Film Score Monthly
Search Terms: 
Search Within:   search tips 
You must log in or register to post.
  Go to page:    
 Posted:   Aug 6, 2022 - 1:25 PM   
 By:   Justin Boggan   (Member)


You may be a fan of the radio show and think that's all there was, but it turns out three different pilots were made in an attempt to bring the show to television (the same thing happened with another radio show, "Lum and Abner", which also had three failed pilots; boring show, by the way).

PREFACE: NO videos of any of the pilots have leaked. This is only an informational thread right now and a place holder incase any of them do in the future or get officially released.

Composer(s): ?????

In late 1949, the same year the show began, a super obscure pilot was shot that starred the first series regular to voice Johnny Dollar, Charles Russell. (According to the research of
Produced and directed by Ralph Levy. Written by Paul Dudley and Gil Dowd.

Books on Google Books suggest it went by the title "Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar".

Half-hour format.
IMDb page: no page yet.

Not much else is known. It's never been released. No known leaks have appeared online (attention Twilight Time).

 Posted:   Aug 8, 2022 - 7:30 AM   
 By:   Justin Boggan   (Member)


"The Adventures of Johnny Dollar"
By: ?????

In 1958 a second pilot was shot. This is the notable one, because as most fans of the show know, Bob Bailey WAS Johnny Dollar, and for this pilot the role of Johnny Dollar was played by ... Bob Bailey!
The episode title may have been "Annie's Child".
Billboard reported in 1956 the pilot was being written by E. Jack Newman.

IMDb page: no page yet.

The studio thought it didn't work because Bailey was too short to be the action hero of the pilot, but I have a completely different take: Bob Bailey is exactly what I think an insurance investigator should look like. An average joe who isn't remarkably tall or strong but can get in a good punch and has learned to talk his way into and out of things.

Not much else is known. It's never been released.

 Posted:   Aug 15, 2022 - 7:39 AM   
 By:   Justin Boggan   (Member)


"Johnny Dollar"
By: Henry Mancini
(the IMDb Trivia page says Mancini had been asked to score the series, if it had been picked up)

In December 1961, one more pilot was shot. This one starred William Bryant as Johnny Dollar. Also in the cast: Karen Steele, Terry Moore, Anne Seymour, and Blake Edwards as "Frank Nugent".
It was written, produced, and directed by Blake Edwards (once source says Owen Crum also wrote for it). Also as a producers: Owen Crump and Ryan O'Neal.
Produced by MGM-TV and Project III Enterprises.
One website notes: "martial-arts pioneer Ed Parker is known to have worked on it in some capacity."
BFI refers to it as "The Barton Baker Matter" (which would make it a re-make of an episode of the radio program by the same name).

An old print of The Hollywood Reporter said, quote: "Very first scene called for him to be thrown in the ocean off the Venice pier."

Half-hour format.
IMDb page:

Not much else is known. It's never been released.
The score has not been released. I have no idea if Mancini used any of the series' themes or mimiced any regular stock cues which fans know so well.

An old promotional photo of Bryant as Johnny Dollar:

 Posted:   Aug 19, 2022 - 2:12 PM   
 By:   Justin Boggan   (Member)

Well, I assume no further pilots were filmed; considering how little is known about the above three, it's not out of the realm of possibility something else was made but is unknown to even the internet.

An old Billboard magazine from 1950 had the following stated: "Other video shows scheduled are: Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar, featuring Edmund O'Brien"; I don't know if this means yet another pilot was filmed and shown.

Some additional info' will be posted Monday.

 Posted:   Aug 22, 2022 - 3:44 PM   
 By:   Justin Boggan   (Member)

BMI and ASCAP list the following composers under the search "Johnny Dollar cues" (no other searches turned up anything):

  • Eugene Cines.
  • Umberto Galassi.
  • Carlo Savina.
  • Fred Steiner.
  • Russell Garcia.
  • Aime Garriguenc.
  • Willis H. Schaefer.
  • Martin Cohen-Solal.
  • Lucien Moraweck.
  • William Grant Still.

     Posted:   Nov 1, 2023 - 12:08 PM   
     By:   Justin Boggan   (Member)

    No, still no loads of any of the pilots, but this fairly new article about Bob Bailey might be of interest (if briefly talks about his pilot and how it initially didn't happen); what a sad career:

    You must log in or register to post.
      Go to page:    
    © 2024 Film Score Monthly. All Rights Reserved.
    Website maintained and powered by Veraprise and Matrimont.