Some the details on some of these shows are rather scant. That’s due to their lack of availability, so all we have are a few details.
Richard Diamond, Private Detective-Several episodes of this show have landed on DVD with the first season entirely in the public domain. But this series with a pre-fugive David Janssen ran 4 years, adapted many radio scripts, and featured early work by Mary Tyler Moore. With action, adventure, and good pacing there’s no reason why Richard Diamond shouldn’t be given a full out full series release with all 77 episodes available to be enjoyed.
77 Sunset Strip: A popular detective drama featuring Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. and Roger Smith as his partner. The show was popular, ran for six seasons, and spawned many imitators. Currently rated a 8.1 on IMDB.
The Line Up: This program based on the classic radio show of the same name ran as a Dragnet Rival for six seasons and was resyndicated as San Francisco Beat. Most episodes are still under copyright protection but are very scarce. Rated 7.4 on IMDB.
Hawaiian Eye: A fan favorite starring Robert Conrad as a handsome Private Eye plying his trade in Hawaii. Also starred Connie Stevens. Rated 7.8 on Imdb.
Johnny Midnight: Detective program starring Oscar Winning Actor and Yours Truly Johnny Dollar star (1950-52) Edmond O’Brien as a former broadway detective turned private eye. Rated 6.5 on IMDB.
Hawk: This 1966 series starred a young (30 year old) Burt Reynolds a a Native American detective working for the New York District Attorney’s office. Rated 7.0 on IMDB.
The Felony Squad: Classic police series starring Howard Duff (Sam Spade) and Ben Alexander (Dragnet) Currently rated 8.3 on IMDB.
Dan August: Another detective vehicle starring Burt Reynolds as Santa Luisa Police Lieutenant Dan August and ran during the 1970-71 season. Reynolds netted a golden globe nomination for his performance. Rated 6.6 on IMDB>
Longstreet: 1971 Detective show featuring James Franciscus as a blind detective. Only episodes available on DVD are those featuring Bruce Lee. Rated 8.0 on IMDB.
Jigsaw: Short lived 1972 series starring James Wainwright as a police detective and later private detective who handled missing person cases. Rated 6.2 on IMDB.
Hec Ramsey: Western Detective series starring Richard Boone (Have Gun Will Travel) as a detective in the Old West. Also featured Harry Morga and was part of NBC’s Mystery Wheel. Rated 7.8 on IMDB.
Lanigan’s Rabbi: A police chief (Art Carney) solves crimes with the help of a rabbi (Bruce Solomon.) I know it’s only rated 5.2 on IMDB but the whole concept is intriguing.
Tenafly: Along with Richard Roundtree’s Shaft, Tenafly was the first detective show to feature a black private eye. The star was James McEachin who I’ve most often seen portraying Lt. Ed Brock in the Perry Mason and Lt. Frank Daniels on Matlock, two cops who were constantly arresting the wrong guy. As such, I think we’re entitled to see him actually getting the right guy a few times. Rated 6.9 on IMDB.
Mathnet: Mathnet was a feature on PBS Square One program which grew bigger as the series progressed becoming a sort of comedy mystery show within a show rather than a mere Dragnet parody. The show featured its fictional mathematicians usually all sorts of math principles to solve cases. The math is still up to date and it has great nostalgia appeal for “kids of all ages.” Rated 7.6 on IMDB.
Cosby Mysteries: This 1994-95 series starred Bill Cosby as Guy Hanks, a New York criminologist who retired from the police force after winning the lottery and having a heart attack, but emerges to solve some difficult and puzzling cases. The series is only rated a 5.0 on IMDB, but I really don’t get why. It featured solid mysteries and a great lead and supporting cast particularly James Naughton as Detective Sully. Certainly, there has to be enough Cosby fans to make this one get on DVD.
I’d love your thoughts on my list. Also what other detective shows do you think deserve a DVD release. (Hint: Check TVShowsonDVD first as many programs have actually gotten released.)
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