Thursday, August 03, 2006

Ready for My Close-up, Mr. DeMille...


Has it really been almost two months since I updated this thing?

Damn. It was never my intention to turn this into a daily journal, but two months? How the hell did that happen?


Anyway, I will try to do better (HAH!). My sojourn to the Great White North is long over, and I'm back (I'm back) in the saddle again, slowly (S-L-O-W-L-Y) putting together the next long-delayed issue of THRILLING DETECTIVE.

But of course, real life, in all its various flavours and varieties, continues to intrude. Like today. I should be working on the site but...

I'm off to the wilds of Hollywood to be on television. Can fame and fortune -- or something like it-- be far behind?
SLEUTH, the American cable and satellite network carried by Time/Warner specializing in crime and detective shows came up with a unique promotional idea -- a viewer's poll on their favourite television and film sleuths, with the results to be televised later this fall.

They've recently presented a list of what they considered the most popular and/or influential sleuths and asked viewers to vote for their favourites. The survey, sure to trigger intense debate among fans, will run until August 21st, 2006, and the results will form the basis of the future special, full of film clips and pontification and nostalgic ramblings on such vital topics as the social significance of Kojak's lollipop and the hidden cultural subtext of Rockford's cookie jar, I'm sure.

But they must be scraping the bottom of the barrel, looking for talking heads.

Because they've asked me to participate. Obviously, they've never considered the ramifications of asking me to talk about a subject so near and dear to my heart.

Or maybe they have. I saw no mention of an open bar.

The nominees are not all P.I.s, of course -- far from it -- but the top twenty-five sleuths from the world of TV and film, in no particular order, as selected by Sleuth, are:

Det. Sgt Joe Friday from "Dragnet"
Lt. Columbo from "Colombo"
Lt. Theo Kojak from "Kojak"
Jim Rockford from "The Rockford Files"
Lt. Tony Baretta from "Baretta"
Dr. R. Quincy from "Quincy, M.E."
Thomas Magnum from "Magnum P.I."
Jessica Fletcher from "Murder, She Wrote"
Crockett & Tubbs from "Miami Vice"
Irwin Fletcher from the "Fletch' movies
Detective Lenny Brisco from "Law and Order"
Sam Spade from "The Maltese Falcon"
Harry Callahan from the "Dirty Harry" movies
Riggs & Murtaugh from the "Lethal Weapon" movies
Sherlock Holmes from the movies and various television series
Remington Steele from "Remington Steele"
Detective Andy Sipowicz from "NYPD Blue"
Mulder & Scully from "The X-Files"
Clarice Starling from "Silence of the Lambs"
Marge Gunderson from "Fargo"
Maddie & Dave from "Moonlighting"
Lt. Frank Drebin from "Police Squad"
Gil Grissom from "C.S.I."
John Shaft from the "Shaft" movies and the television series
Sabrina, Jill, & Kelly from "Charlie's Angels"

WHAT THE @#&#?^$^@&#$%@#$^!!!!!!

Yeah, that's what I thought too, when I first saw the list.

It isn't so much who they included that's controversial, but those who were left out that will be steaming up folks and setting tongues a wagging for months to come. Which means it should be a lot of fun.

What do YOU think?

And what should I wear?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Welcome back.

I'm on a mission to remind anyone associated with this project of "Harry O." For my money the best TV P.I. of all time.

12:59 PM, August 03, 2006  
Blogger J. Kingston Pierce said...

Good to have you back, Kevin.

8:21 PM, August 03, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kudos to Harry O!


5:42 AM, August 04, 2006  
Blogger John DuMond said...

"And what should I wear?"

Clean underwear. In case you're in an accident on the way to the studio.

6:08 AM, August 04, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No Philip Marlowe? This list is bull$#!%.

7:56 PM, August 04, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A fedora, a trench coat, and just a thong underneath.

and when they intro you, FLASH THE CAMERA!


(yeah, I'm just a little nuts. just a little)

11:15 PM, August 04, 2006  
Blogger Kevin Burton Smith said...

Hey Anonymous!

MARK my words, on odd-numbered days I agree with you. On even-numbered days, it's Rockford.

But god, the two greatest TV dicks of all time making their debut almost simultaneously (with MANNIX and CANNON serving as backdrop), while the likes of Spenser, Scudder, Walker and Nameless were also starting to make their marks in the bookstores? And we were still reeling from CHINATOWN, NIGHT MOVES, THE CONVERSATION, FAREWELL MY LOVELY, SHAFT, THE LONG GOODBYE and THE LATE SHOW?

The early seventies were truly the Golden Age of Private Eye Fiction.

7:18 PM, August 06, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kev, they're going to need lots of make-up to cut the glare on that shiny pate! Seriously, let me know the airdate so I can download that episode. Sorry to have missed you in Montreal, but good to know you're doing well.


8:36 AM, August 08, 2006  
Blogger Linda said...

I'd say Laura Holt, not Remington Steele, since he didn't actually solve the cases. She did and he took the bows. I loved the show, BTW, and I'm glad it made your list. :)


2:46 PM, August 08, 2006  
Blogger Kevin Burton Smith said...

Well, Mama, it's not MY list -- it's SLEUTH's list. My list would probably include MANNIX, HILL STREET BLUES, TENSPEED & BROWNSHOE, HARRY O, PETER GUNN and HOMICIDE. Oh, and PRIME SUSPECT.

I'd probably skip over REMINGTON STEEL entirely, to tell the truth.

As for Marlowe, I can understand his exclusion, even if I don't like it. After all, this is a TV/film poll, and there hasn't been a good movie or TV Marlowe for at least thirty years. While the same could be said of Sam Spade, THE MALTESE FALCON is an out-and-out classic; THE BIG SLEEP is just a good Bogart flick, loosely based on Chandler's book, and MURDER MY SWEET (the best Chandler adaptation by far) almost forgotten these days.

5:07 PM, August 08, 2006  

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