Coronet Blue

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CBS (ended 1967)

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7.1
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Coronet Blue

Show Summary

It's New York City in the middle 1960s. Murder, robbery, violence, all are at peak levels for this big town. So when a man is shot and his body dumped in the East river, it looks like just another crime in New York.

Only this man doesn't die. As he awakes into his time of recovery, he discovers that he can not remember his name, who he is or was, and why someone tried to kill him. The only thing in his mind are the words: Coronet Blue.

Using the name Michael Alden, the man sets out to recover his memory and find out his identity, only to be pursued again by his attackers.

Production Notes: The series was canceled before the meaning behind the phrase could be learned. Only years later, would the secret of Coronet Blue be revealed by it's creator, Larry Cohen. Michael Alden was a soviet spy, raised to look and act like an American. He had no background in the U.S. so when he was found nearly dead in the river, he could not be identified by fingerprints or Social Security ID.

But when Alden (a name he made up from a combination of his doctor's name and the hospital's name he woke up in) tried to defect to the west, the cell of spies he was part of, known as Coronet Blue, tries to kill him to keep Alden from exposing their group's existence. They fail. Alden recovers and sets out on the mission of trying to find out who he is, always dogged by assassins not too far behind him.

The original 13 episodes of the show were shot in 1965 as a summer replacement show but did not air on CBS until the summer of 1967. As the program picked up fans, CBS wanted to pick up the show and shoot more episodes. But Frank Converse had moved on to a starring role on ABC's N.Y.P.D. and Coronet Blue was never revived. Only eleven of the original thirteen episodes ever aired.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Fascinating, enigmatic show with a cult following.

    9.5
    B-Movie near genius Larry ( The Private Files of J. Edgar Hoover, q, It's Alive,)Cohen devised this show in 1964. CBS originally intended it as a replacement for , incredibly enough, Slattery's People. However, Slattery's People was unexpectedly renewed and the geniuses at CBS discovered to their horror that Coronet Blue was even more highbrow than Slattery's People. So , it lingered in their vaults for several years. They finally ran it in the summer of 1968, and it was a surprise hit. Unfortunately, CBS didn't know what to do with it and show star Frank Converse went on to NYPD and Moving On instead. So the series was never renewed, thus leaving a TV mystery comparable to that that would have existed if Lost has been canceled after one season.moreless
  • TV's cold case...

    8.0
    This series has to be 1 of TV's lingering "unsolved mysteries".



    Coronet Blue was a mystery series that only lasted 10 episodes before CBS pulled the plug. The story about a man trying to find his identity isn't a new idea to TV, but this show had a gimmick of sorts, the cryptic phrase, "Coronet Blue".



    What did it mean? Was it secret Mafia plan? A government cover-up? Or was it something more sinister than anything conceived by society? Viewers unfortunately, never got the chance to delve deeper into the mystery behind the phrase.



    Although the show is long gone, i think it actually was the inspiration for 2 somewhat similar shows: NBC's The Pretender (1996-2000) & UPN's Nowhere Man (1995-96) & just maybe to a lesser extent, ABC's Lost.



    Will the mystery behind Coronet Blue ever be solved? Who knows...moreless
  • Joins the likes of the first Star Trek TOS pilot, which the network called "too intellectual".

    8.0
    Ah the 1960s. When some television shows were actually not aired or canceled because they were too intellectually challenging for the average viewer. Or so the networks geniuses thought!



    Star Trek, the original series, ran into that in 1966. But before that, a dramatic thriller starring Frank Converse titled Coronet Blue was produced, filmed, and then canned because it was "too intellectual". Can you believe it?



    It wasn't until two years later that it finally hit the air waves as a summer replacement and became a hit with the young hip audience that was turning on to hip new television shows that started appearing in the mid-sixties.



    The premise of the show was not a new one. A man can't remember who he is and wants to try and find out. Only every time he seems to get close to learning the truth, someone tries to kill him. In the first episode, Frank Converse is pulled out of the water with a bullet wound in his body and no memory of his identity in his mind. Only the words "Coronet Blue" remain in his memory. After he recovers, he attempts to learn of his real identity. The series takes us through some twists and turns, some interesting, some not, and seems to loose it's way before ending after 11 aired episodes and without solving the mystery of who he is or was, and what does the phrase Coronet Blue mean.



    It was a great show, with the typical wonderful understated acting we've come to expect from Converse. But what did it all mean? Who was Michael Alden? And what did Coronet Blue mean? All of these years later, I'm about to tell you.



    The viewers of the show figured that Alden was something big for the attempts on his life to continue. Was he a government official about to spill the beans on a crooked politician, or even a President? Was he a mob associate who wanted out but knew way too much? Was he a jewel thief, who knew of someone who owned a precious stolen gem called the "Coronet Blue"? No to all of those.



    It turns out that Michael Alden was a spy. A Russian spy, who had been trained to look, talk, and act like a hip young American, and planted in the United States. But Alden doesn't like what his country is doing and decides to defect to the U.S. Only his superiors in mother Russia don't go for that notion, fearing that Alden will give up the entire network of spys called, you guessed it, Coronet Blue. So assassins are dispatched to take their young spy out, only they foul up the mission, leaving Alden barely alive. And since he is not really an American, there are no records to find, no finger prints on file, no way to answer the questions of who he is.



    The show was a surprise hit for CBS who now had a problem. All the episodes had been filmed two years earlier and their series star had gone on to a starring role in another new hit series, N.Y.P.D., as detective Johnny Corso. The show was retired after eleven episodes, leaving at least two unaired.



    Another mystery remains today. Why CBS and the owners of the classic TV show from the second golden age of television haven't made it available to the baby boomers who are buying up every reissue they can find on DVD? Probably the decision of the grandchildren of the original network geniuses who decided the show just wouldn't appeal to us dummies in TV land! Duh!!!moreless
  • Who am I, and why are they trying to kill me?

    6.8
    A man is thrown off a ship by people trying to kill him. When the police fish him out of the harbor, he's muttering the words "Coronet Blue" and suffering almost total amnesia. He adopts the name Michael Alden and has to constantly look over his shoulder because the folks who tried to kill him want to finish the job.

    Frank Converse played Michael Alden with a nice mix of paranoia and anger. Brian Bedford as a monk named Anthony, and Joe Silver as a diner owner, tried to help Michael find out what was happening. CBS canceled this show after a short run, and we never found out who was trying to kill Michael, or what the words "Coronet Blue" meant.moreless
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Drama