Brian Devlin & Nick Corsello (The Devlin Connection)

Created by John Wilder

Nick (left) and Brian

IThe Devlin Connection, a short-lived TV series from the early eighties, slick, sophisticated, independently wealthy man-about-town BRIAN DEVLIN (played by Rock Hudson) is retired after a long and successful career as a high-class private eye with branches all over the world. He takes on a prestigious position as Director of the Los Angeles Cultural Arts Center, which gives Hudson plenty of excuses to strut around in tuxes at swanky cocktail parties and the like, looking like… well, a slick, sophisticated, independently wealthy man-about-town.

The “connection” of the title is provided when NICK CORSELLO (played by Jack Scalia), Brian’s long-lost twenty-eight year old son, turns up. (You might wonder… how do you lose a son for twenty-eight years?)

But wouldn’t you know it? Nick is a private eye, too! Thing is, Nick’s not some suave, debonair sleuth like dear old dad — nope, he’s a rough and tumble NYC gumshoe scraping by, holding down a part-time job as a racquetball pro at a health club, but determined to make it as a P.I.

Of course, Daddy gets involved in more than his share of Nick’s cases, sometimes without Nick’s knowledge, even as he’s less-than-approving of some of his son’s rather less-than-refined lifestyle or clientele.

Assume there was a little verbal sparring between father and son. Add Lauren, a gorgeous assistant for Brian at the arts center; Mrs. Watanabe, a wacky but lovable (and efficient) housekeeper, and Lieutenant Borden, the obligatory long-suffering police contact, and you can see why more than a few critics dismissed this as “McMillan and Son.”

It made its debut on October 2, 1982, and ended on Christmas Day with a two-episode dump. Supposedly, Hudson was happy that the show as cancelled (sure!) because he felt it lacked any real spark and had no comedy to it, and that the relationship between Brian and Nick should have been more fully developed.

Or maybe the connection just wasn’t there. As The Girl Detective once pointed out, “Scally was no Sally.”

Which may explain why the show has never had a DVD release.

TELEVISION

  • THE DEVLIN CONNECTION
    (1982, NBC)
    13 episodes
    Premiere: October 2, 1982
    Last episode: December 25, 1982
    Created by John Wilder
    Writers: John Wilder, Howard Rodman, Michael Sloan,
    Directors: Christian I. Nyby II, Rod Holcomb,
    Starring Rock Hudson as BRIAN DEVLIN
    and Jack Scalia as NICK CORSELLO
    Also starring Leigh Taylor-Young as Lauren
    Louis Giambalvo as Lieutenant Earl Borden
    Takayo as Mrs. Watanabe
    and Herb Jefferson, Jr.
    Guest stars: Joanna Cassidy, Juliet Prowse, Lew Ayres, Carl Franklin, Tracy Scoggins, Jon Cypher, Dick Sargent, Julie Sommars

    • “Brian and Nick” (October 2, 1982) | Buy the video
    • “Lady on the Billboard” (October 9, 1982) | Buy the video
    • “Love, Sin and Death at Point Dume” (October 16, 1982)
    • “The Corpse in the Corniche” (October 23, 1982)
    • “The Absolute Monarch of Ward C” (October 30, 1982)
    • “The French Detective” (November 6, 1982)
    • “Of Nuns and Other Black Birds” (November 13, 1982)
    • “Ring of Kings, Ring of Thieves” (November 27, 1982)
    • “Arsenic and Old Caviar” (December 4, 1982)
    • “Claudine” (December 11, 1982)
    • “Allison” (December 18, 1982)
    • “Erica” (December 25, 1982)
    • “Jennifer” (December 25, 1982)
Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith. Thanks to Alberta Bond for the connection.

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