Last night, The Greatest Event in Television History returned with its second installment, possibly to rectify the earlier mistake of accidentally airing the second greatest event in television history last October. Back then, after a ten minute behind-the-scenes feature hosted by Jeff Probst, Adam Scott and Jon Hamm starred in a shot-for-shot remake of the opening credit sequence to the the eighties detective series Simon & Simon. This time around, Scott and Amy Poehler tried to perfectly reenact the beginning to the rich couple playing “amateur detective” 1979-1984 series Hart to Hart1.
Because co-executive producer, co-star, co-writer and co-director Adam Scott is a busy man, and Adult Swim and Scott have a deal to produce at least two more “events,” we figured we would save him the time and effort to research the next subject to be faithfully parodied. Unfortunately, Simon and Simon and Hart to Hart seem to be the only dramas from the seventies and eighties that doubled up on a name, but there remain to be plenty of shows starring a seemingly mismatched pair of individuals that attempted to get viewers to watch with a horribly dated montage of taken out of context clips, usually involving dramatic fundamental differences of opinion, and cars; always cars. There were also some shows about people that developed superpowers and can turn into animals, because television was fantastic like that. If Scott and company choose a different genre to tackle next, it would be somewhat of a disappointment.
Hardcastle and McCormick
What this show has over all of the other possibilities is the fact that it has the greatest concept for a television show in history. If you watched the video you already heard most of it, but basically a judge that has the name of Milton C. Hardcastle wants the two hundred criminals that got off on legal technicalities that he knew were guilty to “answer” for their crimes (whatever that means), so he makes a deal with the last man he convicted: Mark McCormick, “a smart-mouthed, streetwise car thief,” who just happened to steal a fast prototype sports car. This was an actual show. This was an actual show that lasted for three seasons. Starring Eddie Pepitone and Adam Scott.
Tenspeed and Brown Shoe
Stephen J. Cannell also produced Tenspeed and Brown Shoe, except a few years earlier and with much less success. Ben Vereen’s character, E. L. (“Early Leroy”) “Tenspeed” Turner, was a “hustler” who worked as a detective to “satisfy parole requirements”, who along with Goldblum’s Lionel “Brownshoe” Whitney, an accountant who always dreamed of being a P.I., ran a detective agency in Los Angeles. Starring Brandon Johnson and Adam Scott, after months of Goldbluming.
Rosetti and Ryan
Rosetti and Ryan lasted six weeks on NBC in 1977, and co-starred Tony Roberts, the guy who always played a sleazeball in Woody Allen’s early movies. Here he played Joe Rosetti, who along with Frank Ryan struggle with winning cases in court because there are simply too many women to ogle all of the time. The opening looks like what I assume Franklin & Bash is. Starring Albert Brooks, Adam Scott, and also starring Lizzy Caplan
Scarecrow and Mrs. King
Lee Stetson, aka “Scarecrow,” was an “Agency” operative who spiced up divorced housewife Amanda King’s life by getting her involved in a mission that would result in a career consisting of nonstop danger and lying to her children. The three second freeze frame on the principal actors before their name is even displayed is particularly delightful. Starring Tina Fey, Adam Scott, Kerri Kenney, Colton Dunn, Malin Akerman.
Jake and the Fatman
Tough cookie district attorney J.L. (Jason Lochinvar) “Fatman” McCabe and “happy-go-lucky special investigator” Jake Styles fight for the right side of the law, when they are not fighting each other, or sitting on the hood of a car waiting to point a gun at someone. Why it wasn’t called Jake and McCabe, J.L. and Jake, Styles and McCabe, or Not Stiles from Teen Wolf I have no idea. Starring Patton Oswalt, Adam Scott, and Pete Holmes.
Cagney and Lacey
This would be a little more difficult, considering the World Trade Center appearing in the background of the opening frames, and the show actually being somewhat more popular than the others. To the surprise of noone, the two characters were very different: Christine Cagney was a single, career-minded woman, while Mary Beth Lacey was a married working mother. But they made it work. Starring Adam Scott, Jessica St. Clair, Paul Scheer, Donald Glover, Rob Delaney, Henry Winkler, and Nick Offerman as Harvey.
The Law & Harry McGraw
When Jerry Orbach points at his eye, it is very awkward but funny thanks to John Mulaney’s bit about the deceased eye donor. Strangely enough, the woman whose name is not McGraw does not have the surname of Law, but instead goes by the boring moniker of Ellie Maginnis. The spinoff of Murder, She Wrote only lasted for the 1987-88 season on CBS. Starring Adam Scott, Lennon Parham, Aubrey Plaza, Ian Roberts, and Rob Huebel as Tyler Chase.
Now we are venturing into the too naturally over-the-top shows that to most GMITH viewers would assume to be an exaggerated version of what a 1983 series looked like. It would be hard to resist this one though, with the completely unnecessary expository piece after the credits. Starring Adam Scott, Gillian Jacobs, Jerrod Carmichael, and Nick Kroll as Lt. Rivera2.
Crazy Like a Fox
Now to be fair, this was labeled as a “crime drama/comedy”. But also to be fair, look at those first eighteen seconds of footage. Harry Fox was a free-spirited private detective who lived by his wits, and was crazy, whereas his son Harrison was high-strung, and no doubt was told in every episode to “loosen up a bit” when he ended involved in his father’s cases. Starring Louis C.K., Adam Scott, Erinn Hayes, Mark Duplass.
Misfits of Science
Everything you can possibly want to know about the five month long NBC series can be found in this Awl article. Starring Will Forte. Also starring Michael Che, Rob Lowe, Courtney Cox, Rashida Jones, and Adam Scott as Stetmeyer.
1Chuck paid homage to Hart to Hart a couple of years ago. Remember Chuck?
2Nick Kroll as El Chupacabra as Lt. Rivera