Ellery Queen: Season 1, Episode 21

The Adventure of the Hardhearted Huckster (21 Mar. 1976)

TV Episode  |   |  Crime, Drama, Family
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Madison Avenue advertising executive James Bevin Long wants to make newspaper columnist Frank Flanagan a TV star by setting him up with a variety show. But then Long is murdered in his ... See full summary »


(as Edward Abroms)


(story), (characters created by) (as Ellery Queen) , 5 more credits »
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Episode cast overview:
Horace Manley
Jerry Crabtree
Rita Radcliffe
Florence Ames
Fred Beir ...
James Bevin Long
Danny Wells ...
Chuck Bergansky ...
Chauffeur (as Charles Bergansky)
Wonderful Smith ...
Apt. Super
Larry Block ...
Floor Director


Madison Avenue advertising executive James Bevin Long wants to make newspaper columnist Frank Flanagan a TV star by setting him up with a variety show. But then Long is murdered in his private bathroom, stabbed in the back. The killer had to be someone who knew Long's meticulous habits. The plans for the TV show go forward and Ellery takes an inside look at the advertising industry to determine how the killer could have slipped in and out undetected. Written by Peter Harris

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Family | Mystery





Release Date:

21 March 1976 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


In the scenes taking place at a TV station, there are television cameras in the studio with the call letters "WPIQ-TV" painted on them. This is an "in-joke", since the call letters mean "Private Investigator Queen". Ironically, in real life, there has been a New York television station called WPIX-TV since 1948. See more »


Ellery Queen: Well, have you figured it out? If you've been watching closely, you've probably worked it out, too. Was it Florence? Max the copy writer? Or did Jerry Crabtree stab Long? How about Horace Manley? Or did Rita Radcliffe make good on her threat? Or was it somebody else? No, it wasn't Flannigan, and the waiter didn't do it. I'll give you a hint: it's later than you think.
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User Reviews

Frank Flannigan gets a TV show
19 October 2009 | by (Youngstown,Ohio) – See all my reviews

Episode 21,"The Adventure of the Hardhearted Huckster," begins with the stabbing murder of James Bevin Long (Fred Beir), executive for Quick Silver Cigars, after dismissing the growing importance of television (the series was set in 1947). Suspected employees are essayed by Bob Crane, Eddie Bracken, and Carolyn Jones, with Herb Edelman, who played the Taxi Driver in episode 1, cast in a different role here as the copy writer. Juliet Mills plays Long's married secretary, Florence Ames, who winds up a victim of poison due to her extensive knowledge of her late employer's pattern of behavior. Ken Swofford makes his 5th and final appearance as Gazette columnist Frank Flannigan, whose offer to do radio prior to Long's demise is abruptly switched to television, where he cajoles Ellery to appear with him due to a severe lack of guests. Ellery proceeds to unravel the ingenious method of homicide, and Flannigan makes the mistake of lighting up on the air a cigarette, rather than a Quick Silver cigar, earning a thumbs down from the sponsors (when someone suggests Ed Sullivan, a jealous Flannigan proclaims "that zombie wouldn't last two weeks!") Appearing unbilled are Andrea Howard, as the studio receptionist who shares scenes with both Flannigan and Ellery, providing the final clue during a televised cooking lesson, and Maggie Nelson, making her third and final appearance as faithful Flannigan secretary Vera, seen here preparing her boss for his big TV debut.

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