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October 26, 2014

carl kolchak

Six great depictions of writers on TV

by Bob Sassone, posted Apr 10th 2007 11:01AM

Sally, Buddy, and Rob

Welcome to TV Squad Lists (formerly 'The Five'), a feature where each blogger has a chance to list his or her own rundown of things in television that stand out from the rest, both good and bad.

TV usually gets the writing profession wrong. I've never understood why, since shows and characters are written by writers themselves. Maybe they think they have to dumb it down for the general audience. That's why you have writers like Jessica Fletcher, who just sits down at the typewriter and the words come out fine and she mails it off to her publisher. This happens all the time on television. And have you ever noticed that when you hear the writing that a writer character has done on a show it's almost always terrible? Why is that?

After the jump are six writer characters on TV that were done correctly.

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The eight greatest TV private eyes

by Bob Sassone, posted Mar 28th 2007 9:29AM

Spenser: For HireWelcome to TV Squad Lists (formerly 'The Five'), a feature where each blogger has a chance to list his or her own rundown of things in television that stand out from the rest, both good and bad.

OK, so yesterday I gave my list of the Five Greatest Police Detectives, and several readers gave their lists. Today I thought I'd do the other end of the invesitgation spectrum, private eyes, amateur sleuths and other investigators. This list was even hard to do. So many great characters.

1. Spenser (Robert Urich): I picked this Boston-based private eye because he seemed to be a great mix of brain and brawn. The type of guy who could go to the ratty gym and knock around some boxer and then go off to a fancy Beacon Hill cafe and have coffee with his girlfriend and talk about politics or literature. He was smart, clever, caring, a wiseass, and ridiculously moral. What else do you want in a private eye?

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Darren McGavin dead at 83

by Bob Sassone, posted Feb 25th 2006 10:10PM

Darren McGavinFollowing on the news that Don Knotts passed away comes word that another TV veteran has died. Darren McGavin, who played roles from private eye Mike Hammer and Jerry Lewis' Delicate Delinquet cop buddy in the 50s to the original Carl Kolchak in The Night Stalker (let's forget about the awful remake this past season, shall we), died this morning in California.

Besides all the real-life writers I read when I was a kid, I was also inspired by two TV scribes: Rob Petrie on The Dick Van Dyke Show and Kolchak, who fought monsters and demons and tried to write stories about them, but no one would believe him. 

Wow, Knotts and McGavin die within the same 24 hours. We've lost two classic stars.  

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