>> Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Anybody remember the Ellery Queen TV series? It only ran for one season--1975-1976--which is astounding because it was so much fun. I watched these in reruns at some point, but I still haven't seen them in years. Now they're finally available on DVD!
Ellery Queen was a lot of fun. Developed by Levinson and Link, the minds behind Columbo and, later, Murder, She Wrote, the episodes followed amateur detective Ellery Queen of short story fame as he stepped in to help his father, Detective Queen, solve the oddest of odd mysteries. The series broke the fourth wall by setting the scene in narration, having murder victims sit and talk to the camera, and then allowing Ellery, when everything had been laid out, to turn to the audience and say, "Have you figured it out yet? You've got all the clues you need!" The murders are clean and cozy too, making this one to share with the whole family.
Ellery Queen also stars a host of great actors from back in the day. In addition to regulars Jim Hutton (father of Timothy Hutton, who would go on to play a TV detective himself: Archie Goodwin!) and David Wayne, who plays his father, the series features Tony Hillerman as a recurring radio detective character, George Burns, Eve Arden, Rudy Vallee, Ray Milland, Don Ameche, Ida Lupino, Vincent Price, Mel Ferrer, Kim Hunter, Joan Collins, Ray Walston, Tom Bosley, Betty White, Robbert Loggia, Rene Auberjonois, Jim Backus, Larry Hagman, June Lockhart, John Larroquette, Eva Gabor, Dean Stockwell, Tab Hunter, Roddy McDowall, Ed McMahon, Dick Van Patten, Tricia O'Neil, Cesar Romero, Dick Sargent, Diana Muldaur, Noah Beery Jr., Troy Donahue, Dr. Joyce Brothers, Victor Buono, and Eddie Albert--just to name a few
Why did this show ever get canceled?* Sheesh. Ah well, to the Netflix queue!
* Well, this might have something to do with it: according to Wikipedia, Jim Hutton died four years later in 1979 from liver cancer. What a loss.