Veronica Clare

Created by Jeffrey Bloom

This dick walks the walk and talks the talk, but this dick's a jane.

Stylish, dressed-to-kill private eye VERONICA CLARE, not content to just come off as a female Peter Gunn, does the original clotheshorse P.I. one better, by not just hanging around a swanky jazz club in Los Angeles, but by actually owning it. You've come a long way, baby, indeed.

There are a few other nods to private eye traditions in this short-lived Lifetime series from the early nineties: the 1940s setting, the voice-over narration, a shady past, and having her club in LA's Chinatown district. Not that Veronica is completely stuck in the past -- she's also a thoroughly modern, non-violent kinda girl, with a large network of friends and accomplices and a love/hate thing going with partner/assistant Duke Rado. Hey, it's Showtime. Remember?

Unfortunately, this was the kind of show you watched for its looks. Laura Robinson, as Veronica, was drop dead gorgeous -- right out of the Lauren Bacall mode, with a little Veronica Lake and Kathleen Turner tossed in -- and the sets, the costumes and the period details were to die for.

The writing? Not so much. And certainly not enough to hold an audience, although Lifetime did try recycling the episodes into made-for-TV flicks. Alas, the longer format didn't change people's minds.

TELEVISION

  • VERONICA CLARE
    (1991, Lifetime)
    9 60-minute episodes
    Created by Jeffrey Bloom
    Writers: Jeffrey Bloom, Frank Megna, Nancy Bond, Jane Atkins, Nina Shengold
    Directors: Jeffrey Bloom, Mark Cullingham, Deborah Dalton, Donna Deitch, Amy Goldstein, Leon Ichaso, Frederick King Keller, Rafal Zielinski
    Co-producer: Scott Citron
    Producer: Anthony Santa Croce
    Executive producer: Jeffrey Bloom
    Original music by Gil Melle
    Cinematography by Edward J. Pei
    Starring Laura Robinson as VERONICA CLARE
    and Robert Beltran as Duke Rado
    Also starring Christine Pickles as Kelsey Horne
    Tony Plana as Nicky Swarchek
    Robert Ruth as Sergeant Swede
    Robert Sutton as Rocko
    Wayne Chou as Jimmy
    Guest stars: Dan Hedaya, Bruce Greenwood, Tawny Kitaen, Lois Chiles, Ray Stricklyn, Kathleen York, Stephen Markle, David Hunt
  • "Veronica's Aunt" (July 23, 1991)

  • "Reed" (July 30, 1991)

  • "Anonymous" (August 6, 1991)

  • "The Boxing Story" (August 13, 1991)

  • "Phoebe" (August 20, 1991)

  • "Slow Violence" (August 27, 1991)

  • "Mr. Duvall" (September 3, 1991)

  • "Love, Amanda" (September 10, 1991)

  • "Pilot" (September 17, 1991)

TELEVISION FILMS

Lifetime recycled all but one of the episodes, combining them to make TV movies

  • "Affairs with Death"

Combined episodes #1 and #9.

  • "Deadly Minds"

Combined episodes #3 and #5.

  • "Naked Hearts"

Combined episodes #2 and #8.

  • "Slow Violence"

Combined episodes #4 and #6.

Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith. Thanks to Corey Bradford for the word to the wise. And the photo of Veronica and Duke is from epguides.com, a web version of paradise for TV trivia nuts like myself.


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