T.H.E. Cat
Robert Loggia 1966.jpg
Robert Loggia in T.H.E. Cat
GenreAction drama
Crime drama
Created byHarry Julian Fink
Written byRonald Austin
James D. Buchanan
Harry Julian Fink
Robert Hamner
Herman Miller
Bernard C. Schoenfeld
Jack Turley
Directed byAlan Crosland, Jr.
Paul Baxley
Don McDougall
Maurice Vaccarino
Boris Sagal
Jacques Tourneur
StarringRobert Loggia
R. G. Armstrong
Robert Carricart
ComposersLalo Schifrin
Gerald Fried
Ruby Raksin
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes26
Production
ProducerBoris Sagal
Running time30 minutes
Production companyNBC Productions
DistributorNBC Films
Release
Original networkNBC
Original releaseSeptember 16, 1966 (1966-09-16) –
March 31, 1967 (1967-03-31)

T.H.E. Cat is an American action drama that aired on NBC Fridays from 9:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. during the 1966–1967 television season.[1]

The series was co-sponsored by R.J. Reynolds (Winston) and Lever Brothers and was created by Harry Julian Fink.

Robert Loggia starred as the title character, Thomas Hewitt Edward Cat.[1] The series preceded the 1968–1970 ABC television series It Takes a Thief, which was also about a cat burglar who used his skills for good.

Synopsis

Out of the night comes a man who saves lives at the risk of his own. Once a circus performer, an aerialist who refused the net. Once a cat burglar, a master among jewel thieves. Now a professional bodyguard. Primitive... savage... in love with danger. The Cat![2]

The series had a hero who was a reformed thief, having spent an unspecified term in prison,[3] and of Romani heritage. In the mold of famed private eye Peter Gunn and the waterfront bar Mother's, Cat operated out of the Casa Del Gato (House of the Cat) in San Francisco, of which he was part owner. Thomas (The Cat) was a master of the martial arts who used his skills numerous times to stop antagonists in his pursuit of justice for the downtrodden, and for his various clients. He always worked on the side of the law, occasionally using his skills for the local police. His police contact was Police Capt. McAllister, a man with only one hand. R. G. Armstrong played McAllister in 12 episodes of the series.[4] Cat was also a master gymnast and acrobatic artist, who used his acquired skills as a circus performer to get into places that the police could not reach.[5]

Casting

Series star Robert Loggia had previously played a character known as "the Cat" in the 1958–60 Walt Disney television miniseries The Nine Lives of Elfego Baca, in which Loggia played Baca, an Old West Mexican-American lawman whose nickname was "the Cat", a fact viewers were reminded of each week in the series' theme song.[6] The series ran for 10 episodes and was recut into a feature movie.

After T.H.E. Cat, Loggia, an actor with a long history of film and television credits, went on to star in a number of high-profile hit Hollywood films, including An Officer and a Gentleman, Scarface, Sylvester Stallone's Over the Top, the Tom Hanks hit film Big, and the science fiction action film Independence Day.[7] In 1985, Loggia was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of crusty private detective Sam Ransom in the thriller Jagged Edge and had the starring role in another NBC series, Mancuso, FBI, for which he was nominated for an Emmy in 1989.[8]

Reception

Though T.H.E. Cat was popular among children and teens, the series fared poorly in the ratings overall, a situation that prompted its cancellation after a single season.[9]

