Mike Connors of Mannix predicted a purge of police shows on television

Forget the rural purge; Connors was thinking about the police purge.

CBS Television Distribution

Many television viewers are familiar with the famed "rural purge," a series of cancellations of any and all country-like television programs. The rural purge occurred during the early 1970s, and in its wake, we saw the ending of hit shows like The Beverly Hillbillies, and Green Acres. We also saw the ending of some shows that would not necessarily be considered hits, like Mayberry R.F.D., but regardless, we had to say goodbye to some great shows.

Just a few years later, in 1974, Mike Connors, who played Mannix in the eponymous television series, predicted what the next purge to befall television would be.

In an interview with The Times Herald, Connors said that he believed that television was due for a mass cancellation of police programs. However, Connors said that the wave of cancellations wouldn't be a decision made by the television networks; it would be by the court of public opinion. "I'd say absolutely that we're going to see a thinning of the ranks," he said. "The airwaves are saturated with cops until people are fed up."

Connors believed that with so many police programs on television in the 1970s, the public was bound to be overwhelmed and turn up their noses at the current television schedule. "All the shows are hurt when you have too many," he said. "You can see detectives at any hour, any night. People don't look forward to your show." One might assume that such insight would make Connors, himself the star of Mannix, a bit worried. While Joe Mannix is a private investigator instead of a police officer, the format of the series does follow the typical law-and-order format that many crime shows do. However, Connors was adamant that his series would be exempt from the purge.

It wasn't just police shows that were at risk for cancellation, Connors argued. He believed that any genre that was oversaturating the television market had the potential to be wiped out within just a few short years. "I'm sure what's going to happen is that we'll have The Waltons and Apple's Way and seven more of that kind of low-key, life-happening show," Connors said. "Then people will get fed up with that and an action show will come along and be a smash hit."

Watch Mannix on MeTV!

Weeknights at 2 AM

*available in most MeTV markets
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?
Close

4 Comments

AgingDisgracefully 23 days ago
Fistfights to car chases to DNA excitement to...idiot reality shows, silly talent competitions and The Off Switch...
Runeshaper 27 days ago
I totally grasp Mike's logic here, but cop shows are pretty popular to this day and there are A LOT more of them.
McGillahooala 27 days ago
He was right about the purge. SWAT was popular but canceled after two seasons apparently due to excessive violence which is funny when you consider what we see on the streets now.
Ironically, SWAT was the one reboot which was more successful than the original! Even though there were only about 40 episodes, it still has a daily spot on MeTV+!
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?