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The Marshal is an American action-drama television series that aired on ABC for two seasons in 1995. The show starred Jeff Fahey as the title character, a United States Marshal charged with pursuing fugitives across the nation. In 1995, the episode "Hitwoman" was nominated for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Sound Editing for a Series at the 47th Primetime Emmy Awards.

The Marshal
Created by
Starring
Composer(s)Tim Truman
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes25 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)
Running time60 minutes
Production company(s)
Release
Original networkABC
Original releaseJanuary 31 (1995-01-31) –
December 25, 1995 (1995-12-25)

Contents

PlotEdit

Winston MacBride (Jeff Fahey) is a family man and fugitive-chasing Deputy U.S. Marshal who has never let a criminal get away. By tracking and guarding criminals, he wanders all over the country, meeting different people along the way. The wisecracking MacBride relies largely on his quirky sense of humor and intellect to fulfill his duties.[1]

CastEdit

EpisodesEdit

Season 1 (1995)Edit

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
11"Pilot"Dean ParisotDaniel Pyne & John MankiewiczJanuary 31, 1995 (1995-01-31)
22"Grab the Money and Run!"James QuinnNancy MillerFebruary 4, 1995 (1995-02-04)
33"The Great Train Robbery"Dean ParisotLes Carter & Susan SiskoFebruary 11, 1995 (1995-02-11)
44"The Ballad of Lucas Burke"Tucker GatesErich AndersonFebruary 18, 1995 (1995-02-18)
55"Hitwoman"Aaron LipstadtDebra Epstein & Jim LeonardFebruary 25, 1995 (1995-02-25)
66"Protection"Tucker GatesTerry Curtis FoxMarch 4, 1995 (1995-03-04)
77"The Bounty Hunter"Don JohnsonDon MankiewiczMarch 11, 1995 (1995-03-11)
88"Twoslip"Deborah ReinischAlfonso H. MorenoMarch 25, 1995 (1995-03-25)
99"Little Odessa"Roy Campanella IIWilliam ConwayApril 1, 1995 (1995-04-01)
1010"Snow Orchid"Dean ParisotHans TobeasonApril 8, 1995 (1995-04-08)
1111"Natural Law"Roy Campanella IICharles Duncan & Hans TobeasonApril 15, 1995 (1995-04-15)
1212"Unprotected Witness"Aaron LipstadtTerry Curtis FoxApril 17, 1995 (1995-04-17)

Season 2 (1995)Edit

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
131"Rainbow Comix"Vern GillumLes Carter & Susan SiskoSeptember 11, 1995 (1995-09-11)
142"Buy Hard"Dean ParisotDaniel Pyne & John MankiewiczSeptember 18, 1995 (1995-09-18)
153"The New Marshal"Tucker GatesJim LeonardSeptember 25, 1995 (1995-09-25)
164"The Heartbreak Kid"Tucker GatesErich AndersonOctober 2, 1995 (1995-10-02)
175"Gone Fishing"P.J. PesceTerry Curtis FoxOctober 9, 1995 (1995-10-09)
186"Land of Opportunity"Jonathan SangerDebra EpsteinOctober 16, 1995 (1995-10-16)
197"Pass the Gemelli"Vern GillumHans TobeasonOctober 23, 1995 (1995-10-23)
208"The Show"Tucker GatesWilliam ConwayNovember 6, 1995 (1995-11-06)
219"Love is Strange"Jeff ReinerLes Carter & Susan SiskoNovember 13, 1995 (1995-11-13)
2210"Kissing Cousins"Jonathan SangerErich AndersonNovember 20, 1995 (1995-11-20)
2311"'65-'95"Deborah ReinischThomas George Carter & Samantha Howard CorbinDecember 4, 1995 (1995-12-04)
2412"These Foolish Things"William RichertTeleplay by: Samantha Howard Corbin & Jackson Hunsicker
Story by: Samantha Howard Corbin
December 11, 1995 (1995-12-11)
2513"Time Off for Clever Behavior"Patrick NorrisTeleplay by: Don Mankiewicz
Story by: Benjamin Stein & Don Mankiewicz
December 25, 1995 (1995-12-25)

ProductionEdit

The idea for the program came when producer Carole Myers and a former law enforcement officer obtained a formal letter from the U.S. Marshals Service in Washington, D.C. and Myers presented the idea for a series based on the Marshals to Paramount Television, the TV arm of Paramount Pictures. After gaining Paramount's interest, Myers, who was formerly a special projects producer and publicist for Miami Vice, presented the project to Don Johnson, the former star of Miami Vice who had a production company based at Paramount.

Originally, the production was to be a reality series in the same vein that Cops was for police. After the Waco siege, however, the plan was dropped and the concept reworked into a dramatic series on Myers' recommendation. Johnson realized that no television series had specifically targeted the U.S. Marshals, the nation's oldest law enforcement agency, dating back more than 200 years. ABC, which had a somewhat long and successful relationship with Paramount since the late 1960s, picked up the series for its 1994–1995 schedule.

