Friday, July 3, 2020


uly, like March, is a month which has been hard for me to pigeonhole into a category for the Television Crossover Hall of Fame showcase.  But lately I have been championing qualified candidates from police and detective series.

And this year, we follow that trend….


From Wikipedia:
‘Ironside’ is an American television crime drama that aired on NBC over 8 seasons from 1967 to 1975. The show starred Raymond Burr as Robert T. Ironside, a consultant for the San Francisco police (usually addressed by the title Chief Ironside), who was paralyzed from the waist down after being shot while on vacation. The character debuted on March 28, 1967, in a TV movie titled “Ironside”.

When the series was broadcast in the United Kingdom, from late 1967 onwards, it was broadcast under the title ‘A Man Called Ironside’. The show earned Burr six Emmy and two Golden Globe nominations.
‘Ironside’ was a production of Burr's Harbour Productions Unlimited in association with Universal Television.

The series revolved around former San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) Chief of Detectives Robert T. Ironside (Raymond Burr), a veteran of more than 20 years of police service, forced to retire from the department after a sniper's bullet to the spine paralyzed him from the waist down, resulting in him having to use a wheelchair.

In the pilot episode, a television movie, Ironside shows his strength of character and gets himself appointed a "special department consultant" by his good friend, Police Commissioner Dennis Randall. He does this by calling a press conference and then tricking Commissioner Randall into meeting his terms. In the pilot, Ironside eventually solves the mystery of the ambush. He requests Ed Brown and Eve Whitfield be assigned to him.

Ironside uses a fourth-floor room (for living and office space) in the old San Francisco Hall of Justice building, which housed the city's police headquarters.

Although Ironside was good-hearted and honest, he often maintained a somewhat gruff persona.

Pilot episode was titled “A Man Called Ironside”.

Burr and the main cast reunited for a made-for-TV movie in 1993, “The Return of Ironside”, which aired on May 4, 1993 on NBC, not long before Burr's death. At the time, Burr was starring in a series of telefilms for NBC playing his most famous character, Perry Mason. In the intervening years between the end of Ironside in 1975 and the first Perry Mason movie in 1985, Burr's appearance had undergone some changes. His hair was grayer, he had gained a significant amount of weight, and after years of playing clean shaven characters he grew a beard.

Since nearly twenty years had passed since ‘Ironside’ left the air, and as he had been playing Perry Mason on television for the previous eight years, Burr felt that he was more associated with Perry Mason. He believed that in order to play Ironside properly and not confuse viewers, he would need to undergo a small makeover to distinguish the Ironside character from the more identifiable Perry Mason. Burr thus had his hair colored (which was unnecessary, since Burr was already gray-haired when Ironside originally aired) and cut his beard down to a goatee.

One thing Burr did not need to do, however, was pretend to be disabled. At the time the ‘Ironside’ reunion went into production, Burr had been suffering from kidney cancer that had metastasized to his liver, and the disease robbed him of the ability to stand or walk without assistance. Thus, like Ironside, Burr was forced to use a wheelchair to get around.

Unlike the original series, which took place in San Francisco, California, the reunion was set and filmed in Denver, Colorado, with the justification that the character Ed Brown had become the city's deputy chief of police. (Denver was also where most of Burr's Perry Mason TV movies were produced.) Galloway, Mitchell, Anderson, and Baur re-created their roles for the movie even though Anderson and Baur had not worked together at the same time on the original series.
The Chief and his team were involved in two crossovers with other series.  In 1971, an ‘Ironside’ TV-movie served as the “booster rocket” for ‘Sarge’ after the pilot launched it.

From Wikipedia:
'Sarge' is an American crime drama television series starring George Kennedy. The series aired for one season on NBC from September 1971 to January 1972.

Kennedy stars as Samuel Patrick Cavanaugh, a San Diego police detective sergeant who decides to retire and enter the priesthood after his wife is murdered. Sarge had initially studied for the priesthood prior to his police career, but his seminary studies were interrupted by military service during World War II.

The series, which ran in 1971-72, was preceded by a pilot titled "Sarge: The Badge or the Cross", (February 22, 1971 airdate) which set the premise for the subsequent series. One week before the show's fall premiere, on September 14, 1971, Cavanaugh traveled to San Francisco because of the death of a friend and fellow priest. His investigation caused him to cross paths with the characters from Ironside in a two-hour special that consolidated the two series' consecutive time slots. This has been subsequently seen as a TV-movie, "The Priest Killer".

And then a year later, there was a two-part crossover with the anthology series ‘The Bold Ones’, the segment dedicated to ‘The New Doctors’.

Episode: Five Days in the Death of Sgt. Brown
While in Los Angeles to testify for a trial against gangster Frank Harmon, Ed is shot and falls off the balcony of his hotel room. He is then taken to the Craig Institute where he undergoes emergency surgery. Although the bullet wounds were non-life threatening, Ed suffers a broken back in the fall and some damage to his spine. The scarring leaves him paralyzed and only an experimental surgical procedure is the only option to regaining his mobility. Also, even though all the evidence points to Harmon, Ironside has doubts that he was the person responsible for the attempted hit. Also, the chief begins having flashbacks to the night he was shot and paralyzed.  

The Bold Ones: The New Doctors
Episode: Five Days in the Death of Sgt. Brown: Part II
Sgt. Ed Brown decides to go through with the surgical procedure that will hopefully restore mobility to his legs. The procedure involves the a process where his nerves will be reconnected in a procedure invented by Dr. Ritter as well as an infusion of polypeptides administered by Dr. Paul Hunter. However, a complication arises when the daughter of Dr. Ritter, the man who will be performing the surgery, is kidnapped by someone who was hired by the person who wants to see Ed dead. Also, Chief Ironside has flashbacks to the events surrounding his own paralysis and confinement to a wheelchair.

So here are the titles which got Ironside into the Hall.

Pilot Movie

198 Episodes, including:

Crossover with 'Sarge'


Crossover with 'The New Doctors'

Reunion movie

Perry Mason is already a member of the TVXOHOF, so he’ll now join a man with whom he has a lot in common.  And Ed Brown is already a member of the Hall as well.

Welcome to the Hall, Chief Ironside! You’ll find the place wheelchair accessible….