Baretta TV Series: A Gritty Classic of ’70s Detective Television

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Baretta TV Series
Photo courtesy of ABC Television, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Baretta TV Series

The Baretta TV series is an American detective television show on the ABC television network from 1975 to 1978. Baretta is the evolution of a show called Toma. Toma starred Tony Musante as a chameleon-like, real-life New Jersey police officer named David Toma. While the original Toma program was popular, it received much criticism. The criticism was due to its realistic and frequent depiction of police and criminal violence. When Musante left the series after a single season, the concept became Baretta, with Robert Blake starring in the title role.

The show went on to become one of the classic ’70s police crime dramas and is still popular today. Like other gritty police dramas of the era, you’ll get time-relevant plot lines, interesting characters, and solid performances. If you long for “the good ole days” of police and detective crime series, this one will never disappoint.

Baretta: The Character

Baretta follows the life of the titular character, Detective Anthony Vincenzo “Tony” Baretta, an undercover cop known for his street-smarts, unorthodox methods, and uncanny ability to get into the minds of criminals. Set in the tough streets of an urban city, the show encapsulates the gritty reality of crime-fighting in the 1970s.

The series presents viewers with a unique and colorful character in Baretta. Alongside his unorthodox police work, he also has a charismatic pet cockatoo named Fred, which adds a touch of quirkiness to the character and the show.

The cast of the Baretta TV Series

The success of Baretta owes much to the talented cast that brought the characters to life:

  • Robert Blake as Tony Baretta
  • Tom Ewell as Billy Truman
  • Edward Grover as Lieutenant Hal Brubaker
  • Michael D. Roberts as Rooster
  • Dana Elcar as Inspector Shiller
  • Chino Williams as Little Moe

Episode Examples

  1. “The Glory Game” (Season 1, Episode 1)
    • In this pilot episode, Baretta is tasked with solving a homicide involving a high-stakes poker game. The episode sets the tone for the series, showcasing Baretta’s street-smart approach to solving crimes.
  2. “The Coppelli Oath” (Season 2, Episode 10)
    • Baretta gets embroiled in a complex case involving an old friend and a mob oath. Loyalties are tested, and Baretta must navigate a dangerous web of criminal ties.
  3. “The Dream” (Season 3, Episode 20)
    • Baretta investigates a case involving a fortune teller and a series of mysterious dreams. The episode delves into the supernatural realm, adding an intriguing twist to the usual crime-solving narrative.

List of Episode Titles

Season 1

The first season delves into Baretta’s complex character, revealing personal struggles and a troubled past. With action-packed sequences and poignant moments, the show balances crime-solving and character development. Viewers are treated to a rollercoaster of suspense, emotion, and gritty realism as Baretta confronts adversaries on the streets and within himself.

The first season has 12 episodes.

  • S1 E1 – He’ll Never See Daylight Again
  • S1 E2 – The Five and a Half Pound Junkie
  • S1 E3 – Woman in the Harbor
  • S1 E4 – If You Can’t Pay the Price
  • S1 E5 – Half a Million Dollar Baby
  • S1 E6 – Ragtime Billy Peaches
  • S1 E7 – The Coppelli Oath
  • S1 E8 – Walk Like You Talk
  • S1 E9 – The Mansion
  • S1 E10 – Keep Your Eye on the Sparrow
  • S1 E11 – The Secret of Terry Lake
  • S1 E12 – This Ain’t My Bag

Season 2

Facing a new array of criminals and complex cases, Baretta employs his unorthodox methods and quick wit to solve crimes. This season delves into his personal life, uncovering past traumas and testing his resilience. With a mix of action-packed sequences and poignant character moments, the show strikes a compelling balance. Viewers can expect a rollercoaster of suspense and emotion as Baretta confronts demons on the streets and within himself.

The second season has 22 episodes.

  • S2 E1 – The Good-Bye Orphan Annie Blues
  • S2 E2 – The Glory Game
  • S2 E3 – On the Road
  • S2 E4 – Nobody in a Nothing Place
  • S2 E5 – The Fire Man
  • S2 E6 – Double Image
  • S2 E7 – Photography by John Doe
  • S2 E8 – Set Up City
  • S2 E9 – A Bite of the Apple
  • S2 E10 – When Dues Come Down
  • S2 E11 – And Down Will Come Baby
  • S2 E12 – Count the Days I’m Gone
  • S2 E13 – Sharper Than a Serpent’s Tooth
  • S2 E14 – The Left Hand of the Devil
  • S2 E15 – Murder for Me
  • S2 E16 – Pay or Die
  • S2 E17 – The Blood Bond
  • S2 E18 – The Dippers
  • S2 E19 – Dead Man Out
  • S2 E20 – Death on the Run
  • S2 E21 – Aggie
  • S2 E22 – And Down Will Come Baby

Season 3

This season explores deeper layers of Baretta’s complex character, unearthing his struggles and forging unexpected alliances. The show masterfully blends action-packed sequences with poignant character development, offering viewers a riveting blend of crime-solving and human drama. With charismatic performances and tight storytelling, season three of “Baretta” maintains its reputation for gripping, edge-of-your-seat entertainment.

