Kate Bliss

Created by William Bowers, John Rester Zodrow

Right after wrapping up her role as Emily on the popular The Bob Newhart Show, actress Suzanne Pleshette, still riding high, lit out for the territories, popped up in a string of TV pilots, all of them unsuccessful.  In the 1978 rom com Kate Bliss and The Ticker Tape Kid, she played KATE BLISS, a private investigator in the last days of the Old West.

It was the pilot for a potential series, which had Bliss setting up her shingle in a tough frontier town, who’s hired to protect Lord Seymour Devery, a stuffy British land baron (played by Tony Randall), who has swindled more than a few local ranch owners out of their property. But she soon crosses paths with Clint Allison, better known as the Ticker Tape Kid, a former stockbroker from back East who’s transformed himself into a self-styled Robin Hood-type outlaw.

I dunno… although it may have reminded some viewers of Support Your Local Gunfighter at times, a popular 1971 comic western that starred Pleshette alongside James Garner (and, coincidentally, was also directed by Burt Kennedy), Don Meredith was no James Garner. And really, after playing the smart, sassy and decidedly urban Emily for so long, casting Pleshette as a “detective” in a wedding gown being dragged around on the ground by some guy in some horse opera might not have been the hilarious stroke of genius the producers (who included Aaron Spelling) thought it would be.

There was no series.


    (1978, ABC)
    Premiere: May 26, 1978
    Written by William Bowers, John Rester Zodrow
    Directed by Burt Kennedy
    An Aaron Spelling Production
    Starring Suzanne Pleshette as KATE BLISS
    With Don Meredith as The Ticker Tape Kid
    and Tony Randall as Lord Seymour Devery
    with Deborah Sahagun, Harry Morgan, David Huddleston, Burgess Meredith, Buck Taylor, Jerry Hardin, Gene Evans, Harry Carey Jr.
Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith. Thanks to Jeff Schofield for the tip.

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