#4. BJ and the Bear--NBC (1979-1981)
This show was about a trucker called BJ who traveled around the South in his big rig with his pet chimp, "The Bear." Together, they had all sorts of adventures roaming the highways and running into trouble with the law. But by the end of every episode they always managed to find time for a laugh, a lesson learned and a sexual misadventure with a drifter.
We may have made up that drifter bit. The chimp thing is true though.
#3. The Man from Atlantis--NBC (1977-1978)
Patrick Duffy has webbed toes and gills, and together with a beautiful doctor and a team of government agents, he roams the seas fighting undersea crime. (Okay, technically it was the character played by Patrick Duffy who had webbed toes, but we wanted to see if we could mess up some search engines this way.)
When he wasn't foiling evil aquatic-based schemes, Patrick Duffy also managed to travel back in time to the Wild West and Medieval Italy. The Medieval Italy episode was particularly remarkable, due to the fact that he managed to meet famous Italians Romeo and Juliet, who didn't seem the least bit surprised to find out they were non-fictional characters.
Also, in another episode the polar ice caps melted, but in Man from Atlantis canon it turns out that this isn't that big a deal, and is in fact easily fixed within an hour of plot (including commercial breaks) if you have webbed toes.
#2. Quark--NBC (1977-1978)
Quark was about the wacky crew of an interstellar garbage truck. The ensemble consisted of the dour captain, two sexy twins, a hermaphrodite, a plant creature-who, thriftily, looks exactly like a human-and the saddest-looking robot you've ever seen. Throughout the show's short run, the crew traveled the interstellar garbage lanes getting into mishaps, and, we're guessing, probably solving some manner of space-crime as well. Astoundingly enough, this preposterous show was nominated for an Emmy. What could it possibly have been nominated for, you ask?
That's right. Costume design.
#1. The 100 Lives of Black Jack Savage--NBC (1991)
In order to escape a lifetime of eternal torment, 17th century pirate Black Jack Savage must save one life for every one he's taken. Left to haunt a Caribbean fortress until the present day, he teams up with a Wall Street con artist on the run from his own demons. Together they must use their wits, guile, and a high tech speedboat to save 100 lives-and in the process, both of their souls. (Think My Name is Earl, but with pirates and no writing staff.) Sadly, they came up a little short of the 100 necessary lives when the show was cancelled for being stupid.
Little-known fact: series co-star Roma Downey would later take this idea, remove the pirates and re-pitch it to CBS as Touched by an Angel. Longtime fans of TBAA will recall the pilot episode featuring a high-tech speedboat chase and a cache of hidden gold.