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Lookwell (1991)

The former star of a cancelled cop TV show solves crimes. Pilot episode for a TV series that was never picked up.


E.W. Swackhamer


Cast overview, first billed only:
Adam West ... Ty Lookwell
Ron Frazier Ron Frazier ... Detective Kennery
Ann Weldon Ann Weldon ... Hyacinth
Todd Field ... Jason
Bart Braverman ... Alberti
Deborah Richter ... Miss Royster
Brian Bradley Brian Bradley ... Alex
Jeff Austin ... Desk Sergeant
Chris Barnes Chris Barnes ... Rental Agent
John Capodice ... Phil
Molly Cleator Molly Cleator ... Casting Director
Brixton Karnes ... Actor #2 (as Brick Karnes)
Sal Lopez ... Manny
John Riggi ... Ben
Steve Schubert Steve Schubert ... Policeman #1
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The former star of a cancelled cop TV show solves crimes. Pilot episode for a TV series that was never picked up.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Crime | Mystery


Did You Know?


Upon later cult success, the pilot was, as co-creator and co-writer Robert Smigel later stated in a retrospective interview concerning the series, the subject of a film offer from an unnamed studio. The offer was of no interest to Smigel, however, as the studio wished to recast the lead character of Lookwell with that of a bigger star, namely Nicolas Cage. The offer in the end, of course, fell through, because, according to the writer, without Adam West it simply 'wouldn't work'. See more »


Ty Lookwell: Perhaps if you watched a little bit more television you'd be better at your job.
See more »

Alternate Versions

When this pilot was re-aired in 2003 on the Trio network, a few cuts were made to fit in the 22 minute time slot. The biggest difference was the deletion of the epilogue in which Lookwell announces to his class that Jason and Miss Royster were sent to jail for stealing the car. Then, he introduces his two new students who are the Samoan prisoners that Lookwell met earlier in jail. Finally, he shows the class another scene from "Bannigan". See more »


Featured in DVD-R Hell: Poochinski (2011) See more »

User Reviews

Best Random TV Surprise Ever!
8 July 2005 | by Scott_MercerSee all my reviews

A friend and former roommate and I just happened to be sitting around watching TV, not expecting anything special, when this came on. It was a pilot episode and NBC threw it on the air during the dead summer months. We were bowled over by the sense of humor, right in our ballpark. The stamp of O'Brien and Smigel, that we now are quite familiar with from over 10 years of watching them on Late Night, is all over this puppy.

Adam West plays an actor who played a 1970's TV detective, who thinks he's a real detective. That's about all you need to know, but the writing and acting really sell the show. One of the funniest ideas ever. My friend and I still talk about it from time to time. (Okay, fine, we're losers who have nothing else to talk about.)

It is one of the crimes of television history that NBC did not pick this up even for a 6 episode run. I've been thinking about trying to dig up a copy of this masterwork. When I try to describe it to people who haven't seen it, they just shrug and go "whatever," but I assure them that they are missing out on comedy gold.

Okay, maybe I'm overhyping it, but it sure is one of my favorite undeservedly obscure TV nuggets of all time. I put it up there next to "Quark" with Richard Benjamin. At least that one had 6 episodes. Somebody dig this up and put it as a bonus on a DVD of Late Night or something, would ya?

NOTE: As of late 2006, the show is readily available on several different internet video sites for viewing. Apparently the show made an appearance on the late lamented Trio cable network within the past 5 years, and some people recorded it. Catch it if you can.

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Release Date:

July 1991 (USA) See more »

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