The third season has 25 episodes.

  • S3 – E1 – The Ninja
  • S3 – E2 – Soldier in the Jungle
  • S3 – E3 – Runaway Cowboy
  • S3 – E4 – Street Edition
  • S3 – E5 – They Don’t Make ‘Em Like They Used to
  • S3 – E6 – Shoes
  • S3 – E7 – Under the City
  • S3 – E8 – Dear Tony
  • S3 – E9 – Crazy Annie
  • S3 – E10 – Nothin’ for Nothin’
  • S3 – E11 – Can’t Win for Losin’
  • S3 – E12 – Look Back in Terror
  • S3 – E13 – The Big Hand is on Trouble
  • S3 – E14 – Don’t Kill the Sparrows
  • S3 – E15 – That Sister Ain’t No Cousin
  • S3 – E16 – Open Season
  • S3 – E17 – The Reunion
  • S3 – E18 – Not on Our Block
  • S3 – E19 – The Runaways
  • S3 – E20 – Everybody Pays the Fare
  • S3 – E21 – Think Mink
  • S3 – E22 – Carla
  • S3 – E23 – Big Bad Charlie
  • S3 – E24 – Guns and Brothers
  • S3 – E25 – Playin’ Police

Season 4

The season delves deeper into Baretta’s past, shedding light on his motivations and vulnerabilities. With suspenseful plots and charismatic performances, season four promises to deliver heart-pounding action and emotional resonance.

The fourth season has 24 episodes.

  • S4 E1 – New Girl in Town
  • S4 E2 – Somebody Killed Cock Robin
  • S4 E3 – Lyman P. Doffer, Fed
  • S4 E4 – The Sky is Falling
  • S4 E5 – It’s Hard, But It’s Fair
  • S4 E6 – Buddy
  • S4 E7 – Por Nada
  • S4 E8 – Who Can Make the Sun Shine?
  • S4 E9 – All That Shatters
  • S4 E10 – It Goes with the Job
  • S4 E11 – Hot Horse
  • S4 E12 – Why Me?
  • S4 E13 – I’ll Take You to Lunch
  • S4 E14 – It’s a Boy
  • S4 E15 – Just for Laughs
  • S4 E16 – The Marker
  • S4 E17 – The Stone Conspiracy
  • S4 E18 – The Appointment
  • S4 E19 – Woman Trouble
  • S4 E20 – The Gadjo
  • S4 E21 – Barney
  • S4 E22 – The Dream
  • S4 E23 – The Snake Chaser
  • S4 E24 – The Bundle

Ratings and Awards for the Baretta TV Series

Baretta received critical acclaim for its realistic portrayal of urban crime and garnered a dedicated fan base. The show consistently maintained high ratings throughout its run, solidifying its history in television. Robert Blake’s portrayal of Tony Baretta earned him a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series in 1975.

  • IMDB Rating is 6.7 out of 10
  • Rotten Tomatoes is 3.5 stars or higher
  • Amazon Video rating is 4.5 out of 5 stars (Season One)

Production Company

Stephen J. Cannell produced the series. Stephen J. Cannell and Roy Huggins created the series. Stephen J. Cannell was a prolific television producer known for creating and producing many popular TV series.

More Information

Baretta remains a beloved classic in the realm of ’70s detective television. Its blend of gritty realism, engaging characters, and memorable performances by the cast make it a standout series of its era. With its timeless appeal, Baretta continues to be enjoyed by fans of police crime dramas, offering a nostalgic journey back to a bygone era of television excellence.

To learn more about the Baretta TV series, visit the Wikipedia page.

Check out other TV crime series.

Michael Kissiah is the owner of Brandy Lane Publishing, LLC, which owns and operates a small portfolio of websites, including eInvestigator.com. Michael created eInvestigator.com more than 20 years ago after working as a private investigator in the state of Florida. Since that time, he has become an expert at how to find information online and has written over 1000 articles on topics related to the investigation industry. In addition, he is the author of the "Private Investigator Licensing Handbook", available at Amazon.com.

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