The A-Team TV Series Overview


Introduction

The A-Team is an American action-adventure television series that ran on NBC from 1983 to 1987 about former members of a fictitious United States Army Special Forces unit.

The members, after being court-martialed “for a crime they didn’t commit”, escaped from military prison and, while still on the run, worked as soldiers of fortune.

The series was created by Stephen J. Cannell and Frank Lupo.

A feature film based on the series was released by 20th Century Fox in 2010.

Outline

The A-Team is a naturally episodic show, with few overarching stories, except the characters’ continuing motivation to clear their names, with few references to events in past episodes and a recognisable and steady episode structure.

The term “A-Team” is a nickname coined for US Special Forces’ Operational Detachments Alpha (ODA) during the Vietnam War.

Trivia

  • The series was co produced by former actor John Ashley who also provided the opening narration to the movie.
  • According to Mr. T’s account in Bring Back… The A-Team in 2006, the role of B. A. Baracus was written specifically for him. This is corroborated by Stephen J. Cannell’s own account of the initial concept proposed by Tartikoff.
  • Although the part of Face was written by Frank Lupo and Stephen J. Cannell with Dirk Benedict in mind, NBC insisted that the part should be played by another actor, instead.
    • Therefore, in the pilot, Face was portrayed by Tim Dunigan, who was later replaced by Dirk Benedict, with the comment that Dunigan was “too tall and too young”.
    • According to Dunigan: “I look even younger on camera than I am. So it was difficult to accept me as a veteran of the Vietnam War, which ended when I was a sophomore in high school.”
  • Tia Carrere was intended to join the principal cast of the show in its fifth season after appearing in the season four finale, providing a tie to the team’s inception during the war.
    • Unfortunately for this plan, Carrere was under contract to General Hospital, which prevented her from joining The A-Team.
    • Her character was abruptly dropped as a result.
  • James Coburn, who co-starred in The Magnificent Seven, was considered for the role of Hannibal in The A-Team, while George Peppard (Hannibal) was the original consideration for the role of Vin (played by Steve McQueen) in The Magnificent Seven.
    • Robert Vaughn, of course, actually appeared in the film.

The A-Team Series

You can find a full index and overview of the The A-Team here.

Production & Filming Details

  • Creator(s): Frank Lupo and Stephen J. Cannell.
  • Narrator(s): John Ashley.
  • Director(s): Michael O’Herlihy (20 episodes, 1984-1986), Dennis Donnelly (12 episodes, 1983-1985), Craig R. Baxley (9 episodes, 1984-1986), David Hemmings (9 episodes, 1984-1986), Tony Mordente (8 episodes, 1984-1986), Arnold Laven (6 episodes, 1983-1985), Christian I. Nyby II (5 episodes, 1983), Ron Satlof (5 episodes, 1983), Sidney Hayers (4 episodes, 1985-1986), Gilbert M. Shilton (3 episodes, 1983-1984), Bruce Kessler (2 episodes, 1983), Guy Magar (2 episodes, 1983), Bernard McEveety (2 episodes, 1983), Chuck Bowman (1 episode, 1983), Rod Holcomb (1 episode, 1983), Ivan Dixon (1 episode, 1984), James Fargo (1 episode, 1984), Michael Vejar (1 episode, 1984), Nicholas Sgarro (1 episode, 1985), Bob Bralver (1 episode, 1986), James Darren (1 episode, 1986), Les Sheldon (1 episode, 1986), and John Peter Kousakis (1 episode, 1987).
  • Producer(s): Frank Lupo, Stephen J. Cannell, John Ashley, Patrick Hasburgh, Tom Blomquist, Jo Swerling Jr., Gary Winter, Alan Cassidy, Rob Bowman, and Steve Beers.
  • Writer(s): Stephen J. Cannell (creator) (97 episodes, 1983-1987), Frank Lupo (creator) (97 episodes, 1983-1987), Bill Nuss (28 episodes, 1985-1987), Richard Christian Matheson (25 episodes, 1983-1986), Tom Szollosi (25 episodes, 1983-1986), Mark Jones (25 episodes, 1984-1985), Stephen Katz (10 episodes, 1984-1985), Sidney Ellis (6 episodes, 1983-1986), Babs Greyhosky (6 episodes, 1983-1984), Patrick Hasburgh (5 episodes, 1983), Burt Pearl (5 episodes, 1985-1986), Steven L. Sears (5 episodes, 1985-1986), Danny Lee Cole (3 episodes, 1984-1986), Paul Bernbaum (3 episodes, 1985-1986), Tom Blomquist (3 episodes, 1985-1986), Jeff Ray (2 episodes, 1983-1984), Jo Swerling Jr. (1 episode, 1983), Chris Bunch (1 episode, 1984), Bruce Cervi (1 episode, 1984), Allan Cole (1 episode, 1984), Milt Rosen (1 episode, 1984), Dennis O’Keefe (1 episode, 1985), Steve Beers (1 episode, 1986), Jayne C. Ehrlich (1 episode, 1986), Terry D. Nelson (1 episode, 1986), and Lloyd J. Schwartz (1 episode, 1986).
  • Music: Pete Carpenter (97 episodes, 1983-1987), Mike Post (97 episodes, 1983-1987), and Garry Schyman (unknown episodes, uncredited).
  • Cinematography: Bradley B. Six (61 episodes, 1983-1985) and Frank E. Johnson (35 episodes, 1985-1987).
  • Editor(s): Albert J.J. Zúñiga (31 episodes, 1983-1986), Chris G. Willingham (29 episodes, 1983-1986), Ron Spang (20 episodes, 1984-1987), Howard Terrill (18 episodes, 1983-1985), David Latham (8 episodes, 1985-1986), Michael T. Elias (4 episodes, 1983), David Ramirez (4 episodes, 1986), George R. Rohrs (3 episodes, 1983), Buford F. Hayes (3 episodes, 1984), Gloryette Clark (2 episodes, 1983-1985), John Elias (2 episodes, 1983), Larry Lester (2 episodes, 1984-1985), John J. Dumas (2 episodes, 1986), Jack Harnish (1 episode, 1983), Ronald LaVine (1 episode, 1983), and Gene Ranney (1 episode, 1986).
  • Production: Stephen J. Cannell Productions and Universal Television.
  • Distributor(s): MCA TV and NBC Universal Television Distribution.
  • Release Date: 23 January 1983 to 08 March 1987 (TV Series).
  • Running Time: 48 minutes.
  • Country: US.
  • Language: English.

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