Monday, January 4, 2010

M*A*S*H...with a black cast?

..well, not quite. But that was the intent with "Roll Out," a short-lived black-cast 1973 CBS series that was the brainchild of "MASH" TV show creators Larry Gelbert and Gene Reynolds. Rather than focusing on Korean War medics as did "MASH," "Roll Out" focused on the hi-jinks of the predominantly black 5050th Quartermaster Trucking Company in World War II. The show started Stu Gilliam, Hilly Hicks and Mel Stewart (best known as George Jefferson's brother Henry on a few eps of "All in the Family.")

Here's a photo from the St. Louis Dispatch's TV listing book for October, 1973:

So the question for today is, "Was the show funny?"


Which goes to show moonlighting--and I'm talking about Gelbert and Reynolds--is not always a good thing. "Roll Out" lasted 12 episodes and was later replaced in its CBS time slot with a show that had a lot more staying power (and laughs): "Good Times."

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