The year before this show premiered, William Conrad (J.L. McCabe) appeared in a two part episode of Matlock, titled "The Don", in which he played prosecutor James L. McShane. Joe Penny (Jake Styles) appeared in the same two-parter as Paul Baron, the son of Matlock's client. (Both shows came from Dean Hargrove Company) See more »
It shouldn't be much of a surprise that this show was (co?)produced by Fred Silverman,who also created and produced the highly successful "Matlock" on rival nets NBC and ABC. This inhabitant of the CBS midweek scheduling(usually Tuesdays if memory serves)seems like as much a sort of photo negative of the earlier offering starring Andy Griffith,where instead of a defense attorney fighting to exonerate a wrongly accused yet highly viable suspect,a sly,pro-active prosecuting attorney--in this case,portly J.L.McCabe(the late,great William Conrad)--battles to find who the real guilty culprit in in cases that seem cut-and-dried in another direction. To his aid are a handsome,seemingly 'Devil may care' private investigator(and ex-cop)named Jake Stiles(the handsome,now 'Where Are They Now?' material Joe Penny) and the loyal assistant attorney Derek Mitchell(Alan Campbell).
While I cannot profess to be a loyal fan of the show,I watched it with some regularity through the first two seasons or so and was reasonably impressed with how the show(for its day)could deconstruct a "Now you see it,now you don't" type of murder mystery that was similar to the show about the crafty,blue suited Atlanta defense attorney. The combination of the veteran bluster of Mr. Conrad and the seemingly feckless charm of Mr.Penny was able to fill up an hour capably. Even though this show had a solid five year run(that was almost cut down after season one),it's pretty tough to find re-runs of this. If you can,and you feel like this kind of easy-to-digest,late eighties entertainment is your cup of tea,then check this out.
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