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While the latest reboot of The Green Hornet is buzzing along at the box office, its television predecessor didn’t fare as well — it lasted just one season of 26 episodes.
But the show did jump start the career of Bruce Lee, playing the sidekick servant Kato, and amass a cult following.
The 1966 ABC-TV version of the show also featured Van Williams as Hornet, the most wanted crime-avenger/newspaper publisher; Wende Wagner as his private secretary; Walter Brooke as the district attorney; and Lloyd Gough as the paper’s ace crime reporter.
According to The Hollywood Reporter critic Vance King, the first segment was “unevenly edited, perhaps due to the problems in laying the foundation for the series.” On a positive note, he credited Williams as depicting “the foe of crime rather solidly,” and “some of the dialogue … approximates the ‘camp’ style of Batman.”
While Lee would break out of the series as an action hero, the reviewer did not even mention his performance.
But the critic displayed little confidence in the show’s potential, adding at the end, “judged by the initial offering, The Green Hornet may not be buzzing around too long. And, by the way, how come the Hornet and Kato wear BLUE masks?”
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