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Genre Crime-Drama
Developed by Janette Webb
George E. Swink
Written by David D. Connell
Jim Thurman
Directed by Charles S. Dubin
James F. Golway
Karl Epstein
Jesus Salvador Treviño
Bill Schreiner
Starring Beverly Leech (1987–1990; 19 episodes)
Joe Howard (1987–1992; entire series)
Toni DiBuono (1991–1992; 11 episodes)
James Earl Jones (1987–1988, 1991; 5 episodes)
Emilo Del Pozo (1990–1992; 16 episodes)
Mary Watson (1987–1990; 13 episodes)
Bari K. Willerford (1990–1992; 16 episodes)
Opening theme "Danger Ahead"
Composer(s) Gerald Fried
John Rodby (Conducted and arranged by)
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 5
No. of episodes 30
Location(s) Los Angeles (1987–1990)
New York City (1990–1992)
Editor(s) Ed Brennan
Camera setup Film (Principal Photography)
Videotape (Post-Production)
Single-camera setup
Running time Varies
Production company(s) Children's Television Workshop
The Webb Organization
Turtleback Productions
Original network PBS
Picture format 480i (SDTV)
Audio format Mono (1987–1990)
Stereo (1991–1992)
Original release January 26, 1987 (1987-01-26) – October 23, 1992 (1992-10-23)
Kate Monday (Beverly Leech) and George Frankly (Joe Howard)

Mathnet is a segment on the children's television show Square One Television.


Mathnet is a parody of Dragnet, in which the main characters are mathematicians who use their mathematical skills to solve various crimes and mysteries in the city. Each segment of the series aired on one episode of Square One, a production of the Children's Television Workshop (CTW) aimed at teaching math skills to young viewers. Five segments made up an episode (one for each weekday), with suspense building at the end of each segment.

Both Mathnet and Square One went off the air in 1994 (it was rerun until then after the final 1992 season was completed), reappearing from 19992003 on the cable television network Noggin, a joint venture of Nickelodeon and CTW. However, only 65 episodes were leased by the Noggin network. Mathnet segments also aired on Phred on Your Head Show (one of Noggin's original programs).[1]


  • Kate Monday (Beverly Leech) - A parody of Jack Webb's Dragnet character Joe Friday, Kate usually does not show her emotions when on the job and tackles almost every situation with a calm and rational mind. She appears in Seasons 1, 2, and 3.
  • George Frankly (Joe Howard) - The partner of Kate Monday and later Pat Tuesday, George takes his job seriously but is frequently prone to fits of comical mishaps and immature reactions. He appears in all five seasons. He has a wife named Martha who he often mentions but is never seen or heard.
  • Pat Tuesday (Toni DiBuono) - George's second partner, appearing in Seasons 4 and 5 to replace Kate (the reason for her leaving Mathnet being unrevealed). Like Kate, Pat shares the deadpan mannerisms and no-nonsense attitude of Joe Friday.

Los Angeles cast[edit]

  • Thad Green (James Earl Jones) - The Chief of the Los Angeles precinct where Kate and George works. He briefly appears in Season 4.
  • Debbie Williams (Mary Watson) - Technical analyst at the Los Angeles precinct, she is frequently called upon to process data obtained during Mathnet investigations.

New York City cast[edit]

  • Joe Greco (Emilio Del Pozo) - Captain of the New York City precinct, he is the man who George, Kate, and later Pat report to when they move to New York City starting in Season 3.
  • Benny Pill (Bari K. Willerford) - An undercover NYPD officer, he is Mathnet's semi-regular backup support.

Guest stars[edit]

A number of well-known actors made guest appearances on this show. Among them were

In addition, real life L.A.P.D. officers Sam Salazar and Steve Fellman have also appeared as themselves, as did head writers David D. Connell and Jim Thurman as various characters.

Math and science[edit]

Real principles of math and science and mathematical tools used by the detectives to solve crimes include:

Development and Production[edit]

After a successful first season, production began on six new episodes for the second season. By the time production ended on the third season and its six episodes in 1989, Beverly Leech (Kate Monday) left, and was replaced by a new character named Pat Tuesday, played by Toni DiBuono. Production on the first six episodes with the new character commenced in 1990, and ended in 1991, in time for Square One TV's fourth season. Production on the final season and its five episodes began taping in 1991, and the last episode aired in 1992.

During production, the background music also changed. Originally, it had a synth score. But gradually, as the series progressed, it was replaced with an orchestral score.

The building where Mathnet was filmed in Los Angeles is located on 6045 York Boulevard. It now houses a museum about the LAPD.[2][3]

Home video release and reruns[edit]

In 1991, GPN released five episodes from the first two seasons on VHS ("The Problem of the Missing Baseball", "The Trial of George Frankly", "The Problem of the Dirty Money", "The Case of the Missing Air", and "The View from the Rear Terrace").

