B.L. Stryker

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B.L. Stryker
BL Stryker.jpg
GenreDetective Drama
Created byChristopher Crowe
StarringBurt Reynolds
Ossie Davis
Rita Moreno
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes12
Production
Executive producer(s)Tom Selleck
Burt Reynolds
Running time95-120 minutes
Production company(s)Blue Period Productions, Inc.
T.W.S. Productions, Inc.
Universal Television
DistributorNBCUniversal Television Distribution
Release
Original networkABC
Original releaseFebruary 13, 1989 – May 5, 1990

B.L. Stryker[1] is an American detective drama that aired on ABC from February 13, 1989 to May 5, 1990 as part of the ABC Mystery Movie umbrella group, along with Gideon Oliver, Columbo, and Kojak. Tom Selleck was one of the series' executive producers.[2] The series starred Burt Reynolds, Ossie Davis, and Rita Moreno; Reynolds also directed several of the episodes.

Premise[edit]

Reynolds portrays Buddy Lee Stryker, aka B.L., a Vietnam war vet and retired New Orleans police officer who has moved back home to the other side of the tracks in Palm Beach, Florida and is working as a private investigator. Stryker lives on a houseboat and drives an old Caddy, and occasionally scrapes up a client while trying to avoid being relocated for not paying his slip fees.

Cast[edit]

  • Burt Reynolds as B.L. Stryker
  • Ossie Davis as Oz Jackson, Stryker's best friend and a former boxer
  • Rita Moreno as Kimberly Baskin, Stryker's ex-wife (6 episodes)
  • Dana Kaminski as Lynda Lennox, Stryker's assistant (11 episodes)
  • Michael O. Smith as Chief McGee
  • Alfie Wise as Oliver Wardell, diminutive owner of the marina at which Stryker's boat is moored, and frequently Stryker's comic foil
  • James C. Lewis as Captain Cartrude, Palm Beach police (10 episodes)

Production[edit]

Reynolds decided to return to television after appearing in a number of unsuccessful movies. The deal came together very fast - ABC approached Reynolds and he agreed to make it in two days. Reynolds says he was attracted by the fact the series gave him six months off and considerable creative control, and it would be shot in Florida where he lived. [3]

Episodes[edit]

Season 1 (1989)[edit]

No.TitleOriginal air date
1"The Dancer’s Touch"Leon Piedmont & Walter Klenhard and Chris AbbottFebruary 13, 1989 (1989-02-13)
A serial rapist that Stryker put away in New Orleans is at it again in Palm Beach, and he’s targeting Stryker’s young friend (Kristy Swanson).
2"Carolann"Hall Powell and Jay HuguelyMarch 6, 1989 (1989-03-06)
Stryker protects a Middle Eastern queen (Deborah Raffin) whose husband has been assassinated.
3"Blind Chess"Joe GoresMarch 27, 1989 (1989-03-27)
Stryker’s secretary enlists his aid for her brother (Austin Pendleton), an accountant who wants to get himself and his girlfriend out of prison.
4"Auntie Sue"Tim BurnsApril 17, 1989 (1989-04-17)
Stryker’s kooky Aunt Sue (Maureen Stapleton) wants to buy a house for herself and her friends (including Jack Gilford), but she’s mixed up with the wrong people to get the money.
5"Blues for Buder"Joan H. Parker & Robert B. ParkerMay 15, 1989 (1989-05-15)
Stryker acts as bodyguard for a young religious zealot (Neil Patrick Harris) who makes enemies by sermonizing everywhere he goes. Burt Reynolds also directed this episode.

Season 2 (1989–90)[edit]

No.TitleOriginal air date
6"The King of Jazz"Walter KlenhardNovember 18, 1989 (1989-11-18)
Stryker enlists an old buddy with the FBI (Ned Beatty) to help investigate a cheating husband whose girlfriend may be up to more than just an affair. This episode was directed by Hal Needham, who also directed Reynolds in multiple major motion picture releases, including Smokey and the Bandit, Hooper, and The Cannonball Run.
7"Die Laughing"Chris Abbott & Norma Jean WoodDecember 16, 1989 (1989-12-16)
Stryker is hired to protect a comedian (Dom DeLuise) whose life is in danger, while also trying to find a new slip for his houseboat. Burt Reynolds also directed this episode.
8"Winner Takes All"Tommy ThompsonJanuary 13, 1990 (1990-01-13)
The father of a big-time high school football prospect dies in a car crash, and Stryker and an old football buddy (Paul Gleason) investigate at the request of the prospect’s grandmother (Cicely Tyson).
9"Grand Theft Hotel"Tim BurnsFebruary 24, 1990 (1990-02-24)
Stryker is hired to act as head of security at a posh Bahamas resort for a weekend, and becomes involved with a beautiful lady (Loni Anderson) and the murder of his ex-wife’s (Rita Moreno) wealthy friend.
10"High Rise"Joan H. & Robert P. ParkerMarch 10, 1990 (1990-03-10)
On Stryker’s birthday, his ex-wife (Rita Moreno) and best friend (Ossie Davis) are held captive by a bank robber (Ricardo Montalban). Episode also features Julianne Moore.
11"Plates"Neil CohenApril 14, 1990 (1990-04-14)
A simple trip to the DMV turns into a nightmare as Stryker encounters a parade of strange and dangerous characters. Co-stars Carol Alt. This episode was directed by Stuart Margolin, well known for his role as Angel on The Rockford Files.
12"Night Train"Jack B. SowardsMay 5, 1990 (1990-05-05)
Stryker escorts a young female murder witness (Lindsey Alley) on a train trip to Washington DC, but assassins are after them. Burt Reynolds also directed this episode.

Home media[edit]

The complete 12-episode series was released on Region 1 DVD from Arts Alliance America in a 7-disc set.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ IMDb:B.L. Stryker
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ Reynolds is back on small screen with ABC private detective series; Fast deal has Burt where he started out: [Final Edition] By STEVE SONSKY. The Gazette30 May 1988: D8
  4. ^ [2]

External links[edit]