Sword of Justice (partially found television drama series; 1978)
(From left to right) Bert Rosario, Dack Rambo, and Alex Courtney in a promotional still for the series.
Status: Partially Found
Sword of Justice is a television drama series that debuted on NBC during the Fall 1978 television season. The program came in the midst of a brand new broadcast lineup implemented by NBC that season in order to compete with rival networks ABC and CBS after recently having fallen into third spot of the three, with all but three series being cancelled in a complete overhaul of programming from the season prior. The series reportedly cost about $390,000 (about $1,536,000 adjusted for inflation as of October 2019) to produce, and was NBC's biggest success at the beginning of the season, with the preview of the series hitting the 7th top spot in the television ratings.
While the series had a strong start, it unfortunately fell towards the lower end of the Nielsen's rating system along with many other NBC programs introduced that season. This was partly due to airing against ABC's Vega$, which was a television series with a very similar concept. The show was ultimately cancelled in November of 1978 before the end of the season when newly seated president of NBC Fred Silverman decided to scrap all the new series that had been released, and begin a revamp of its schedule again in the next upcoming television season. This left one episode of the series unaired until the summer of 1979 when NBC decided to air the unreleased episode.
Jack Cole (Dack Rambo) is a playboy who is wrongfully convicted of a crime, and is sentenced to three years imprisonment. While in prison, he learns skills from criminals he's held with, and meets Hector Ramirez (Bert Rosario) in doing so. Upon his release, Cole begins to pursue life as a vigilante with Ramirez by his side, leaving playing cards with criminals he's soon to apprehend.
The only episode of the series to have appeared online is the two-hour pilot episode, with other portions of the series including the standard opening sequence and promos available as well. There are also apparently short segments of the series on Framepool, where the clips tend to be less than a minute without any major characters. No major archive seemingly has any of the rest of the series in their collections.
- An article showcasing NBC's major television lineup changes. Retrieved 15 Oct '19
- A newspaper article claiming that the show cost around $390,000 for NBC to produce. Retrieved 15 Oct '19
- An article detailing the top-rated programs at the beginning of the Fall 1978 television season, with the preview of Sword of Justice hitting the seventh top spot. Retrieved 15 Oct '19
- An article showcasing the ratings of all the shows from the big three networks, with Sword of Justice in the lower end of the ratings. Retrieved 15 Oct '19
- An article describing the series and how it would have to compete with Vega$ come the new television season. Retrieved 15 Oct '19
- An article describing the move made by Fred Silverman to scrap the season's new series entirely. Retrieved 15 Oct '19
- An article showcasing the broadcasting of the unaired episode in the summer of 1979. Retrieved 15 Oct '19
- A newspaper with an article on Page 4 that describes the show's plot. Retrieved 15 Oct '19
- The Framepool search page where many segments of the show are apparently sourced. Retrieved 15 Oct '19