4 More things to know about Jack Webb (Part Deux in a series)

After the color reincarnation of Dragnet had exhausted its run, TV genius Jack Webb decided there were plenty of stories to be mined from the day-to-day exploits of the average cop on patrol duty. Thus was the genesis for Adam-12, which premiered in 1968 and ran for seven seasons. (ed. note: if you haven't checked out Kara's terrific post on Jack Webb and Dragnet, be sure to read it here)

1. How Adam-12 got the name

The title of the show was inspired by the official LAPD designation for a two-man patrol car, "Adam." Each car was also assigned a numeral that described its patrol area. When it came time to name his new show, Webb simply recited a litany of consecutive numbers ("Adam 1, Adam 2, Adam 3" etc.) until he decided that "Adam-12" had just the right sound. The voice heard intoning that call sign on the radio in every episode was Shaaron Claridge, who was an actual police dispatcher at LAPD's Van Nuys division.

2. Keepin' it Real

Webb made sure that the equipment and procedures on Adam-12 were as true to life as possible. Reed and Malloy's patrol car switched from a Plymouth Belvedere to a Plymouth Satellite and finally to an AMC Matador as did the LAPD fleet.

Arrest procedures were changed to keep step with actual police protocol "“ from having suspects put their hands behind their backs, to putting them behind their heads, to having them lay face down, hands spread out to their sides. And in the earliest episodes, Malloy and Reed wore long sleeved-shirts no matter how hot and humid the weather. This, too, was based in reality: LAPD's Chief Parker was a stickler for professionalism (he despised tattoos) and believed that fully-covering long sleeves and neckties were the only proper uniform for a police officer.

3. Six Degrees of Nepotism

Picture 6.png There was no dearth of nepotism in the land of Jack Webb. Kent McCord played high school football with Ricky Nelson, which helped him earn a recurring role on Rick's TV series, The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet. When McCord later landed the role of Officer Jim Reed on Adam-12, the favor was repaid when Nelson's wife, Kristin Harmon, was cast as Reed's wife.

Hollingsworth Morse directed many episodes of Dragnet and Adam-12, and he convinced Jack Webb to audition his friend, Gary Crosby. Bing's son impressed Webb enough that he took on the recurring role of resident obnoxious smart-aleck Officer Ed Wells on Adam-12. And Jack Webb also graciously gave his ex-wife Julie London, along with her new husband Bobby Troup, starring roles on Emergency!

4. If It Ain't Broke, Don't Fix It

The Adam-12 formula had proven so successful that Jack Webb didn't tinker with it when casting Emergency! Kevin Tighe was hired to play Roy DeSoto, the veteran firefighter/paramedic who took rookie Johnny Gage (Randolph Mantooth) under his wing at the beginning of the series. The dark-haired, handsome Mantooth bore a striking resemblance to Kent McCord's Jim Reed, but Tighe's naturally auburn hair had to be bleached strawberry blond in the early seasons so that his look was more reminiscent of Milner's Pete Malloy. By the final season, Tighe was allowed to let his locks return to their natural darker color.

>MORE TV TRIVIA YA' OUGHT TO KNOW:
Randy Mantooth had a brief run as a teenage pin-up until his attorneys sent cease-and-desist orders to 16 and Tiger Beat magazines; it seems Mantooth thought teen idol-dom would derail his career as a serious actor.

Gary Crosby wrote a tell-all "Daddy Dearest"-type book in 1983 detailing the physical and emotional abuse he and his brothers were subjected to by Der Bingle. It was titled Going My Own Way.

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10 Things You Might Not Know About Love Connection
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Between September 19, 1983 and July 1, 1994, Chuck Woolery—who had been the original host of Wheel of Fortune back in 1975—hosted the syndicated, technologically advanced dating show Love Connection. (The show was briefly revived in 1998-1999, with Pat Bullard as host.) The premise featured either a single man or single woman who would watch audition tapes of three potential mates discussing what they look for in a significant other, and then pick one for a date. The producers would foot the bill, shelling out $75 for the blind date, which wasn’t taped. The one rule was that between the end of the date and when the couple appeared on the show together, they were not allowed to communicate—so as not to spoil the next phase.

A couple of weeks after the date, the guest would sit with Woolery in front of a studio audience and tell everybody about the date. The audience would vote on the three contestants, and if the audience agreed with the guest’s choice, Love Connection would offer to pay for a second date.

The show became known for its candor: Couples would sometimes go into explicit detail about their dates or even insult one another’s looks. Sometimes the dates were successful enough to lead to marriage and babies, and the show was so popular that by 1992, the video library had accrued more than 30,000 tapes “of people spilling their guts in five-minutes snippets.”

In 2017, Fox rebooted Love Connection with Andy Cohen at the helm; the second season started airing in May. But here are a few things you might not have known about the dating series that started it all.

1. AN AD FOR A VIDEO DATING SERVICE INSPIRED THE SHOW.

According to a 1986 People Magazine article, the idea for Love Connection came about when creator Eric Lieber spied an ad for a video dating service and wanted to cash in on the “countless desperate singles out there,” as the article states. “Everyone thinks of himself as a great judge of character and likes to put in two cents,” Lieber said. “There’s a little yenta in all of us.”

2. CONTESTANTS WERE GIVEN SOMETHING CALLED A PALIO SCORE.

Staff members would interview potential contestants and rate them on a PALIO score, which stands for personality, appearance, lifestyle, intelligence, and occupation. Depending on the results, the staff would rank the potential guests as either selectors or selectees.

