The Partners

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This article is about comedy series. For the book, see The Partners (book).
The Partners
Genre Sitcom
Written by Earl Barret
Bruce Howard
Laurence Marks
Ed Simmons
Directed by Don Adams
Earl Bellamy
Richard Benedict
Gary Nelson
Starring Don Adams
Rupert Crosse
Composer(s) Richard Hazard
Lalo Schifrin
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 20
Production
Executive producer(s) Arne Sultan
Producer(s) Arne Sultan
Lee Wolfberg
Cinematography William Cronjager
Meredith M. Nicholson
Running time 26 min.
Production company(s) Don/Lee Productions
Distributor Universal TV
NBCUniversal Television Distribution
Broadcast
Original channel NBC
Audio format Monaural
Original run September 18, 1971 (1971-09-18) – September 8, 1972 (1972-09-08)

The Partners is an American sitcom that aired on September 18, 1971 through September 8, 1972 on NBC.[1]

Synopsis[edit]

The program featured Don Adams and Rupert Crosse as bumbling detectives (Adams' Lenny Crooke being the more inept of the two). Veteran actor John Doucette played the exasperated Captain Andrews, a character not unlike "the Chief" portrayed by Edward Platt in Adams' earlier Get Smart. Dick Van Patten (who later gained fame as the father on Eight Is Enough) played the sycophantic desk Sergeant Higgenbottem. Adams' real-life cousin, Robert Karvelas (best known as Agent Larabee from Get Smart) had a recurring role as Freddie, a character who compulsively confessed to crimes he did not commit.

The pilot featured guest appearances by Joey Forman (Adams' Crooke mistakenly bursts into his apartment while Foreman is showering and orders him to "drop the soap"), Art Metrano and Yvonne Craig (best known as Batgirl from ABC's Batman).

Production notes[edit]

Unlike many television programs of its day, The Partners eschewed a traditional opening title sequence. The opening credits were merely interspersed during the first few minutes, akin to the technique that has become quite commonplace today. The theme music, which accompanied the closing credits and occasionally popped up during the program itself, was composed by Lalo Schifrin, best known for the theme to Mission: Impossible.

Cast[edit]

Characters[edit]

Unlike many other sitcoms of the 1960s and 70s, there is no family seen in the show. There are not many characters altogether.

Detective Lennie Crooke: (Don Adams) Det. Lennie Crooke is a slightly inept police detective, a bit similar to Adams' previous character on Get Smart, Maxwell Smart. Details on his life and family are very sparse. He has mentioned on one or two occasions that he has acrophobia, the fear of heights, and he was never in Korea, according to his statement in the pilot episode, Here Come The Fuzz. He has a likelihood to forget things that no other sane detective would forget, including his pants. He is not married and we do see inside his apartment on one or two occasions. It appears to be very neat with every personal item in its own place. He isn't too intelligent and is prone to get everyone in a room confused in his attempts to carry on an intelligent conversation. He tends to dislike the desk sergeant Higgenbottem, who in turn doesn't seem to like Lennie. The two will argue about anything, such as how "It's not true that George let me escape but it is true that I locked George in the closet, so when I said it was true, I was referring to how it wasn't true that that was true" or how "They stole 13 cars in the last two weeks and that makes 14 if you count our car, but then they stole our other car which would make it 15 but then the car we found in the driveway takes it back to down to 14." To which Higgenbottem will reply, "No, I'm counting both your cars and that car because whether you found it or not it was originally stolen and I'm also counting the Rolls Royce so that makes 16." And then Lennie will continue to argue that he had forgotten the Rolls Royce and that made it 15 again, and so they would go on until Captain Andrews put a stop to it. The two seem to rather enjoy these comical arguments, in fact. Lennie was in every episode.


Detective George Robinson: (Rupert Crosse) George is Lennie's best friend, long time partner, and sarcastic steadying force. He was in every episode. He is a tall black man, prone to roll his eyes and shake his head at Lenny and his antics, and even less is known about him. He was in Korea, and while he has no fear or heights, he often does seem to have a fear of Lennie's driving. He notices things that go right over his partner's head, and he's the one that keeps Lennie, and sometimes Higgenbottem, from making complete fools of themselves. He doesn't seem to have a very large affinity for Higgenbottem, in fact in the pilot episode when Higgenbottom was reading the report on what the two partners had messed up, and was continually adding in pieces to the sentence that were charging the two with worse crimes, George offered to 'make a suggestion that might help the situation.' -- "Ask Higgenbottem to leave the room."


Captain Aaron William Andrews: (John Doucette) Captain Andrews is a sarcastic police captain, the boss of Lennie and George, who plays a role similar to that of the one Ed Platt played in Get Smart, as The Chief of CONTROL. He really does like Lennie and George in spite of his many sarcastic statements. A good example of his sarcasm: Higgenbottem, whom he is friends with, bursts into the room exclaiming that they have a "code 64," Lennie tells him to take it to the animal shelter because that's a lost dog. "No, that's a code 65." Higgenbottem said. "Oh, of course," Lennie answered, "I was confusing it with a code 63--" "Which is someone being assaulted," corrected Higginbottem, as Captain Andrews exclaimed, looking pointedly at Lenny, "And we may have one in this room at any moment!"


