Charlie's Angels

1976 | United States

This much maligned series from the late seventies has, believe it or not, reached cult status in more recent times and spawned a blockbuster movie starring four brand new stars as well as the original Charlie himself. A British channel even went as far as devoting a whole night of programmes, almost twenty years after the show ceased to be, in celebration of the series that was regarded as the pioneer of 'jiggle' broadcasting. To explain the term 'jiggle' you need go no further than Angel's star Farrah Fawcett-Majors summation of the entire series: "When the show went to No.3 I figured it was because of our acting. When it got to be No.1, I realised it was because none of us wears a bra." 

The Angels in question were three LAPD officers, Sabrina Duncan (Kate Jackson), Kelly Garrett (Jaclyn Smith), and Jill Monroe (Fawcett-Majors), who were taken away from their mundane duties of checking parking meters and writing out tickets by Charlie Townsend (voiced by John Forsythe), the wealthy head of Townsend Investigations. Their missions, given to them over the telephone by the never-seen Charlie, invariably required the Angels to work undercover in a variety of roles such as models, health-spa attendants or anything else that led to them being dressed in skimpy outfits. Bosley (David Doyle) would pass on any messages from Charlie once the girls were involved in an investigation. 

The first cast change came when Fawcett-Majors left to pursue a film career and was replaced by (in the storyline) her younger sister Kris (Cheryl Ladd, daughter-in-law of Hollywood star Alan). Further cast changes followed, Tiffany Wells (former Charlie perfume girl Shelley Hack) was bought in only to be replaced by Julie Rogers (Tanya Roberts). Jaclyn Smith survived until the series came to and end. 

The big production movie, which was released in 2000 and became a big box-office success starred former Ally McBeal co-star Lucy Liu, Cameron Diaz and Drew Barrymore as the Angels and Bill Murray as Bosley. The action packed stunt-filled movie was responsible for kick-starting an entire Charlie's Angels revival and it wasn't long before a sequel was made. Alas, the second big screen outing lacked all the charm and excitement of the first and interest soon dwindled. However, in 2011 ABC in America decided the time was right to announce a 13-episode reboot. Their timing was way off and the series was cancelled after just four episodes. 

Published on December 3rd, 2018. Written by Laurence Marcus & SRH (2001) for Television Heaven.