3. IN 1987, THE FIRST OF MANY LOVE CONNECTION BABIES WAS BORN.

John Schultz and Kathleen Van Diggelen met on a Love Connection date, which didn’t end up airing. “They said, ‘John, she’s so flat, if you can’t rip her up on the set, we can’t use you,’” he told People in 1988. “I said, ‘I can’t do that.’” However, they got married on an episode of Hollywood Squares. As the article stated, “Their son, Zachary, became the first baby born to a Love Connection-mated couple.”

4. IT LED TO OTHER DATING SHOWS, LIKE THE BACHELOR.

Mike Fleiss not only created The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, but he’s also responsible for reviving Love Connection. “I always had a soft spot for that show,” Fleiss told the Los Angeles Times in 2017. He said he was friends with Lieber and that the show inspired him to “venture into the romance TV space.” “I remember it being simple and effective,” he said about the original Love Connection. “And I remember wanting to find out what happened on those dates, the he said-she said of it all. It was intriguing.”

5. A FUTURE ACTOR FROM THE SOPRANOS WAS A CONTESTANT.

Lou Martini Jr., then known as Louis Azzara, became a contestant on the show during the late 1980s. He and his date, Angela, hit it off so well that they couldn’t keep their hands off one another during the show. Martini famously talked about her “private parts,” and she referred to him as “the man of my dreams.” The relationship didn’t last long, though. “I had just moved to LA and was not ready to commit to anything long-term," Martini commented under the YouTube clip. "The show was pushing me to ask her to marry me on the show!" If Martini looks familiar it’s because he went on to play Anthony Infante, Johnny Sack’s brother-in-law, on four episodes of season six of The Sopranos.

6. BEFORE THE SHOW WENT OFF THE AIR, A LOT OF CONTESTANTS GOT MARRIED.

During the same Entertainment Weekly interview, the magazine asked Woolery what the show’s “love stats” were, and he responded with 29 marriages, eight engagements, and 15 children, which wasn’t bad considering 2120 episodes had aired during its entire run. “When you think that it’s someone in our office putting people together through questionnaires and tapes, it’s incredible that one couple got married, much less 29,” he said.

7. CHUCK WOOLERY WAS AGAINST FEATURING SAME SEX COUPLES.

In a 1993 interview with Entertainment Weekly, the interviewer asked him “Would you ever have gay couples on Love Connection?” Woolery said no. “You think it would work if a guy sat down and I said, ‘Well, so where did you meet and so and so?’ then I get to the end of the date and say, ‘Did you kiss?’ Give me a break,” he said. “Do you think America by and large is gonna identify with that? I don’t think that works at all.” What a difference a quarter-century makes. Andy Cohen, who is openly gay, asked Fox if it would be okay to feature gay singles on the new edition of Love Connection. Fox immediately agreed.

8. ERIC LIEBER LIKED THE SHOW’S “HONEST EMOTIONS.”

When asked about the show's winning formula, Lieber once said: “The show succeeds because we believe in honest emotions. And, admit it—we’re all a little voyeuristic and enjoy peeking into someone else’s life.”

9. IN LIVING COLOR DID A HILARIOUS PARODY OF THE SHOW.

In the first sketch during In Living Color's pilot—which aired April 15, 1990—Jim Carrey played Woolery in a Love Connection parody. Robin Givens (played by Kim Coles) went on a date with Mike Tyson (Keenan Ivory Wayans) and ended up marrying him during the date. (As we know from history, the real-life marriage didn’t go so well.) The audience had to vote for three men: Tyson, John Kennedy Jr., and, um, Donald Trump. Tyson won with 41 percent of the vote and Trump came in second with 34 percent.

10. A PSYCHOLOGIST THOUGHT THE SHOW HAD A “MAGICAL HOPEFULNESS” QUALITY.

In 1986, People Magazine interviewed psychologist and teacher Dr. Richard Buck about why people were attracted to Love Connection. “Combine the fantasy of finding the perfect person with the instant gratification of being on TV, and the two are a powerful lure,” he said. “There’s a magical hopefulness to the show.”

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New Doctor Who Cast and Crew Are Coming to San Diego Comic-Con
Steve Schofield, BBC Worldwide
Steve Schofield, BBC Worldwide

Though Doctor Who fans got a glimpse of Jodie Whittaker as the Thirteenth Doctor in “Twice Upon a Time,” the iconic sci-fi series’s 2017 Christmas special, it will be a few more months until the first female Time Lord officially commandeers the TARDIS. While the new cast and crew have kept relatively mum on what to expect from the new season, which premieres in the fall, BBC America just announced that they’ll be gathering together in July to take part in their first-ever group panel at San Diego Comic-Con.

While Whittaker will be front and center on the panel, which will be hosted by Chris Hardwick, she’ll be joined by two of her three confirmed companions—Tosin Cole (who’ll play Ryan) and Mandip Gill (who’ll play Yasmin). Bradley Walsh, who is not confirmed to be in attendance, will play Whittaker’s main companion, Graham. Also joining the panel are executive producer Matt Strevens and writer-turned-showrunner Chris Chibnall, who has a long history with the series and with Whittaker (he’s the creator of Broadchurch, which saw former Doctor David Tennant star alongside new Doctor Whittaker).

“With this year’s highly-anticipated season packed full of action, adventure, humor and emotion, the panel will be the cast’s first-ever panel appearance ahead of Doctor Who premiering this fall on BBC AMERICA,” the network noted in a press release.

New faces both in front of and behind the cameras won’t be the only changes coming to the eleventh season of Doctor Who. Instead of 12 episodes, there will only be 10, though they will run slightly longer. While it’s not confirmed, it’s expected that the TARDIS will get a slight upgrade, too. But the most noticeable difference will be in the theme music: In February, the show’s longtime composer Murray Gold confirmed that he would not be returning for the new season. Which means that Whovians should prepare for a whole new look and sound.

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