Arnie Sutter (Big Shamus, Little Shamus)

Created by Tracy Hotchner
Developed by Christopher Knopf

Single dad ARNIE SUTTER lives with his cute-as-the-dickens thirteen-year-old, Max, and works as the long-time house dick at the once-glamorous Hotel Ansonia in Atlantic City. And then legalized gambling comes to town, in the ill-fated Big Shamus, Little Shamus, a 1979 American TV show that stank so bad that it was cancelled after two episodes.

Which means it lasted twice as long as Glenn Frey’s South of Sunset.

Apparently, gambling meant a second chance for the Ansonia, but the addition of a new casino meant new headaches for Arnie, who now has to contend with hookers, scam artists, thieves and other “undesirables (does Trump make an appearance?).

Rounding out the cast are Arnie’s boss, George Korman, assistant manager Stephanie Marsh, desk clerk Jerry Wilson and undercover security guard Jingles Lodestar, who poses as a cocktail waitress. I’m sure it’s all very heartwarming.

I mean, look at that publicity still!

Still, I’m wondering where Mom is. Was Arnie married? Divorced? A widower? Nobody knows. And now I’ll never know…

I dunno. I’ve always thought big, beefy Brian Dennehy was born to play a cop or a private eye, but from all accounts, this was a stinker of the first degree. Then again, young kids and P.I.s rarely make a good match. The only one exception I can think of, off the top of my head, was Mom, P.I.


  • “Can you imagine a show so bad it didn’t make it to Columbus Day? Sheesh.”
    TV Dads


    (1979, CBS)
    9 60-minute episodes (7 unaired)
    Created by Tracy Hotchner
    Developed by Christopher Knopf
    Starring Brian Dennehy as ARNIE SUTTER
    and Doug McKeon as Max Sutter
    With George Wyner as George Korman
    Kathryn Leigh Scott as Stephanie Marsh
    Ty Henderson as Jerry Wilson
    and Cynthia Sikes as Jingels Lodestar
    • “The Canary” (September 29, 1979)
    • “The Abduction” (October 6, 1979)
    • “The Loser” (unaired)
    • “The Ledge” (unaired)
    • “The Rubens” (unaired)
    • “The Bar Mitzvah” (unaired)
    • “The Cover” (unaired)
    • “The Assassin” (unaired)
    • “The Fanatics” (unaired)
Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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