Simon & Simon

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Simon & Simon
Simon & Simon title screen.jpg
Title screen from Season 1
Created by Philip DeGuere
Starring Gerald McRaney
Jameson Parker
Mary Carver
Eddie Barth
Jeannie Wilson
Tim Reid
Joan McMurtrey
Music by Joseph Conlan
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 8
No. of episodes 156 (list of episodes)
Production
Running time 45–48 minutes
Release
Original channel CBS
Original release November 24, 1981 (1981-11-24) – January 21, 1989 (1989-01-21)
Chronology
Related shows Magnum, P.I.
Whiz Kids

Simon & Simon is an American detective television series that originally ran from November 24, 1981 to January 21, 1989. The series was broadcast on CBS and starred Gerald McRaney and Jameson Parker as two brothers who run a private detective agency together.

Premise[edit]

The show revolves around the polar opposite Simon brothers, Rick (McRaney) and Andrew Jackson, a.k.a. A.J. (Parker). Rick was a United States Marine Corps Vietnam veteran and had much more street sense, while A.J. went to college and had book smarts. Rick's tastes were viewed by his brother as lower class, like pickup trucks (Rick's Dodge Power Wagon is notable for its dull paint and large metal bumper used in one episode to crush the engine of a car), while A.J. took care of his money and could afford to be more fashionable (A.J. often drove a 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air convertible, and later, a customized Chevrolet Camaro Z28 and also drove a 1968 Chevrolet Camaro RS convertible in the two-part episode, "Pirate's Key"). A.J. was a practicing Catholic; Rick was not. Rick lived on a boat in A.J.'s yard. A.J. preferred to first try to do things by the rules, while Rick was much more of a free spirit, using a classic P.I. type of justice. Even their guns are different: Rick has a .44 Magnum revolver, and A.J. has a .357 Magnum revolver.

The two went into business together, running a private detective service; the contrasting ways in which the brothers went about their investigations and the subsequent conflicts between them provided much of the story each week, in addition to the plots of solving the cases.

Although the series' premise is that Rick is older and A.J. is younger, in fact McRaney and Parker were both born in 1947 with only a four-month age difference.[citation needed]

Cast[edit]

  • Gerald McRaney as Richard "Rick" Simon
  • Jameson Parker as Andrew Jackson "A.J." Simon
  • Mary Carver as Cecilia Simon, the brothers' mother.
  • Eddie Barth as Myron Fowler (episodes 1–36), A.J.'s ex-boss and their more successful competitor.
  • Jeannie Wilson as Janet Fowler (episodes 1–31, 35, 43, 48, 126 & In Trouble Again), Myron's daughter. She works for her father, attends law school and helps the Simons from time to time, much to her father's annoyance. During season two, she works as an assistant D.A.
  • Tim Reid as Lieutenant Marcel Proust "Downtown" Brown (episodes 43, 47, 49–52, 54-127 & In Trouble Again), the Simons' friend in the police department.
  • Joan McMurtrey as Lieutenant Abigail Marsh (episodes 128–157)

Guest stars[edit]

Eddie Albert, Richard Anderson, John Astin, G.W. Bailey, Jonathan Banks, Scott Brady, Delta Burke, Darlene Carr, Michael Constantine, Alex Cord, Pat Corley, Olivia d'Abo, Patti Davis, Britt Ekland, Andrea Elson, Rob Estes, Gene Evans, Morgan Fairchild, Fionnula Flanagan, Dennis Franz, Kathleen Freeman, Kathy Garver, Henry Gibson, Clarence Gilyard, Don Gordon, Don Grady, Peter Graves, Kevin Hagen, Alan Hale, Jr., Marcia Gay Harden, Noah Hathaway, Richard Herd, Penny Johnson, Clyde Kusatsu, Matthew Laborteaux, Robert Lansing, Kay Lenz, Anne Lockhart, Gary Lockwood, Joe Mantegna, Kenneth Mars, Kevin McCarthy, Eve McVeagh, Vera Miles, Charles Napier, Kip Niven, Jerry Orbach, Joe Pantoliano, John M. Pickard, Todd Porter, Markie Post, J.A. Preston, Linnea Quigley, Giovanni Ribisi, Gregory Sierra, Tom Simcox, Marc Singer, Olan Soule, Jerry Stiller, Guy Stockwell, Robert Totten, Harry Townes, John Vivyan, Ray Walston, Susan Walters, Vanna White, Stuart Whitman, James Whitmore, Jr., George Wyner, and Cassie Yates

