Cracker (U.S. TV series)
Cracker - The Complete US Series
|Created by||Jimmy McGovern|
R. Lee Ermey
|Theme music composer||Roy Hay|
|Country of origin||USA|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||16|
|Executive producer(s)||James Steven Sadwith
Scott M. Siegler
|Running time||60 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Granada Entertainment
The Kushner-Locke Company
|Original release||September 18, 1997
May 22, 1999
Cracker is an American crime drama series produced by Granada Entertainment for ABC and based upon the British television crime drama of the same name created by Jimmy McGovern. An innovative but disturbing take on the standard police-detective genre, the Americanized Cracker consists of sixteen one-hour episodes set in Los Angeles. It stars Robert Pastorelli as criminal psychologist Gerry 'Fitz' Fitzgerald and a young Josh Hartnett. Robbie Coltrane, the star of the original series, appears as a villain in one episode. The remade show was broadcast as Fitz in some countries, including the UK.
Gerry "Fitz" Fitzgerald is an unconventional but brilliant psychologist, an insulting, nosy, loathsome individual. To be able to pay the bills, he gives lectures at colleges, has a small practice in a mini-mall, and has his own radio show. He also helps the Los Angeles police department solve difficult cases thanks mostly to his own quirks and perversity which give him an uncanny ability to get inside the criminal mind. But that is only true when he does not have to deal with his own inner demons, which include drinking, gambling, extramarital affairs, and a tense relationship with his wife Judith and his 17-year-old son Michael.
Cast and characters
- Robert Pastorelli as Gerry 'Fitz' Fitzgerald
- Carolyn McCormick as Judith Fitzgerald
- Josh Hartnett as Michael Fitzgerald
- Angela Featherstone as Detective Hannah Tyler
- Robert Wisdom as Detective Danny Watlington
- Scott Sowers as Detective Parker
- Paul Perri as Waldron
- Sally Livingstone as Hope Fitzgerald
- Josh Lucas as Lieutenant Macy
Special guest appearances
All 16 episodes are 60 minutes long.
- True Romance
Episodes 1 & 2
Original Air Dates—18 September 1997 & 25 September 1997
Gerry "Fitz" Fitzgerald is an alcoholic, self-hating psychologist and compulsive gambler who lectures at local community colleges and hosts a radio-call in show, while assisting the Los Angeles police department in various crimes. Fitz is asked to help track down a female serial killer of men who writes him love notes, claiming to be in love with Fitz. With the clock ticking and minimal evidence to move the investigation along, Fitz must find a way to locate the killer before she strikes again. On a personal front, Fitz is also having problems at home: Judith, his wife and a feminist author, is on the verge of throwing in the towel on their marriage despite their newborn baby. Michael, Fitz's 17-year-old son, finds it extremely difficult to relate to his equally troubled father. Michael becomes the next target for attack by the serial killer, Janice, who claims to be in love with Fitz and he must race against the clock to find the killer before Michael becomes Janice's latest victim.
Original Air Date—2 October 1997
When an amnesia victim, covered in blood, is found near the scene of a brutal murder aboard a moving train, the police are convinced they have their killer and bring Fitz in to get a confession. Fitz, however, is less convinced of the suspect's guilt, and takes it upon himself to help the man, the 'John Doe' recover his memory while he searches for the real killer. Meanwhile, at Judith's insistence, Fitz attends a Gambler's Anonymous meeting, which culminates in Fitz leading the members in a betting frenzy.
- Lemmings Will Fly
Original Air Date—9 October 1997
When a teacher is suspected of killing a young male student, Fitz' mesmerizing interrogation leads to a startling conclusion that the teacher, Mr. Quint, is gay and was trying to seduce the student. Meanwhile, Fitz considers a getaway proposition from Detective Hannah Tyler after discovering that Judith is dating their marriage counselor Garson Shepherd.
- Hell Hath No Fury
Original Air Date—16 October 1997
When a newborn baby goes missing from a local hospital, Fitz becomes convinced that the kidnapper is a woman, regardless of the eyewitnesses and videotape evidence. But the truth ends up being more surprising than any wild suspicions following the apprehension of a female suspect, a maternity nurse, because the real abductor is her transvestite brother. Meanwhile, Fitz and Michael are in bitter disagreement over Michael's ex-girlfriend and her re-appearance into their lives. Also, Fitz attempts to communicate with his wife Judith, which ends up being a mistake.
- 'Tis Pity She's a Whore
Original Air Date—23 October 1997
Fitz joins forces with the Los Angeles police department as they track a severely disturbed young couple, a junkie named Tina, and a stuttering mentally disturbed man named Sean, who have fallen in love with each other while on a murderous rampage. Meanwhile, Judith rejects Fitz' latest plea to move back home after discovering that he continues to suffer from his gambling addiction and refuses to seek professional help.
- Sons and Lovers
Original Air Date—6 November 1997
When a teenage boy is accused of murdering his promiscuous mother, Fitz retraces the victim's final hours, determined to find another explanation for the vicious crime despite opposition from his grumpy boss, Lt. Fry, who thinks that the teenager is guilty. Meanwhile, Fitz's family bonding efforts at Sunday dinner blow up in his face due to his jealousy over Judith, his lacklustre efforts to bond with his son Michael and daughter Hope, and Judith's overprotective mother.
