Charlie Wild, Private Detective

Charlie Wild, Private Detective is an American detective series that aired on three of the four major American television networks of the 1950s.

Charlie Wild, Private Detective
John McQuade Charlie Wild, Private Detective 1951.JPG
John McQuade as Charlie Wild (1951)
Written byPeter Barry
Stanley Niss[1]
Directed byPaul Nickell[2]
Leonard Valenta
StarringKevin O'Morrison (1950-51)
John McQuade (1951-52)
Philippa Bevans
John Shellie
Philip Truex
Cloris Leachman
Country of originUnited States
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes64
Producer(s)Lawrence White[2]
Walter Tibbals[2]
Carlo DeAngelo
Herbert Brodkin
Running time30 minutes
Original networkCBS (1950-1951)
ABC (1951-1952)
DuMont (1952)
Picture formatBlack-and-white
Audio formatMonaural
Original releaseDecember 22, 1950 (1950-12-22) –
June 19, 1952 (1952-06-19)


The program was the televised version of a radio program with the same title. At least some of the episodes that were broadcast on CBS were simulcasts of the radio program.[3]


Charlie Wild was a private investigator with headquarters in New York City, with most of his cases involving murder. He often used violence to solve cases, bending the law at times without actually breaking it. Effie Perrine was Wild's secretary.[4]

A review of the program's premiere episode in the trade publication Billboard described the plot as "run-of-the-mill" except that "the menace ran to silk dressing gowns and Beethoven symphonies" as Wild solved two murders.[2] The reviewer summarized by saying that the show needed "more original story approach and less hokum."[2]

A subsequent Billboard review (of the September 11, 1951, episode) indicated little change in evaluation. Haps Kemper wrote that the "plot was routine, the script hardly scintillating, and the performance unenthusiastic" except for that of the female guest star.[1]


The series first aired live on CBS from December 22, 1950, to June 27, 1951 (20 episodes). It was initially on alternate Friday nights, but it moved to every Wednesday night effective the week of April 16.[5] It then aired on ABC from September 11, 1951, to March 4, 1952 (27 episodes). On March 13, 1952, the DuMont Television Network picked the series up for the last three months, with 17 episodes, ending on June 19, 1952.[4]

The CBS broadcasts were sponsored by Wildroot Cream Oil hair tonic.[6] The ABC series was sponsored by Mogen David wine.[1]


John McQuade replaced Kevin O'Morrison as Charlie Wild after the first seven episodes.[7] Cloris Leachman played Effie Perrine. Sandy Becker[4] and Bob Williams[1] were the announcers.

Episode statusEdit

Fifteen episodes are held by the UCLA Film and Television Archive, including two from the DuMont series.[8] The Paley Center for Media holds four episodes from the DuMont series.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d Kemper, Haps (September 22, 1951). "Charlie Wild, Private Detective". Billboard. p. 11. Retrieved 13 February 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d e Francis, Bob (January 6, 1951). "Charlie Wild, Private Detective". Billboard. p. 6. Retrieved 13 February 2017.
  3. ^ "CBS-TV Shifts Levenson to 'Wild' Time" (PDF). Billboard. June 9, 1951. p. 6. Retrieved 14 February 2017.
  4. ^ a b c Terrace, Vincent (2011). Encyclopedia of television shows, 1925 through 2010 (2nd ed.). Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. p. 178. ISBN 978-0-7864-6477-7.
  5. ^ "CBS-TV To Reshuffle Shows, Strengthen Saturday Nights" (PDF). Billboard. January 27, 1951. p. 6. Retrieved 15 February 2017.
  6. ^ "Lava To Divvy Web Show Tab With General Mills". Billboard. December 2, 1950. p. 4. Retrieved 13 February 2017.
  7. ^ CTVA entry
  8. ^ "Appendix Five: UCLA". DuMont Television Network Historical Web Site. Retrieved 14 February 2017.


External linksEdit