Friday, January 9, 2009


In the early 1960’s, detectives and private eyes of almost every kind walked their beats and patrolled the streets from Hollywood to Harlem on American Television. It was the age of the square-jawed, snap-brimmed, snub-nosed, crime fighter with a conscience. Some were on the networks, some were in syndication, but each had their own unique trademark (or gimmick, if you prefer :)
We saw the rise of the sophisticated, smart shamus that radiated a sense of “cool.” On NBC-TV , when not saving film-noir damsels in danger, Kennedy-esque Peter Gunn was a regular at Mother’s Jazz joint. At ABC-TV, they built on the success of 77 Sunset Strip, about a pair of tinseltown, hipster private eyes to bring Burke’s Law to television. Produced by the legendary Aaron Spelling, the series was fun, fast- paced and set the standard for later Spelling series, like The Love Boat and Fantasy Island, by offering a long and eclectic mix of guest stars, each week. Amos Burke, the two-fisted,meticulously tailored, millionaire playboy who headed the Hollywood homicide unit, was played with breezy irony by Gene Barry. He would toss off one liners and offer worldly advice to the rookie detective ,played by Tim Conway and then commiserate with the veteran sergeant played by Regis Toomey, all from the back seat of his chauffeur driven Rolls Royce. By the end of the hour, he solved the case, vanquished the villain and returned to the arms of a beautiful woman. The brassy, mod-ish theme , written by Herschel Burke Gilbert featured a unique innovation in American television: a female announcer, who introduced each episode by saying, "IT'S BURKE'S LAW!!," in a near orgasmic tone.The plots were formulaic, but the guest stars ranging from Paul Lynde, as a murderous medic to a pre-Bewitched, Elizabeth Montgomery made it interesting. Enjoy!!!!!

1 comment:

  1. I remember the attractive skein holder part, but I must have seen it in a rerun.