Gary Cole starred on Midnight Caller as Detective Jack Killian, a cop who quit the force after accidentally shooting and killing his partner. Now dealing with a drinking problem, he gets a call one day from Devon King, the beautiful owner of a San Francisco FM radio station. She offers him a job working as a radio talk show host late at night, taking calls from listeners and trying to help solve their personal problems. (Now granted, this part of the premise never made sense to me--why would a radio station randomly call an alcoholic ex-cop and offer him an on-air job for which he has no experience? Whatevers.) Jack got personally involved with many of his callers' plights and acted as a detective during the day to solve crimes (which means the man didn't get much sleep.) Billy Po, played by Dennis Dun, was Killian's sidekick on both of his jobs.
Midnight Caller sometimes worked controversial topics into its storylines. One such notable episode was called "After It Happened" and was about a bi-sexual man with AIDS who infects women with the HIV virus on purpose. It was one of the first times the disease would be part of a network television plot, and because people thought it portrayed bisexuals in a negative light, it sparked protests by GLADD and AIDS activists. Nonetheless, one of the woman who co-starred in it won an Emmy for her role in the episode.
My favorite character on the show was Devon King, played by Wendy Kilbourne. I was delighted to see comments from male viewers/fans on YouTube clips who admired Devon's style, because I did as well. She was one classy and smart business lady, and one of the few female TV characters I looked up to. Jack had a thing for her, and sometimes the chemistry between these two on screen seemed very believable. In between struggling with drinking and family issues, Jack had a few loves on the show, but like most viewers I really wanted to see him and Devon end up together. They almost did during an episode where Devon had to deal with a stalker and Jack camped out at her apartment to protect her, which ensued in a steamy kiss. But eventually Kilbourne wanted to leave the show and was pregnant, so the writers had her character get pregnant by another man. This scene that I found online, after Devon has her baby, is the last moment she shares on screen with Jack. Both actors did a fine job showing the adoration they had for each other...the hint of a relationship that was never meant to me...and it made me a bit sad to watch! Oh, and of course, Devon named her son Jack.
There's a ton of full episodes of the show on YouTube, but they're in Japanese! Proof that the show had international appeal.
This was a good and unique series. I miss shows that can put an interesting twist on the same old premise and keep us coming back for more, the way Midnight Caller did for me each week. Do you remember the series?