L.A. Heat (TV series)

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For the unrelated 1989 film L.A. Heat, see L.A. Heat (film).
L.A. Heat
Genre Action
Created by Joseph Merhi
Richard Pepin
Written by William Applegate, Jr.
Joseph John Barmettler
Joseph Merhi
Richard Pepin
Mark Sikes
Directed by Joseph John Barmettler
Art Camacho
Bryan Goeres
Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs
Jerry P. Jacobs
Cole S. McKay
Kevin Mock
Richard W. Munchkin
Richard Pepin
Robert Radler
Joey Travolta
Bill Tunnicliffe
Paul G. Volk
Starring Wolf Larson
Steven Williams
Dawn Radenbaugh
Renee Tenison
Composer(s) Stephen Edwards
Louis Febre
John Gonzalez
John Sponsler
Alex Wilkinson
Country of origin USA
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 48
Production
Executive producer(s) George Shamieh
Running time 60 mins. (approx)
Broadcast
Original channel TNT
Original run March 15, 1999 – May 19, 1999

L.A. Heat is an American action series starring Wolf Larson and Steven Williams as Los Angeles police detectives, in the tradition of films like Lethal Weapon. The series aired on TNT from March 15, 1999.

Show history[edit]

Produced by PM Entertainment Group, Inc., L.A. Heat began filming 1996, in areas that included Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, San Diego, Long Beach and Hollywood. But due to the fact the show didn't have the backing of a major network, it was not picked up for domestic distribution in the U.S. It was instead sold overseas where, in its second season, it accomplished the impossible: it took the #1 spot away from Baywatch in Germany. The show was also popular in Lebanon after being broadcast on LBC, and was broadcast in other Arabic speaking countries. In France, the show was aired Monday through Friday at 6PM on M6 and reran several times since due to its popularity. The show's big budget car chases and explosions were in part sourced from out takes or scenes not used in feature films.

Due to financial troubles within PM Entertainment, production ended in 1998 after just two seasons. A year later, the show finally premiered in the U.S. when it was sold to the cable network TNT. All 48 episodes were shown Monday through Friday at 4PM for almost two years. Afterwards, airings became more and more sporadic, sometimes only a few times a week and in the early morning hours. When TNT's contract to run the show expired, it disappeared from the airwaves and has not been aired on American television since. In 2000, plans to resurrect the show for a third season were underway but ultimately fell through when financing could not be secured.

Premise[edit]

The show follows the action-packed adventures of two Los Angeles robbery/homicide detectives, Chase McDonald and August Brooks. The detectives are as different as night and day, but they work great together at keeping the streets of L.A. safe. Chase also makes extra money on the side by selling metal sculptures he makes himself, while August spends his free time running a youth center for underprivileged teens.

Main characters[edit]

Chester "Chase" McDonald (Wolf Larson) has been with the Los Angeles Police Department for seven years. A risk-taker, McDonald likes to live on the edge and is passionate about his work. Though a born leader, he often needs the guidance of someone with his partner's experience to keep him out of trouble. In his free time he enjoys making metal sculptures. He's in a relationship with Jodi when the series starts, but after they broke up, he began dating Det. Nicole Stockman towards the end of the second season.

Detective August Brooks (Steven Williams) is a seasoned veteran with sixteen years on the Los Angeles Police Department. In his youth, August was a promising boxer, a contender in every sense of the word, who always put his opponents down in the ring. But after discovering that his manager and promoter were embezzling funds from fellow boxers, and after he was forced to throw his first pro fight, August became disillusioned with the sport and left to join the police academy. Discovering he was a natural at police work, he quickly rose through the ranks of the LAPD to become a detective. He also runs the Hoover Street Youth Boxing Center in his spare time, an old gym he bought and converted into a recreation area for underprivileged children, providing an alternative to gang life. He also served in the Vietnam War.