Episodes

No. Title Directed by Written by Original air date
1"To Kill a Priest"Boris SagalHarry Julian FinkSeptember 16, 1966 (1966-09-16)
An extortionist vows to kill a priest (Jason Evers) who tells fishermen not to pay protection money.
2"The Sandman"Boris SagalJames D. Buchanan & Ronald AustinSeptember 23, 1966 (1966-09-23)
Sanderson, a cat burglar who mentored Cat, needs to steal a gem called The Portuguese so he can return it to the owner he once stole it from.
3"Payment Overdue"Boris SagalRobert HamnerSeptember 30, 1966 (1966-09-30)
The press agent for a Casa del Gato singer is killed, and Cat sets out to find out why.
4"The Brotherhood"Maurice VaccarinoHarry Julian FinkOctober 7, 1966 (1966-10-07)
The Brotherhood will kill a girl if Cat doesn't bring them an ex-cop being released from prison.
5"Little Arnie from Long Ago"Don McDougallJames D. Buchanan & Ronald AustinOctober 14, 1966 (1966-10-14)
McAllister wants revenge on the ex-con, Arnie (James Whitmore), who shot his hand off 30 years ago. Arnie, fresh out of prison, plans to return to a life of crime, but other criminals, such as Drummer (Jack Gilford), realize he's now living in the past.
6"None to Weep, None to Mourn"Harvey HartHerman MillerOctober 21, 1966 (1966-10-21)
A Copic man dies and his son must spend the night by his father's corpse. The widow (Diana Muldaur), believes her son will be killed, and hires Cat to protect him.
7"Moment of Truth"John RichJohn O'Dea & Arthur RoweOctober 28, 1966 (1966-10-28)
Pepe asks Cat to protect a crippled ex-matador, but a singer (Linda Cristal) tells Cat to stay away from the man.
8"Marked for Death"Alan Crosland, Jr.George F. Slavin & Stanley AdamsNovember 4, 1966 (1966-11-04)
Gypsies want to execute Pepe, but Cat risks his own life to save him. Albert Salmi and Michael Constantine are guest stars.
9"Crossing at Destino Bay"Boris SagalRobert E. ThompsonNovember 18, 1966 (1966-11-18)
Passengers are held hostage at a ferry waiting room. One of them hired Cat for protection. Robert Duval is a guest star.
10"To Bell T.H.E. Cat"Sutton RoleyBernard C. SchoenfeldNovember 25, 1966 (1966-11-25)
A young woman sketching at an outdoor cafe witnesses a murder. Cat must find out if she is an innocent bystander or an accomplice to the true villain (Henry Darrow).
11"Curtains for Miss Winslow"Herschel DaughertyBernard C. SchoenfeldDecember 2, 1966 (1966-12-02)
A reclusive actress living in an closed theater hires Cat to protect her from a murderer.
12"King of Limpets"Boris SagalHerman MillerDecember 9, 1966 (1966-12-09)
Cat is hired to protect a boy from villains, but no one will tell Cat who the youth is. John Dehner is a guest star.
13"The System"Don McDougallRobert HamnerDecember 16, 1966 (1966-12-16)
Cat rescues a kidnapped mathematician. Why does a prince want the man back?
14"The Canary Who Lost His Voice"Joseph PevneyShimon WincelbergDecember 23, 1966 (1966-12-23)
A woman (Pert Kelton) hires Cat to save a man (James Dunn) from a criminal. But is the woman working for the criminal?
15"The Ring of Anasis"Jacques TourneurHerman MillerDecember 30, 1966 (1966-12-30)
Cat is hired to protect a man (William Daniels) who believes he is meant to be sacrificed. Someone tries to kill the suspects.
16"Queen of Diamonds, Knave of Hearts"Boris SagalJack TurleyJanuary 6, 1967 (1967-01-06)
Cat's friend needs the return of the necklace she gave to a blackmailer (Cesar Romero).
17"A Hot Place to Die"Paul BaxleyJack TurleyJanuary 13, 1967 (1967-01-13)
A couple on the run have evidence to convict a criminal. They hire Cat for protection.
18"A Slight Family Trait"Boris SagalJack TurleyJanuary 20, 1967 (1967-01-20)
A young lady tries to open the safe of a king. Her mother, an old friend of Cat, doesn't want her daughter to follow the family business of thievery.
19"If Once You Fail"Maurice VaccarinoHarry Julian FinkJanuary 27, 1967 (1967-01-27)
Cat is courting a doctor who witnesses a murder, and can identify the killer. When Cat fails to save her life he sets himself up as bait to find her assassin.
20"Design for Death"Alan Crosland, Jr.Jack TurleyFebruary 3, 1967 (1967-02-03)
Cat attends a fashion show where a model is murdered. Thieves want the package she planned to give to a friend. Henry Darrow is a guest star.
21"Matter Over Mind"Boris SagalJames D. Buchanan & Ronald AustinFebruary 10, 1967 (1967-02-10)
A soothsayer (Sally Kellerman) tells a man that Cat is coming after him, and that Cat must be killed.
22"The Blood-Red Night"Bert FreedBernard C. SchoenfeldFebruary 17, 1967 (1967-02-17)
An elderly lady (Cathleen Nesbitt) owns a cursed ruby. She hires Cat to protect her until the gem is cut into smaller stones to break the curse. John Hoyt is a guest star.
23"The Ninety Percent Blues"Harry HarrisRobert HamnerFebruary 24, 1967 (1967-02-24)
A night club owner (Warren Stevens) demands that a comic sign away 90% of his wages to stay alive. The comic's girlfriend hired Cat for protection.
24"The Long Chase"Paul BaxleyRobert HamnerMarch 10, 1967 (1967-03-10)
Police Lieutenant Lassiter (John Marley) asks Cat to rescue a nurse held hostage by a killer (Robert Duvall) who once saved Cat's life.
25"Twenty-One and Out"Paul StanleyPreston WoodMarch 24, 1967 (1967-03-24)
Cat's friend (Susan Oliver) is to testify against a criminal. Cat tries to protect her, but she is tired of hiding and insists on traveling. John Marley guest stars as Lieutenant Lassiter.
26"Lisa"Jud TaylorJames D. Buchanan & Ronald AustinMarch 31, 1967 (1967-03-31)
A man is killed outside of Casa del Gato. He was bringing Cat a message from Lisa (Diana Van der Vlis), an acquaintance who specializes in double-crossing partners in crime. Victor Buono is a guest star.

Cast

Loggia and Armstrong
Loggia and Armstrong

Guest stars: Chris Alcaide, Barbara Stuart, Steve Ihnat, Robert Duvall, Laura Devon, Yvonne Romain, Sorrell Booke, Diana Muldaur, Linda Cristal

See also

References

  1. ^ a b Brooks, Tim and Marsh, Earl, The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows 1946 – Present, 1st Edition, page 606, Ballantine Books, 1979
  2. ^ "A TV Series Review by Michael Shonk: T.H.E. CAT (1966–67)". mysteryfile.com.
  3. ^ Gowran, Clay (October 31, 1966). "Plan More Kisses for Bone Busting Cat". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved September 4, 2016.
  4. ^ "T.H.E. Cat". IMDb. 16 September 1966.
  5. ^ "- YouTube". YouTube.
  6. ^ "Elfago Baca". Legends: Outlaws & Lawmen. Boulder, Colorado, USA: Active Interest Media, Inc. June 2013. Special edition of American Cowboy magazine. Page 28: "Walt Disney, the only producer of 1950s TV Westerns to focus on minority issues, powerfully told the full story of Baca's career in a ten-episode mini-series for ABC between 1958–1960, starring Robert Loggia. The title The Nine Lives of Elfago Baca, played off the hero's nickname 'El Gato', 'the cat'."
  7. ^ Kenneth Turan (July 2, 1996). "Independence Day review". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on June 19, 2008. Retrieved July 8, 2008.
  8. ^ "Mancuso Fbi".
  9. ^ "Robert Loggia".