Thursday, April 21st, 2005
'CSI: Criminal Scene Investigation'
Captain Jim Brass of the Las Vegas Police Department suddenly dropped everything to drive to Los Angeles - his estranged daughter Ellie had called for help regarding her missing friend.
What Ellie failed to mention to her dad was that both girls were hookers working Sunset.
Brass got help from an old friend on the LA force whom he knew when they both worked back in New Jersey. And he also got assistance from CSI Warrick Brown who was attending a convention out there.
After the investigation into the friend's disappearance turned into a murder case, Brass stirred up a hornet's nest among the City of Angels' most powerful - judges, lawyers, councilmen, and a former TV actor with designs on becoming the mayor.
Like Warrick cautioned him, it was "Chinatown" all over again.....
Was this episode of 'CSI' feeling out a possible pilot for Paul Guilfoyle as Jim Brass? It certainly felt like that kind of character showcase and this is the time of year to pitch new shows. And since everything went back to business as usual by the end, there's no risk Guilfoyle would be out of a job if the series didn't get a pick-up.
I'll bet Stanley Roper wishes he had that kind of assurance back when 'The Ropers' were spun off from 'Three's Company'! (I don't think Norman Fell cares much anymore one way or the other......)
So how would such a series play out? Most likely, Jim Brass would have to resign/retire from the LVPD and move to LA to become a private investigator. As an outsider, he'd probably stumble along the way but he would also be bullheaded enough to avoid getting entangled too deeply in the local scene.
He'd work closely with Detective Annie Hutchings (played by Donna Murphy), and have forensics help from Matt Glave as Matt Glazer. And all the while Brass would be keeping a close eye on his hooker "daughter". (Genetically, they weren't even related, but she didn't know that.)
If "Hollywood Brass" did go to series, it would at least be able to shake off the cooke-cutter feel of the 'CSI' shows from the Bruckheimer empire.
Just so long as it didn't play out like 'Beverly Hills Buntz', this show might have a shot.
And since James Garner made a few TV movies for CBS which revived his second most famous TV character, Jim Rockford, perhaps he might be persuaded to show up and help out Brass as he ventured forth in Toobworld. Rockford could show up during the November sweeps, or even better, he could guest star on the premiere to really kick things off!
At the very least, 'Hollywood Brass' could do a very nice in-joke tip o' the hat to 'The Rockford Files'.....
"This is Jim Brass. At the tone, leave your name and message and I'll get back to you."