Set in the 1940’s Ellery Queen stars Jim Hutton as the crime novelist of the title who continually finds himself helping out his police detective inspector father (who works for the Third Division of the New York Police Department) on his cases. Of course it also gives him great fodder for his books, he also often finds himself competing against radio broadcaster Simon Brimmer (played by John Hillerman – best known these days for his role as Higgins on Magnum) who fancies himself as something of a crime solver too.
One of the really great things about this TV version of Ellery Queen is the way it follows the classic format of the books with Hutton taking time out towards the end of the episodes to talk directly to the viewer at home to see if we have been following the clues and if we have spotted the killer yet, a great conceit that really works.
Add to this fantastic period charm with its vintage post war settings as well as some high calibre guest stars that include the likes of Joan Collins, Don Ameche, Susan Strasberg, Ida Lupino, Juliet Mills, Roddy McDowall and Eve Arden to name just a few.
There were previous versions called The Adventures of Ellery Queen, Ellery Queen (see above) and The Further Adventures of Ellery Queen.
USA / NBC – Universal – Fairmont – Foxcroft / 1×100 minute episode 22×50 minute episodes / Broadcast September 1975 – September 1976
Creator/Executive Producers: Richard Levinson, William Link / Music: Elmer Bernstein, Hal Mooney / Characters: Frederic Dannay, Manfred Bennington Lee
JIM HUTTON as Ellery Queen
JOHN HILLERMAN as Simon Brimmer
DAVID WAYNE as Inspector Richard Queen
TOM REESE as Sgt Velie
KEN SWOFFORD as Frank Flanigan