The Official KRESKY Homepage
AFTERLIFE: THE SPIN-OFFS
Even as the last nail was being banged into the Kresky coffin by UBC, there were still some faint stirrings of life somewhere inside. Although Larry Rubin had lost interest in the series as a whole, like a good car thief, he realized there might be some money to be made in stripping Kresky for parts. Rubin was highly conscious of demographics and he knew that there was still a great deal of interest in the Cantrell character among females and rural viewers and in the Moochie character among children.
Eager to jump on the backwoods adventure genre bandwagon popularized
by such big and small screen vehicles as Smokey and the Bandit
and The Dukes of Hazzard, Rubin promptly ordered a spin-off
series featuring Cantrell in a rural setting.
Veteran television producer/director Guy Christopher quickly set about putting together Cantrell, a series which sent the philosophizing detective (again played by Ronald Whitney) back to his old stomping ground of West Virginia after getting word of the murder of his uncle, the sheriff of fictional Reeve County. Pressured by the people, Cantrell accepted the mantle of sheriff and set about cleaning up the corrupt and dissolute county with his deputies and cousins Deke and Gus.
Cantrell may not have had the hip and gritty urban locale or the electric presence of Terrence Michael Matterly (save for a brief cameo in one episode), but it did have one thing that Kresky did not: critical acclaim. Critics almost universally praised the series surprisingly low key and quirky feel, as well as its strong sense of place (despite the fact it was filmed in southern California). Unfortunately, one thing Cantrell did not have was the ratings.
Up against the immensely popular Dukes of Hazzard, the series
never really stood a chance. It was cancelled after only one
Moochie and the Kawp Skwawd (1981-82)
Launched simultaneously with Cantrell was the Saturday morning
animated series Moochie and the Kawp Skwawd which featured the
eponymous monkey as hero and relegated Kresky and Cantrell to rarely
seen cameo players (voiced by the original actors). Moochie --
apparently answering the public's unconscious demand for sassy simian
crime-fighters -- split with Kresky to join forces with a group of
super-talented teenage sleuths and form the Kawp Skwawd (apparently
spelling was not among this particular unit's super-talents). With the
help from Moochie's telekinetic space monkey cousin Ker-Plooey, the Kawp
Skwawd vanquished a different earth-threatening intergalactic menace
each week, always leaving just enough time for an important safety tip
or fun after-school activity at the end of the episode. Despite the
surreal trippiness of the premise, Moochie and the Kawp Skwawd
unwaveringly adhered to the same rigidly unimaginative formula week
after week, supplementing it with sub-par animation and blood-curdingly
irritating character voices. The kids were not fooled. Moochie and
the Kawp Skwawd was cancelled at the end of its first season.
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