Wiseguy: Season 1, Episode 11

Independent Operator (4 Jan. 1988)

TV Episode  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery
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Vinnie's assignment to check out a contract killer leads him into a huge global contraband syndicate -- an operation that far exceeds the scope of the Steelgrave family -- overlorded by brother and sister Mel and Susan Profitt.



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Title: Independent Operator (04 Jan 1988)

Independent Operator (04 Jan 1988) on IMDb 7.9/10

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Episode cast overview:
Jim Byrnes ...
Susan Profitt
Terry Bozeman ...
Clayton Bartholomew
Bernadette Leonard ...
Antony Holland ...
Dr. Ackerman
Chris Zimmerman
Frank Ferrucci ...
Sean O'Byrne ...


Vinnie's assignment to check out a contract killer leads him into a huge global contraband syndicate -- an operation that far exceeds the scope of the Steelgrave family -- overlorded by brother and sister Mel and Susan Profitt.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery




Release Date:

4 January 1988 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


This episode featured the song "Daddy's Coming Home" by Walk The Moon when it originally aired, but it was replaced for the DVD release. See more »


After Roger disables the deputies' car, two deputies are seen. One gets out to point a gun at Roger's car, and another is seen inside the vehicle. However, when Roger uses the machine gun in the trunk on the deputies' car, suddenly there are no people in sight, either in or near the vehicle. See more »


References First Blood (1982) See more »

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User Reviews

LoCocco is Loco!
11 March 2014 | by (Toronto, Canada) – See all my reviews

Specially trained FBI man Vinnie Terranova (Ken Wahl) is sent to California to evaluate Roger LoCocco (William Russ) a person of interest presumed to be low-level thug. Ingratiating himself and using a rep earned via his past undercover assignment as right-hand to New Jersey mafioso Sonny Steelgrave, Vinnie is able to determine that LoCocco has very powerful and very sinister employers - the Profitt Family.

The Profitts - lunatic Mel (Kevin Spacey) and his frisky younger sister Susan (Joan Severance) run a $40 million a day smuggling network. LoCocco arranges to introduce his new friend to them to see what each party might offer the other.

William Russ had turned in a brilliant performance opposite an equally convincing Don Johnson on Miami Vice when Russ guest-starred as psychotic trigger-man Evan. Killed off on that series he was cast on Wiseguy as a similar character minus the guilt and tragic introspection.

As with Evan on Miami Vice, LoCocco was meant to show the real version of what the undercover hero was impersonating as well as illustrate the monster the hero might become. Russ never looked like he was acting in either chilling role.

This episode began the Mel Profitt storyline (though Kevin Spacey would not appear until the episode which follows this one) which elevated the show to its nadir. Reaching beyond the confines of the dim and obnoxious Cosa Nostra hoods of the early days of the series a new form of villainy was discovered and explored.

One thing the show was known for was the appalling acting of the bit players it hired. The main cast and the guest stars weren't always great but the minor roles were often badly miscast with refugees from Vancouver dinner theatre.

Then there was the aspect of homely bottle blondes cast as love interests for the male lead. Aside from the beautiful Jessica Steen and the lovely Joan Severance most of the actresses on this show were...'ruggedly handsome' might be the polite way of putting it, and could not deliver believable characterizations consisting of only a few words of dialogue.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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