1 9 7 1 – 1 9 7 2 (USA)
20 x 30 minute episodes
Don Adams was bumbling police officer Detective Lennie Crooke (with the 33rd Precinct) in a portrayal not a million miles away from his role as bumbling spy Maxwell Smart in the long-running Get Smart.
His partner was Detective George Robinson (Rupert Crosse), Lennies’s African American ex-army buddy (they were in Korea together) who was every bit as much a bumbler as Lennie. Their car code was 8312.
Lennie and George broke almost every rule in the book while chasing the bad guys, much to the consternation of their exasperated boss, Captain Andrews (John Doucette), who usually learned of their transgressions from Sergeant Higgenbottom (Dick Van Patten), the precinct snitch.
To add to the general confusion, a character named Freddie Butler (Robert Karvelas) would invariably confess to every crime they were investigating – although he was actually guilty of none.
There were some classic slapstick moments in this short-lived sitcom, including a hurried Lennie forgetting his pants on his way to work leading to a pants exchange in the front seat of the squad car; Lennie and George rolling down a steep mountain after misjudging the backyard of a criminal’s hideout; a trigger-happy Lennie shooting up a noisy cuckoo clock which startled him; losing a dead body over and over again, and Lennie jumping over a hedge in pursuit of a criminal and landing in a kiddie pool full of water.
Unfortunately, The Partners (on NBC) was up against All in the Family on CBS on Saturday nights and was pummeled in the ratings. After being cancelled in January 1972, a few previously unaired episodes were shown during the summer on Friday nights.
Several episodes of the show were later edited together as a TV movie called Confessions of a Top Crimebuster.
Detective Lennie Crooke
Detective George Robinson
Captain Aaron William Andrews
Sergeant Nelson Higgenbottom
Dick Van Patten