1 9 5 0 – 1 9 5 4 (USA)
One of DuMont’s most popular and lasting programmes, this live crime series – originally called Rocky King, Inside Detective – was set in New York, with the DuMont offices and corridors – and Wanamaker’s department store – used as sets.
Because it was broadcast live, the 30-minute Sunday night show invariably contained fluffed lines and attendant faults but there was a certain charm about the series because of this.
Veteran movie character actor Roscoe Karns starred as the hard-working Homicide Squad detective before he joined the staff of Jackie Cooper’s Hennesey series. Rocky had no flashes of brilliant deduction or unbelievably lucky breaks, nor did he tackle impossibly convoluted cases. He simply tracked down the facts, doggedly, and pieced them together until they made sense and pointed to the culprit.
Karns’ real-life son, Todd, guested in a number of episodes as Sergeant Hart.
At the end of each show, Rocky King would exchange telephone small talk with his – frequently heard but never seen – wife Mabel (the offscreen voice of Grace Carney), concluding with, “Case is closed Mabel, I’m coming home”, and, after hanging up, say to no one in particular, “Wonderful girl, that Mabel.”
Inspector Rocky King