Kendra Brooks (Renee Tenison) is the love of August's life, and works at the recreation center. Like August, she is known by all the kids who frequent the place, and she helps them with their problems from time to time. She and August have been married for five years at the start of the series.

Jodi Miller (Dawn Radenbaugh) is Chase's girlfriend. Having never been happy with Chase's job, she always expressed concern for his life and tried talking him into quiting many times to concentrate completely into his art. When she got a job offer to run an art gallery in Texas, she began pressuring him even more to quit and come with her. Chase refused to do so, insisting they could work things out, but ultimately, Jodi left without him.

Captain Jensen (Kenneth Tigar) is the high-tempered superior of Chase and August. Despite the aggravation they usually cause him, he still considers them his best detectives. Despite appearing frequently in all but a few episodes, Kenneth Tigar is never billed in the opening titles, only at the end of each episode's billing of guest stars.

Recurring characters[edit]

Cragmeyer (Christopher Boyer) is the head of the forensics lab and tends to always come through in helping Chase and August uncover clues and other useful information. He has a Bachelor's Degree is Forensic Science, and was previously a bomb squad commander in the premiere episode before requesting a transfer.

Det. Sam Richardson (Clay Banks) is another detective who assists Chase and August from time to time. He's originally from New York, but transferred to Los Angeles sometime prior to the third episode. Chase was the first cop he met and he wasn't too impressed with him, but he eventually grew to like him.

Det. Benny Lewis (Sugar Ray Leonard) was another detective who occasionally assisted Chase and August. He only appeared in the first, second, and fourth episodes before disappearing without explanation.

Annie Mason (Jessica Cushman) is a forensics assistant who joined midway through the first season. Her father is a detective in Riverside, California.

Dr. Judith Sands (Jessica Hopper) is the department's psychologist, whose assistance Chase and August sometimes require when dealing with the more crazed suspects. Her and Chase had a past relationship until he dumped her, claiming she was driving him crazy by always trying to get inside his head. She also had a somewhat successful (though short-lived) modeling career before becoming a psychologist.

Dr. Samantha Morecroft (Debbie James) is the new head coroner at the start of the second season. She's straightforward and to-the-letter, and is constantly put off by Chase's sly comments and flirting.

Det. Jack Lawson (Michael McFall) is a former D.E.A. agent who used his connection within the police department (his Aunt Grace, the police commissioner) to transfer to the department's robbery/homicide division. He thinks Chase is a little too on the reckless side, but ultimately comes to respect him.

Det. Nicole Stockman (Sandra Ferguson / Jillian McWhirter) is a beautiful but tough San Francisco detective. She came to Los Angeles to deliver a witness to the LAPD. Initially finding herself in conflict with Chase and his methods, they eventually became friends over the phone and through weekend visits. At the end of the second season, she returned to Los Angeles to strike a deal with a crime bross in return for him testifying against Bobby Cole. Her and Chase were getting serious about her transferring to LA so she could move in with him, but she was killed in a hit ordered by Bobby Cole.

Bobby Cole (Gary Hudson) was introduced early in the second season and became the show's only recurring adversary. Known as the "Teflon crime lord," he was a notorious criminal with everyone from politicians to police officers on his payroll and could never be connected to any of his crimes. Everybody in the city knew he was a vicious criminal who had committed dozens of crimes, but no one could prove it. After numerous confrontations, his organization was finally broken down, and Cole was shot and killed by Chase in the series finale.

Other appearances[edit]

  • Sam J. Jones made two guest appearances on the show: as a good guy in the first season episode "Old Scores" and as a bad guy in the second season episode "Legacy of A Buffalo Soldier."
  • Angelo Tiffe made two appearances as August Brooks' former partner, Robert "The Falcon" Hatcher, in the episodes "The Falcon" and "Death House."
  • Sarah Douglas made an appearance as police boss "Wilma" in the first season episode "Electra".

