Friday, October 1, 2010


Rest in peace, Mr. Cannell. Good night and may God bless.


1 comment:

Martin Ross said...

For Rockford Files and Double Exposure alone, Cannell deserved to be in the Hall of Fame. But he did a lot of other great stuff over the past several decades: Tenspeed and Brownshoe, a terrific private eye show that showcased Jeff Goldblum and the comedic abilities of Ben Vereen; Wiseguy, which introduced Kevin Spacey and foreshadowed The Sopranos; Sonny Spoon, a creative effort with Mario Van Peebles as an African-American conman-turned-P.I. (there was a cool ep where he's interviewing for a job and we see a tablefull of business cards from Rockford and other Cannell sleuths; and J.J. Starbuck, with old western star Dale Robertson as a billionnaire detective who solved Columbo-type inverted murders committed by the likes of a pre-Frasier Kelsey Grammar and Soap's Richard Mulligan.

I recently bought a collector DVD set with more than 50 eps from various Cannell shows (including the Greatest American Hero, Tenspeed, and Wiseguy). I rediscovered Unsub, Cannell's '80s version of what Criminal Minds is today; and Missing Persons, a multi-plotted cop show that, in my view, was vastly superior to Without a Trace.

What's unbelievable was Cannell was also a fairly passable actor -- he guested in one of the better Diagnosis: Murders, and he appeared as himself as one of Castle's mystery writer/poker pals. And if that ain't enough, the man has written a flock of solid L.A. cop novels featuring Det. Shane Scully. Just as Columbo gave an early push to future greats Spielberg, Bochco, and Demme, our favorite show also launched one of the most versatile writer-director-producers of modern TV. I'll miss him, too, especially every time I howl over an episode of Rockford.