Home Television Drama Archer


1 9 7 5 (USA)
6 x 60 minute episodes

Former cop Lew Archer (Brian Keith) is now a private detective who is not above bending the law when trying to solve a case.

Archer lives alone in a dump in the flatland where Los Angeles and Hollywood merge, and his friend, Lieutenant Brighton (John P. Ryan), helps him with information.

The show was loosely based on the character Lew Archer in the Ross Macdonald novels.

Archer was rushed into production to replace Ironside on NBC on Thursday nights as Raymond Burr had health problems and couldn’t continue.

The series debuted on 30 January 1975 but did not do well. The viewing public didn’t like it and Keith was quite open about the fact that he only took the role for the money.

In fact, Keith was the least disappointed person when NBC cancelled the show after only two episodes were shown. “I was delighted,” he recalled. “I got my money and ran.”

The original commitment for Archer had been 13 weeks. Half of the episodes were shot when NBC hastily cancelled. Six of the shows were aired. The seventh hadn’t been scored so never made it to the screen. Keith was paid for 13 shows.

“I hated the show,” he declared. “It didn’t work”. He said he never figured the show would run for more than half a season.

Lew Archer
Brian Keith
Lieutenant Barney Brighton
John P. Ryan


The Turkish Connection | The Arsonist | The Body Beautiful | Shades of Blue | The Vanished Man | Blood Money