Claire McCarron
Created by Frank Abatemarco

New York private eye CLAIRE McCARRON was of the few female private eyes to have her own show, and it was a helluva step up from Honey West and especially Charlie's Angels, even if some wags felt that the title of the show, Leg Work, referred to actor Margaret Colin's not unattractive mini-skirted legs.

Even with the mini-skirts, this was a great show. Claire was a young former district attorney turned private detective who had a real knack for tracking down people and information. Claire was regularly shown not just tracing skips but wrapped up in meetings, phone calls, paperwork, and interviews, as the show regularly attempted to bring in a little more realism than displayed by the likes of contemporary P.I. shows such as Magnum P.I. or Moonlighting. Claire was an appealingly-human character, a true professional who handled her cases with wit and intelligence.

Unfortunately, she wasn't so hot at handling her personal life, particulary on the financial side. She was constantly broke, juggling creditors, her credit cards maxed out, and she often had to track down her own clients to get paid.

It was a good thing, then, that Claire had a close circle of friends to rely on, and unconditional support from her father, a retired cop, and her brother Fred, himself a member of New York's Finest (in the public relations department). Her best friend was her roommate and former fashion model Willie, (played by Frances McDormand, later of Fargo fame).

I really liked this show. It was well-written, for the most part, and treated the personal and professional trials and tribulations of a young woman in a big city with savvy and grace. What it lacked in shootouts and car chases, it more than made up for in intelligent entertainment and some pretty quirky characters.

No wonder it flopped (after only ten episodes!). Did anyone see it but me?

And hey, I've gotta admit that, although she may not have been able to afford it, Claire could sure get out of her Porsche well.

TELEVISION

  • LEG WORK
    (1987, CBS)
    10 60-minute episodes
    Created by Frank Abatemarco
    Producer: John Starke
    Executive Producer: Frank Abatemarco
    A Treasure Island Production in association with 20th Century Fox Television
    Starring Margaret Colin as CLAIRE McCARRON
    with Frances McDormand as
    Willie Pipal
    and Patrick James Clark as
    Lt. Fred McCarron
    Also starring Robert Dorfman, Sheri Montgomery
  • Pilot (October 3, 1987)
  • "Things That Go Bump in the Night" (October 10, 1987)
  • "The Best Couple I Know" (October 17, 1987)
  • "All This and a Gold Card Too" (October 24, 1987)
  • "Blind Trust" (October 31, 1987)
  • "The Art of Murder" (November 7, 1987)
  • "Mystery Woman" (unaired)
  • "Life Itself" (unaired)
  • "The American Dream" (unaired)
  • "Peaches" (unaired)

Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.


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