1 9 8 0 (USA)
8 x 30 minute episodes
This short-lived crime-fighting comedy from ABC starred Ron Moody as English detective Roger Hart, who was temporarily assigned to the 22nd Precinct in San Francisco in a foreign exchange programme.
Here, Hart reports to Lieutenant Vince DeGennaro (Michael Durrell) and is teamed up with a junior detective, Jennifer Dempsey (Cassie Yates).
The main basis of the comedy was Hart’s absent-mindedness, persistent clumsiness, and the juxtaposition of his English urbanity and the American cops’ (comparative) uncouthness. Despite this – and often despite himself – Hart always managed to solve his cases.
One can gauge the level of humour from an incident in the opening episode when Hart so startles a man waiting to jump off the Golden Gate Bridge that the would-be suicide topples over the edge and plummets into the water.
The eight episodes were filmed by ABC in 1979 but the series’ planned launch that September was postponed.
The first problem was the proposed title, Hart In San Francisco, which was deemed too close to the popular crime series Hart To Hart.
The main problem was the content: the series simply was not funny – and when it finally reached the screen a year later, viewers agreed.
In Britain the series was renamed Hart Of The Yard when it was screened by ITV because within four weeks of the premiere episode, the network was due to screen a new British-made sitcom also called Nobody’s Perfect.
Det. Inspector Roger Hart
Det. Jennifer Dempsey
Lt. Vince de Gennaro
Hart In San Francisco | It Was A Very Good Year | What’s On Third? | The Return of the Ocelot | The Hart is Good For Jogging | Hart In Jail | Daddy’s Day | You Gotta Have Hart