The Official KRESKY Homepage
With Kresky's renewed popularity, came a marked increase in
Matterly's artistic ambitions. During the hiatus between season three
and four, the actor turned his attentions to his other great passion:
music, writing and recording his first pop album Portrait of a
Man. Although the album debuted to moderate success in the US, it
was a smash hit overseas -- particularly in France where the record
spawned two chart toppers: the disco-flavored Born with the Movin'
Feet and the soulful Mr. Tuesday Afternoon Blues.
But conquering the Gallic music scene was not enough for the restless Matterly and he soon began focusing his energies on breaking into yet another creative arena: directing. When production on Kresky restarted, Matterly immediately launched an intensive campaign to direct an episode of the series. Jameson resisted at first, unwilling to hand over the reins to an untried director, but Matterly was not one to be readily dissuaded. In an effort to mollify Matterly, Jameson even permitted the actor-singer to perform Born with the Movin' Feet in an episode. This apparent display of weakness only seemed to strengthen the would-be director's resolve.
Meanwhile, the ever-widening rift between Matterly and Whitney was beginning to take its toll on the actor's on-screen relationship. The Kresky-Cantrell partnership often seemed to be fraught with an odd, uncomfortable tension. Although the writing staff did an exemplary job of working this friction into their scripts, the strained working relations between the two actors were making things more and more difficult for the crew.
It is unclear whether Jameson's move to insulate Matterly and Whitney from each other was in response to a request from Matterly or simply a desperate attempt to keep the series from self-destructing. Whatever the answer, the producer and his writers began to deliberately create scripts where the two main characters were kept separated as much as credibility would allow. In fact, the filming of the show became so thoroughly segregated at times that crew members renamed the first and second film units the "Kresky" and "Cantrell" units. The normally cheery and diplomatic Whitney complained to Rolling Stone: "Cantrell and Kresky are supposed to be best friends and partners, but you never even see them in the same room anymore."
The schizophrenic nature of his workplace coupled with the pressure
of trying to keep a hit show from imploding was having a deleterious
effect on Jameson. The formerly confident, self-assured producer had
become increasingly anxious and infirm, suffering through week-long
bouts of insomnia and the recurrence of a particularly severe peptic
ulcer. It was perhaps due to this that Jameson finally gave in to
Matterly's persistent demands to direct, allowing him to helm the
twelfth episode of season four, "Rendezvous at Devil's
From all reports, the filming of "Rendezvous" went surprisingly smoothly -- although rumor has it that Matterly left most of the Whitney scenes to the second unit director Charlie McNeil. McNeil, now a successful television director in his own right, has been quoted as saying, "Matterly called the Cantrell stuff 'non-essential', but it was easily a good third to half every of the episode."
If Jameson truly believed that the directing stint would pacify his difficult star, then he was in for an unpleasant surprise. Only a week after Matterly completed post-production on "Rendezvous", he repaid his harried producer by complaining to the Los Angeles Times about the dearth of high quality, socially relevant Kresky scripts. At the time, Matterly was championing a number of high-profile charities and the actor-director-singer insisted that Kresky would be the perfect platform to address any number of social ills. Scheduled for ulcer surgery, the put-upon producer didn't have much fight left in him; he directed his writing staff to listen to Matterly's story ideas.
And listen they did. In the last seven episodes of season four, Kresky managed to touch upon such varied issues as hate crimes, the shortcomings of the American Grand Jury system, farm foreclosures, racism, narcolepsy, black pride, illiteracy and the plight of the American Indian. No longer just an undercover cop, Kresky metamorphosed into a fearless crusader against societal injustice. Alas, the American viewing public did not share Kresky's interest in the issues. The series' ratings dropped off dramatically, bringing the season to an unimpressive close.
Matt Jameson, by now a physical and psychological wreck, simply walked away from the show during the summer hiatus. Claiming irreconcilable differences with the show's star, Kresky's creator handed over the reins to associate producer Martin Froug and retreated to a cabin in the San Bernardino mountains to "rest, recuperate and re-evaluate life goals." Little did Jameson know that only a few months later he would return to play anther critical role in the Kresky saga.
P.H. Season 1
P.H. Season 2
P.H. Season 3
P.H. Season 5
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