CTVA US Crime - "Checkmate" (Revue/CBS)(1960-62) Anthony George, Doug McCure, Sebastian Cabot

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"Overland Trail" (1960)    "Checkmate" (1960-62)
"The Virginian" (1962-71)   "Search" (1972-73)   "Barbary Coast" (1975-76)

Checkmate (1960-62)
Episode Guide compiled by The Classic TV Archive
with contributions by:
BJ Townsend, Rina Fox, Tom Alger, Jeff Eldridge, James Beer
Gabriel Orgaz (Director Credits)
references:
Library of Congress (telnet://locis.loc.gov)
Internet Movie Database (http://us.imdb.com)

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CHECKMATE
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Checkmate (season 1) (CBS) (1960-1961)
Checkmate (season 2) (CBS) (1961-1962)

Jamco Productions in association with
Revue Studios / MCA tv exclusive distributors
for
CBS (Saturdays 8.30 pm, season 1)
CBS (Wednesdays 8.30 pm, season 2)
Created by Eric Ambler
Produced by Herbert Coleman (season 1, 1960-61 - most eps)
Produced by Joseph T. Naar (ep #10)
Produced by Dick Berg (season 2, 1961-62)
US Detective series 1960-62    70 episodes x 60 min bw
 
starring

Checkmate1.jpg (65305 bytes)

Anthony George as Don Corey
Doug McClure as Jed Sills
Sebastian Cabot as Dr. Carl Hyatt
with
Jack Betts as Chris Devlin (1962)
 Jack Betts appeared in the following episodes:-
2.02 "The Button-Down Break" (introduction)
2.10 "Nice Guys Finish Last"
2.14 "The Renaissance of Gussie Hill"
2.26 "So Beats My Plastic Heart"
2.28 "Referendum on Murder"
2.34 "Side By Side"

recurring co-star
Ken Lynch as Lt. Thomas Brand

Trivia:
Dr. Hyatt's Dachshund dog was called Bismarck.

Don Corey and Jed Sills operate Checkmate, Inc., a very high priced
detective agency in San Francisco, who specialize in preventing crimes
before they happen. Helping them protect the lives of their clients is
British criminologist (once an Oxford professor) Carl Hyatt played by
Sebastian Cabot. Doug McClure, for comedy effect, plays Jed Sills, a
recent-college-graduate criminologist."

Music:
"Checkmate" theme music composed by Johnny Williams
Original Music Scores composed by Johnny Williams (all season 1)

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"The TV Collector" magazine, #89, May-June, 1997, published by
Stephen W. and Diane L. Albert in which Anthony George was interviewed
regarding "Checkmate" . He gave some interesting info on the series:
Eric Ambler, a famous mystery writer,
came up with the series. It was originally supposed to feature "a guy and
his girlfriend and his girlfriend's father, who is a professor." George
and Cabot were hired to fill the roles of the guy and the professor.
"However, when it came to the other person, the girl, they had Doug
McClure under contract, and he had just finished a the western series,
"Overland Trail" ..and they said to me, 'We have this kid under contract
and rather than have the girl come in, we're going to have a junior partner
for you.'..So, rather than it being myself and Joan O'Brien and Sebastian
Cabot, it was myself and Doug McClure and Sebastian Cabot. So, it started
off not the way it was written to begin with, and Mr. Ambler eventually
begged off of the project and wouldn't have anything to do with it any
further..."

Also-"Compounding the problem was the feeling that "Checkmate" was an orphan
show. Says Tony, 'It was kind of a pawn show; MCA made CBS buy it in
order to renew a contract with Jack Benny. They wanted Benny, cuz he was
very hot, so they bought "Checkmate" without really wanting it.' After the
first season, remembers Tony, 'CBS tried to drop it because they were
putting "The Defenders" on in our time slot Saturdays at 8.30, and NBC
offered to pick it up. So then CBS picked it up and put us in a different
time slot, Wednesdays 8.30, which I think brought the series down, because
it had started being very popular.' "

"TV Guide" with "Checkmate" cover. (Sept. 9-15, 1961)
Vol. 9, No. 36, Sept. 9, 1961, Issue #441
The feature article was on Doug McClure.
On "Checkmate" McClure was quoted as saying:
"I hated myself in the first 10 episodes we did. They'd cast me as the
kid, the young boy with the funny quips. But I was supposed to be a
partner in a detetive firm. Who would put his life in my hands? I was
just in there for laughs while Tony George and Sebastian Cabot did all the
work. Now I like playing comedy. I have a flair for it and I think I do
it reasonably well. But this was no place for a light comedian. I just
came off as a young jerk.... I talked to the producer and to the
writers...I began to work on the character. Finally Jed began to grow up a
little. He could still do funny lines, but now they were coming from a
mature man. I wasn't concerned only about myself either. I felt that the
earlier characterization was hurting the show. It was unbelievable that
two grown men would take on a juvenile kid as a partner. It just didn't
add up."

This comes from "The TV Collector," #89, May-June '97
("Checkmate") "got a rare rave review in TV Guide, which praised it for
being different.  It was nominated for a TV Guide award.  And it was the
subject of six stories in that magazine--three of them cover stories--over
a two season period."
That seems like quite an honor for a series.

Checkmate2.jpg (74464 bytes)    Checkmate3.jpg (72652 bytes)

(pictures above from Gold Key "Checkmate" comic books - October and December 1962)

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