Stu Gilliam (top) and Hilly Hicks.
|Created by||Larry Gelbart
|Written by||Gene Reynolds
|Directed by||William Wiard|
|Starring||Ed Begley, Jr.
|Theme music composer||Dave Grusin|
JJ Johnson ("Dark Victory")
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||12|
|Cinematography||Robert C. Moreno|
|Running time||22–24 minutes|
|Production company(s)||20th Century Fox Television|
|Original release||October 5, 1973– January 4, 1974|
Roll Out is an American sitcom that aired Friday evenings on CBS during the 1973-1974 television season. Starring nightclub comedian Stu Gilliam and Hilly Hicks, and featuring Ed Begley, Jr. and Garrett Morris, the series was set in France during World War II and was loosely based on the 1952 film Red Ball Express.
Actor Jimmy Lydon, familiar as a juvenile lead in the 1940s, was cast as an Army captain. His character's name was Henry Aldrich: the same name he used in Paramount's comedy features of the forties.
In an effort to cash in on the success of M*A*S*H, CBS decided to air another Army comedy. Instead of Army medics, Roll Out highlighted the pratfalls of the supply drivers of the 5050th Quartermaster Trucking Company of the U.S. Third Army's Red Ball Express, whose staff was mainly African American. The series attempted to use the World War II setting as a commentary on race relations, just as M*A*S*H's Korean War setting was also a commentary on the Vietnam War.
The show aired opposite ABC's sitcom, The Odd Couple. Subsequently, Roll Out failed to win its timeslot and was canceled after one season. It was replaced on January 11, 1974, by the 13-week Dirty Sally, a half-hour western starring Jeanette Nolan and Dack Rambo.
|Stu Gilliam||Corporal Carter "Sweet" Williams|
|Hilly Hicks||Private First Class Jed Brooks|
|Ed Begley, Jr.||Lieutenant Robert Chapman|
|Garrett Morris||Wheels Dawson|
|Mel Stewart||Sergeant B.J. Bryant|
|Jimmy Lydon||Captain Henry Aldrich|
|Teddy Wilson||High Strung|
|Rob Gist||Phone Booth|
|Darrow Igus||Jersey Hampton|
|Val Bisoglio||Captain Rocco Calvelli|
|Sam Laws||Sergeant Grease|
|Penny Santon||Madame Delacourt|
|Dana Brady||Dominique Delacourt|
|Series #||Season #||Title||Notes||Original air date|
|1||1||Pilot||We meet the men of the "Red Ball Express" a mostly black Army transportation unit based in WWII France. In the debut episode we see how Sweet honors a fellow driver's his last wish by organizing a New Orleans-style funeral.||October 5, 1973|
|2||2||"Sunday, Sweet Sunday"||Sweet accepts Jed's invitation for a Sunday drive to church, but Sweet does not plan to go to church.||October 12, 1973|
|3||3||"Dark Victory"||Sweet and Jed accept a volunteer mission and stand a good chance to return as heroes, if they survive.||October 19, 1973|
|4||4||"Strange Bedfellows"||As part of a contest, Sweet gets a chance to travel to Paris.||October 26, 1973|
|5||5||"Dear Rocco"||When the mail truck explodes, Captain Calvelli receives only half of a "Dear John" letter, but that is enough to make him crazy.||November 2, 1973|
|6||6||"Sweet Millions"||Sweet finds a bag of $100 bills inside a hollow tree and everyone else is miffed by his new affluent attitude.||November 16, 1973|
|7||7||"Members of the Wedding"||The drivers are tasked with delivering a gift to a General's wedding, but the job is tougher than they originally thought.||November 23, 1973|
|8||8||"The Paper Caper"||Sweet and the boys are turned into unlikely safe crackers.||November 30, 1973|
|9||9||"No Wages-All Fear"||Sweet's "high-living, always-jiving" attitude drives Jed crazy.||December 14, 1973|
|10||10||"Christmas the '44"||The Company's Christmas looks pretty gloomy until a bunch of orphans come into their lives.||December 21, 1973|
|11||11||"Honor Truck"||When Sweet realizes that the winner of "honor truck" will win a pass to Paris, nothing, including fair play, will stop him from winning.||December 28, 1973|
|12||12||"Didn't He Ramble?"||Sweet gets an honorable discharge after he sprains his ankle.||January 4, 1974|
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