Sunday, March 12, 2017
Starring Oscar winner Ernest Borgnine as everyman beat cop Joe Cleaver, the show paired him with with Haven, a human-looking robot played by Michael Shannon (no, not that Michael Shannon), as they went about the workaday business of crime-solving. Not a complicated premise. Future Cop first aired as a TV movie on ABC in May of 1976 before coming back a year later as a weekly (which quickly went away after only six episodes had aired). Here's the series intro:
From the twangy theme music to the wonky premise to the perplexed "How can he know all o' dat?" from co-star John Amos, Future Cop is like a time capsule artifact of what passed for science-fiction in the '70s. It's no great surprise that ABC cut its losses with this one, but what is slightly surprising is that a year later, in 1978, the apparently-desperate NBC tried giving Future Cop a shot as well, airing two episodes as a TV movie called "The Cops and Robin." The idea was that if audiences bit, the future would be bright for Future Cop. They didn't, and it wasn't.
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