Shamus: A Matter of Wife ...
Rod Taylor played private eye Shamus McCoy in this pilot for a series that never came to
The show aired April 10, 1976, on NBC and was a follow-up
to a 1973 film called "Shamus" that starred Burt Reynolds.
Marvin Chomsky directed this TV movie, just a couple of years before
his work on "Roots" and a couple of years after directing Taylor
in "Family Flight."
Lynda Carter has a small role as Shamus' girlfriend -- one of her first roles before
becoming Wonder Woman. The "wife" in the title is played by Anita
Gillette. The show also features Anne Archer in an early role, and
Joe Santos as Lt. Vince Promuto -- a character similar to his Lt. Dennis
Becker in "The Rockford Files."
In fact, the whole show has a very "Rockford" feel to it. Shamus
McCoy is a scuffling private investigator who gets help from his friend on the
force -- Promuto -- and
a collection of semi-shady characters.
The show opens with
the apparent murder of a friend of Shamus'. Shamus has to deal with an assortment
of underworld types as he uncovers a gambling scheme.
In the course of the story, his romancing of (a) Zelda (Lynda Carter -- the
future Wonder Woman)
and (b) Carol (Anne Archer) is continually cut short when duty calls. Shamus
also shows of his prowess at playing pool and making scrambled eggs. He also
shirt a lot.
A big difference between the Burt Reynolds movie and the Rod
Taylor TV show is the location.
"We've moved the locale from New
York to Los Angeles, and we have more high comedy than low," Rod
said in an April 1975 interview. But then, here's a similarity
between the actor and his character: "Shamus is a guy who is gentle
with women and tough with guys."