But Fox Broadcasting is still banking on a hit to lift it from its Saturday evening ratings slump.
Dirty Dozen: The Series, the latest in a slew of recent television war series, airs in Detroit on Saturdays from 9- 10 p.m. on Channel 50. Pass the popcorn, please.
Dirty Dozen features 12 criminals, during World War II who are doing time in the Maston-Tyne military clink in London. They are American soldiers who have committed crimes while they were enlisted. They get a chance to win their freedom by serving on dangerous war missions for the Allies.
"This is neither prime-time Platoon nor M*A*S*H*," says publicist R. Scott Penza about the series. "It is somewhere in between. It won't have the violence of Platoon, but, by the same token, its not a comedy series as in M*A*S*H*. "
The cast includes Ben Murphy as Lt Danko, John Bradley, as Jonathan Farrell and John Slattery as Dylan Leeds.
Fox Broadcasting is spending mega bucks to film the series in Zagreb, Yugoslavia, and other European locations.
The network has high hopes the show will boost its Saturday ratings, which pale in comparison to its Sunday ratings.
Fox hopes that the show will appeal to teens, says Penza. Dirty Dozen will air opposite CBS' Tour Of Duty, another Viet Nam War series. But its biggest ratings obstacles are Bea Arthur, Rue McClanahan and the other Golden Girls on NBC.
Dirty Dozen is a spinoff of the famous 1967 movie starring Lee Marvin and Charles Bronson.
But the new Dirty Dozen series features a younger, more handsome cast, according to Penza. " These guys are younger, hip and fun. They are the GQs of the GIs," he says.
One of the show's best bodies belongs to Bradley, who in real life dropped out of Cornell Law School to pursue acting. He was discovered through Star Search TV show and appeared in such films as Of Mice and Men and The Slugger's Wife.
In the series, Bradley is thrown in the slammer for slugging an out of uniform officer he figures swiped his shampoo in the shower.
Another of the Dirty Dozen was thrown behind bars after having an affair with a colonel's wife. One guy committed murder; another is in for counterfeiting.
Each prisoner has his own wild tank to tell about how he landed in the clink. In the case of Murphy (Lt. Danko), he's locked up for trying to kill a lieutenant colonel whose judgement cost 80 of Danko's men their lives.
TV viewers may remember Murphy from his starring roles in Alias Smith and Jones or The Lottery. He also portrayed Warren Henry in the mini-series The Winds of War.
Other cast members include Jon Tenney, John DiAquino, Barry Cullison, Mike Jolly and Glen Withrow.
But it appears from the press releases that the show has no female siren character like Hot Lips Houilhan (Loretta Swift) in M*A*S*H*.
Dirty Dozen premiered two weeks ago (April 30) with a two hour episode. All future episodes will be one hour.
The show's senior executive producers are Dan Gordon, who wrote more than 40 episodes of Highway To Heaven and John Furisa Jr., who wrote episodes for The Waltons, Twilight Theatre and Dr. Kildare.
The executive producers are Mark Rodgers,
who wrote and produced episodes for T.J. Hooker, The FBI and Police
Story; and Jonas McCord, famous for his Vietnam Requiem.
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