by Tom Weigel
The Cleveland Press TV Showtime, April 2, 1971

Although TV series based on or inspired from hit movies seldom are successful, the attempts persist. The latest is ABC's Alias Smith and Jones, which the network dropped into its mid-season lineup last January.

The program, seen Thursday nights (7:30, Chs. 5, 23), was touted as TV's answer to the film, "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid." Lest the similarity go unnoticed, the network even chose Ben Murphy, a Paul Newman look-alike, to play one of the leads. Murphy and co-star Pete Duel are shown on the TV Showtime cover.

The show is Duel's third series venture. He had a featured role as Sally Field's brother-in-law on the Gidget series and, was Judy Carne's spouse on Love on a Rooftop. Neither show lasted long but each seemed to boost Duel's career considerably. Although Alias hasn't set any rating records, ABC plans to continue it next fall.

On the program Duel and Murphy portray amiable ex-outlaws awaiting amnesty for past crimes. To achieve this they are forced to be model citizens often against their will.

The series, claims Universal Studios which produces it, is a "‘western adventure with humor that presents no message, no moral attitudes and no relevant themes to the public." It also didn't get much of an audience, but perhaps that will change by next season.

BEN AND SHARON - Although seen regularly as Hal Holbrook's wife on the Bold Ones, Sharon Acker recently moonlighted as Ben Burphy's [sic] love interest on Alias Smith and Jones.

PETE AND JUDY - Reunited on last night's Smith and Jones episode were Pete Duel and Judy Carne, co-stars of the Love on a Rooftop series. Pete was billed as Peter Deuel in those days.

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