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Silk Stalkings

From Academic Kids

Silk Stalkings was a 1990s TV crime drama originally shown on CBS in 1991 as part of the network's late-night Crimetime After Primetime programming package, and rebroadcast on the USA Network. After CBS ended the Crimetime experiment in 1993, the series ran exclusively on USA. The show was created by the prolific crime-show producer Stephen J. Cannell, perhaps best known for The Rockford Files.

Portraying the daily lives of two detectives who solved sexually-based crimes of passion ("silk stalkings") among the ultra-rich people of West Palm Beach, Florida, Silk Stalkings was not actually filmed in West Palm. Most episodes were shot in scenic San Diego. Some shows were filmed in Scottsdale, Arizona.

From 1991 to 1995, the lead characters were played by Rob Estes and Mitzi Kapture, who played detectives Christopher Lorenzo and Rita Lee Lance, respectively. The on-again, off-again flirtation between Chris and Rita, who nicknamed one another "Sam," reminded many viewers of the earlier series Moonlighting and helped grow the cult following that the show maintained during its first few seasons and which continues to this day.

The two stars were truly equal co-stars. The opening credits would alternate, one week showing Estes first and then Kapture, the following week showing Kapture first and then Estes. The opening montage of quick cuts were "teasers" that suggested the sexy and violent subject matter of the show, but were not taken from any of the show's actual episodes.

After Estes and Kapture left the show midway through the 1995-1996 season, two new actors, Nick Kokotakis and Tyler Layton, were cast in the lead roles. Fans of the show did not embrace the new stars, who were replaced after that half-season by television veterans Chris Potter and Janet Gunn. The romantic chemistry between Potter and Gunn's characters, Tom Ryan and Cassandra St. John (who, according to the story line, had been married to and divorced from one another before their arrival on the series), revived interest in the show and it rebounded in the ratings. After three additional successful seasons, USA canceled the series in 1999.

DVDs of Season 1 were released by Anchor Bay Entertainment (Sep 28, 2004) and Season 2 DVDs are scheduled for March 22nd, 2005. Subsequent season releases have been promised in quick succession.

The series was notably adult-themed, but being on cable late at night, it seemed to be "under the radar", not drawing the kind of notoriety of prime-time network series such as NYPD Blue. Coincidentally, the theme music for the three crime shows mentioned in this article, Rockford Files, Silk Stalkings and NYPD Blue, were all written by famous cop-show composer Mike Post.


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