In entertaining crime drama series Simon and Simon A.J. and Rick were brothers, but you’d never have known it by looking at them. A.J. was conservative, dedicated, clean-cut, and ambitious. Rick was eccentric, grubby, and laid-back to the point of being lazy. A.J. drove an immaculate convertible and kept his apartment (located behind their office) in spotless condition. Rick bummed around San Diego in a beat-up pickup truck, lived like a slob on a houseboat, and was more interested in pickin’ on his guitar than working. Despite their different lifestyles, A.J. and Rick were partners in a small, struggling detective agency, with A.J. spending much of his time trying, however hopelessly, to get Rick into a more “corporate” mold.
There was much sibling rivalry—Rick tended to exasperate his younger brother—as well as occasional disapproval from their mother, Cecilia, who wasn’t thrilled when they took cases that didn’t pay them much.
Across the street from their office was a rival agency run by crabby Myron Fowler. Myron’s daughter, Janet, who worked for her dad as a secretary, got an occasional chance to play detective by helping Rick and A.J. on some of their cases, much to Myron’s consternation. After graduating from law school Janet became a local assistant district attorney, which strained her relationship with the Simons when she was prosecuting one of their clients. Myron, meanwhile, had closed his detective agency and retired, only to show up as a part-time legman for Rick and A.J. when he got bored with inactivity.
Undercover police detective Downtown, whose unorthodox techniques for dealing with criminals and obtaining information appealed to Rick and appalled A.J., was around to help out—as long as he got something out of it. As he told them, “You do for me, and I’ll do for you.” When Downtown departed in the fall of 1987 (Tim Reid had moved on to star in his own series, Frank’s Place}, he was replaced on the force by the much less friendly, by-the-book Lt. Abby Marsh.
USA / CBS / 156×60 minute episodes plus feature length TV Movie / 1981-88 ( and TV Movie 1995)
Characters: Philip DeGuerre / Executive Producers: Jameson Parker & Gerald McRaney / Producer: Richard Brams/ Co-Producer: Rob Hedden / Design: Anthony Cowley / Music: Joseph Conlan
Gerald McRaney as Rick Simon
Jameson Parker as A.J. Simon
Mary Carver Cecilia Simon
Jeannie Wilson (Seasons 1-2) as Janet Fowler
Eddie Barth (Seasons 1-2) as Myron Fowler
Tim Reid (Seasons 3-6) as Downtown Brown
Joan McMurtrey (Seasons 7-8) as Abigail Marsh