It’s not really news now, but I discovered the death of Stephen J. Cannell yesterday. While using the facilities, I picked up a discarded copy of Entertainment Weekly that so happened to be in there, and I saw a big picture of Cannell with the caption “1941-2010.” I was disappointed, to say the least.
Cannell has been responsible for some of the best TV shows of all time. A lot of the shows I used to watch religiously were imagined by Cannell. Although he created, wrote, and produced far more than this, these are the ones that I particularly loved:
- The Greatest American Hero: I haven’t watched it years. The theme song is awesome. I think it was a spoof, if I’m remembering right. I was awfully young.
- Hunter: I never used to like this show, but I enjoyed the attempt to revive it. I’d probably try to catch it if I knew of some reruns.
- The A-Team: Only one of the best shows of all time! “I love it when a plan comes together!”
- 21 Jumpstreet: Kid cops, undercover, in high schools and colleges… launched Johnny Depp’s career.
- Silk Stalkings: A late-90s guilty pleasure for me. It really was more than just hot women wearing skimpy lingerie in every other scene–the murder mysteries were pretty good, too!
Turns out, Cannell also wrote several novels between producing and writing TV shows. Someone we writers can really look up to, since not all of us can make a full-time career out of putting our thoughts on paper, at least in fiction purely of our own creation.
Rest in peace, man!