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NBC Will Replace 'Private Eye,' 'Riches' With Action Shows

December 16, 1987|DIANE HAITHMAN | Times Staff Writer

NBC has canceled two of its Friday night series--"Rags to Riches" and "Private Eye"--and will replace them with two hourlong action shows, but not for another two months.

The new series that will bracket "Miami Vice" in the NBC lineup are "Sonny Spoon," a detective show starring Mario Van Peebles, and "The Highwayman," based on an NBC made-for-TV movie that aired in September and featured an undercover lawman working out of a high-tech truck.

"Private Eye," a stylized, first-year police drama produced by Anthony Yerkovich, will continue to run through Jan. 15. "Rags to Riches," a musical romp set in the 1960s about a wealthy bachelor who adopts a group of teen-age girls, will conclude the following week, Jan. 22. It premiered last March.

"Sonny Spoon" will take over "Private Eye's" 10 p.m. Friday time slot beginning Feb. 12. "The Highwayman" will premiere at 8 p.m. March 4. NBC plans to run specials in that time slot during February.

The network also said in its announcement Monday that two other drama series will switch time periods. "J. J. Starbuck" will move to Saturdays at 10 p.m. Dec. 26, replacing "Hunter," which will move to Tuesday nights at 9 p.m. on Dec. 29.

"The Highwayman," a New West production in association with Glen Larson, stars Sam Jones as the undercover lawman who operates out of the fancy 18-wheel truck. Among Larson's previous production credits is "Knight Rider," another NBC series about a crime-fighter working out of a high-tech car.

"Sonny Spoon," an NBC Production in association with Stephen J. Cannell Productions, stars Van Peebles as "an unorthodox yet savvy detective" whose office is an out-of-order phone booth. The show also stars Joe Shea as Sonny's assistant and Terry Donahoe as an assistant district attorney.

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