Monday, July 29, 2013

Toons After Dark: Fish Police (1991)

In the early 90's, Hanna-Barbera experimented with a return to primetime television, but found out that they still hadn't been able to duplicate the success of The Flintstones' initial night run (1960-6). That evergreen series was revived and given a 2nd run in primetime, albeit briefly, in 1980, to complement its then-current Saturday morning incarnation. But, every series the studio had made for primetime consumption, from 1961 (Top Cat) forward went just one season. The novelty had worn off.

It was the success of Fox's The Simpsons which spurred H-B to try again. The studio sold a pair of series, one each to CBS & ABC, the latter of whom was their business partner in primetime in the 60's. Unfortunately, the trend remained intact.

Fish Police, which went to CBS, was adapted from a comic book series created by writer-artist Steve Moncuse for Comico a few years earlier. It was enough of a hit that it merited the attention of television, but it wasn't meant to be kid-friendly, hence nabbing a spot in primetime. Hanna-Barbera put together a quality cast, including 70's icon John Ritter as Inspector Gill, the central character in the series. Ritter also narrated each tale. Predictably, viewers turned away as the novelty wore off, and, after a run on Cartoon Network in the late 90's, hasn't been seen since. To be honest with you, I think what holds this series back from returning may be a rights issue, meaning it depends on who owns the show now, either Warner Bros. or Moncuse.

Anyway, here's the opener, "The Shell Game":

Sad to say, I never got to see the show, so I can't rightfully rate it.

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