B.L. Stryker
Created by Christopher Crowe

Smirk Alert!

B.L. (Buddy Lee) STRYKER was a retired New Orleans cop turned slacker Miami PI living on his beat-up old houseboat and tooling around town in his equally beat-up Caddy, operating on the fringes of Florida's hoity-toity Palm Beach, sniffing out work. Helping him out is his best friend, Oz Jackson, an ex-boxer.

B.L. and Oz were constant thorns in the side of long-suffering, uptight Chief McGee of the even more uptight Palm Beach Police, but B.L. had several of his own thorns to deal with, most notably his dipsy secretary (and would-be actress) Lynnda, his annoying next-door neighbour Oliver and his social-climbing ex-wife, Kimberly.

This one was presented as a string of made-for-TV movies for ABC's short-lived Saturday (later Monday) Night Mysteries which rotated with Lou Gossett as Gideon Oliver and yet another revival of Columbo, and it was pretty much hit or miss.

But when it was good, it could be quite good. Reynolds' smarmy good ol' boy/slacker persona is an acquired taste, to be sure, and was certainly getting pretty long in the tooth by yhen, but when he was on, he could be quite entertaining. And he and co-executive producer Tom Selleck (of Magnum P.I. fame) had enough clout (and smarts) to get some very good talent involved. Writers included Joe Gores and Robert B. Parker, directors included Hal Needham and Stuart Margolin, and guest stars included the usual BurtBuds, such as Ned Beatty, Dom DeLuise and Jerry Reed, but also Cicely Tyson, Dana Ivey, Julianne Moore, Helen Shaver, Maureen Stapleton, Elizabeth Ashley and Douglas Fairbanks Jr.

TELEVISION

Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.


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