Ironside and Amy Prentiss

Amy Prentiss (1974 - 1975)
Ironside (1967 - 1975)
Type: Spin Off
Group 36

   Ironside was a crime drama starring Raymond Burr as Robert T. Ironside. Ironside had been the San Francisco Police Department's Chief of Detectives. Unfortunately he did not sense the potential irony in his last name. If he had he might have been able to avoid his fate. While on vacation Ironside was shot by an attacker and ended up paralyzed from the waist down. Confined to a wheelchair he took on a new role as Special Consultant to the Commissioner Of Police. Ironside formed a team consisting of police officers and his personal assistant Mark Sanger that worked to fight crime in San Francisco and to maybe, just maybe learn a little something about life... and love. No... wait... that's incorrect. They just fought crime.

   They did a good and popular job of it too. An eight year run is pretty dang impressive. With tons of people tuning in week after week for that long a time to watch the show it's no huge surprise that the NBC would want to use it to try and start another show. On in May of 1974 America met a new San Francisco cop: Amy Prentiss.

   In a two hour episode of Ironside called both "Amy Prentiss" and "The Chief" we were introduced to Amy Prentiss (duh) who was (again... duh) the new Chief Of Detectives. Keep in mind that this was the mid-seventies. This was before girls named Buffy were capping vampires and female super spies named Sydney were kicking the buts of men and women. Heck, this was even before Charlie's Angels were showing women could be standard issue (although smoking hot) private investigators. The girl power had yet to be really hooked up yet. A woman wasn't supposed to be regular cop let alone Chief Of Detectives. That was part of the hook: Amy Prentiss fighting crime while also having to fight sexism and prove she could get the job done.

   And at the start of things she had Ironside and his team backing her up. Well... at least on her first case. By the end of that first case on Ironside she had proven herself enough to get both the job and a show of her own.

   Well... kind of a show of her own. See NBC used to have this show called The NBC Sunday Mystery Movie. The Mystery Movie was the over arching title for a group of two hour long shows that rotated week to week. Hey, full equality takes time. Ya gotta take what you can get. And actually truth be told it wasn't such a bad spot to be in. The NBC Mystery Movie was a near institution back in the day and many classic TV shows were actually spokes in the Mystery Movie wheel: Columbo, McCloud, McMillan And Wife... the list goes on. And to this day anyone who saw the show still has the opening burned into their mind. It featured the beam of a flashlight cutting through the night. So if you've ever watch Mystery Science Theater 3000 and wondered why Joel and the bots quip, "Hey it's The NBC Mystery Movie," any time someone is shown running through the night with a flashlight... that's why.

   Anyway, for the 1974 - 1975 season Amy Prentiss got to be on Team Flashlight. Once approximately every four weeks Amy Prentiss popped up on Sunday night and kicked some criminal heinder. Sadly because of the rotation, not counting her Ironside adventure, she only got to actually kick three heinders. The series only went three episodes. But, hey, they were two hour episodes so that's actually like six episodes of a normal series. Gee... that still isn't helping is it. Well... if you count Ironside that adds two more hours. So that would make 8 hours! And, hey, if it was a half hour show that would equal 16 episodes. That's almost a full season! See... that's... pretty, um, good.

   Oh who am I fooling. Amy was out there trying to show women had what it takes and the man just slapped her down. Damn you "The Man"!!! You sit there all smug and secure in the 70's because Buffy, Syndey Bristow, Cagney and Lacey, Wonder Woman, La Femme Nikita... they're all coming to lay the smack down on ya! And don't look for Amy Prentiss to come help you. You cancelled her ass! Boo!!!!

Other Ironside Links
Ironside and The Sarge

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