We Want Our DVDS
By far the most requested show, and the most critically acclaimed P.I. show NOT to be available on DVD. David Janssen winced and grimaced and carried a world of hurt on his shoulders, and spoke some of the best writing -- in any medium -- the genre ever produced. Howard Rodman, this one's for you.
Spenser: For Hire (1985-1988, ABC)
Really? There must be an awful lot of Robert Urich fans out there.
Staccato (1959-60, NBC/ABC)
A noirish cult fave, starring and occasionally directed by John Cassavetes. Very cool to look at; occasionally (and unintentionally) hilarious to watch -- but that's what happens when you're an "auteur" aiming high.
Vega$ (1978-81, ABC)
Really? See #2.
Peter Gunn (1958-61, NBC/ABC)
Yeah, some of the episodes have surfaced, but the complete run is what the boys in the back room will have. Starring Craig Stevens as the coolest TV eye ever, stylish but never self-conscious. Extra points for having Edie, the greatest P.I. girlfriend ever.
Longstreet (1971-1972, ABC)
James Franciscus as a blind insurance investigator. I loved this show as a kid, but I'm pretty sure most of the demand now is due to the detective's martial arts trainer, played by some young Asian guy named Bruce Lee.
City of Angels (1976, CBS)
An ambitious period piece from the Cannell factory, set in WWII L.A, but fondly remebered by those 17 viewers who caught it. Supposedly the star, Wayne Rogers, thought it was crap. He also thought he'd have a big career after bailing out of TV's M*A*S*H.
Eyes (2005, ABC)
A high-tech agency specializing in corporate crime, but run by Tim Daly with plenty of soul. The most recent show on the list; arguably conclusive proof the networks have lost their testicles.
Vengeance Unlimited (1998, ABC)
Ahead of the curve, this edgy blast of dark humour and pulp fiction cool starring Michael Madsen, would be a shoe-in now on HBO or Showtime. Imagine The Equalizer without a stick up his butt.
Tenspeed and Brownshoe (1980, ABC)
A personal fave of mine, but I'm not the only one. A witty, savvy love letter to the P.I. genre, starring Jeff Goldblum as a doofus accountant with Chandler dreams and Ben Vereen as a slick, jive-talking grifter all too willing to lend him a hand, by uber-fan Stephen J. Cannell.