Leg Work

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Leg Work
Leg Work.jpg
Main title screen
GenrePolice procedural
Procedural drama
Created byFrank Abatemarco
StarringMargaret Colin
Frances McDormand
Patrick James Clarke
ComposerMichael Omartian
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes10 (4 unaired)
Running time60 minutes
Production companiesTreasure Island Productions
20th Century Fox Television
Original networkCBS
Original releaseOctober 3 (1987-10-03) –
November 7, 1987 (1987-11-07)

Leg Work is an American police drama television series created by Frank Abatemarco that premiered on CBS on October 3, 1987. Ten episodes of the series were produced, of which six were aired prior to the show's cancellation. The final episode aired on November 7, 1987. The cable network TV Land later aired the remaining four episodes.


Set in New York City, the show's main character was Claire McCarron (played by Margaret Colin), a former Assistant D.A. turned private investigator. A policeman's daughter (Colin was a policeman's daughter in real life),[1] she drove around town in a Porsche 911 Cabriolet but lived beyond her means and often struggled to make a living from her fledgling detective agency. The show also starred Patrick James Clarke as her brother and NYPD lieutenant Fred McCarron, and Frances McDormand as Willie Pipal, her friend who still worked for the DA's office.



No. Title Directed by Written by Original air date
1"Pilot"Richard MichaelsFrank AbatemarcoOctober 3, 1987 (1987-10-03)
2"Things That Go Bump in the Night"Ray DantonDeborah R. BaronOctober 10, 1987 (1987-10-10)
3"The Best Couple I Know"Peter H. HuntMark Lisson
Story edited by Deborah R. Baron
October 17, 1987 (1987-10-17)
4"All This and a Gold Card Too"Peter H. HuntStory by : Frank Abatemarco
Teleplay by : Frank Abatemarco & Deborah R. Baron
October 24, 1987 (1987-10-24)
5"Blind Trust"John NicolellaFrank Abatemarco & Mark Lisson & Marvin Kupfer & Deborah R. BaronOctober 31, 1987 (1987-10-31)
6"The Art of Murder"John NicolellaMarvin KupferNovember 7, 1987 (1987-11-07)
7"Mystery Woman"Ray DantonJanis HirschUNAIRED
8"Life Itself"Dale WhiteChaim LaebUNAIRED
9"The American Dream"Michael ZinbergBruce GrahamUNAIRED
10"Peaches"Dale WhiteKathy McCormickUNAIRED

Reaction and ratings[edit]

Critical opinion was mixed.[citation needed] It was described as having a "somewhat leering tone", but also the "best and brightest of CBS' new series" as well as being a seeming extension of Colin's 1985 lawyer sitcom, the equally short-lived Foley Square (in which Colin had played an assistant district attorney). However even before its premiere, critics anticipated a quick demise due to its difficult programming slot, on Saturday nights opposite NBC's The Golden Girls and Amen.[2] Ratings were indeed dismal, as in its five weeks on the air, Leg Work was always rated within the bottom five network shows every single week. In its final airing it was ranked dead last, 71st out of 71 ranked shows that week.[3]

Despite its brief run, Leg Work was shown in other countries outside of the US. It premiered in the UK on the ITV network (usually in a late Friday night slot) in Spring 1988.


  1. ^ Buck, Jerry (August 19, 1987). "Cop's daughter plays cop's daughter". Toronto, ON: Toronto Star. pp. B.3.
  2. ^ Kelley, Bill (August 5, 1987). "CBS aims to attract male viewers with new fall lineup". Fort Lauderdale, FL: Sun Sentinel. pp. 5.E.
  3. ^ Baker, Kathryn (11 November 1987). Miniseries draws Nielsen points, Kentucky New Era (Associated Press)

External links[edit]