Mon, 03/08/2010

Stephen J. Cannell on "Wiseguy"

Wiseguy: The Collector's Edition gets released on DVD tomorrow. Although short-lived (it ran from 1987-90), Wiseguy garnered Emmy nominations for Best Drama series and acting nominations for star Ken Wahl and supporting player Jonathan Banks; Wahl was awarded the Golden Globe. Harry and Wally's Favorite TV Shows (by Harry Castleman & Walter J. Podrazik), said of the then-contemporary series: "When producer Stephen J. Cannell gets it right, he somehow manages to combine action, adventure, drama, character, whimsy, and poignancy into a form that a mass audience can relate to and critics can applaud....Ken Wahl may have the looks of a pretty-boy hunk, but he adds some spice to the beef in his portrayal of Vinnie.... The writing is top-notch and the acting (especially by the guests) is far above average." Variety said of the series premiere: "Ken Wahl comes smashing through.... production moves like an express train [in] what's essentially as actioner but has all indications that, despite the plethora of violence, there are human beings with feelings at work there."

Creator Stephen J. Cannell talks about Wiseguy in his Archive of American Television interview, discussing where the seed of the series' idea came from and his fidelity to the series' story arcs concept.