If there is something peculiar about this show, it’s the title. Originally, the show debuted on the 10th of July 1948 with the title Joe Canto, Private Eye. Such debut was made again but with a different title: Jeff Regan, Private Eye. Then finally, the show was listed as Jeff Regan, Investigator. What was more interesting is that, the newspaper eventually listed its name in all ways possible except Jeff Regan, Investigator. It’s often listed as either Regan, Jeff Regan, Jeff Regan Detective etc. and, the most interesting of all, people started referring it to as the Lyon’s/Lion’s Eye to the point that people search the internet with those keywords to look for Jeff Regan, Investigator. This might be attributed to the fact that, everyday, the host of the show opens it with the line: "I get ten a day and expenses...they call me the Lyon's Eye."
The story revolves around, Regan, who receives his assignment from a boss that he is not on friendly terms with. His boss was named Anthony Lyon, thus the emergence of the title, Lyon’s Eye. Jack Regan was played by Jack Webb and Anthony Lyon was voiced by Wilms Herbert.
By the end of 1947, life was going very nicely for Jack Webb. He was doing well enough with Mutual’s Johnny Madero, Pier 23 that he could afford to marry jazz singer Julie London in July. His movie career, while not spectacular seemed poised to take off. He was scheduled to begin shooting a supporting role in the noir police procedural He walked by Night (1948). Unfortunately, Madero had only been ordered as a summer replacement, but CBS was impressed enough with its numbers that Webb was offered a shot at their new detective program, Jeff Regan, Investigator. Regan would be a departure from the formula that Webb and his writing partner, Richard Breen had developed for Pat Novak and Johnny Madero. First of all, Regan would be a professional investigator rather than a waterfront tough guy taking whatever jobs he could get. He also lacked a confessor/mentor like Jocko Madigan or Father Leahy. Instead, he had a boss to answer to, Anthony J. Lyon, President of the International Detective Agency in downtown L.A. (in the intro, Regan referred to himself as “the Lyon’s eye”). As the show was originally conceived, Jeff Regan was not going to be the investigator. The program debuted as Joe Canto, Investigator starring Barton Yarborough as Canto. Yarborough was a radio veteran who had played several roles for producer Carlton B. Morse. Even though Webb took over his role at the International Detective Agency, Yarborough and Webb became good friends. Yarborough became Sgt Friday’s partner on
Dragnet and slated to continue the role on television, but he died after taping the first episode.
While working on He Walked By Night Webb struck up a friendship with the film’s technical advisor, Detective Sergeant Marty Wynn of the LAPD. Through this association, Webb came up with the concept of what would become Dragnet, a no-nonsense portrayal of working police detectives with as much reality as possible. After the first season of Regan, CBS hired Webb away to reprise his role as Pat Novak. Veteran voice actor and announcer Frank Graham took over Jeff Regan for the 1949-50 season.
- Radio Shows
Please enjoy these 33 old time radio episodes:
|07.17.1948||the prodigal daughter||
+Regan travels to New Orleans to find a wealthy man's daughter. He succeeds, but finds her laid out ...
|07.24.1948||the lonesome lady||
+John R. Renzo has been murdered, or was it just his bad heart? A fall down stairs is just the start...
|07.31.1948||lady with the golden hair||
+ Who's trying to kill an eccentric Hollywood make-up artist, and what about that hairy lady? + Max ...
|08.07.1948||man who liked mountains||
+ "Big Ed" Kittredge has disappeared...a most unsavory character. It was about six o’clock last Mo...
|08.14.1948||the diamond quartet||
+ Jeff's assignment to return a valuable necklace invariably leads to a double murder. One of the ch...
|08.21.1948||the man who came back||
+Murder as usual, politics and dirty dealing, with a frame for good measure! + Jeff Regan is the Lio...
|08.28.1948||man in the door||
+ A murdered architect is seen alive and well! Jeff looks into a complicated story of murder and emb...
|09.04.1948||house by the sea||
+ A mind reader needs protection from Grace Nicholls, a red-headed movie actress who has threatened ...
|09.11.1948||cain and abel and the santa maria||
+ A little silver ship has been stolen, and Jeff has been hired to get it back. + Jeff Regan is the ...
|09.25.1948||lady with no name||
+A woman with amnesia drops dead in "The Lion's" office, which leads Jeff to a case of counterfeiter...
|10.02.1948||man with the key||
+ Jeff, a private investigator, is hired to protect a safe deposit box key for seven hours. The Lion...
|10.09.1948||too many mrs rogers||
+ Jeff is hired to accompany a dead body and a star sapphire ring to La Jolla. Well written! The Lio...
+ Isabel Sanchez came to Los Angeles to find her sister Carmen. She called the Lion who started Jeff...
|11.06.1948||lady with too much hair||
+ Jeff is hired to guard a man's beautiful daughter while she's at finishing school, but murder gets...
|11.13.1948||guy from gower gulch||
+ Who shot Davey Crockett? No, it wasn't Mexican soldiers! Crockett was bumped off as soon as he was...
+ At a Thanksgiving turkey shoot, Regan gets the bird and it's not the turkey that gets shot, it's M...
|11.27.1948||man who fought back||
+Regan is hired to spend the weekend with Alice and Bill LaFarge. Alice is promptly shot, Bill dispp...
|12.04.1948||the lawyer and the lady||
+ Lawyer Joseph Kramer hires Regan, then gets shot while in his own office. Mrs. Kramer is shot and ...
|12.11.1948||gambler and his ladies||
+ Georgia Bascombe may be hanging out with a known gambler named Louis Desmond (she's really married...
|12.18.1948||the man who lived by the sea||
+The last show of the series with Jack Webb. Prince Nemo is a "psychic consultant." His beautiful as...
|10.19.1949||the lady from brazil||
+9:00 P.M. Irene Santino is a lovely lady from Brazil; she hires "The Lyon's Eye" to find her missin...
|10.26.1949||lady who wanted to live||
+ Amy Goodrich needs protection from Tim Conover, the owner of the Diamond Club. Amy Goodridge was a...
|11.02.1949||the man in black||
+ A rehearsal recording for the program of November 2, 1949, possibly recorded at an earlier date. R...
|11.09.1949||the little mans lament||
+ 9:00 P.M. Hillary Margate needs protection. But from who? A confusing plot, but the actress portra...
|11.16.1949||two little sisters||
+ Mary and Dolly Zamansky work for, "Everybody's Happy Pastime Carnival Shows." Dolly's a knife-thro...