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Cannon is an American detective television series produced by Quinn Martin which aired from 1971 to 1976. The primary protagonist is the title character, private detective Frank Cannon, played by William Conrad.

Cannon
Cannon Title Screen.jpg
Genre Action
Crime
Mystery
Drama
Developed by Edward Hume
Starring William Conrad
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 5
No. of episodes 122 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s) Quinn Martin
Running time 60 minutes
Production company(s) QM Productions
CBS Productions
Distributor CBS Television Distribution
Release
Original network CBS
Original release September 14, 1971 – March 3, 1976
Chronology
Related shows Barnaby Jones

Cannon is the first Quinn Martin series to be aired on a network other than ABC. A "revival" television film, The Return of Frank Cannon, was aired on November 1, 1980. In total, there were 122 episodes plus the series two-hour pilot and the television film, The Return of Frank Cannon.

Contents

PlotEdit

Frank Cannon was a detective with the Los Angeles Police Department, but he retired after the deaths of his wife and son in a car accident and later became a private detective. The series begins at the point where Cannon is just beginning this new career (the pilot film picks up after Cannon has just spent 2½ months overseas on an investigation). The cause of death of Cannon's wife and child was not clear through the first four seasons of the show. However, the first episode of the fifth and final season revolves around Cannon's investigation of the deaths, and he finally finds out the reason they were killed.

The obese Frank Cannon had expensive tastes, especially in women, food and automobiles. Cannon's investigations were mostly for clients in the Southern California area, although on occasion he was called in for investigations much farther away (e.g., New Mexico in the pilot). He once traveled to Newfoundland on a donkey.

Cannon occasionally would get hurt (shot or beaten) and knocked unconscious (although not nearly as often as his television contemporary Joe Mannix). He carried a gun for self-defense, usually a snub-nosed .38 Special revolver Sometimes he used other guns (Including an M1911 and a B.A.R). He was known to subdue suspects with karate chops, judo holds, and occasionally he would thrust or knock down adversaries with his bulging abdomen. During each show, at approximately the 25 minute mark, Cannon would be attacked by a flower pot pushed from an overhead window. He always ducked out of the way. Shortly thereafter, there was typically a commercial break after which Cannon dusted himself off.

In the first two seasons, Cannon was a pipe smoker. In the third season, the pipe was seen occasionally; it was subsequently dropped altogether as he gravitated towards drug use.

CastEdit

 
Conrad as Frank Cannon.

Series star William Conrad was nominated for an Emmy Award in both 1973 and 1974 (Best Lead Actor in a Drama Series), but Richard Thomas won for The Waltons and in 1974 Telly Savalas won for Kojak.

Guest starsEdit

In the first season, Martin Sheen appeared twice as ex-policeman Jerry Warton, but the character did not extend beyond the first year—in fact, in the third season, Sheen guest starred as a lawyer who murdered Cannon's client.

Other guest stars included: Willie Aames, Sharon Acker, Lou Antonio, Anne Baxter, Alan Bergmann, Whitney Blake, Whit Bissell, Lloyd Bochner, Sorrell Booke, Antoinette Bower, Brooke Bundy, Ahna Capri, Cathy Lee Crosby, William Daniels, Burr DeBenning, Severn Darden, Micky Dolenz, Dennis Dugan, Andrew Duggan, Shelley Duvall, Dana Elcar, Jason Evers, Mike Farrell, Joan Fontaine, Bert Freed, Leif Garrett, Paul Michael Glaser, David Soul, Dabbs Greer, Clu Gulager, Peter Haskell, Mark Hamill, Robert Hays, David Hedison, Rodolfo Hoyos Jr., Kim Hunter, David Janssen, Claudia Jennings, L. Q. Jones, Kate Keenan, Dan Kemp, Tom Kennedy, Sondra Locke, Robert Loggia, Tina Louise, Barbara Luna, George Maharis, Robert Mandan, Nora Marlowe, Ralph Meeker, Vera Miles, Donna Mills, Leslie Nielsen, Nick Nolte, Sheree North, Lee Paul, Steve Pendleton, John M. Pickard, Stefanie Powers, Judson Pratt, Denver Pyle, Dack Rambo, Wayne Rogers, John Rubinstein, Roy Scheider, Tom Skerritt, Peter Strauss, Vic Tayback, Malachi Throne, Ronne Troup, Joan Van Ark, Vincent Van Patten, John Vernon, Jessica Walter, Jess Walton, Cindy Williams, William Windom, Dana Wynter, and Anthony Zerbe.

ProductionEdit

PropsEdit

In an era before cell phone use, Cannon was using a "mobile phone" in his car, which was very rare at the time. (TV detectives Richard Diamond and Peter Gunn each had one in the late 1950s as did Mannix and Burke's Law in the 1960s.) Cannon would begin by asking the mobile operator to dial a call for him. Phones of this type were precursors to modern cell phones. The phone prop itself, in his car, was a Motorola brand MTS mobile phone.

