Show Type: Drama

First Telecast: September 12, 1990

Last Telecast: January 2, 1992

Broadcast History:

September 1990, Wednesday 10:00-11:00 on ABC

September 1990 - March 1991, Thursday 9:00-10:00 on ABC

April 1991 - May 1991, Wednesday 10:00-11:00 on ABC

June 1991 - July 1991, Thursday 9:00-10:00 on ABC

August 1991 - January 1992, Thursday 8:00-9:00 on ABC


Gabriel Bird..... James Earl Jones

Victoria Heller (1990-1991)..... Laila Robins

Louis Klein (1990-1991)..... Dylan Walsh

Jamil Duke (1990-1991)..... Brian K. Grant

"Empress" Josephine Austin..... Madge Sinclair

Mitch O'Hannon (1991-1992)..... Richard Crenna


Gabriel Bird was a large, intelligent black man with a thundering voice and a cross to bear. He had once been a Chicago cop. One terrible day in 1969, he was involved in a botched raid during which he was forced to shoot his white partner rather than allow the latter to kill an innocent mother and child in cold blood. The jury considered this to be not an act of heroism but of murder, and sent him to prison for life.

After twenty years as a model prisoner, Bird came in contact with an aggressive attorney named Victoria, who was fascinated by his case and the many irregularities in his trial. Convinced he was innocent, she got him released, but Bird found that life outside could be even tougher for an ex-con, especially since many on the police force still hated and distrusted him. Reluctantly, he agreed to became a private investigator for Victoria, using to good advantage the inside knowledge he had gained on the force and in prison. Louis was Victoria's assistant, and Empress Josephine was Bird's longtime friend and the proprietor of a café where Bird hung out - both for the food and for her company.

The downbeat premise of the series coupled with bird's simmering anger at the injustices visited upon him drove away viewers during the first season, leading to major changes (and a new title) in the second. Returning in the fall of 1991 as Pros and Cons, the series was now about an upbeat Bird, who had almost magically shaken his anger and smiled continuously. Moving to Los Angeles, he teamed up with a colorful if somewhat over-the-hill private eye in their own agency, O'Hannon & Bird. The new, cheerful Gabriel and the mischievous, disorganized O'Hannon meshed perfectly. Adding to Bird's newfound happiness was his relationship with Josephine , which culminated in marriage in October 1991.