All kinds of inside dirt on 77 Sunset Strip and its clones, and a lot of other interesting stuff, that would eventually shape television as we know it. Plus the scoop on James Garner and Roy Huggins, and their battles with Warner Brothers. There's some fascinating stuff in here.
The standard by which all other reference books on American television should be judged. Short, concise overviews of what seems like every show ever aired, listed by show, as well as some fascinating lists in the Appendix. If it ain't here, chances are it never aired.
A rollicking read, full of outrageous opinions, defiant defenses and embarrassing admissions, by a Who's Who of crime writers, TV critics and others who have been polled on the best detective shows in various sub-genres (police procedural, private eye, etc.), rounded up by Max Collins and John Javna, who provide ample commentary. A hoot, and it's loaded with lots of photos and graphics. Even the throwawy lines are keepers. Highly recommended.
How geeky do you want to get? A true fan's guide to those shows that might have been contenders, and especially those never stood a chance in hell. Lee, of course, has written a ton of TV shows in our genre, and his insider's take on the good, the bad and the WTF? is a blast from start to finish. Most recently revised in 2015.
Mommy! Make him stop! Lee has more fun with flops, focusing on 300 of the little suckers. (Actually, it's a revised, updated sequel of sorts to Unsold Pilots (above).
Seminal work of the TV private eye,a 1973 dissertation listing almost every private eye show on American television from 1949 through 1969. Although extremely dated, it captures the popularity of a genre that is now almost, sadly, non-existent.. Ambitious and rich with detail, it includes breakdowns of the genre from numerous angles, including theme, plot, motif, production, time slots, and even sponsors, as well as from scholarly and critical perspectives. Fans of the history of self-publishing, meanwhile, will love the typewritten format, complete with hand-drawn diacriticals.
A spiffy-looking, often irreverent look at British and American crime show cult favorites, arranged in alphabetical order. A good bathroom book.
A fascinating listing of what many consider to be the Golden Age of American made-for-television movies, it's all here: the fondly remembered one-shots and the many many pilots, both sold and unsold, ranging from the sublime (the Harry O pilot) to the ridiculous (the Hager twins from HeeHaw as twin P.I.s).
A real fan's book, done by a real fan. It's thoroughness was one of the inspirations for this site -- it was a revelation to realize others shared my passion.
Excellent resource, with photos, index, 563 pages.
A logical follow-up to his own, Edgar-nominated TV Detectives (1981) -- a more in-depth look at some of the great American TV detectives, offering portraits of several of the more important writers, producers, etc., who specialized in crime shows, focusing on one or two of their most important series. Hence, there are chapters on Jack Webb and Dragnet, Quinn Martin (Barnaby Jones and Cannon), Aaron Spelling (Charlies' Angels), Stephen J. Cannell and Roy Huggins (The Rockford Files), and a chapter that convincingly links up Kojak, Barney Miller, Hill Street Blues, and Miami Vice.
Outdated now, but still the best single book about American TV detectives I've ever seen, covering the entire genre from the beginning, right up to the early eighties. Any attempt to be so completely comprehensive is going to lead to some errors, and Meyers makes his share, but it's a valuable reference resource, nonetheless, and a well-deservedA Edgar nominee in the Critical/Biographical category. Meyers was, for many years, the TV critic for The Armchair Detective.
Nelson has seen some amazing wrecks in his life, and here he tells all, in loving detail. P.I. shows mentioned include Charlie's Angels, Valerie Bertinelli's Sydney, Honey West and Two of Diamonds.
Features a collection of answering machine messages left on Rockford's machine, and much much more about what many consider the genre's best show.
A new edition of Robertson's already-definitive Rockford book, This is Jim Rockford..., with a lot more information. The book, subtitled "An inside look at America's greatest detective series," now runs close to 500 pages, more than twice as long as the previous edition.
It's about time someone took a serious look at television noir through the years. Unfortunately, this book -- while breaking important new ground -- doesn't cut it. It's at best a cursory look at the topic, but it's marred by grammatical and factual errors, curious omissions, even more peculiar inclusions (Combat?) and risible, poorly argued positions that one can only hope were a result of sloppy research, looming deadlines or sloppy editing -- and not serious, considered thought. A bigger problem is that there's no workable definition of noir to hang the book on, so one is frequently left wondering what the author's point is -- or if he has one. Sadly, not ready for prime time.
They're all here, the aired and unaired. Over 5100 brief entries on television pilots, dishing out the facts, ma'am. And just the facts.. Maybe not as funny as Lee's books, but more, you know, encyclopediacal.
Excellent encyclopedia listing almost every American and British detective program from the late forties up to the time of publication. Detailed credits and short reviews give an enlightening look at mysterious procedding on both sides of the big pond.
| Home | Detectives A-L M-Z | Film | Radio | Television | Web Comics | Comics | FAQs | Search |