The Rocky King, Inside Detective TV show was a 30 minute crime drama series on the DuMont Network about the head homicide detective on the New York City police department. Rocky was ever vigilant in his efforts to solve the worst crimes in the Big Apple.
Inside Detective Cast
Roscoe Karns .... Rocky King
Earl Hammond .... Sergeant Lane (1950-1953)
Grace Carney .... Mabel King (Voice Only)
Kem Dibbs .... Pete Roland
Henrietta Moore .... Viola Marstend
William Sharon .... Edward Starkie
Bethell Long .... Lionel the Great
Todd Karns .... Sergeant Hart (1953-1954)
Ken Roberts .... Announcer
Rocky King Opening Narrative
"Rocky King, Detective! Starring Roscoe Karns as Rocky King, chief of homicide of a metropolitan police force, in an exciting fight against crime! Brought to you by Geritol!"
Inside Detective Trivia
The Rocky King, Inside Detective TV show was one of the DuMont network's most popular series. It was without a doubt their most popular weekly drama series. It was also one of their longest-running series, on the air from 1950-1954.
Roscoe Karns (Rocky) later appeared as "Captain Walter Shafer" on the "Hennesey TV show".
The DuMont Network was the first licensed commercial network commercial network in the U.S.broadcasting from 1946 until it went bankrupt in 1956.
Rocky King, Inside Detective was broadcast live! There were many kinescopes (16mm films) shot during the series' run but, as far as we know, only 37 episodes are still in existance. Most of them are at the "Film and Television Archive" at UCLA. Four episodes were released on Dvd in late 2006. The rest are believed to have been destroyed when the series was canceled or a couple of years later when DuMont went defunct.
Most of the series took place right inside the DuMont studio offices. They simply temporarily kicked someone out of their workspace in order to use it as a set!
Rocky King would probably have done much better in the ratings if it had included well-known guest stars but, again, the cost-cutters at DuMont wouldn't pay the fees required to get big name talent. The show was also broadcast mostly on UHF stations which were not located on the main dial.
Rocky King had a family who he interacted with on the series but, in a further effort to reduce production costs, they were never seen. References were made to a son and Rocky's wife spoke but only from off-camera. Rocky and his wife's conversations were usually cut short by a call from someone involved in a police investigation.
Originally, the series' title was actually simply "Inside Detective". That didn't last long. The series is also sometimes referred to as "Rocky King, Detective".
The ending segments of Rocky King episodes were always pretty much the same. Rocky caught the murderer. Rocky would then be seen sitting at his desk and talking on the phone with his wife Mabel, typically just summarizing what happened during the capture of the criminal. Then Rocky would look directly into the camera and say, "Great girl, that Mabel". Then he'd get out of his chair and started walking down the hallway and away from the camera. The closing credits would begin rolling and Rocky would turn back to the camera and tip his hat (to say goodbye) to the audience.
Roscoe Karns gave a magazine interview shortly after Rocky King, Inside Detective left the air. In that interview he said that he wrote all of the dialog between himself (as Rocky) and Mabel. In a 1954 magazine interview, Karns explained that he wrote the dialogue himself for the domestic scenes between Rocky and Mabel.
His role on Rocky King was a godsend for Roscoe Karns. He had always been a "co-star" during his movie career and that career was coming to an end. On Rocky King, Inside Detective he was the star! He also got an opportunity during the final season to work with his son, Todd Karns, who played the role of police Sergeant Hart. Todd's most famous role was that of George Bailey's younger brother Harry Bailey in perhaps the greatest Christmas movie of all time, "It's a Wonderful Life"!
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