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Baretta is a Americanmarker detective television series which ran on ABC from 1975 to 1978. The show was a milder version of a successful 1973–74 ABC series, Toma, starring Tony Musante as chameleon-like, real-life New Jerseymarker police officer David Toma. While popular, Toma received intense criticism at the time for its realistic and frequent depiction of police and criminal violence. When Musante left the series after a single season, the concept was retooled as Baretta, with Robert Blake in the title role.

Synopsis

Detective Anthony Vincenzo "Tony" Baretta is an unorthodox plainclothes cop (badge #609) with the 53rd precinct, who lives with Fred, his Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, in apartment 2C at the run-down King Edward Hotel in an unnamed Eastern city (presumably Newark, New Jerseymarker). The actual location was obviously Los Angeles.

Supporting characters include:
  • Billy Truman (Tom Ewell), the elderly hotel manager/house detective, who used to work with Tony’s father Louie at the 53rd Precinct.
  • Rooster (Michael D. Roberts), a streetwise pimp and Tony's favorite informant.
  • Tony's supervisors Inspector Shiller (Dana Elcar) and Lieutenant Hal Brubaker (Edward Grover).
  • Detective Foley (John Ward), an irritating stick-in-the-mud.
  • "Fats" (Chino Williams), a gravelly-voiced black detective who goes on stakeouts with Tony.
  • Detective Nopke ( Ron Thompson), a rookie who admires Baretta‘s street smarts.
  • Little Moe (Angelo Rossitto), a midget shoeshine guy and informant.
  • Mr. Nicholas (Titos Vandis), a mob boss.
  • Mr. Muncie (Paul Lichtman), the owner of a liquor store at 52nd and Main.


Like his model David Toma, Tony Baretta wore many disguises on the job. When not in disguise, Baretta wore a T-shirt, jeans and a soft cap. He often carried an unlit cigarette in his lips or behind his ear. His catchphrases included "You can take dat to the bank" and "And that‘s the name of dat tune." When exasperated he would occasionally speak in asides to his late father, Louie Baretta.

Tony drove a rusted-out 1966 Chevy 4-door Impala sedan nicknamed "The Blue Ghost" (license plate 532 BEN). He hung out at Ross’s Billiard Academy and referred to his numerous girlfriends as his "cousins."

The theme song, "Keep Your Eye on the Sparrow", was written by Dave Grusin and M. Ames; initially an instrumental, lyrics were added in later seasons that were sung by Sammy Davis Jr.. Every episode of Baretta began with the song, which contained the motto, "Don't do the crime if you can't do the time."

DVD Release

On October 29, 2002, Universal Studios Home Entertainment released the first season of Baretta on Region 1 DVD in the United States. It is unknown if the remaining 3 seasons will be released.

DVD Name Ep # Release Date
Season 1 12 October 29, 2002


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