Friday, April 23, 2010

Featured Icons: Charlie’s Angels – Pioneering Television Show, The Original “Girls Who Kick Ass!”

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Charlie's Angels was a television series about three women who work for a private investigation agency, and is one of the first shows to showcase women in roles traditionally reserved for men. The series was broadcast in the USA on the ABC Television Network from 1976 to 1981 and was one of the most successful series of the 1970s. Charlie's Angels was created by Ivan Goff and Ben Roberts and produced by Aaron Spelling and Leonard Goldberg. In pre-production, the original proposed title was The Alley Cats with the idea being that the show would be a vehicle for upcoming actress Kate Jackson who had proved very popular with viewers in another police drama, "The Rookies". Another title considered was Harry's Angels, but was changed to "Charlie's Angels" as not to conflict with another television series Harry O.

The Premise:

Three women, the Angels (originally Kate Jackson, Farrah Fawcett-Majors, and Jaclyn Smith), graduated from the Los Angeles police academy only to be assigned such duties as handling switchboards and directing traffic. They quit and were hired to work for the Charles Townsend Agency as private investigators. Their boss, Charlie (voiced by John Forsythe), is never seen full face — in some episodes the viewer gets to see the back of his head and his arms, talking through a phone while surrounded by beautiful women — assigning cases to the Angels and his liaison, Bosley (played by David Doyle), via a speaker phone. As the show progressed, Fawcett-Majors and Jackson both eventually left the show for other projects. Fawcett was replaced by Cheryl Ladd as Kris Munroe, Jill's sister and a former police officer from San Francisco. Jackson was replaced by Shelley Hack as Tiffany Welles, a former police officer from Boston. In the final season Tanya Roberts replaced Hack as Julie Rogers, a former model turned detective.

Like other American TV crime shows of the 1970s, Charlie's Angels was generally formatted in the way of a procedural drama.


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