Episode list[edit]

Season 1[edit]

Episode # Episode Title Original Airdate
1 "Daybomber" March 15, 1999
2 "Too Young to Die" March 16, 1999
3 "In Transit" March 17, 1999
4 "Electra" March 18, 1999
5 "Silicon Sting" March 19, 1999
6 "Cop Star" March 22, 1999
7 "Strange Currencies" March 23, 1999
8 "Rage" March 24, 1999
9 "Words Will Never Hurt Me" March 25, 1999
10 "Rap Sheet" March 26, 1999
11 "For Whom the Bullet Tolls" March 29, 1999
12 "Old Scores" March 30, 1999
13 "My Brother's Keeper" March 31, 1999
14 "Kidney" April 1, 1999
15 "Special Order 40" April 2, 1999
16 "Falcon" April 5, 1999
17 "Green Justice" April 6, 1999
18 "Smash and Grab" April 7, 1999
19 "Killing on Lily Lane" April 8, 1999
20 "Death House" April 9, 1999
21 "When Irish Eyes Are Smiling" April 12, 1999
22 "Chester Nut" April 13, 1999
23 "Captain Crimestopper" April 14, 1999
24 "Big Guns" April 15, 1999
25 "National Security" April 16, 1999
26 "Wake Up Call" April 19, 1999

Season 2[edit]

Episode # Episode Title Original Airdate
27 "Fangs" April 20, 1999
28 "F Is for Framed" April 21, 1999
29 "Burning Sanctuary" April 22, 1999
30 "Strip Show" April 23, 1999
31 "Eyewitness" April 26, 1999
32 "Little Saigon" April 27, 1999
33 "John Doe" April 28, 1999
34 "Widow Maker" April 29, 1999
35 "Obsession" April 30, 1999
36 "Call of the Wild" May 3, 1999
37 "The Bigger They Are" May 4, 1999
38 "Faces of Fear" May 5, 1999
39 "The Monk" May 6, 1999
40 "Ties That Bind" May 7, 1999
41 "In Harm's Way" May 10, 1999
42 "Bad Reputation" May 11, 1999
43 "Danny the Eel" May 12, 1999
44 "Cop Killer" May 13, 1999
45 "Professor Benton" May 14, 1999
46 "Legacy of a Buffalo Soldier" May 17, 1999
47 "Armageddon" May 18, 1999
48 "Vengeance" May 19, 1999

Episodes aired out of order[edit]

TNT aired a handful of episodes in each season out of order, which results in some confusion when watching the episodes in question. (The DVD release does not fix this mistake). Below is a comparison list of the episodes as aired and how they should be viewed.

  • Season 1
Airdate Order Correct Order
"My Brother's Keeper" "My Brother's Keeper"
"211 Kidney" "Green Justice"
"Special Order 40" "Falcon"
"Falcon" "Special Order 40"
"Green Justice" "211 Kidney"
"Smash and Grab" "Smash and Grab"
  • Season 2
Airdate Order Correct Order
"Call of the Wild" "Call of the Wild"
"The Bigger They Are" "Faces of Fear"
"Faces of Fear" "The Monk"
"The Monk" "The Bigger They Are"
"Ties That Bind" "Ties That Bind"

DVD release[edit]

In August 2005, the first season of L.A. Heat was released on DVD by Platinum Disc, LLC. The five-disc set contains all 26 episodes in the same order as they aired on television. Aside from brief biographies for Wolf Larson and Steven Williams on the packaging, there are no bonus features.

As of June 2006, there's been no word on the second season coming out on DVD.

Worldwide Airdates[edit]

Although L.A. Heat premiered in the US on March 15, 1999, it premiered earlier in other parts of the world.

Filming locations[edit]

  • The building used for establishing shots of the police station is actually the Donald C. Tillman Water Reclamation Plant in Van Nuys, California. It's part of The Japanese Garden, and both are open to the public.
  • Sevens, the beachfront restaurant that the characters frequented, is actually the Venice Bistro, located in Venice, California.

External links[edit]