memories of the ’80s – Simon and Simon

Private detective shows never go out of style, and in this decade two brothers were the focus of finding out what really happened in the series Simon & Simon.

The brothers were portrayed by Gerald McRaney and Jameson Parker and were polar opposite. Rick was a Marine, a Vietnam War veteran, and was laid-back make your own rules kind of guy. AJ was the college educated, flashy, gentleman, who liked order.

AJ lives in a small house that is also their office for the private investigation company, while Rick lives on a boat in the front yard. Mary Carver played Cecelia their secretary, while Tim Reid played their police buddy Lt. Brown.

Created by Philip DeGuere, the series debuted on CBS in November 1981, loosely based on the film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. But the first year had very low ratings and was in danger of being cancelled by the network.

The producers asked for a reprieve and the network moved the series to Thursday nights, after their successful show Magnum PI, and the series took off, finding viewers and fans.

Although the pilot was set in Florida, the series was moved to San Diego, where the brothers took on cases, although they had very differing styles and were often clashing over their methods of finding out information.

Each episode showed the different traits of each brother, figured out a case and threw in some humour as well as action scenes for good measure.

The series did a crossover episode with Magnum PI to drive ratings for both shows, and until 1988 kept pace. In 1989, the series was moved to Saturday nights, and with low ratings, was cancelled at the end of its eighth season.

The buddy genre is a popular theme in television and toss in the private detectives, crazy clients, a brotherly affection and regular disputes, this series was an easy to watch one hour of drama each week.


About Waheeda Harris

A pop culture junkie with a penchant for exploring our planet.
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2 Responses to memories of the ’80s – Simon and Simon

  1. edgarcrider says:

    Thanks for the interesting facts about the show never knew they did a crossover with Magnum PI.
    PI shows were very popular in the eighties. Some of us wanted to be private investigators because of those shows.

  2. I didn’t know about the crossover either – one of those fun facts uncovered in research. Also didn’t realize the series was on for nine years….

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