Guy Hanks (The Cosby Mysteries)

Created by William Link and David Black

Did you miss The Cosby Mysteries? Don’t worry — almost everyone else did, too.

The pilot of this series aired originally as part of The NBC Friday Night Mystery in January 1994, and introduced hot-shot New York criminalogist GUY HANKS (Bill Cosby!) who retires after winning $44 million in the lottery and getting shot–on the same day.

Not exactly the type of retirement most people plan.

He should have been spending his time enjoying the good life with the two women in his life,and his physical therapist/main squeeze Barbara (Lynn Whitfield), but darn if his old buddy/colleague, Detective Adam Sully of the NYPD, didn’t keep popping up and trying to lurel him back to help out on some particularly nasty cases.

The pilot drew a favorable response, and by September of that year, a series was launched, pretty much continuing from where the pilot left off. Guy and Barbara were still a thing, but Rita Moreno had been added to the cast as Guy’s holistic housekeeper Angie.

The show was pleasant enough, but more than one television critic dubbed this Murder, He Wrote, although that was apparently the intention.  According to co-creator William Link, Cosby had stressed that he wanted an intelligent, character driven series that didn’t rely on graphic violence, but maybe a little grit of some sort would have helped. The show relied to heavily (perhaps too heavily, some would argue) on Cosby’s then affably bland family-friendly TV persona–I watched a few episodes at the time, and promptly dismissed it as “Cliff Huxtable, Private Eye.”

Given Cosy’s current notoriety, it’s tempting to dump all over this show, but it’s just not worth it. But for those looking for something a bit darker in Cosby’s ouevre, may I suggest the iconic neo-noir Hickey & Boggs?

Or his arrest warrant.


    (1994, NBC)
    2-hour pilot
    Premiered January 31, 1994
    Written by William Link and David Black
    Directed by Jerry LondonStarring Bill Cosby as GUY HANKS
    Also starring Lynn Whitfield as Barbara
    and James Naughton as Detective Adam Sully
    Guest starring Alice Playten, Yasiin Bey, Saundra Santiago, Louis Todaro, Bruce Altman, Kathryn Meisle, Robert Stanton
    (1994-95, NBC)
    18 60-minute episodes
    Created by William Link and David Black
    Premiere: September 21, 1994
    Writers: Lee Goldberg, and others
    Executive Producers: William Link, Frank Cardia & George Schenck
    Supervising Producers: Lee Goldberg & William Rabkin
    Co-producer: Bill Cosby (Uh-oh)
    Starring Bill Cosby as GUY HANKS
    Also starring James Naughton as Detective Adam Sully
    Rita Moreno as Angie
    Mos Def as Dante
    Lynn Whitfield as Barbara Lorenz
    and Robert Stanton as M.E. Robert Chapman

    • “The Lottery Winner Murders” (September 21, 1994)
    • Our Lady of Cement” (September 28, 1994)
    • Self Defense” (October 5, 1994)
    • Only You” (October 12, 1994)
    • One Day at a Time” (October 19, 1994)
    • Home, Street Home” (October 26, 1994)
    • The Fine Art of Murder” (November 2, 1994)
    • Expert Witness” (November 16, 1994)
    • Mirror, Mirror” (November 30, 1994)
    • Camouflage” (December 14, 1994)
    • Last Tango” (January 4, 1995)
    • Comic Book Murder” (January 11, 1995)
    • Baker’s Dozen” (February 1, 1995)
    • The Hit Parade” (February 8, 1995)
    • Big Brother is Watching” (March 15, 1995)
    • The Medium is the Message” (March 22, 1995)
    • Goldilocks” (April 5, 1995)
    • Dial ‘H’ for Murder” (April 12, 1995)


Report respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith. Thanks to Lee Goldberg for the heads up.

Leave a Reply