Paladin (Have Gun, Will Travel)

Created by Sam Rolfe and Herb Meadow "A knight without armor in a savage land." -- from the theme song Perhaps the only genre more popular than private eyes in television's early years was the western, so it's probably not that surprising that someone soon came up with the idea of combining the two. In … Continue reading Paladin (Have Gun, Will Travel)

Mike Ehrmantraut

Created by Peter Gould and Vince Gilligan "Shut the fuck up, and let me die in peace." —Mike  in the final season of Breaking Bad Yeah, yeah. I know. Neither AMC's acclaimed Breaking Bad (2008-13), nor its subsequent spinoff/prequel Better Call Saul (2015-22) is a private eye show. But a private eye character proves to be … Continue reading Mike Ehrmantraut

Joe Dancer

Created by Robert Blake (1933-2023) You want to know how much moolah Robert Blake made for ABC during his run in Baretta? Here's a hint: when Baretta ended, NBC--no doubt sniffing a cash cow--was willing to air not one but several pilots for a hard-boiled private eye series Blake had concocted, and gave him carte … Continue reading Joe Dancer

Zoe Busiek (Wild Card)

Created by Lynn Latham and Bernard Lechowick "Nobody's ever accused me of being an adult before." -- Zoe reveals she’s no SuperMomThe American TV channel Lifetime isn’t exactly known for its hard-boiled fare, but they did make it a watered-down go back in 2003, when they premiered Wild Card, folding some occasionally gritty and often … Continue reading Zoe Busiek (Wild Card)

Mike Kellerman (Homicide: Life on the Street)

Homicide: Life on the Street TV developed for television by Paul AttanasioBased on the non-fiction book by David SimonKellerman character created by Tom Fontana "There's more cheating in Baltimore than there is Kodak film."-- Kellerman waxes philosophic One of the most unexpected P.I. dramas ever aired on television has to have been two episodes plopped … Continue reading Mike Kellerman (Homicide: Life on the Street)

Peggy Newman (High Desert)

Created by Nancy Fichman, Katie Ford & Jennifer Hoppe-House If you want to mine the vein of modern day gonzo noir, as popularized by St. Leonard, Carl Hiaasen and others, you have to go big. And if you’re gonna go big, you should go really BIG. High Desert (Apple TV) doesn’t even try. Purportedly set in … Continue reading Peggy Newman (High Desert)

Jon Sable

Created by Mike Grell "Jon Sable--big game hunter on the concrete jungle--I wish I was him." -- Gene Simmons, KISS Gee, Dr. Suess never carried a gun... Mike Grell's JON SABLE was a gun-for-hire who lived in New York City and seemingly had little problem kicking ass or blowing away the bad guys. Oh, and … Continue reading Jon Sable

Nick Sharman

Created by Mark Timlin Pseudonyms include Jim Ballantyne, Tony Williams, Brian Ritterspak (1950—) Hard-boiled South London private eye NICK SHARMAN became something of a sensation in England. He and his creator, Mark Timlin, a little sand in the Vaseline of the cozy-loving tea and crumpet mysteries of the late 1980s, both on paper and in real … Continue reading Nick Sharman

Larry Dean & Chip Bronx (Two for the Money)

Created by Howard Rodman (1920-85) Young patrol officer CHIP BRONX (played by Stephen Brooks) is shot while on duty, and  learns he won’t be fit for active duty when he recovers. So his partner and best friend, LARRY DEAN (played by Robert Hooks), quits the department to become a private investigator, and urges Chip to join … Continue reading Larry Dean & Chip Bronx (Two for the Money)

China Smith

Created by Robert C. Dennis B-film tough-guy movie actor Dan Duryea played two-fisted part-time scam artist/private eye CHINA SMITH who operated out of a bar in Singapore, in the eponymous syndicated TV show from the fifties. China’s cases often took him throughout the Orient, which him plenty of swash-buckling action in this early, as China … Continue reading China Smith