Sgt. Nelson Higgenbottem.: (Dick Van Patten) The sycophantic desk Segeant Higgenbottom is a small man who loves any chance to grate on Lennie's nerves and enjoys arguing with Lennie as well, only tolerates George but still looks for chances to annoy him too, and who does whatever Captain Andrews asks, and generally sides with him. Lennie has a habit of starting a sentence off with "Well, at least there's one good thing that came out of this..." after he's done something stupid. Higgenbottem always answers the same way, saying eagerly, "You're leaving the force?"


Freddie Butler: Don Adams' real life cousin, Robert Karvelas, who played Agent Larabee on Get Smart, played Freddie Butler, who was in seven episodes. He is always chronically confessing to other people's crimes, and consistently manages to drive Lennie, George, and Higgenbottem and Captain Andrews crazy. When he appears, Lennie usually exclaims, "Just what I can't stand right now, Freddie Butler!" The comical air to it is that as he confesses he must continually add things on the end of it to keep in line with what the detectives are saying really happened because he doesn't know how the crime was done.

Reception[edit]

NBC had exceptionally high hopes for the series after it performed well with test audiences. However, it failed to find a large enough audience because it had to compete with CBS's All in the Family, which was at that time the highest rated show on television. Originally, CBS had scheduled My Three Sons against The Partners, but substituted All in the Family at the last minute.

Episode list[edit]

Title Airdate Plot
1 "Here Comes the Fuzz" 1971 Sep 18 Lennie and George get off to a shaky start on their assignment to capture a bank robber by damaging their unmarked police car, enetering wrong apartment and wearing the wrong clothes.
2 "Abra Cadaver" 1971 Sep 25 While investigating a death threat, Lennie and George watch their intended victim disappear twice before their eyes.
3 "The Prisoner of Fender" 1971 Oct 02 During their assignment to pick up hoodlum Tony Kelso, Lennie and George end up in jail when two men impersonating them beat them to Kelso.
4 "Waterloo at Napoleon" 1971 Oct 09 Lennie and George foul up not only their assignment to investigate a kidnapping and money laundering, but succeed in doing the same to an FBI man.
5 "How Many Carats in a Grapefruit" 1971 Oct 16 While investigating the jewel robbery of the century, Lennie and George get sidetracked by a grapefruit in which George's mother is unwittingly carrying a stolen diamond.
6 "Witness for the Execution" 1971 Oct 23 As Lennie prepares to testify against a mobster, he learns that a contract has been put out on his life, which results in George being assigned to guard him.
7 "To Catch a Crooke" 1971 Oct 30 After Lennie is arrested when his gun is found at the scene of the crime, he escapes to prove his innocence.
8 "Requiem for a Godfather" 1971 Nov 6 Lennie and George make the same mistake twice in trying to apprehend armored car thieves.
9 "Take My Wife, Please" 1971 Nov 13 After a bank robbery goes wrong, the thieves decide to hold the bank president's wife for ransom.
10 "Have I Got an Apartment for You!" 1971 Nov 27 Lennie becomes the victim of bunco artists during his search for a new apartment.
11 "Our Butler Didn't Do It" 1971 Dec 4 A chronic confessor to crimes almost convinces everybody that he is telling the truth for the first time when discussing the murder of his therapist.
12 "New Faces" 1971 Dec 11 A second chance and a doctor's prescription help Lennie and George catch a criminal who is using plastic surgery to change his appearance.
13 "North is Now South" 1971 Dec 18 City rezoning causes an uproar in the protection racket when rival gangs claim the same territory.
14 "Desperate Ours" 1971 Dec 25 Higgenbottom is taken hostage by an escaped killer who is seeking revenge on Andrews for testifying against him.
15 "They Steal Cars, Don't They?" 1972 Jan 8 During an investigation of what appears to be an organized car-stealing ring, Lenny and George lose not only their car, but the police captain's vehicle as well.
16 "Headlines for Higgenbottom" 1972 Jul 28 In attempt to boost Higgenbottom's stature with his son, Lennie and George decide to take him on one of their cases.
17 "Magnificent Perception" 1972 Aug 4 A famed psychic is hired by the police department to locate "The Bomber" before he causes severe damage to the city.
18 "Two or False" 1972 Aug 11 Lennie and George get into double trouble as they attempt to catch a jewel thief when Lennie is tricked into letting the thief steal her latest prize.
19 "Two in a Pen" 1972 Aug 25 After word of a jailbreak surfaces, Lennie and George go undercover in the prison, with Lennie as an inmate and George as a guard.
20 "The 217 in 402" 1972 Sep 8 In an attemopt to protect an informer from a hit man, Lenny acts as a decoy by posing as a patient in a coma.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Brooks, Tim; Marsh, Earle (1979, 1981). The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network TV Shows (1946 - Present) (2 ed.). p. 578. ISBN 0-345-29588-9. 

External links[edit]