Butch Patterson

Created by Greg Lawrence "Do you think I'd look good in a hat?" How’d I miss this one? A 30-minute Canadian TV comedy lampooning the whole Shamus Game? That lasted three seasons? And I had no clue it even existed? Turns out Butch Patterson, Private Dick ran from 1999-2001 on The Comedy Network, a Canadian channel … Continue reading Butch Patterson

Michael Westen (Burn Notice)

Created by Matt Nix When the tough get burned, the burned get going... When spies get fired, they don't get a pink slip or a form letter from human resources. They get a "burn notice" and became untouchable. In the USA Network series Burn Notice (2007-13), Jeffrey Donovan played MICHAEL WESTEN, a handsome, young, yogurt-loving former … Continue reading Michael Westen (Burn Notice)

Watching the (Private) Detectives

Rolling Stone Picks 10 Classics In their January 2023 issue (#1371, for those keeping track), the venerable rock mag served up their top ten television “whodunits," as a sidebar to an article by their TV critic Alan Sepinwall on the upcoming Poker Face TV show. No real surprises, but judging from the brief but pithy summaries … Continue reading Watching the (Private) Detectives

Charlie Cale (Poker Face)

Created by Rian Johnson Writer/director Rian Johnson may just be the best undercover friend the P.I. genre has had in a long, long time. First he gave us 2005’s Brick, a sly reworking of noir tropes, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a teenage would-be Marlowe working his wall through the mean hallways of his high school. Then … Continue reading Charlie Cale (Poker Face)

Charles Rowland & Edwin Paine (The Dead Boy Detectives)

Created by Neil Gaiman & Matt Wagner Originally created by Neil Gaiman in his popular Sandman series from DC/Vertigo back in the nineties, EDWIN PAINE (died 1916) and CHARLES ROWLAND (died 1990) are two British schoolboys who have shuffled off this mortal coil--but that hasn't stopped them from making like the would-be Hardy Boys of the afterlife, … Continue reading Charles Rowland & Edwin Paine (The Dead Boy Detectives)

Todd Wright (So Help Me Todd)

Created by Scott Pendergast A disappointingly underwhelming TV show that smothers its own potential cleverness and wit with a thick, warm blanket of comfy family drama that never quite pays off, at least until the seventh episode—coincidentally a Thanksgiving-themed episode. Your enjoyment of So Help Me Todd (2022, CBS/Paramount) will depend on your tolerance for having … Continue reading Todd Wright (So Help Me Todd)

Daryl Zero (Zero Effect)

Created by Jake Kasdan "Now, a few words on looking for things. When you go looking for something specific, your chances of finding it are very bad. Because of all the things in the world, you're only looking for one of them. When you go looking for anything at all, your chances of finding it … Continue reading Daryl Zero (Zero Effect)

Top Ten Private Eye Shows

As chosen by Max Allan Collins and John Javna In their 1988 book, The Best of Crime & Detective TV, Collins and Javna served up an articulate, passionate, opinionated and often hilarious salute to crime and detective TV, including sections on cop shows, lawyer shows and more. And yes, a section on private eyes. They … Continue reading Top Ten Private Eye Shows

The Dick Powell Show

Television Anthology Series (1961-63, NBC) Hosted by crooner-turned-amiable-tough-guy Dick Powell, the aptly titled THE DICK POWELL SHOW (aka “The Dick Powell Theatre," "The Dick Powell Reynolds Aluminum Show") was the actor/host/producer’s his last anthology show, but it was a good one, a quality production garnering Emmy nominations for Outstanding Dramatic Achievement for both seasons it was … Continue reading The Dick Powell Show

Blake Edwards’ Private Eyes

And Other Miscreants... Like his contemporary Roy Huggins, Blake Edwards must have had a real jones for the Shamus Game. Along with his genuine successes (everything from Richard Diamond and Peter Gunn to 10, S.O.B. and the Pink Panther movies), Edwards wrote, directed and/or produced several radio shows, films (both for television and the big … Continue reading Blake Edwards’ Private Eyes