It's 1956 and Jack Cleary is a top-notch detective on the Los Angeles police force. Framed by mobsters for taking bribes, he's drummed out of the force where he hits the bottle and the ... See full summary »



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Episode credited cast:
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Andrew Bloch ...
Mickey Schneider
Simmy Bow ...
Peppy Roth
Anthony Charnota ...
Raymond Battista
Frederick Coffin ...
Dan Dibble
Gary Lee Davis ...
Keith Joe Dick ...
Lana's Date
Lisa Dunsheath ...
Mickey Schneider's Girlfriend
John H. Evans ...
Veteran Policeman


It's 1956 and Jack Cleary is a top-notch detective on the Los Angeles police force. Framed by mobsters for taking bribes, he's drummed out of the force where he hits the bottle and the skids. Jack's brother owns Nick Cleary Detective Agency, and after he's murdered while working a case, Jack takes over his brother's Agency. While trying to find his brother's killer, Jack gets his self-respect back. Along with his brother's agency, he inherits his brother's nutty secretary and a former delinquent sidekick named Johnny Betts. Written by Clintessence

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Crime | Drama



Release Date:

13 September 1987 (USA)  »

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Great Show
12 October 2013 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

PRIVATE EYE – Pilot - 1987

This is the pilot episode for the great 1987-88 series of the same name. The series was set in 1956 Los Angeles and starred Michael Woods and a 21 year-old Josh Brolin. Woods is an ex-detective who has taken to the bottle since he was tossed off the police force on a false corruption charge. Only two people believe he was framed. His P.I. brother, Jay Sanders, as well as his ex-police partner, William Sadler.

It is Woods' birthday and Sanders arranges to meet him later that night to tip a few. He has some loose ends on a case he needs to tie up first though. Sanders is on a big case involving the mob and payola in the rock and roll racket. Sanders fails to show-up for the very good reason he has been filled full of lead, and ran off the road in flames.

Woods does not even notice his brother's no show since he is into round 15 of his 26 oz. bottle. Sadler peels Woods off the floor the next morning and tells him about his brother. "A road accident the highway guys say" Sadler offers. Woods does not believe it for an instant. He sobers up and goes digging. Several hundred yards up the road from the wreck Woods finds broken glass and shell casings from a Thompson sub machine gun.

"This was no accident", he tells Sadler. Woods hits his brother's office and goes through the files of his latest case. The files lead him to a mob controlled record company, and the under the table cash to the radio stations. A trip around to various radio station disc jockeys draws a quick response and several large gentlemen pay him a late night visit.

A sound pistol whipping and a verbal warning do not take, and Woods is at it again the next day. One of his leads takes him to Josh Brolin. Brolin is a want to be rock and roller with a sideline. In order to makes ends meet, he hires out as muscle to various P.I. types. One of his clients was Woods' now deceased brother.

Brolin just happens to know all the details of Sanders' case because he was helping him with it. The mob is after a set of tapes where payoff amounts are being discussed. The mob killed Sanders so they could retrieve the tapes."But!" says Brolin. "There is another set of tapes hidden somewhere."

Woods and Brolin deal out a few beatings of their own before finally locating the tapes. They call in the police so they can hand over the tapes. That of course would be far too simple as some crooked cops now put in an appearance. Thompson sub-machine guns, shotguns and various pistols are produced and used. A rather large body count is accumulated before the issue is settled. Woods is offered his job back on the force but decides to take over his brother's agency instead.

This is a show with some real style mixed in with just the right amounts of violence and grit. Too bad it only ran for 13 episodes.

The episode was written and produced by Anthony Yerkovich. Yerkovich was involved with HILL STREET BLUES and Miami VICE. The director was Mark Tinker. Tinker produced and directed many TV series such as NYPD BLUE and DEADWOOD. The d of p was Bradford May. He started on HAWAII FIVE-0 in the 60's and is still working as a director of TV movies. The score was by Joe Jackson.

The cast includes, Faye Grant, Lisa Jane Persky. Stanley Kamel and Frederick Coffin.

It is better than I make it sound. It is sort of a CRIME STORY mixed together with some L.A. CONFIDENTIAL.

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I would like the complete series webb-r
Forgettable show, but Simon-120
I think a show like this should be done now. bdunlap-2
I still remember the theme song Sombfatb
Well done series -- died prematurely Clintessence
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