The Plainclothesman

The Plainclothesman is an American crime drama series which was broadcast on the now defunct DuMont Television Network.

The Plainclothesman
Created byHenry Opperman
Written byDonald S. Sanford
Lawrence Menkin
Directed bySean Dillon
William Marceau
StarringKen Lynch
Jack Orrison
Helen Gillette
Country of originUnited States
Running time30 minutes
Original networkDuMont
Picture formatBlack-and-white
Audio formatMonaural
Original releaseOctober 12, 1949 (1949-10-12) 
September 12, 1954 (1954-09-12)

Broadcast history

The series ran from 1949 to 1954, and was a detective show starring Ken Lynch, whose character was known only as "The Lieutenant". Uniquely on television, the main character's face was never seen on camera (with one exception) as the series used the "point of view shot" technique.[1] The exception was a July 1952 episode, which featured flashbacks in which Lynch's (and The Lieutenant's) face was shown.[2]

The program, produced and distributed by DuMont, aired Wednesdays at 9 pm ET on most DuMont affiliates during the 1949–1950 season, on Wednesdays at 9:30 pm ET during 1950–1951, and Sundays at 9:30 pm ET during 1951–1952. The Plainclothesman was cancelled in 1954, with the last program airing on September 12.[1]


  • Ken Lynch as "The Lieutenant"
  • Jack Orrison as Sgt. Brady
  • Helen Gillette as Annie the Waitress

Episode status

Only around four episodes were preserved. One kinescoped episode of the series is held in the J. Fred MacDonald collection at the Library of Congress.

See also


  1. McNeil, Alex (1980). Total Television (4th ed.). New York: Penguin Books. ISBN 0-14-024916-8.
  2. Brooks, Tim and Earle Marsh, The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network TV Shows, Eighth edition (New York: Ballantine Books, 2003) ISBN 0-345-45542-8, p. 940


  • David Weinstein, The Forgotten Network: DuMont and the Birth of American Television (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2004) ISBN 1-59213-245-6
  • Alex McNeil, Total Television, Fourth edition (New York: Penguin Books, 1980) ISBN 0-14-024916-8
  • Tim Brooks and Earle Marsh, The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network TV Shows, Third edition (New York: Ballantine Books, 1964) ISBN 0-345-31864-1

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