"Hostage" introduced Bret Maverick's younger brother Bart to the Maverick Saga. Never seen or even mentioned in earlier episodes, his creation came well into the production of Maverick's first season.
Maverick was the first weekly hour-long series produced by Warner Brothers that featured a single star. But each episode took a week and a day to shoot. After filming several episodes, production fell behind and it became clear that something would have to give in order to meet the weekly demand of the network.
Roy Huggins solved the problem by creating another Maverick. A brother, with the same attitude and philosophy as the original, would allow the studio to shoot two separate episodes simultaneously and stay ahead of the game. Any Maverick script could be assigned to either brother, interchangeably. Thus, Bart Maverick, played by Jack Kelly, became an integral part of the Saga.
Because the regular television audience had already embraced James Garner as Maverick, the studio was concerned about how well a second full-fledged Maverick, introduced mid-stream, would be accepted. Therefore, a somewhat gruesome creative decision was made to ensure Bart Maverick would gain the audience's sympathy and acceptance in his very first story. The script called for Bart to be mercilessly beaten by the very police inspector he went to for help.
It did not garner sympathy from Henry Kaiser, president of Kaiser Industries, however. He had become a partner in Maverick soley due to James Garner's performance in the pilot, "War of the Silver Kings." Kaiser negotiated with Warner Brothers and ABC through his advertising agency, Young & Rubicam, and became Maverick's primary sponsor, owning one third of the series.
Studio and network executives had met with representatives of Kaiser and their ad agency and gotten approval for the addition of Bart Maverick and the casting of Jack Kelly, but no one had thought to inform Henry Kaiser himself. He had learned about Brother Bart only by watching "Hostage" when it first aired, and was not pleased with what he saw.
ABC ultimately had to pay Kaiser $600,000 to smooth the waters, but Maverick stayed on the air and became the foundation for the network's Sunday-night empire, as well as setting James Garner on the trail to stardom.
Season 1, Episode 8
“Showdown at Midnight”
November 10, 1957
Gerald Drayson Adams
Roy Glenn (uncredited)
and Harold Stine
Directors of Photography
Supervising Film Editor
01. All credits, unless otherwise noted: Maverick, Hostage (1957), Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
02. Robertson, Ed, Maverick: Legend of the West (1994), Pomegranate Press
03. Maverick: Hostage, The International Movie Database
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