There are certain posts for which the comments that follow take on a life of their own. Take for example a short piece called “An Early Example of NERO WOLFE on TV?” There are 15 comments following, which is rather high but not unusually so. But if you take into consideration that this piece was a continuation of one of Mike Nevins’ columns, to which 18 comments were added, you will realize that the subject matter — that of which actor played what well-known mystery character, or should have, struck a nerve of one kind or another.

   All of which means little, in the more practical side of things, except the final (or most recent) comment on the second post was from Mike Doran, who mentioned something I’d never known about before. Which is certainly not news in that regard, but perhaps if you missed it, you’d like to know about it, too.

   Mike said, and I quote:

    “… I’ve got to pass along something I came across by accident last night. It seems that MEtoo, a local station here in Chicago (digital Ch 26.3), is starting to show Kraft Mystery/Suspense Theater episodes as part of their “Sunday Afternoon Whodunits.”

    “They began this past Sunday with a 1963 show called ‘Shadow Of A Man.’ I taped it, intending to watch it sometime in the indeterminate future. Lap dissolve to last night, and I’m looking through some of my old TV Guide‘s from this period, and lo and behold, there’s the listing for this episode — which, it seems, is Revue’s attempt to turn Double Indemnity into a TV series.

    “Honest — Jack Kelly plays Walter Neff and Broderick Crawford plays Barton Keyes, and those are the names of the characters. Both the TV Guide Close-Up listing and the NBC ad play up the connection, although I don’t recall seeing James M. Cain’s name in either place — or for that matter in the credits of the show (which I still haven’t watched all the way through).

    “Every time I go through these old magazines I seem to stumble on something unexpected like this, and I’ve had them a long time now. This is where I get most of the nickel knowledge I put in these posts, and I’m eternally grateful for having a place like this to put it.”

    And not too long ago, Mike emailed me to say, after I pleaded him unmercifully for some follow-up information:

    “Well, I finally got around to watching ‘Shadow Of A Man’ yesterday. But first things first: it occurred to me that I hadn’t checked my reference books on unsold TV pilots yet, so I did. Turns out that ‘Shadow Of A Man,’ aka ‘Double Indemnity — The Series’ was in both of them.

    “Back to the show itself: Nothing really special here; I’m guessing that the series would have been cases investigated by Neff the smartass ladies’ man and solved by the older, crustier Keyes — and if this sounds like a whole bunch of other shows we’ve been discussing here lately — well, if coincidences didn’t happen, we wouldn’t need a word for them, would we?

    “James M. Cain’s name appeared nowhere, nor did those of Raymond Chandler or Billy Wilder.

    “One other oddity: although based on a Paramount picture, this was an MCA-Universal show. I believe this has something to do with MCA’s purchase of Paramount’s film library for TV release in the ’50s; apparently there were riders to the deal, such as remake or adaptation rights.

    “I remember that that ‘Going My Way’ was done on TV a couple of years before, with Gene Kelly and Leo G. Carroll in the Crosby and Fitzgerald roles. Paramount movie, MCA series. Someone with a bigger library and a better memory than mine might be able to come up with a longer list of these.”

   All I can say is that I wish I lived in the Chicago area. There’s no station around here that plays anything nearly as interesting as reruns of Kraft Mystery/Suspense Theater.