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RERUNS TO RE-WATCH

The Forgotten Five

January 06, 1991|SUSAN KING | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Arts & Entertainment Network begins a daytime mystery hour Monday featuring five short-lived series from the 1970s.

Kicking off the lineup is the delightful The Adventures of Ellery Queen, starring the late, great Jim Hutton as the rather absent-minded New York mystery writer who is adept at solving murders. Tony-winning David Wayne co-stars as Inspector Queen, Ellery's New York Police Department father who always becomes involved in his son's cases.

The show's trademark was its ending where Ellery invited the viewer to solve the murder.

"Ellery Queen," based on the novels by Frederic Dannay and Manfred Bennington Lee, aired on NBC 1975-76.

Next up is the 1971-72 CBS series O'Hara, U.S. Treasury (not to be confused with "Harry-O"), which marked David Janssen's return to series TV after he stopped running on "The Fugitive" in 1967.

The late Janssen plays special agent Jim O'Hara, who works undercover for all five enforcement agencies: Bureau of Customs, Secret Service, Internal Revenue Service Intelligence Division, Internal Revenue Service Inspection Division and Internal Revenue Service, Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Division.

Wednesday belongs to Mrs. Columbo, which stars Kate Mulgrew as the wife of the disheveled LAPD detective. When the series premiered on NBC in February, 1979, Kate Columbo worked as a reporter on a suburban newspaper that somehow got her involved in murder cases.

More recently, Mulgrew stole Sam Malone's heart on "Cheers" and starred in ABC's 1988-89 drama series "Heartbeat."

On the "Columbo" series, Mrs. Columbo was never seen, and on "Mrs. Columbo" Lt. Columbo never made an appearance. By the time the series was canceled that December, Kate's last name had been changed to Callahan and the series' title changed to "Kate the Detective" and finally, "Kate Loves a Mystery."

Premiering Thursday is the 1976 NBC series City of Angels, starring Wayne Rogers, who had left the role of Trapper John on the hit series "MASH" the year before for greener pastures- a.k.a. his own series.

In 1930s Los Angeles, Rogers is Jake Axminister, a private detective who isn't above bending the rules to solve a case. A mid-season replacement inspired by "Chinatown," "City of Angels" quickly was history. Rogers can now be seen hosting "Power Profile," a series on the Financial News Network.

On Friday, viewers can catch Judd Hirsch in the 1976-77 CBS detective series Delvecchio, in which he plays the tough, independent LAPD detective Dominick Delvecchio.

Steven Bochco, who would hit pay dirt in 1981 with "Hill Street Blues," was the producer of "Delvecchio." The series also features two "Hill Street" alum: Charles Haid, who played Andy Renko on "Hill Street," is Delvecchio's partner, Sgt. Paul Shonski; Michael Conrad, who won an Emmy as Sgt. Phil Esterhaus on "Hill Street," is Delvecchio's commander, Lt. Macavan.

Hirsch, of course, went on to his own TV series success with "Taxi" and NBC's current "Dear John."

"The Adventures of Ellery Queen" airs Mondays at 11 a.m. "O'Hara, U.S. Treasury" airs Tuesdays at 11 a.m.

"Mrs. Columbo" airs Wednesdays at 11 a.m. "City of Angels" airs Thursdays at 11 a.m. "Delvecchio" airs Fridays at 11 a.m.

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