Houston Knights (1987 Detective Show)

Over the last few months, I’ve become interested in learning more about detective shows that, for whatever reason, never stayed on TV screens for more than one or two seasons. My last couple of posts on this topic focused on Crazy Like A Fox and Hawaiian Heat. In this blog post, I profile yet another short-lived detective series from the 1980s: Houston Knights.

Houston Knights premiered as a mid-season replacement on March 11th 1987. After airing 9 episodes for its first season, the show’s ratings were decent enough that it was renewed for a second season. However, after a full second season which aired between September 1987 until June 1988, the show was ultimately cancelled.

The show starred Michael Pare as Joey La Fiamma, a Chicago cop who is transferred to Houston following a run-in with the Mob, and Michael Beck as Levon Lundy, a Houston cop and a grandson of a Texas Ranger. The premise of the show played up common buddy-cop show tropes: the two stars were a mismatched pairing prone to disagreement; and Michael Pare’s character was a bit of a misfit in Texas.

The three main cast members of Houston Knights (from left to right): Michael Pare, Robyn Douglass, and Michael Beck. Followers of this blog who are fans of Murder, She Wrote might recognize Michael Beck from his appearance in three episodes: “The Search for Peter Kerry“, “Trials and Tribulations” and “The Big Kill”.

Additional regular cast members that appeared in the majority of the episodes include:

  • Robyn Douglass as Lt. Joanne Beaumont, Lundy and LaFiamma’s supervisor.
  • John Hancock as Clarence, a.k.a. “Chicken”, the proprietor of a local fried chicken joint who also sometimes acts as Lundy and LaFiamma’s informant.
  • James Crittenden as Sgt. Joe-Bill McCandless.
  • Madlyn Rhue as Annie Hartung, an officer injured while on duty who is now wheelchair bound and working for the forensics lab. After Houston Knights went off air, Madlyn Rhue would go on to play the role of Cabot Cove librarian Jean O’Neill on Murder, She Wrote.

As is the case for many of these short-lived series, they are currently quite difficult to find. If you are based in the US, you can currently watch some (but, for some reason, not all) episodes on Crackle. (Note, the episodes on Crackle also appear to be oddly mis-numbered.) I also managed to find one additional episode and it has been uploaded to YouTube. A full list of episodes is presented below:

  • Season 1
    • 1 & 2. “Mirrors” (two-part pilot movie)
    • 3. “North of the Border”
    • 4. “Houston’s Hero”
    • 5. “Single in Heaven”
    • 6. “Yesterday’s Gone”
    • 7. “Bad Girl”
    • 8. “Scarecrow”
    • 9. “Colt”
  • Season 2
    • 1. “Moving Violation”
    • 2. “Heads, I Win – Tails, You Lose”
    • 3. “Desperado”
    • 4. “Gun Shy”
    • 5. “Lady Smoke” (available on YouTube)
    • 6. “God’s Will”
    • 7. “Diminished Capacity”
    • 8. “Home Is Where the Heart Is”
    • 9. “Secrets”
    • 10. “Somebody to Love”
    • 11. “There’s One Born Every Minute”
    • 12. “Vigilante”
    • 13. “The White Hand”
    • 14. “Sins of the Father”
    • 15. “Crime Spree”
    • 16. “Cajun Spice”
    • 17. “The Stone”
    • 18. “Burnout”
    • 19. “Love Hurts”
    • 20. “Bad Paper”
    • 21. “For Caroline”
    • 22. “The Jungle Fighter”

Below, I have included a gallery of some images pertaining to the show:

4 comments

  1. This is delightful and fascinating. I am really enjoying this series. You are uncovering gold! It’s also really nice to acknowledge the folks in these shows who largely go unacknowledged.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. So I just wanted to tell you that I watched the episode you were able to upload, Lady Smoke and I loved it. I found the artistic style of the show to be aesthetic, and the two leads to be handsome, and different enough to complement each other well. They had great chemistry and it was nicely written in an era where such shows often suffer in the writing. What a treat! I don’t subscribe to Crackle but this show makes it tempting. Thanks again for bringing these great series to our attention.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Since you liked the show, I just wanted to say that you don’t need a subscription to Crackle — you can stream for free, it’s just that there are ads. (Sort of like Tubi and Peacock and Amazon FreeVee.)

        Like

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