16 May 2008 | raysond
Commentary on the short-lived series "Hawk" starring Burt Reynolds
"HAWK" was a crime drama/police series with a twist that made it difference from all other cop shows that were around during the 1960's. The series,starring Burt Reynolds came around after his stint as Quint Asper,the "half-breed" blacksmith/assistant deputy ended during his tenture on "Gunsmoke" from 1962-1965 whom he starred in 50 episodes.
His new status in this series would be totally different,and it would be known that "HAWK" was the first detective series to feature an Native-American in a positive role. And this short-lived series would be some four years before he would star in another detective series "Dan August". Of the 17 episodes that this series produced,it was filmed on location in New York City and in color and it ran on ABC-TV from September 8,1966 until December 29,1966. It was one of the shortest shows that premiered on the ABC fall line-up for the 1966-1967 season. "HAWK" lasted no more than four months on the air but it had a great premise. When it premiered it had some strong competition opposite on the network's Thursday night line-up where it went up against "The Dean Martin Show",the situation comedy series "My Three Sons",not to mention "The CBS Thursday Night Movie" which clobbered it in the ratings. Burt Reynolds character of Lt. John Hawk was a full-blooded Iroquois Indian assigned to the District Attorney's Office in New York City. He works the nightbeat(or graveyard shift)with his partner Detective Dan Carter(Wayne Grice)and is assigned cases under the Assistant District Attorney Murray Slaken(Bruce Glover)and the Assistant District Attorney Ed Gorton(Leon Janney). The cases where he was involved with sent him from the rich and the poor from the exclusive penthouses along Park Avenue,to the run down tenaments of the West Side. Some of the stories from this series were literate and intriguing not to mention brilliant(coming from the same producers who were behind "The Defenders","East Side/West Side",and "Naked City" with other dramatic shows that exploded during that era)writing from this series coming from the talents of Edward Adler,Donald Mankiewicz and Albert Ruben. Not to mention some excellent directing from Paul Henreid, Alexander Singer,Leonard Horn,Richard Benedict,Tom Donavan,and one episode that put Burt Reynolds behind the camera in a emotional episode titled "Blind Man's Buff".
Some of the episodes that this series produced were excellent in their own right which included not only "Blind Man's Buff",but also "Wall of Silence","The Hands of Corbin Claybrooke","Some Devil Whispered in his Ear",and "H Is A Dirty Letter". The guest stars that came onboard were some of the finest and it featured an array of talent that consisted of Gene Hackman, Robert Duvall,Martin Sheen, Frank Converse,Diana Muldaur, Diane Baker,Ossie Davis,Bradford Dillman,and Louise Sorel. However,the star of this series of Burt Reynolds himself who was half-Indian. Originally aired on ABC from 9/8/1966 thru 12/29/1966 and was cancelled after 17 episodes. However,ABC found a replacement for this series in January of 1967. However,ten years later after it was cancelled in 1966 and hoping to capitalize on Burt Reynolds' later development into a huge celebrity not to mention box office star,NBC-TV aired repeated episodes during April of 1976 thru August of 1976 in prime-time