EpisodesEdit

Episode listEdit

SeasonEpisodesOriginally airedNielsen ratings[1]
First airedLast airedRankRatingTied with
Pilot1March 26, 1971 (1971-03-26)N/AN/AN/A
124September 14, 1971 (1971-09-14)March 14, 1972 (1972-03-14)2819.8Room 222
224September 13, 1972 (1972-09-13)March 21, 1973 (1973-03-21)1422.4N/A
325September 12, 1973 (1973-09-12)March 20, 1974 (1974-03-20)923.1The Mary Tyler Moore Show
424September 11, 1974 (1974-09-11)April 2, 1975 (1975-04-02)2021.6Mannix
525September 10, 1975 (1975-09-10)March 3, 1976 (1976-03-03)N/AN/AN/A
TV-movie1November 1, 1980 (1980-11-01)N/AN/AN/A

Connections to Barnaby JonesEdit

Frank Cannon had his first meeting with Barnaby Jones (Buddy Ebsen), an aging veteran private investigator who had retired and turned over his agency to his son, Hal. However, Hal is killed. With the aid of Cannon and Hal's widow, Betty Jones (Lee Meriwether), they hunt down Hal's killer. Afterward, Jones decides to come out of retirement. The premiere episode of Barnaby Jones, "Requiem for a Son" was planned as a second-season Cannon episode so that Barnaby Jones could qualify as a spin-off of Cannon, but when Barnaby Jones was sold as a separate series, the script was reworked into the premiere of that series. William Conrad appeared as Cannon in the guise of a special guest star.

There was a second "crossover" between the series. The first part of the two-part episode, "The Deadly Conspiracy", was aired as the second episode of the fifth season of Cannon on September 17, 1975; the second part aired two nights later as the fourth-season premiere of Barnaby Jones.

Home mediaEdit

CBS DVD (distributed by Paramount) has released the first two seasons of Cannon on DVD in Region 1. Season 3 was released on January 10, 2013, via Amazon.com's CreateSpace program. This is a manufacture-on-demand (MOD) release, available exclusively through Amazon.com.[2]

On May 4, 2015, it was announced that Visual Entertainment had acquired the rights to the series in Region 1.[3] They subsequently released Cannon - The Complete Collection on September 2, 2015.

On March 18, 2016, VEI re-released the first season on DVD and on April 1, 2016, they re-released the second season.[4]

In Region 4, Shock Entertainment has released the first two seasons on DVD in Australia.

DVD name Ep no. Release date
Season 1, Volume 1 13 July 8, 2008
Season 1, Volume 2 13 December 2, 2008
Season 1 24 March 18, 2016
Season 2, Volume 1 12 June 2, 2009
Season 2, Volume 2 12 February 16, 2010
Season 2 24 April 1, 2016
Season 3 24 January 10, 2013
Season 4 24 N/A
Season 5 25 N/A
The Complete Series 122 September 2, 2015

Awards and nominationsEdit

Cannon received three Emmy Award nominations, for Outstanding Drama Series in 1973 and for William Conrad as Lead Actor in a Drama Series in 1973 and 1974.[5]

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association nominated Cannon for three Golden Globe Awards, for Best Television Series - Drama in 1974 and for William Conrad in 1972 and 1973 as Best Actor in a Drama Television Series.[6]

In other mediaEdit

NovelsEdit

A series of nine tie-in novels were published in the 1970s by Lancer/Magnum in the United States and Triphammer/Corgi in the United Kingdom.[7]

  1. Murder by Gemini by Richard Gallagher
  2. The Stewardess Strangler by Richard Gallagher
  3. The Golden Bullet by Paul Denver (pseudonym of Douglas Enefer)
  4. The Deadly Chance by Paul Denver
  5. I've Got You Covered by Paul Denver
  6. The Falling Blonde by Paul Denver
  7. It's Lonely on the Sidewalk by Paul Denver
  8. Farewell, Little Sister by Douglas Enefer
  9. Shoot-Out! by Douglas Enefer

ParodiesEdit

In an episode of his Thames Television series, British comedian Benny Hill parodied 1970s American detective series. In the skit, Hill played several staple characters of the genre: Frank Cannon, Robert Ironside, Theo Kojak, Sam McCloud (ironically, all bar the latter were airing on BBC1 at the time rather than on Hill's home of ITV) and, although he was not a part of the genre, Agatha Christie's Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot. Cast member Jenny Lee-Wright played the role of Pepper Anderson.

The comedian Franklyn Ajaye does a routine where he mentions that it takes Frank Cannon so long to get out of his car 2-3 times a show that there is hardly time for anything else.

In Mystery Science Theater 3000, one of the more absurd inventions displayed by the Mad Scientists was a William Conrad Refrigerator Alert; it sounds off if William Conrad raids your refrigerator.

Impressionist Billy Howard included Cannon as one of the detectives parodied in his novelty hit record "King of the Cops".

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Brooks, Tim; Marsh, Earle (2007). The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows 1946-Present (Ninth Edition). Ballantine Books. p. 1686-1687. ISBN 978-0-345-49773-4. 
  2. ^ "Cannon DVD news: Street Date for Cannon - Season 3 - TVShowsOnDVD.com". Archived from the original on March 31, 2016. Retrieved May 2, 2016. 
  3. ^ "Cannon DVD news: DVD Plans for Cannon - TVShowsOnDVD.com". Archived from the original on March 3, 2016. Retrieved May 2, 2016. 
  4. ^ "Cannon DVD news: Re-Release for Season 1 and Season 2 - TVShowsOnDVD.com". Archived from the original on April 19, 2016. Retrieved May 2, 2016. 
  5. ^ "Nominations Search". Television Academy. Retrieved 2 May 2016. 
  6. ^ "Cannon". Retrieved 2 May 2016. 
  7. ^ "Cannon Novel Covers". Not The Baseball Pitcher. Retrieved 2 May 2016. 

External linksEdit