May 11, 2008


The 1970s were even worse than the 1960s. Other than a Last of the Mohicans mini-series, the only series about Indians was the short-lived Nakia.

Fall 1974:  ABCABC's second new Saturday series, Nakia, premiered the following Saturday, on September 21st, and lasted about two months longer than The New Land. A made-for-TV movie of the same name served as the pilot, airing April 17th, 1974. Robert Forster starred as Nakia Parker, a Navajo deputy sheriff in a tiny New Mexico town.

Arthur Kennedy appeared as Sheriff Sam Jericho, and Taylor Lacher and Gloria DeHaven portrayed Hubbell Martin and Irene James, respectively, two other deputies. Nakia was up against The Carol Burnett Show on CBS at 10:00PM and after thirteen episodes the series was gone, its last episode airing on December 28th, 1974.

The problem with Nakia stemmed from its reliance on Native American culture. Although Forster made a convincing Navajo, many of the guest-stars looked or acted nothing like their Native American characters. Many of the plots relied on Nakia's native "abilities" (he was able to silently sneak up on someone while wearing his moccasins, for example). It's not surprising the series didn't last.
Comment:  To see the opening credits, follow the link.

For more on the subject, see TV Shows Featuring Indians.

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