Barnaby Jones was a former private eye who temporarily came out of retirement to track down the killer of his son Hal, who had taken over the family business. After bringing Hal's murderer to justice (with the assistance of fellow CBS gumshoe Frank Cannon), Jones decided retirement just wasn't his bag after all, and rehung his shingle with the assistance of daughter-in-law Betty, who ran the office and Barnaby's personal crime laboratory, and (later) young distant cousin Jedidiah, who did the cases' legwork. Written by
Marty McKee <email@example.com>
After production of "Barnaby Jones" completed, producers were considering a TV-movie crossover between this show and Buddy Ebsen's previous show The Beverly Hillbillies. The storyline would open with Millionaire Jed Clampett (played by Ebsen) being kidnapped, and Barnaby Jones (also played by Ebsen) hired to locate him. That ATV-movie was never produced, although a similar storyline was created for the 1993 big screen version of "Hillbillies", with Ebsen returning in a cameo as Barnaby Jones, hired by Miss Hathaway to find the missing Granny. See more »
Although the physical constraints of age limited the action somewhat in Barnaby Jones, this senior citizen had none of his mental faculties impaired when on a case.
In a pilot that was an episode of the Cannon TV series, Frank Cannon is hired to investigate the death of Hal Jones a colleague. Hal had taken over the detective agency from father Barnaby who decided to retire as senior citizens are wont to do. But his fires are banked with the homicide of his son and Buddy Ebsen and daughter-in-law Lee Meriwether take over the agency with her as Ebsen's secretary. Thus a successful television series was born.
Ebsen was a cagey old bird who a lot of bad guys thought was past his prime. They'd always trip themselves up because they thought he was not really paying attention to what they said. The Medicare set loved Barnaby Jones.
But TV is always after that youth market and after a few seasons Mark Shera was added to the cast as J.R. Jones, a nephew gone into the business with the uncle. Now the rough stuff could be dealt with in house if needed.
Buddy Ebsen as a performer reinvented himself more than Madonna. Over his 95 year life we saw him as musical dancing performer, Georgie Russell companion to Davy Crockett, Jed Clampett of the Beverly Hillbillies, Barnaby Jones, and finally Roy Houston uncle of Matt Houston. And there are a lot more single roles than that, films like Attack and Breakfast At Tiffany's which was a different Ebsen all together from the rest. Was this man ever versatile.
An inspiration to senior citizens everywhere.
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