Friday, April 10, 2020

Tenspeed and Brown Shoe

Tenspeed and Brown Shoe is an American detective/comedy series originally broadcast by the ABC network between January and June 1980. The series was created and executive produced by Stephen J. Cannell. Most of the show's creative staff (Cannell, Juanita Bartlett, Gordon T. Dawson) were veterans of the private detective series The Rockford Files, which concluded its run about two weeks before Tenspeed and Brown Shoe debuted.

The one-hour program revolved around two detectives who had their own detective agency in Los Angeles. E. L. ("Early Leroy") "Tenspeed" Turner (Ben Vereen) was a hustler who worked as a detective to satisfy his parole requirements. His partner Lionel "Brownshoe" Whitney (Jeff Goldblum) was an archetypal accountant, complete with button-down collars and a nagging fiancee (at least for the pilot episode), who had always wanted to be a 1940s-style Bogart P.I. A running joke was his penchant for reading a series of hard-boiled crime novels, subtitled "A Mark Savage Mystery", written by Stephen J. Cannell (though he never wrote such a series of novels), with Goldblum reading some passages in voice-over. He was sharper than he seemed, although a little naïve and more reasonable than his career path demanded, and had picked up karate to black-belt standard.

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