Jake and the Fatman

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CBS (ended 1992)

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Catwoman87531

User Score: 155

7.7
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User Rating
110 votes
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SHOW REVIEWS
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Jake and the Fatman

Show Summary

District attorney J.L. McCabe strikes down on the crime in Los Angeles (and later Hawaii) together with his special investigator Jake Styles and assistant D.A. Derek Mitchell. Production Companies: Dean Hargrove Productions The Fred Silverman Company Viacom Productions Inc. Distributors: CBS Television Air Day & time Sep 1987 -- Sat 10:00pm Sep 87-Feb 88 -- Tue 9:00pm Mar 88-May 88 -- Wed 9:00pm Jun 88-Sep 88 -- Wed 8:00pm Oct 88-Feb 89 -- Not On. Mar 89-Jun 92 -- Wed 9:00pm Jun 92-Sep 92 -- Sat 10:00pm Filming Locations: 1. 2nd Street Tunnel, Downtown, Los Angeles, California, USA 2. Hawaii Film Studio - 18th Avenue & Diamond Head Road, Honolulu, O'ahu, Hawaii, USA (studio) 3. Honolulu, O'ahu, Hawaii, USA
Steven Perry

Steven Perry

Sergeant Frank Scardino

William Conrad

William Conrad

Jason Lochinvar "Fatman" McCabe

Joe Penny

Joe Penny

Jake Styles

Jack Hogan

Jack Hogan

Judge Smithwood

Alan Campbell

Alan Campbell

Derek Mitchell

George O'Hanlon Jr.

George O'Hanlon Jr.

Sergeant Rafferty

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • A hybrid of sorts between "Matlock" and "Nero Wolfe," "Jake and the Fatman" is light-hearted B-movie inspired mystery.

    8.0
    Part cop show, part courtroom drama, "Jake and the Fatman" overcomes its unfortunate title and turns out to be a pretty good mystery show.



    What drew me to the series was the titular Fatman - William Conrad. Though he looks like he's been sleeping at death's door, Conrad still infuses the character of J.L. McCabe with a ton (no pun intended!) of humor and tenacity. In some respects, he's a more colorful character than Conrad's standard-issue, but heavyset, PI Frank Cannon. McCabe is crafty and shrewd - there's more than a shade of Columbo in his rumpled appearance and seemingly befuddled courtroom persona. Like fellow TV sleuth Andy Griffith, Conrad shines in the courtroom scenes when McCabe cuts a defendant to pieces on the stand. Conrad's having a ball, and his enthusiasm elevates the series as a whole.



    Though not as strong as Conrad, Joe Penny is well cast as Jake Styles, the Fatman's go-to investigator. Their relationship is a good one, following in the footsteps of other TV old/young odd couple partnerships. Styles' footwork and way with the ladies also conjures up images of Archie Goodwin, erstwhile legman of Nero Wolfe. Penny's got some better acting chops than a lot of his 80s TV star contemporaries, and while the show doesn't give him much of a chance to flex them, he acquits himself well.



    The show is cut from almost the same cloth as "Matlock," "Diagnosis Murder" and the other whodunits of the era. Basically, they bring the sensibilities of Hollywood B-movie mysteries into the 80s and 90s. The crimes here are usually solved not by forensics or procedure, but by an errant clue or deduction - the suspect smokes the same French cigarettes that were found at the scene, etc. They're the kind of clues Charlie Chan or Perry Mason would hang a conviction on, but since "Jake and the Fatman" is such a throwback itself, these never hurt the plot.



    It's definitely worth a look for fans of Conrad and/or light mystery fare. It's no classic, but it's damn entertaining with a good leading duo.moreless
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    May 5th, 2009 DVD Releases

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    December 2, 2008 DVD Releases

    • Submission Guidelines
      Submission Guidelines: Please follow all the guidelines set up by the TV.com staff. The following is a brief summary of the bas...
      04/29/12
      1
    • DVD release
      Just announced - Season 1, Volume 1 of Jake and the Fatman is coming to DVD on July 8th! It's a big day for William Conrad on DVD ...
      01/29/09
      5
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