Sunday, March 6, 2011

Jack Kelly: TV's Reluctant Top Gun Sounds Off - Pt. II :)

Hello Everyone!

Here's Part Two of the 1960 TV Weekly article:

"'I [JK] banged my head against a wall for two years before the thing finally equalized itself. It wasn't anyone's fault. It's just a peculiarity of the audience that it picks out one guy in shows like this and makes him No. 1. Sort of the same situation exists this time, but I really hope the same condition doesn't arise.

'After all," Kelly went on easily, "we're both in the same show getting the same exposure. And I know how hard Roger is going to have to work. When this 'top gun' business comes up about two people who are working together...well, you know what can happen.'

Actually, of course, Kelly walked out on the show only a few steps behind Garner. Warner Brothers talked him into coming back, however.

'I'd have come back anyway,' he said. 'I came back because it was the smart thing for me to do. Jim? Well, I figure he knows what he's doing.'

The question now before Kelly, Moore, Warners, ABC, et al is whether the series will be as successful without Garner was it was with him.

'I hope it won't hurt us,' Kelly shrugged. 'It don't think it will if Roger and I hit it off as well as Jim and I did. We clicked together right from the start. That's why I say now, don't call me 'top gun'.'"

Incidentally, Roger Moore had debuted as "Beau" on September 18, 1960. And, after only about a month, this Maverick cousin hadn't clicked with one viewer. They wrote to TV Weekly:

"I think we should send the 'Bundle from Britain' (Roger Moore) back to the British. When are we ever going to get the Maverick situation straightened out? The program was so good, but it sure has slipped, especially since they dropped Bret."

The editor replied: "They didn't drop Bret. He dropped himself from the series. Let's give Moore a chance to fill the gap."

Of course, Roger Moore ultimately didn't fill the Maverick gap. JK ended up being the only "gun" during the series' final season, although brother Bret did appear in reruns.