South of Sunset

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South of Sunset
South Of Sunset Promo.jpg
Genre Crime drama
Starring Glenn Frey
Aries Spears
Maria Pitillo
Country of origin USA
Original language(s) English
Production
Running time 60 minutes
Production company(s) Stan Rogow Productions
Byrum Power & Light
Paramount Television
Distributor CBS Television Distribution
Release
Original network CBS
Original release October 27, 1993

South of Sunset is an American TV detective series, starring musician/actor Glenn Frey, that only aired one episode on CBS in 1993.[1]

Synopsis[edit]

Frey played Cody McMahon, former chief of security for a major motion picture studio who left his financially secure, yet unfulfilling job to become a private investigator. Cody's offices were located just south of Sunset Boulevard in Beverly Hills. As a result, he calls his business the Beverly Hills Detective Agency, despite the fact he's in the "low-end" part of town. Aries Spears co-starred as Cody's young assistant Ziggy Duane, and Maria Pitillo played his cute blond secretary (and aspiring actress) Gina Weston. The show was a combination of comedy and suspense, reminiscent of the series Moonlighting. The show was created by John Byrum, who wrote all six of the episodes that were produced, and served as co-executive producer with Stan Rogow.[2]

Development[edit]

CBS had green-lighted South Of Sunset with a six episode buy. Pitillo became involved early on, in part because of her collaboration with the Rogow/Byrum team on the Middle Ages project. Spears was hired shortly after Pitillo, and both read with prospective actors auditioning for the part of Cody McMahon. After four months however, the producers still struggled to cast the male lead. It was only after Paramount execs saw Frey in concert, and recalled his previous acting experience, that they suggested him for the role of Cody McMahon.[3]

Five of the seven scripts were produced and those episodes are available on Youtube. It remains unclear if Remember Me, and/or Chalk Lines were ever filmed.

Network run[edit]

The show was heavily promoted during the 1993 World Series by CBS. However, only the pilot of South of Sunset ever aired, and not even to the entire country. The October 27 premiere was pre-empted by news coverage of the wild fires in Malibu, including KCBS in Los Angeles itself. (KCBS later aired the pilot the following Saturday, October 30 at 11:30pm.) Disappointed with the ratings of the pilot and unwilling to give it a chance to build a base, CBS immediately cancelled the show, much to Frey's chagrin.[4]

Criticism[edit]

Delays in production pushed back the premiere date until October,[4] and CBS came under criticism for choosing not to provide advance copies of the pilot to critics,[2] leaving Rogow to comment after the cancelation:

"There was a perception we had something to hide, but we just didn't have the pilot ready," he said. "Forgive me, people in publicity, but how about trying the truth? Why not send the critics two other episodes we had finished and tell them the pilot was still being worked on? At least we would have been reviewed."[4]

The network also came under fire from the production community, which was already unhappy with the networks new policy of purchasing shows in blocks of six instead of the usual eight, thirteen, or even a complete twenty-two episode season. CBS execs countered by saying that South of Sunset had almost no base audience to build on, and had negatively impacted the time-slot winner 48 Hours, which followed the premiere episode.[4]

VH1 rebroadcast[edit]

VH1 later re-aired the pilot and four more episodes as part of their Eagles Family Tree Week.

Episode list[edit]

Cast[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows, 1946-Present. Ballantine Books. 2003. p. 1104. ISBN 0-345-45542-8. 
  2. ^ a b Scott, Tony. "Review: ‘South of Sunset Satyricon’". Variety. Variety. 
  3. ^ Bobbin, Jay. "Former Eagle Glenn Frey goes 'South of Sunset'". Ocala Star-Banner. Retrieved 19 January 2016. 
  4. ^ a b c d Strauss, Robert. "In the Dawn of 'Sunset's' Demise : Television: The CBS show starred a rock musician and got heavy promotion during the World Series, but still managed to join the ranks of an unenviable club.". LA Times. L.A. Times. Retrieved 19 January 2016. 

External links[edit]