In 1981, Universal was preparing their planned Universal Broadcast Network, for which one of the tentpole series would be Donald Bellisario and Steven de Souza’s Jaws: The Series. Twelve episodes were included in the initial pitch document.
“Last Limbo in Bogota”
Deputy Lefty announces to the media that Sheriff Hawk, now known to Hooper and the gang as Ricky Delgado, drug-trafficking gangster, has disappeared and is feared dead. In reality, Lefty is still receiving his orders from Hawk, who is fleeing the pursuit of Agent Rocco, who hasn’t yet found a way to prove Hawk is Ricky, or connect him to the Colombians. Lefty attempts to distract the public by raising the prize of the wine festival’s beachside limbo contest to an outrageous $10,000, drawing an unsafe number of participants to a beach still under threat of a massive, man-eating shark who might be going through intense cocaine withdrawals. Panic ensues at the limbo when a bloody Hawaiian shirt washes ashore, but Brody recognizes it as belonging to a local drug pusher who helped Rocco track down the cartel. Is it possible the shark was driven to hunt humans when the drug runners used them to “dispose of some evidence”? Mac and Tiffany set up Becky on a blind date with guest star [GUEST STAR], unaware of her budding relationship with Cartwright.
The festival’s swap meet is shut down when a porcelain statuary breaks, revealing that it’s filled with packages of cocaine, and the drug smugglers are using the festival to distribute their product. Brody uses this as an excuse to tell the public to avoid the festival without creating a panic over the very real risk posed by the shark. The chairman of the festival, guest star [a George Segal type], wants Brody’s head for such an affront, but his intimidation of Brody is interrupted by the boat they’re on being attacked by a strung-out great white shark. [Why are they on a boat? – Steve] The shark, as it turns out, was attracted to the boat by the smell of drugs – the chairman is in league with the cartel! Mac encounters tension when his ex-wife brings her new boyfriend to the festival.
Lefty has Mac arrested on spurious charges, with his bail set so high the gang need $5,000 just to put up for the bond. Fortunately, the cash prize for the wine festival’s half-marathon is exactly five thousand dollars, and Dr. Cartwright just happens to be a former high school track star! But danger strikes when Lefty enters a ringer into the race, who is faster than Cartwright and willing to cheat…with deadly consequences. The race is on to catch this crooked runner in the act before he can cross the finish line. Becky tries to raise Rich’s spirits before the race with a surprise luau. [How long is this goddamn wine festival? – Steve]
“Shark and Roll”
The festival’s charity concert, a perennial highlight that draws massive crowds, is moved to a floating stage just off the beach at the request of flamboyant rock star Ricky Jump, the concert’s headliner. Obviously, Brody is terrified at the prospect of drawing a huge crowd of people to the beach for a rock show, but Dr. Cartwright hatches a risky plan: since the waters themselves will have to be cleared for the stage, the band’s massive amplifiers could be set to a frequency that will attract the shark, then dumped into the water to electrocute the beast, all before the last act make it onto the stage. Brody is convinced it’s too dangerous, but Tiffany unexpectedly sides with Rich. Will cooler heads prevail? Mac stands trial with the only lawyer who would take his case: his ex-wife!