History[edit]

Development[edit]

The original 1978 pilot, called Pirate's Key, was set in Florida. When CBS picked up the show, the characters' home was changed from Florida to San Diego, California, where the show was filmed for the first season. Due to the production costs and low ratings, the filming/production of the show moved to Los Angeles, though the show continued to be set in San Diego for the course of its eight-year run on CBS. The series was created by executive producer Philip DeGuere, who credited his inspirations as a request from a CBS executive to create something like a modern "Butch and Sundance", and a spec pilot DeGuere had recently read about a divorced husband and wife detective team written by Bob Shayne, whom DeGuere hired to write several of "Simon's" first two seasons' episodes. Shayne wrote off and on for the series during its run, and Shayne and DeGuere went on to create the CBS series Whiz Kids.

Original run[edit]

Simon & Simon was almost canceled in 1982 due to low ratings. However, at DeGuere and Shayne's request, CBS decided to give the series another chance by moving it to Thursday nights at 9 p.m., following Magnum, P.I. Simon & Simon became an instant hit in that slot and continued to draw ratings for the next several seasons. The new season began with a two-hour cross-over episode with a story that began on the already popular Magnum and continued on (up to that moment mostly unknown) Simon & Simon, in an attempt to carry Magnum‍ '​s audience over to Simon & Simon. (see below) The effort worked, and the latter show's ratings quickly rose.

Simon & Simon moved to Saturday nights late in its run, and the ratings dropped considerably. CBS only committed to a 13-episode season for fall of 1988 but cancelled the series with two episodes left unaired, including the series finale. That episode did not air until the show entered syndication.[citation needed]

Theme music[edit]

For the first season, the song "Best of Friends", performed by the Thrasher Brothers, served as the series' theme song (with the exception of the fourth episode, "A Recipe For Disaster", which briefly debuted the second theme song written by Barry De Vorzon[1] and Michael Towers). More specifically, the instrumental version of "Best of Friends" appeared at the beginning of each episode (with short clips of the instrumental version occasionally appearing within episodes, even after the first season) and the lyrical version appeared at the conclusion of each episode.[citation needed]

At the beginning of the second season, the second and more recognizable instrumental theme song, composed by Barry De Vorzon[1] (who had previously composed the theme to the 1970s police drama, S.W.A.T.) and Michael Towers, was permanently inserted. The theme consists primarily of an electric bottle-slide guitar lead with a saxophone interlude and remained until the last episode of the final season.[citation needed]

Home media[edit]

On October 10, 2006, Universal Studios Home Entertainment released the first season of Simon & Simon on DVD in Region 1.[2] Due to poor sales, no subsequent seasons were immediately released.

In Fall 2008, Shout! Factory announced that they had acquired the distribution rights through an agreement with Universal. They have subsequently released seasons 2-8 on DVD.[3][4][5][6][7][8]

Mill Creek Entertainment released two "best-of" collections of Simon & Simon. On January 18, 2011, they released Simon & Simon - The Best of Season Two,[9] while on July 19, 2011 they released Simon & Simon - The Best of Season Three.[10]

In Region 4, Madman Entertainment released Season 1 on DVD in Australia on July 6, 2011.

