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Man Against Crime

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A tough private detective named Mike Barnett was the ‘man against crime’ on this detective/drama series set in New York City that was very popular with American viewers in the late 1940s to mid-1950s.

Barnett (played by film actor Ralph Bellamy from 1949 to 1954 and then by Frank Lovejoy in a revived version of the show in 1956) fought crime with his brain and not his brawn.

When Ralph Bellamy went on vacation in 1951, Robert Preston appeared as Mike Barnett’s brother, Pat Barnett.

From 1949 until 1952 the series was telecast live on CBS from the Thomas A. Edison Studios in the Bronx, New York.

As a live show, it always had the problem of not quite fitting into its allotted time. This problem was solved by requiring the show’s writers to include a “search scene” near the end of each episode.

The hero-investigator would search a room for a special clue. A signal would tell Ralph Bellamy how long to search. If time was short, he could go straight to the desk where the clue was hidden; if there was a need to stall, he could first tour the room, look under sofa cushions, even take time to rip them open.

In 1952 the series began to be recorded on film and was one of the first TV series’ to use various locations in and around New York City as backdrops.

When CBS dropped the show in 1953 it was picked up by the DuMont and NBC networks and for a short time, it was seen on both networks. After a two-year hiatus, Man Against Crime was revived on NBC – with a new leading man – but only aired as a summer replacement and then disappeared.

Mike Barnett
Ralph Bellamy (1)
Frank Lovejoy (2)
Pat Barnett
Robert Preston