"Nobody's Perfect" was originally titled "Hart in San Francisco" and expected to be one of the plumber hits of the last TV season. Veteran handicapper Herb Jacobs predicted, "Hammocking between two of the schedule's highest scoring programs ('Happy Days' and 'Three's Company') guarantees high marks for this fine comedy."
In its analysis of the new season, the Dancer-Fitzgerald-Sample ad agency hailed the program's "sharply-honed comedy script and a cavalcade of visual wallops and cut right to the funny bone" and said its chances for success were "excellent."
A funny thing happened on the way to smash hitdom, though. "Nobody's Perfect" was dropped from the schedule last summer and only now is showing up on ABC. "Seven or eight" episodes will be aired, a network spokesman says, starting tonight with the pilot, at 9:30 Channel 7.
Ron Moody, once Fagin in "Oliver!," plays a Scotland Yard inspector on a year's loan to the San Francisco plice department. Somehow brilliant and bumbling at the same time, and obviously patterned after the movies' Inspector Clouseau (Moody even looks like the cartoon version of Clouseau seen in "Pink Panther" credit sequences), Roger Hart makes a promising comic entrance, effortlessly demolishing a window with his umbrella and knocking over a water cooler for an encore.
In the first show, Hart dimwittedly rescues a potential suicide from the ledge of a high building but, in a black comedy turn, somewhat misplaces the priest who'd come to help in the project. And in the second act he foils an airplane hijacking more or less in spite of himself.
It's cute, and occasionally funny, and the script by producers Arne Sultan ("Get Smart") and Chris Hayward ("Barney Miller") is brighter than many, but too much time is spent in dawdles between jokes, and no scene is sustained for very long without the interventon of a car ride or some transitonal music doodles. The laugh track sounds left over from "Me and the Chimp."
As summer viewing, though, the program certainly has freshness on its side, and Moody charges very briskly and appealingly through the role. Whether ABC was wise to put the show on the shelf or not remains to be seen, but its title must strike a little note of irony with the executive who tampered with a sure thing schedule and ended the season in unexpected second-place to CBS. Like they say at the old drawing board, nobody's you-know-what.