Around the same time, select PBS stations combined parts of an episode to air in primetime. This was done primarily for seasons 3-5 (New York City era), although at least one omnibus from the Leech era was also broadcast. These versions were re-edited so that they would come in at just under an hour long, featured other segments from Square One TV as "commercials", and newly created end credits, among other differences. Two of the primetime airings were also commercially released as VHS tapes from Republic Pictures in 1992 ("Despair in Monterey Bay" and "The Case of the Unnatural").

A Mathnet comic briefly appeared in 3-2-1 Contact magazine.

Episode list[edit]

Season 1 (1987)[edit]

in series
in season
Title Directed by Original air dates Production codes
1 1 "The Problem of the Missing Monkey" Charles S. Dubin January 26–30, 1987 (January 26–30, 1987)
2 2 "The Problem of the Missing Baseball" Charles S. Dubin February 2–6, 1987 (February 2–6, 1987)
3 3 "The Problem of the Passing Parade" Charles S. Dubin February 9–13, 1987 (February 9–13, 1987)
4 4 "The Trial of George Frankly" Charles S. Dubin February 16–20, 1987 (February 16–20, 1987)
5 5 "The Problem of the Dirty Money" Charles S. Dubin February 23–27, 1987 (February 23–27, 1987)
6 6 "The Mystery of the Maltese Pigeon" Charles S. Dubin March 2–6, 1987 (March 2–6, 1987)
7 7 "The Problem of the Trojan Hamburger" Charles S. Dubin March 9–13, 1987 (March 9–13, 1987)

Season 2 (1988)[edit]

in series
in season
Title Directed by Original air dates Production codes
8 1 "The Case of the Willing Parrot" Charles S. Dubin September 19–23, 1988 (September 19–23, 1988)
9 2 "The Case of the Great Car Robbery" James F. Golway September 26–30, 1988 (September 26–30, 1988)
10 3 "The Case of the Deceptive Data" Charles S. Dubin October 3–7, 1988 (October 3–7, 1988)
11 4 "The View from the Rear Terrace" Charles S. Dubin October 10–14, 1988 (October 10–14, 1988)
12 5 "The Case of the Missing Air" Karl Epstein October 17–21, 1988 (October 17–21, 1988)
13 6 "The Case of the Map With a Gap" James F. Golway October 24–28, 1988 (October 24–28, 1988)

Season 3 (1990)[edit]

in series
in season
Title Directed by Original air dates Production codes
14 1 "The Case of the Ersatz Earthquake" Jesus Salvador Treviño January 15–19, 1990 (January 15–19, 1990)
15 2 "The Case of the Swami Scam" Charles S. Dubin January 22–26, 1990 (January 22–26, 1990)
16 3 "The Case of the Parking Meter Massacre" Charles S. Dubin January 29–February 2, 1990 (January 29–February 2, 1990)
17 4 "The Case of the Unkidnapping" Charles S. Dubin February 5–9, 1990 (February 5–9, 1990)
18 5 "The Case of the Strategic Weather Initiative" Charles S. Dubin February 12–16, 1990 (February 12–16, 1990)
19 6 "The Case of the Masked Avenger" Charles S. Dubin February 19–23, 1990 (February 19–23, 1990)

Season 4 (1991)[edit]

in series
in season
Title Directed by Original air dates Production codes
20 1 "The Case of the Unnatural" Jesus Salvador Treviño September 30–October 4, 1991 (September 30–October 4, 1991)
21 2 "Despair in Monterey Bay" Jesus Salvador Treviño October 7–11, 1991 (October 7–11, 1991)
22 3 "The Case of the Calpurnian Kugel Caper" Jesus Salvador Treviño October 14–18, 1991 (October 14–18, 1991)
23 4 "The Case of the Galling Stones" Bill Schreiner October 21–25, 1991 (October 21–25, 1991)
24 5 "The Case of the Poconos Paradise" Charles S. Dubin October 28–November 1, 1991 (October 28–November 1, 1991)
25 6 "The Case of the Purloined Policies" Charles S. Dubin November 4–8, 1991 (November 4–8, 1991)

Season 5 (1992)[edit]

in series
in season
Title Directed by Original air dates Production codes
26 1 "The Case of the Mystery Weekend" Bill Schreiner September 21–25, 1992 (September 21–25, 1992)
27 2 "The Case of the Smart Dummy" Bill Schreiner September 28–October 2, 1992 (September 28–October 2, 1992)
28 3 "The Case: Off the Record" Bill Schreiner October 5–9, 1992 (October 5–9, 1992)
29 4 "The Case of the Bermuda Triangle" Jesus Salvador Treviño October 12–16, 1992 (October 12–16, 1992)
30 5 "The Case of the Piggy Banker" Bill Schreiner October 19–23, 1992 (October 19–23, 1992)


External links[edit]