(The eighth entry in a month-long series about American TV crime dramas that debuted with fanfare, but are now largely forgotten.)
Title: Get Christie Love!
Starring: Teresa Graves and Charles Cioffi
Original Run: 1974-1975 (22 episodes, plus pilot), ABC-TV
Premise: Inspired generally by Dorothy Uhnak’s 1970 novel, The Ledger, but certainly influenced by “blaxploitation” films of its era, this show starred former Laugh-In regular Graves as the first African-American female undercover cop on the Los Angeles police force, working to bring down drug dealers and other high-risk malcontents. The big-’fro’d, bare-midriffed Ms. Love had a smile to melt hearts, but she could also protect herself in dangerous situations, whether with a few karate chops or several well-aimed swings of her capacious handbags. And she rarely failed to deliver her signature line when apprehending criminals: “You’re under arrest, Sugah.” Her initial LAPD supervisor was the perpetually concerned Lieutenant Matthew Reardon (Cioffi), replaced in later episodes by former Maverick co-star Jack Kelly as Captain Arthur Ryan.
Additional Notes: According to Wikipedia, this show grew out of a well-received ABC teleflick of the same title, shown in January 1974. But the subsequent series was “financed on a meager budget and [was] heavily sanitized to conform to Graves’ religious morals (she had become one of Jehovah’s Witnesses since the making of the TV film).”
Above: Get Christie Love!’s write-up in the September 7-13, 1974, Fall Preview edition of TV Guide. (Click to enlarge the image.) Below: A 1974 promotional spot for Graves’ series, plus its original main title sequence (with a theme sung by Luchi De Jesus).
READ MORE: “She’s a Cop, Oh Yeah!”: Get Christie Love!, by Hal Horn (The Horn Section).