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Chicago Teddy Bears

By Director1616

The CBS show "The Chicago Teddy Bears" was a fun show for me that was never really given a chance to get off the ground. It's about a speakeasy owner ("Linc McCray', played by Dean Jones) who has a gangster cousin (played by Art Metrano) trying to muscle in on his establishment during the Roaring 20's. The comedy took a hit from a few of the T.V. critics, but I have copies of two episodes, and I think the comedy was even in tone, with the potential to grow - which sitcoms have all done to be successful. Even the classic "The Dick Van Dyke Show" was cancelled after the first season - only to the credit of Sheldon Leonard was it revived. I wish someone had fought for "The Chicago Teddy Bears" as hard.

For all the real zaniness of the 1920's, there could have been plenty of story episodes told each season and the comedy could have been very, very funny. This was during the time of the Vietnam War, and America needed a show showing happier times. To me, the carefree days of the Roaring 20's is always fun to look back on.

I think the timeslot (Fridays, 8:00 p.m.) that the show was assigned doomed the series before it got started, and I think CBS yanked the show too quickly (only 13 episodes were shot). I loved it as a kid, and I wish I could have been old enough to work on the show, because it should have been given a chance to be a success. With a cast of Dean Jones, Art Metrano, Jamie Farr, John Banner, and Huntz Hall among others, there is no reason why this show shouldn't have been a success. Besides, it has one of the greatest openings of any sitcom that I have ever seen.

 

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TV TIDBITS

Aired: 1971

Cast: Dean Jones, Jamie Farr

Network: CBS

Genre: Sitcom

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Use of this site is subject to our Terms of Service.
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