- Talk to Me
Original Air Date—13 November 1997
When Colleen McBeal, a controversial radio personality, is being stalked by one of her listeners, Fitz's investigation yields shocking and deadly results when it's revealed that Colleen and her manager Jeffrey have faked the stalking for publicity ratings, and then Jeffrey is murdered by a real stalker/listener. Meanwhile, Fitz discovers that Judith has plans to spend a romantic evening with their marriage counselor, Garson Shepherd, so he retaliates by taking Tyler out to the same restaurant just to make Judith angry and jealous.
Episodes 9 & 10
Original Air Dates—17 January 1998 & 24 January 1998
Fitz assists the police in tracking down a serial sniper whose killings of four African-American woman have all the ear markings of being revenge killings. Following a clue in the number of bullet hits on the bodies, Fitz determines the sniper to be motivated by the L.A. riots in 1992. However, the sniper is actually a distraught man who is motivated by the condition of his wife, who is severely injured and comatose. During this, Tyler begins dating a handsome K-9 cop, named Dale, while Watlington deals with Lt. Fry's handling of the case as well as his ex-wife Tisha's decision to re-marry a younger man who is an ex-con. Meanwhile, Judith asks Fitz to watch over their newborn son while she has a job interview, and she admits to being unfaithful to Fitz with their marriage councilor. Fitz and the police are startled to discover that the next target for the sniper is someone they all have a relationship with: Watlington's ex-wife Tisha whose boyfriend, Ronnie Brooks, was involved in the incident that put John Ramon's wife in a coma during the 1992 race riots. The situation develops with Ramos taking Tisha hostage at the hospital, leading to a standoff between him and Fitz in Ramos' wife's room. Meanwhile, Judith's admission of her betrayal somehow brings both herself and Fitz together again over their newborn son.
- An American Dream
Original Air Date—11 December 1997
When a famous porn star/stripper, named Dee Dee Wilder, is found murdered in her house, Fitz and the police investigate. At first, the evidence seems to indicate that her possessive manager is involved, until circumstances soon point to the young lady's estranged father. Meanwhile, Fitz has a heart attack, which brings Judith back for a temporary reconciliation, while his daughter Hope tries to persuade him to change his lifestyle.
- The Club
Original Air Date—26 February 1999
When a wealthy teenage girl is found murdered at a local rave, Fitz investigates and discovers that her friends are a clique of wealthy and spoiled teens who have formed a sex club, and the list of suspects is soon narrowed down to the murdered girl's boyfriend, Spencer, whose older brother died from AIDS years earlier. Meanwhile, Fitz and Judith deal with Hope, who has gotten into trouble at school over her own activities involving carousing for boys.
- Best Boys
Original Air Date—5 March 1999
Fitz and the police investigate the brutal murder of a nosy landlady and a social worker in which evidence points to a troubled juvenile delinquent and his factory worker boss who have formed an "unnatural" association and are killing people they see as keeping them apart from each other. This leads to a standoff between the youth and his former stepmother which Fitz tries to diffuse. Meanwhile, Tyler announces her engagement to Dale while Lt. Fry announces his promotion to chief detective, while Fitz's home life gets worse when Judith becomes jealous about all the time he's spending around Tyler and the other detectives.
- First Love
Episode 14 & 15
Original Air Date—22 May 1999
Fitz assists the police and the new commanding officer, the younger and better educated - but less experienced - Lt. Monroe Macey, Lt. Fry's replacement, in tracking a serial killer of three women when a police officer becomes a victim. Suspicion falls on the officer's partner, Pete Renaldi, who holds a clue to the killer's identity which prompts Tyler to go undercover to romance Renaldi in order to look for clues. Meanwhile, on Fitz's home front, Judith becomes nervous when she thinks that she might be pregnant again while Michael wants a car as he's turned 18. When Detective Hannah Tyler is abducted by the killer, who is Officer Palmer's deranged wife Linda who's jealous over Pete Renauldi's attraction to Tyler, Fitz, Lt. Macy, Parker, and Watlington interrogate Officer Renauldi's over a connection to the murders. When red tape prevents them from making headway, Fitz takes it upon himself to interrogate Renauldi himself to find out the identity of the killer he's protecting. He delves into the dirty officer's past and his connection with Linda Palmer, unaware that she has by this time shot and killed Tyler after she made a half-baked attempt to escape. Linda then decides to settle the score with Renauldi herself.
- Faustian Fitz
Original Air Date—12 March 1999
Fitz is hired by David Roberge, a famous child actor-turned-Hollywood studio mogul, to help clear his name when a teenage model is found murdered on the grounds of Roberge's Hollywood mansion, leading to conflicts with Fitz's former employer Lt. Macy and the other detectives on the police force, all of whom are still reeling from the shock of Hannah Tyler's murder. On the home front, Fitz doesn't welcome a visit from his estranged father Emory, while Judith, Michael and Hope have mixed feelings about Mr. Fitzgerald's presence in their household.
- Cracker: Mind Over Murder