Nick Small and Chip Frye (Small & Frye)

Created by Larry D. Sweazy

"Disney sent me the script for Small and Frye and I thought it was charming," McGavin says. I thought the kids would like it."

-- Darren McGavin

You might as well file this under "Kiddie Pulp."

Small & Frye was a short-lived 1983 Disney production starring TV vet Darren McGavin as NICK SMALL, a gruff (but not-too-gruff) old-school gumshoe, and Jack Blessing as his eager-beaver young partner, CHIP FRYE.

Their agency was decidedly small time, and the partners struggled to eke out a living, therefore often having to take cases a more successful agency might pass on -- not exactly a ground-breaking premise.

But there was a slight catch: thanks to a nasty chemical accident, Chip had the ability to reduce his physical size down to about six inches

Which would have been a great help in many of their investigations, except for the fact that Chip couldn't always control his ability to shrink, resulting in some memorable moments, such as bering trapped inside a priceless violin the duo had been hired to recover. Ah, the hilarity.

Not exactly hard-boiled.

Still, McGavin, who'd already played a wide range of TV investigators, from Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer to Carl Kolchak, was a good choice for the lead. His easy-going geniality was a perfect match for the show whose biggest fault may have been it was a little too sweet and goofy for its intended audience.


    (1983, CBS)
    A Walt Disney Production)
    Created by Nick Arnold
    Writers: Nick Arnold, Ron Friedman, Leonard Ripps, George Schenck
    Directors: John Bowab, Charles S. Dubin, Edward H. Feldman, Mel Ferber, Leslie H. Martinson, James Sheldon
    Starring Darren McGavin as NICK SMALL
    and Jack Blessing as CHIP FRYE
    Also starring Dick Wilson, Victoria Carroll, Debbie Zipp
    Guest stars: Henry Gibson, Joan Crosby, Kenneth Mars, Rue McClannahan, Roddy McDowel, Larry Storch, Ted Zeigler

  • "Fiddler on the Hoof" (March 7, 1983)
  • "Endangered Detectives" (March 14, 1983)
  • "The Case of the Street of Silence" (March 21, 1983)
  • "Small & Frye" (June 1, 1983)
  • "Schlockty Too" (June 8, 1983)
  • "The Case of the Concerned Husband" (June 15, 1983)


Film & Television's Most Valuable Players

Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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