Detroit, MI, September 08, 2016 --(PR.com
)-- It was the series that presented a radio hero in living color on the small screen – and at the same time introduced a martial arts legend-in-the-making, Bruce Lee. It was “The Green Hornet,” produced by the team that did the 1966 “Batman” series and starring Van Williams as the emerald-clad avenger secretly posing as a criminal to bring down the most notorious gangsters, racketeers and wrongdoers.
The ABC series lasted only one TV season, 1966-67, but a wealth of information still exists on it. Now, in a new book released just as the show turns 50, author and journalist Billie Rae Bates chronicles it all, from the planning of the series in the mid-‘60s, as shepherded by character co-creator George W. Trendle and executive producer William Dozier, through each and every episode, to the fandom beyond. Bates talked with the series’ title star and other members of the cast and crew, as well as writers and other industry professionals who have been involved with the show’s lore over the decades.
“This all started with an interview with Van Williams,” says Bates, a Michigan native who has also lived in Atlanta and Washington, D.C. “He was so great to talk to, and he gave me such insight into the TV series and his career on a whole. Very fascinating. That was in 2014. I knew I at least wanted to do a feature story on him, but the more I dug, the more I uncovered. I thought this would make a great book on the TV show itself, very much informed by his insight.”
The book releases this week for the 50th anniversary of the show’s original premiere on September 9, 1966. It’s a Kindle edition that will be followed by a print edition in 2017.
In “Let’s Roll, Kato: A Guide to TV’s Green Hornet,” Bates presents myriad facts and fun surrounding this classic TV show:
- A history of the development of the series, as well as background on each of the principal stars
- Cast list and character guide
- Episode synopses, as well as background on the storylines and scripts
- A look at the Black Beauty car, with input from owners of both screen-used and replica vehicles
- A listing of the many gadgets used by the Hornet, both inside the car and out
- An in-depth look at the books and comics that sprung from the series, with input from the writers and artists who helped produce them
- Detailed guide to the vast and varied merchandise celebrating the series, with plenty of photos
The setup of the Kindle edition of “Let’s Roll, Kato” took up 438 pages in Microsoft Word for Bates.
“I just couldn’t believe how much material I found on this single-season show,” says Bates, who has also written fact-book guides to the classic shows “Dallas,” “Dynasty” and “The Dukes of Hazzard.” “The more I dug, the more I found. Lots of fans, message boards, Facebook pages. People who own replicas of the Black Beauty car, and even one of the screen-used cars. Lots of writers who have done comics and short stories celebrating the show or at least influenced by it. I talked to several of those folks. Hard-core fans. The Hornet lives on!”
The character of the Green Hornet was originally created by George W. Trendle and Fran Striker and was broadcast in a radio series from WXYZ in Detroit beginning in the 1930s. The 1960s TV series updated the character and the lore, but many comic books and stories have updated him further since then.
“Let’s Roll, Kato” is the sixth book for Bates in her BRBTV fact book series. As with the others, Baltimore artist Dale Cuthbertson draws the cover in his unique style.
BRBTV has been a solid source of information on classic 1980s TV shows since 1998. You can learn more about the author and her other fun-fact reference guides, which focus on "Dallas," "Dynasty," "The Dukes of Hazzard," "Wonder Woman" and "The Secrets of Isis," at BRBTV.com. Also check out the BRBTV Reports in Kindle format on Amazon, quick and snappy feature stories for several classic animated shows.
About The Author:
A journalist of both print and broadcast, Billie Rae Bates has been a professional writer and editor for two decades, including 10 years in the daily newspaper industry in Detroit; Saginaw, Mich.; and Wausau, Wis. She's written three novels, two of which are set in Detroit, as well as the BRBTV reference guides, which cover the primetime soaps "Dynasty" and "Dallas," the action-adventure hits "The Dukes of Hazzard" and “Wonder Woman," and a host of animated and kids' series. Since 2006, she's kept up a news blog focusing on these classic TV shows, as well as other projects such as the yearlong photo essays "My Mother's Clothing" and "The Inexplicable Lives of Dolls." You can visit her official site at BillieRae.com, as well as the home page for BRBTV at BRBTV.com.