77 Sunset Strip and its three Warner Bros. TV spinoffs — Bourbon Street Beat in New Orleans, Hawaiian Eye in Hawaii, and Surfside 6 in Miami — came up in conversation the other night. Four versions of the same detective agency show — essentially the same characters, same colorful sidekicks, same wisecracking secretary. The 77 Sunset Strip scripts were sometimes re-dressed and re-shot for Surfside 6 or whatever. I’ve read that even an occasional cast member from one series would show up in a guest capacity on another…is that true?
The geographical location of the non-existent 77 Sunset Strip office (as well as Dino’s Lodge, the next-door restaurant that actually existed and thrived for 20 years) was at 8532 Sunset, on the south side of Sunset between La Cienega and Alta Loma. The post-premiere after-party for Vincente Minnelli and Glenn Kenny‘s Some Came Running was held at Dino’s Lodge.
Here’s an idea for an honest-to-God 2013 cable TV series. Three slacker-stoner layabouts in their late 20s are time-transported back to a black-and-white 1959 world, and not as losers but as the new 77 Sunset Strip guys. And they get to play games and drive around in T-birds and live these totally cool private-eye slickster lifestyles, booze and babes and fast cars and penthouses, and they also get rich by betting on sports events that they know the winner of. Maybe they also get to influence other historical events…or not.
You could go any which way but the basic idea is that three no-direction-home 2013 guys are “saved,” in a sense, by being thrust into the distant past and being forced to live in a black-and-white world in which they have all the advantages and then some. All kinds of opportunities for frolic and perversity, not to mention reflections on the evolution of our culture over the last 50 years. But it wouldn’t work unless it was shot in black-and-white within a 1.37 to aspect ratio.
This is my idea — I just want to make that clear. Whatever happens, I get a piece of the action.