATBAJune 24, 1961 (1961-06-24)

Season 2 (1961–62)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
Title Directed by Written by Original air date
371"Portrait of a Man Running"Elliot SilversteinRichard FielderOctober 4, 1961 (1961-10-04)
382"The Button Down Break"Paul StewartTeleplay by: Lewis Reed
Story by: William Shatner
October 11, 1961 (1961-10-11)
393"The Heat of Passion"Ron WinstonTeleplay by: Mann Rubin
Story by: Sonya Roberts & Mann Rubin
October 18, 1961 (1961-10-18)
404"Waiting for Jocko"Don TaylorJuarez RobertsOctober 25, 1961 (1961-10-25)
415"Through a Dark Glass"Robert Ellis MillerRichard DeRoyNovember 1, 1961 (1961-11-01)
426"Juan Moreno's Body"Tom GriesAnthony SpinnerNovember 8, 1961 (1961-11-08)
437"Kill the Sound"James Wong HoweAlfred BrennerNovember 15, 1961 (1961-11-15)
448"The Crimson Pool"Alan Crosland, Jr.Richard DeRoyNovember 22, 1961 (1961-11-22)
459"The Two of Us"Paul StewartLewis ReedNovember 29, 1961 (1961-11-29)
4610"Nice Guys Finish Last"Alan Crosland, Jr.Larry CohenDecember 13, 1961 (1961-12-13)
4711"To the Best of My Recollection"Paul StewartJohn McGreeveyDecember 27, 1961 (1961-12-27)
4812"A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Game"Don TaylorTeleplay by: Lewis Reed & Don Taylor
Story by: Lewis Reed
January 3, 1962 (1962-01-03)
4913"The Star System"William GrahamRichard DeRoyJanuary 10, 1962 (1962-01-10)
5014"The Renaissance of Gussie Hill"Ron WinstonTeleplay by: Oliver Gard & Mark Rodgers
Story by: Oliver Gard
January 17, 1962 (1962-01-17)
5115"A Very Rough Sketch"Ron WinstonMann RubinJanuary 24, 1962 (1962-01-24)
5216"The Yacht Club Gang"Alex SingerRobert J. ShawJanuary 31, 1962 (1962-01-31)
5317"Death Beyond Recall"Herman HoffmanMax EhrlichFebruary 7, 1962 (1962-02-07)
5418"The Sound of Nervous Laughter"Paul StewartTeleplay by: Jonathan Latimer & Mark Rodgers
Story by: Jonathan Latimer
February 14, 1962 (1962-02-14)
5519"An Assassin Arrives, Andante"Tom GriesTeleplay by: Sy Salkowitz
Story by: Anthony Spinner
February 21, 1962 (1962-02-21)
5620"Remembrance of Crimes Past"William GrahamRichard DeRoyFebruary 28, 1962 (1962-02-28)
5721"Heart Is a Handout"Tom GriesSy SalkowitzMarch 7, 1962 (1962-03-07)
5822"A Brooding Fixation"Robert Ellis MillerTeleplay by: Mark Rodgers & Oliver Crawford
Story by: Oliver Crawford
March 14, 1962 (1962-03-14)
5923"A Chant of Silence"William GrahamRichard McCrackenMarch 21, 1962 (1962-03-21)
6024"Trial by Midnight"Alex SingerMark RodgersMarch 28, 1962 (1962-03-28)
6125"Ride a Wild Horse"Byron PaulTeleplay by: Harold Jack Bloom & Dick Nelson
Story by: Harold Jack Bloom
April 4, 1962 (1962-04-04)
6226"So Beats My Plastic Heart"Bernard GirardMark RodgersApril 11, 1962 (1962-04-11)
6327"In a Foreign Quarter"Robert Ellis MillerSy SalkowitzApril 18, 1962 (1962-04-18)
6428"Referendum on Murder"Lewis AllenJohn MantleyApril 25, 1962 (1962-04-25)
6529"The Someday Man"Robert Ellis MillerRichard DeRoyMay 2, 1962 (1962-05-02)
6630"Rendezvous in Washington"William GrahamMark RodgersMay 9, 1962 (1962-05-09)
6731"The Bold and the Tough"Don TaylorTeleplay by: Dick Nelson
Story by: Reuben Bercovitch & Dick Nelson
May 16, 1962 (1962-05-16)
6832"Will the Real Killer Please Stand Up?"Ron WinstonMark RodgersMay 23, 1962 (1962-05-23)
6933"Down the Gardenia Path"Ralph SenenskyRobert J. ShawJune 6, 1962 (1962-06-06)
7034"Side by Side"Robert Ellis MillerRichard FielderJune 20, 1962 (1962-06-20)

Broadcast History[edit]

CBS aired the series on Saturday in the 8:30-9:30 PM time slot from its début on September 17, 1960 until June 24, 1961. The series finished at #21 among all series.[2] It was then reprogrammed to Wednesday in the same time slot from October 4, 1961 to June 20, 1962, where it fell in the ratings opposite The Perry Como Show on NBC.[3] CBS replaced it with The Beverly Hillbillies.

Distribution[edit]

The series was also seen in Canada from 1961 on CTV during that network's initial season.[4]

Cast[edit]

Notable guest stars[edit]

Home media[edit]

Timeless Media Group has released two "Best of..." collections on DVD in Region 1. Checkmate: The Best of Season 1[5] was released on October 30, 2009 and Checkmate: The Best of Season 2 was released on March 25, 2008.[6] Timeless Media Group released Checkmate: The Complete Series on 14 DVDs on June 22, 2010 (Region 1).[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Checkmate". Awards & Nominations: Outstanding Achievement In Art Direction And Scenic Design - 1961. Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. 2015. Retrieved March 21, 2015.
  2. ^ "1960-1961". TV Ratings. ClassicTVHits.com. Retrieved March 21, 2015.
  3. ^ "1961-1962". TV Ratings. ClassicTVHits.com. Retrieved March 21, 2015.
  4. ^ Braithwaite, Dennis (2 October 1961). "Filmed Accolades Put Private TV Network on the Air". The Globe and Mail. p. 4.
  5. ^ "Best of CHECKMATE". Timelessvideo.com. Archived from the original on 2013-02-04. Retrieved 2012-08-11.
  6. ^ "Best of CHECKMATE Season Two". Timelessvideo.com. Archived from the original on 2012-03-04. Retrieved 2012-08-11.
  7. ^ "CHECKMATE: The Complete Series". Timelessvideo.com. 2010-06-22. Archived from the original on 2010-11-29. Retrieved 2019-01-05.

External links[edit]