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 Baretta - Season One

 The Best of Baretta


Show Type: Police Drama

First Telecast: January 17, 1975

Last Telecast: June 1, 1978

Theme Music: "Keep Your Eye on the Sparrow," sung by Sammy Davis Jr.

Broadcast History:

January 1975-March 1975, Friday 10:00-11:00 on ABC

April 1975-July 1975, Wednesday 10:00-11:00 on ABC

September 1975-August 1977, Wednesday 9:00-10:00 on ABC

August 1977-January 1978, Wednesday 10:00-11:00 on ABC

February 1978-June 1978, Thursday 10:00-11:00 on ABC


Detective Tony Baretta..... Robert Blake

Inspector Shiller (1975)..... Dana Elcar

Lieutenant Hal Brubaker..... Edward Grover

Billy Truman..... Tom Ewell

Rooster..... Michael D. Roberts

Fats..... Chino Williams


Baretta was half a spin-off from another detective show. Robert Blake had originally been scheduled to take over the lead role in Toma after Tony Musante left that series. But Toma had not been a big hit, and rather than risk being tied to an unsuccessful series the title was changed and alterations were made in the locale and other details. In essence, Toma became Baretta, and moved to California.

Tony Baretta was like Toma, an unconventional cop. He was streetwise, single, with a decidedly funky lifestyle: he holed up in a run-down hotel when he wasn't on the job, which was seldom. He was usually seen in a T-shirt and jeans, with his trademark cap pulled down over his forehead. The orphaned son of poor Italian immigrants, Tony knew the city inside out. He was a master of disguise, and because of his rough appearance was able to infiltrate such groups as motorcycle gangs and even "the Mob". Needless to say, he refused to have a partner and always worked alone. Inspector Shiller was his original boss, later succeeded by Lt. Brubaker. Billy Truman was a retired cop who was both a combined manager and house detective at the hotel where Baretta lived.

There was plenty of hard action in this series, despite Blake's public protestations that he opposed wanton violence on TV. The show had a "with-it" light sense of humor; comic relief was provided by Tony's fancy-dude informant-friend, Rooster and by Fred, Tony's pet cockatoo. Blake's real-life wife Sondra Blake was an occasional guest star.