Johnson chose Jeff Fahey to play the lead character, Deputy U.S. Marshal Winston MacBride. Fahey had been a friend of Johnson's for years and guest-starred in the Miami Vice third season premiere "When Irish Eyes Are Crying". This casting was considered particularly crucial since MacBride would have no sidekick or other regular supporting characters to interact with. Not since The Fugitive had a crime drama focused so tightly on a single character. Guest stars were a regular part of the program's formula; the episode "Bounty Hunter", directed by Johnson, featured his former Miami Vice castmate John Diehl as a fugitive serial killer.

Due to the low shooting expense, The Marshal was filmed in Vancouver, British Columbia and Calgary, Alberta which would double as "Anytown, U.S.A."; due to the manhunt nature of the series, they would serve as a variety of cities. The show cost $1.5 million per episode which, rather than going to high salaries, went "directly onto the screen, making The Marshal look much more like a movie than a TV series".[2]

The Marshal debuted on Tuesday, January 31, 1995, as a midseason replacement. It then aired regularly on Saturdays opposite CBS' Walker, Texas Ranger and performed well enough in the ratings to be the only new ABC show to be renewed for the fall.[3]

For its second season, ABC gave The Marshal a critical slot on its schedule. Leading off the network's Monday night lineup at 8:00 p.m., the series would be serving as the lead in program for Monday Night Football for the first half of the television season. However, The Marshal faced serious competition for viewers in the timeslot from Melrose Place on Fox and the Monday comedy lineups on CBS and NBC, and thus was unable to draw the ratings ABC desired. The network canceled The Marshal toward the end of 1995 and its twenty-fifth and final episode aired on Christmas Day, preceding the final Monday Night Football broadcast of the season.

Critical receptionEdit

Todd Everett gave a mediocre review of the series pilot and expected the series to "fade quickly from public consciousness". He also noted one humorous reference but described it as "fleeting" and expressed that the series could benefit from more of such humor. Everett added that "Fahey could turn into an appealing lead if given more opportunity to loosen up."[4]

However, having seen multiple episodes, Ken Trucker of Entertainment Weekly gave the series a B+ and encouraged TV viewers to watch it. He noted that despite the "perfectly suited" Fahey's handsome looks, MacBride's best quality is his "air of fallibility" which offers an eccentric spoofing of the macho, heroic archetype. Trucker summed by stating: "At once true to action-show rules and properly parodic about the role of good guys in the late 20th century, The Marshal is an underrated pleasure."[5]

David Kronke of the Los Angeles Times titled his review, "'Marshal' Shows Promise With Smart, Arresting Wit".[6]

When the series was renewed for a second season, on May 29, 1995, John J. O'Connor of The New York Times wrote, "'The Marshal' is joining a select group of television series. The ABC show, which began with a "preview" in late January, is one of the few that have been renewed for next season. Furthermore, although its ratings were hardly sensational, 'The Marshall' is going into the strong 8 p.m. time slot just before 'Monday Night Football.' Meanwhile, the original run is being repeated on Mondays, beginning tonight."[7]

When ABC canceled the show, Entertainment Weekly wrote in their Best and Worst 1995 article, "Best 'Melrose Place' Alternative The Marshal (ABC): On Mondays, this now-canceled Jeff Fahey actioner was funnier and more exciting than Melrose. All this and music by Van Dyke Parks, one of the year's more discreet pop secrets."[8]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Top 100 Best TV Series Of The 20th Century Johnny LaRue's Crane Shot (September 12, 2007). Retrieved on 4-25-10.
  2. ^ Smith, Steven Cole "'Marshal' Puts Fahey Back in Saddle". Fort Worth Star-Telegram (February 25, 1995). Retrieved on 4-25-10.
  3. ^ O'Connor, John J. "TELEVISION REVIEW; 'Marshal,' Renewed, Is Repeated". The New York Times (May 29, 1995). Retrieved on 4-25-10.
  4. ^ Everett, Todd (February 1, 1995). "The Marshal". Variety. Retrieved June 18, 2017.
  5. ^ Tucker, Ken (March 31, 1995). "The Marshal". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved June 18, 2017.
  6. ^ Kronke, David (January 31, 1995). "'Marshal' Shows Promise With Smart, Arresting Wit". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 18, 2017.
  7. ^ O'Connor, John J. (May 29, 1995). "TELEVISION REVIEW; 'Marshal,' Renewed, Is Repeated". The New York Times. Retrieved June 18, 2017.
  8. ^ "The Best & Worst 1995". Entertainment Weekly. December 29, 1995. Retrieved June 18, 2017.

External linksEdit