Michael Devitt & Christina Towne (Two of Diamonds)

Created by Keith Johnson

Once upon a time, there was a Canadian television show (syndicated in the U.S.) called Diamonds (1987-89), that asked us to go all meta, and imagine two television actors, MICHAEL DEVITT and CHRISTINA TOWNE, who once starred together on a hit television show called “Two of Diamonds,” about two private eyes married to each other. Eventually, the two co-stars married in real-life, but when their marriage floundered, so did the show.

Divorced, and unemployed, Mike decides to open a real private detective agency, and convinces Christina to join him. They call the agency “Two of Diamonds.” (Hokey, yeah, and way too cute, I know, but this is television.)

Got that?

Anyway, Michael is the impulsive, instinctive one, and Christina the designated adult; more reserved, methodical, logical and pragmatic. Suffice it to say that sparks of a rather romantic nature occasionally took flight. Sure, it smelled more than a bit like Moonlighting, although, for the most part, Mike and Christina kept it strictly business. It was clear they still cared for one another, but fortunately it didn’t degenerate into a overly sappy, soapy, soggy “will they/won’t they?” storyline.

It was also clear that the writers were well aware of the constant comparisons–in one “very special” episode, Michael and Christina are actually mistaken for Bruce Willis and Cybill Shepherd.

Aiding and abetting the on-again, off-again twosome was Michael’s cousin, Lieutenant Lou Gianetti, a member of the “York” (Toronto, actually, trying to pass as New York, or at least vaguely not Canada) police force, and René, a former colleague and one of the best special effects men in the business.

Hmmmm…. as Craig Nelson points out in Bad TV: The Very Best of the Very Worst, this Canadian-produced show suspiciously bears more than a passing similarity to a similar 1983 made-for-TV movie, Shooting Stars.

Still, it did star a young Nicholas Campbell as Michael, who went a long way to re-establishing his actor cred as the wonderfully flawed and abrasive coroner in DaVinci’s Inquest, created by former  Diamonds writer Chris Haddock, who also created the affable little Canadian private eye gem Mom P.I., starring Rosemary Dunsmore and Rockford‘s Stuart Margolin.


    (aka “Two of Diamonds”)
    (1987-89, Global)
    34 60-minite episodes
    Based on a concept by Keith Johnson
    Writers: R.B. Carrey, Nicholas Campbell, Ashley Colley, Chris Haddock, Jeremy Hole, Jeff King, Peter Lauterman, Yves Lavandier, Peter Mohan, Philip Rosenberg, Barbara Samuels, Angelo Stea, Gabrielle St. George, Jaron Summers
    Directors: Mark Soble
    Supervising Producer: Robert Lantos and Stephen J. Roth
    Executive producers: Sonny Grosso and Larry Jacobsen
    An Alliance/Atlantique Production
    Theme written by Dominic Troiano
    Starring Nicholas Campbell as MIKE DEVITT
    and Peggy Smithhart as CHRISTINA TOWNE
    Also starring Roland Magdane as René
    Tony Rosato as Lieutenant Lou Gianetti
    Also starring Geraint Wyn Davies, Alan Fienman, Roland Magdase
    Guest stars: Jackie Samuel, T.J. Scot, Maury Chaykin, Milan Cheylov, Colm Feore, David B. Nichols, Carolyn Dunn, Martha Gibson, Tom Kneebone, Sam Moses, Yank Azman , Jennifer Dale, Jayne Eastwood, Jean-Paul Solal, Paul Benjamin, Robert Christie, Nicholas Pasco, Dick Van Patten

    • “Poison Pill” (September 22, 1987)
    • “Kiss & Tell” (September 29, 1987)
    • ‘There Once Was a Lady from Katmandu” (October 6, 1987)
    • “Here Comes the Bride” (October 13, 1987)
    • “Domestic Spirits” (October 20, 1997
    • “Class Reunion” (November 3, 1987)
    • “Good Hands” (November 10, 1987)
    • “The Smiling Mortician” (November 17, 1987)
    • “Fan Club” (December 5, 1988)
    • “Little Girl Lost” (January 12, 1988)
    • “When the Wind Blowst” (February 2, 1988)
    • “Ay, There’s the Rib” (February 9, 1988)
    • “There’s No Business” (February 23, 1988)
    • “Family Plot” (March 1, 1988)
    • “Sweetheart Deal” (March 8, 1988)
    • “The Final Cut” (March 29, 1988)
    • “Man with a Gun” (April 5, 1988)
    • “Where There’s a Will” (April 12, 1988)
    • “The Whistle Blower” (May 3, 1988)
    • “Ghost Writer” (May 10, 1988)
    • “Exposure” (May 17, 1988)
    • “Goodbye Cabin” (May 24, 1988)
    • “A Couple of Couples” (December 4, 1988)
    • “All Bets Off” (December 11, 1988)
    • “Leap of Faith” (December 18, 1988)
    • “By the Book” (January 10, 1989)
    • “Separate Ways” (January 24, 1989)
    • “Life is a Lot Like Hockey” (February 7, 1989)
    • “Family Business” (February 21, 1989)
    • “Le Cheval” (April 16, 1989)
    • “Le Cheval” (April 23, 1989)
    • “Back in Fashionl” (April 30, 1989)
    • “Coming of Age” (May 14, 1989)
    • “Doctor, Lawyer, Liar, Thief” (July 16, 1989)
    • “Lady Blue” (August 13, 1989)
    • “Hot Property” (August 20, 1989)
    • “Payola” (August 27, 1989)
    • “Voodoo” (air date uncertain)
    • “The List” (air date uncertain)
    • “Street Song” (October 9, 1989)
    • “Dinosaur” (air date uncertain)
    • “13 Bis” (air date uncertain)
    • “Death Kiss” (air date uncertain)
    • “The Silver Leaf” (December 3, 1989)
    • “The Ladies Man” (air date uncertain)
Report respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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