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Here's a television program I haven't watched since it went off the air
over 15 years ago, and I'd give anything to see it again on a DVD
Gary Cole, as "Jack Killion," was THE coolest guy on TV at that time, and I mean the kind of "cool" associated with Craig Stevens of TV's "Peter Gunn," or Steve McQueen in the 1950s and '60s movies. Cole a.k.a. "The Nighthawk" in here was just cool....what else can you say?
Jack was a combination late-night radio talk show host and an ex-cop. If I recall, he was off the force after a tragedy cost the life of his partner and the event was still haunting him. He would hear a bunch of troubled people on the radio, some needing assistance quickly or they would be a crime victim. Jack would help them out.
The atmosphere was very moody, the music was good and the whole thing was just different, very different from most "crime shows." Until I looked at the title page I couldn't remember anyone else on the show but I've never forgotten this program. I can only hope I see it again some time.
Here it is, the first entry that sees me break my rule of 'no
commenting on TV shows'. Hereafter, the floodgates will open. This is a
downbeat, well acted and entertaining drama with a style all of its own
and quite a charismatic star, who as far as I know has done nothing as
a main lead either before or since. Occasionally found floating around
the schedules in the 'graveyard hours', this is the little show that
Good performances, good writing and the cynical, sarcastic and philosophical worldview of the main character are presented here for the viewers delectation. What more could you want? A cool soundtrack? You got that here too! Nobody has a right to expect anything this classy to be aired in the timeslots it often is. It's a godsend for us insomniacs who need to keep ourselves occupied, in the wee hours... !
This show is amazing. I started watching it because I recognised Gary
but it didn't take long to enjoy the show, and not just the actor. I found
no fault with the program. The mood is perfect for insomniac nights up,
coming off the nightshift or settling down with a bottle yer favourite
This series has been consistently overlooked and underscheduled, but to
that just adds to it. I don't know how things are elsewhere in the world,
but in Britain it occasionally appears on TV in and around midnight, and
even excepting the title it fits in perfectly.
The action feels quite lonely, like the people listening to late night phone-ins. Although it is often sentimental in its message, it is underplayed and well acted. This is a detective series that definitely doesn't end with a freeze frame of the regular cast laughing.
When I do find this on television, I feel like I've stumbled across a minor gem, in the same way you might enjoy finding a good CD from an underappreciated band.
I've heard that the lead actor Gary Cole doesn't have much of a reputation in the US, although I've never seen him in anything else and know nothing about him. He does a good and convincing job in both the conventional dramatic segments of Midnight Caller, and the urban philosophical monologues that begin, join together and end the episodes of this unusual and surprisingly engaging series.
And of course the theme tune is absolutely top whack brilliant.
a piece of my teenager period. the music. the characters. and, in special, Jack Killian. it is difficult to describe the pages of an emotion. the voice, the cases, the impressive role of Cole and the fascination of a world in which the words are more important than every gun. this show was an invitation to understand force of radio and importance of choices. out of moral lessons or predictable advises. like a game of basic values. like a quite spell in which magic is only stage. tale of former policeman and a radio station, crumbs of talks and solution for police cases. ordinary stories. and subtle charm of a fight against yourself. beautiful memories. and old Good night America...wherever you are.
Midnight Caller was an extraordinary program. Thoughtful, mature and a great showcase for Gary Cole and Mykel T. Williamson. Everyone who appreciates this kind of cynical, mature drama laced with sharp humor, should inquire as to why this is not available on DVD. I would buy it without hesitation. The other supporting players and (frequent) guest stars usually gave excellent performances. The jazzy soundtrack was a great compliment to the program. The timing was impeccable as the show's debut was the same year I moved to the SF Bay area. Bravo to Gary Cole- his performance as Jack Killian was truly outstanding. If you ever have a chance, give this show a look, or better still, buy some DVDs.
I remember watching this show in reruns on A&E (in the early morning hours) and must say I enjoyed it. The characters and plots were pretty intriuging. Of course it's gonna be dark, but the plotlines were dark as well. The show caused me to become a fan of Gary Cole's and when, a number of years later, I caught Wendy Kilbourne in the North & South miniseries and became a fan of hers, I came to appreciate the show even more.
I don't remember much about this series I just remember it was on NBC and only lasted from 1988-1991. Like most cop related dramas it was dark, and moody. "Midnight Caller" featured Jack Killian (Gary Cole) as a late night radio talk show host. He was a former San Francisco cop who with his troubled past, went on the air to purge both his own demons and help callers with their own problems. Often Jack had to once again take on the role of a cop as many callers had problems that were crime related and he found himself investigating out into the streets of San Francisco. The best reason I remember to watch the show was the beautiful Wendy Kilbourne she played stylish Devon King who was Jack's boss at the radio station. The only episode I remember was the 2-Hour Movie Premier which was advertised perfect in a issue of TV Guide. I remember the picture in the TV Guide so well it was of Wendy Kilbourne and she had a piece of white tape around her mouth. This episode featured a guest villain who had a grudge against Jack (Gary Cole) so he holds Devon (Wendy) hostage at the radio station she is tied to a chair and has her mouth taped. Though hours later Jack came to Devon's rescue. That's all I remember about the show I don't know why it didn't last longer.
This show was really good.
Though, i was only 8 or 9 when it started airing, i still remember the
tagline used at the end of every episode...it reads something like
Goodnight America, wherever you are.
I was a college student when this show first appeared on NBC, and quickly grew to love it. Set in San Francisco, "Midnight Caller" was a well-thought-out and well-scripted drama that wasn't afraid to tackle some of the biggest issues of our time (e.g. the episode where Jack Killian with no notice discusses AIDS live on the air). He and the rest of the characters (played by an able supporting cast) all had depth, all had various warts... just like real people. The show also did a good job of reacting to and chronicling major events, such as the episode where various characters recounted on air their reactions to the 1989 World Series earthquake. As some have previously said, it also had a great soundtrack. (The title song was later re-recorded by jazz trumpeter Rick Braun on his CD, "Intimate Secrets," with song composer Brad Fidel accompanying him on piano.) Unfortunately, "Midnight Caller" was never a ratings darling, and was dropped by NBC after three seasons. A show well worth being on DVD!
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