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Short-Lived Shows: Coronet Blue - VIDEO

by Bob Sassone, posted Apr 22nd 2008 9:42AM

Coronet Blue logo

This is a post about a TV show I've never even seen.

Coronet Blue was a short-lived TV show that ran on CBS in 1967. It was actually filmed in 1965 and CBS canceled it, deciding to burn off the episodes during the summer. The show actually did better than expected, but by that time the people involved in the show had moved on to other things. The show's star, Frank Converse, went on to N.Y.P.D. (hey, if you mix that show title with this one you get...NYPD Blue!).

Converse starred as an amnesiac man, Michael Alden, who climbs out of the water one day. He has no idea what happened to him or what's going on in his life, except the two words he was mumbling when he got out of the water: "Coronet Blue." Oh, and he's also being hunted by spies who want to kill him for some reason. Who is Michael Alden? Where did he come from? And what the heck do the words "Coronet Blue" mean?

Viewers of the show never found out, though I did a post a while back that has the answer (don't click unless you want to be spoiled - though who knows if this particular 60s show will ever be released on DVD).

The show had a lot of great guest stars, including Jon Voight, Candice Bergen, Richard Kiley, and David Carradine, all in one episode! Other stars who made an appearance on the show were Alan Alda, Hal Holbrook, Juliet Mills, Roy Scheider, Dick Clark, Brenda Vaccaro, and Billy Dee Williams. This show really does need to be released on DVD (or remade - maybe the show can be like Lost and attract fans who record the show and trade theories and speculate on the web about what the words "Coronet Blue" mean - though not all shows with continuing mysteries do well on TV).

And now for your pleasure, the opening credits to the show. Wow, Alden sure did a lot of running and punching. The theme song is really cool. They don't do theme songs/openings like this anymore.

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Though I never saw Coronet Blue (I was born in 1973), I have always loved Frank Converse and wondered why he never became a bigger star. He was on another short lived series, Family Tree, in the mid-80's with Anne Archer, which my mom and I actually liked. But I remember him best from his stint on One Life to Live. he played Harry O'Neill, who unfortunately stuck up a romance with Viki Buchanan's alter ego Niki Smith. Harry was shot and killed while trying to save "Niki" from Mitch Laurence.

April 22 2008 at 4:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
David D

Oops... sorry... I didn't read the whole post above. Click on the link and you'll find the information. My apologies. And I loved the show.

April 22 2008 at 12:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
David D

I can't go looking for it right now, but if you do a search of the show and "Larry Cohen," you'll find a recent interview with an explanation of who Michael was and what would eventually be revealed if the show continued. It's actually pretty subversive.

April 22 2008 at 12:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Toby O\'B

For anybody in the NYC area, the Paley Center for Media has about 3 or 4 episodes, including the first one, available for viewing.

In the first, he took the name Michael Alden from the first name of his attending physician after he came out of his coma, and his last name from the hospital - Alden Hospital. (This ties the series in with another Brodsky production, 'The Nurses'!)

In that opening theme you see the two other regulars of the series - Joe Silver who played Max (He ran a hipster coffeehouse, which was sort of Alden's base of operations), and Brian Bedford, who was a defrocked monk named Anthony. (Silver had one of the most distinctive voices in the business!)

One of those shows I loved immediately and the episodes that I've seen since have pretty much held up.

'Coronet Blue' falls into that very exclusive club of shows that are cancelled before their central mystery is solved, and then it's up to the producer to reveal what may have happened had it continued. More recently, 'Reunion' and 'The Nine' fall into that category as well.

If they ever did release a boxed set of 'Coronet Blue', I'd like to see somebody write a tie-in novel to go along with it, to tie up the loose ends!

Or even film a follow-up to air on somebody else's show, like they used to do on 'Diagnosis Murder'. Frank Converse is still around, right? He could play Alden forty years on!

April 22 2008 at 9:59 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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