DVD Name Ep # Release Date
Season 1 13 October 10, 2006
Season 2 23 February 10, 2009
Season 3 23 August 18, 2009
Season 4 21 April 6, 2010
Season 5♦ 24 July 20, 2010
Season 6♦ 22 February 21, 2012
Season 7♦ 16 October 16, 2012
Season 8♦ 13 January 15, 2013

♦- Shout! Factory select title, sold exclusively through Shout's online store

Episodes[edit]

Crossover with Magnum, P.I.[edit]

The episode "Emeralds Are Not a Girl's Best Friend" concludes a crossover that begins on the Magnum, P.I. episode "Ki'is Don't Lie", where Higgins helps the Simons track the woman with stolen Hawaiian artifacts to Latin America. For repeat and syndication purposes, a second conclusion was also shot, wherein the fleeing villain is caught, allowing the Magnum episode to be wrapped up and the episode to be rerun as a "stand alone" episode. Consequently, the Simon & Simon concluding hour, "Emeralds Are Not a Girl's Best Friend", did not appear in reruns for many years, nor did the original broadcast version of "Ki'Is Don't Lie". Both original versions have since been released on DVD.[citation needed]

Additionally, A.J. Simon appeared on the Whiz Kids episode "Deadly Access". In return, the Whiz Kids characters, Richie Adler, Hamilton Parker, Jeremy Saldino, Alice Parker, and Irene Adler, appeared on the Simon & Simon episode "Fly the Alibi Skies" the following night.

Reunion movie and cultural references[edit]

Simon & Simon: In Trouble Again (1995)[edit]

This reunion movie premiered on February 23, 1995. Some years have passed and a now divorced A.J. (whose ex-wife is Janet Fowler from original series) works in Seattle as an attorney. Rick stops by to visit en route to delivering an expensive yacht. The trouble starts when the yacht is hijacked—with Rick and A.J.'s mother Cecilia on board.

The Greatest Event in Television History (2012)[edit]

On October 12, 2012, Adult Swim aired The Greatest Event in Television History. Hosted by Jeff Probst, the program went behind the scenes during the making of a shot-for-shot remake of the Simon & Simon opening sequence with Adam Scott and Jon Hamm in the roles of A.J. and Rick, respectively. The special also featured the appearances of Paul Rudd, Gus van Sant, Megan Mullally, Paul Scheer, and Kathryn Hahn.[11]

Broadcasters[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Barry De Vorzon at the Internet Movie Database. Retrieved on 2008-08-12.
  2. ^ Lacey, Gord (27 July 2006). "Simon & Simon - Season 1 Cover Art Changed". TV Shows on DVD. Retrieved 15 October 2012. 
  3. ^ Lambert, David (21 January 2009). "Simon & Simon - Official Studio Press Release for Simon & Simon - Season 2". TV Shows on DVD. Retrieved 15 October 2012. 
  4. ^ Lambert, David (15 May 2009). "Simon & Simon - Details, Pricing and Package Art for Shout!'s Season 3 DVDs". TV Shows on DVD. Retrieved 15 October 2012. 
  5. ^ Lambert, David (21 December 2009). "Simon & Simon - The Season 4 Set is On the Way to DVD This Spring!". TV Shows on DVD. Retrieved 15 October 2012. 
  6. ^ Lambert, David (23 June 2010). "Simon & Simon - Details and Box Art for Season 5, a 'Shout! Select' Online Title". TV Shows on DVD. Retrieved 15 October 2012. 
  7. ^ Lacey, Gord (20 December 2011). "Simon & Simon - Season 6 Announced for Feb". Retrieved 15 October 2012. 
  8. ^ Lambert, David. "Simon & Simon - The 8th and Final Season is Scheduled as a 'Shout! Select' Set". TV Shows on DVD. Retrieved 20 December 2012. 
  9. ^ Simon & Simon - The Best of Season 2
  10. ^ Simon & Simon - The Best of Season 2
  11. ^ Khatchatourian, Maane (12 October 2012). "Jon Hamm and Adam Scott film 'The Greatest Event in Television History' -- VIDEO". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 15 October 2012. 

External links[edit]