1ST & TEN:
Official Peter Brown Fan Site
Original air date Oct 19, 1988
Directed by Stan Lathan
Written by Zach Wechsler &
O.J. Simpson as T.D. Parker
Reid Shelton as Ernie Denardo
Cliff Frazier as Jethro Snell
Donald Gibb as Leslie Crunchner
Prince Hughes as Bubba Kincaid
John Kassir as Zagreb Shkenusky
Tony Longo as Mad Dod Smears
Michael Toland as Billy Cooper
Peter Brown as Mal Hutchins
Tom Dahlgren as
Angus Duncan as Mr. Syler
Ted Gehring as Ned Lassiter
Chuck Sloan as
Mark Lonow as Max Green
NiteOwl Review: In its time, this adult sitcom was considered racy and it was compared to the sitcoms airing on ABC, CBS and NBC. By today's standards, it's pretty tame. Peter, as the nattily dressed football team owner from Texas, is in fine form.
Running from 1984-1991, this series revolved around the comical exploits of the "California Bulls" (a fictional professional football team) and the organization's players. It was HBO's early attempt to lure the audience away from the "big three" television networks by taking advantage of their freedom to include occasional cursing and nudity.
During a news conference at the National American Football League draft, a reporter introduces Mal Hutchins (Peter), the owner of the Houston Riggers. Mr. Hutchins proudly states that Ernie Denardo, formerly coach of the California Bulls, is now head coach of the Houston Riggers. Coach Denardo says "hello," then excuses himself to start picking players.
Reports catch up to California Bulls player/owner Leslie Crunchner and party as they arrive for the draft. The Bulls are the first and only team that is owned by its players. Crunchner is more interested in propositioning a waitress. Nearby, another Bulls player/owner schmoozes with the owner of a different team. The next morning, Crunchner wakes up in bed with the waitress.
Crunchner rushes up to Hutchins, who is sitting in the lobby working a crossword puzzle, and apologizes for being late. Hutchins reminds him their appointment was at 9:00. Crunchner says he was up late studying scouting reports.
Hutchins says Crunchner was studying the cocktail waitress and walks away. Crunchner moves on to make a deal with the agent of a different player. Concerned he'll be traded, Bulls player/owner Mad Dog Smears confronts T.D. Parker (O.J. Simpson), general manager of the Bulls.
Parker tries to hire back Coach Denardo while Mad Dog's agent tells him he'll like Oakland. When his agent goes on and on about the advantages of being traded to Oakland, Mad Dog shuts him up.
Coach Denardo tells a reporter that his new team, the Riggers, doesn't have the caliber of players the Bulls have. Hutchins says it sounds like Denardo left his heart in California. The draft begins.
A Bulls player/owner makes his draft deals in bed with the daughter of the owner of another team. As Parker enters the draft meeting room, he is stopped to make a deal. Speaking for the Bulls, Mad Dog declares their player choice...not the player the rest of the owners wanted.
Riggers owner Hutchins and Bulls General Manager Parker are stunned by the announcement since it nullifies several deals.
By the time the next team on the clock selects the player the Bulls owners wanted, all the irate Bulls player/owners converge on Mad Dog. Parker declares he should be the only voice of the Bulls.
Bulls player/owner Snell primps for the television cameras "without a helmet" as player/owner Kincaid says he doesn't want to be late "'cause your curl fell." As the two owners at the table fuss about their next draft selection, Parker states the Bulls have traded their pick in this round to the Riggers.
Hutchins gets an earful about the trade from Coach Denardo, who wasn't consulted. Denardo asks who the Riggers traded the Bulls for. Hutchins says, "you."
Just as Snell and Kincaid open their hotel room door to leave the room, they are stopped by a man who says he is Jack Yale from Tennessee. Yale says he dreams of playing for the Bulls. When they say they'll give it some thought, Yale pulls a gun and says "that's not good enough. If I can't be a Bull, I don't want to live." He says, "I'll be watching (on tv). If y'all don't draft me next...bang!" Snell and Kincaid scurry out leaving Yale in their room.
In order to save the life of poor sick Jack Yale, Parker and Denardo concoct a scheme to use a fake draft choice to make Yale think he's been drafted by the Bulls. After "drafting" Yale, everyone rushes up to the room to tell Jack he's a Bull. Finding the room empty, Parker is informed that his attempt to put one over on the league won't be tolerated, and further, his supposed fake pick will stand as his draft selection. (Cut away to Elkswat, Tennessee), the real Jack Yale reacts.
The phone rings during a meeting of team owners, minus the Bulls. "Jack Yale" is thanked for a job well done. "Jack" thanks the owners for the acting job. Hutchins says, "It would be a lot more fun making the Bulls look stupid if it wasn't so easy."