Production Code: 3811
Airdate: CBS as “The New Tuesday Night Movie”; Tuesday 1 January, 1974; 9:30-11:00PM ET
Writer: Ken Kolb
Director: Lee Phillips
Cast: Richard Roundtree (John Shaft), Ed Barth (Lt Al Rossi), George Maharis (Larry Doyle), James A Watson Jr. (Officer Jerry Tyler), Richard Schaal (Tom Donegan), Arch Johnson (Brock), Kim Hamilton (Marcia), Talyn Ferro (Eve), Darren McGavin (Capt Brewster), Mitzi Hoag (Helen Rossi), Eugene Elman (Dr Meyer), Maxwell Gail Jr. (Tony), Joe George (Marks), Peter Cannon (Cargill).
Shaft is asked by a former high school classmate to help her husband, Police Officer Jerry Tyler, who has been accused of taking bribes. Although Shaft accepts Tyler’s story of being framed up by bar owner, Larry Doyle and his stooge, Brock, he declines the case but offers to seek help from the police. But when Lt Al Rossi is shot, Shaft takes a personal interest.
- Kolb produced his 80-page final draft script under the working title of The Meat Eaters on 2 October, 1973.
The second episode scripted by Kolb is of similar quality and theme to his earlier Hit-Run and again has Shaft going undercover to expose the bad guys. This time Roundtree takes the opportunity to do some character acting, which lends the episode more depth. The plot itself is again fairly basic and suffers from occasional lapses in logic, but there is much to enjoy about some of the performances – notably Maharis’ charming heavy and McGavin’s prickly police captain.
“As with the other telefilms in this series, Cop Killer has more of a cop show feel than the original theatrical movies, but it is still solid fun if you’re a fan of 70s cop shows or Shaft.” – MarcFusion.com, 19 October 2017