Such is the mercurial nature of television that the hottest writer-producer in town today didn't even get his previous show on the air. Such is also the nature of the medium that now that he is hot, ABC has decided to let the earlier attempt be seen.
"Long Time Gone," airing at 9 tonight on Channels 7 and 42, is the series pilot that Glenn Gordon Caron wrote and produced for ABC in 1984. The network's programming executives didn't buy it and sent Caron off to work up something else.
He returned with "Moonlighting."
Looking at "Long Time Gone" now, it's easy to see why ABC wasn't thrilled with the show but would have been anxious to maintain a relationship with Caron.
On the down side, the principal character is thoroughly dislikable. Try as actor Paul Le Mat might to give him a goofy sort of charm, he can't hide the fact that the guy is lazy, irresponsible, gambles beyond his limits, hasn't seen his son or contributed child support since he ran out on his marriage nine years earlier and is basically inept when functioning at all as a private detective.