Kate McNeil spent the early 1990s working on television doing guest appearances and trying to find a spot in the cast of series. In 1990, she appeared in a pilot for a series called The Bakery for CBS, but the show was not picked up by the network. Later in 1990, Kate McNeil joined the large ensemble cast of WIOU (also for CBS). However, WIOU was cancelled after a little more than a dozen episodes (supposedly with the remaining episodes left unaired). In 1992, Kate McNeil was cast in another CBS show, this time a police drama called Bodies of Evidence. While the series cannot be called an overwhelming success, it at least had a second season. Bodies of Evidence only had 16 episodes, split into two 8 episode seasons. Reviews of the show at the time ran from lukewarm to hostile.
The star and primary selling point of Bodies of Evidence was Lee Horsley. Lee Horsley had begun his television career as William Conrad's assistant on the detective drama Nero Wolfe in 1981, but really cemented his reputation in the TV world the following year when he starred in Matt Houston. In 1985, alongside Kate McNeil (though they shared no scenes together), he appeared as Rafe Beaudeen in the miniseries North and South Book II. From 1988 to 1991, Lee Horsley starred in Guns of Paradise and his follow-up to that show would be Bodies of Evidence in 1992.
In Bodies of Evidence, Kate McNeil plays detective Nora Houghton, daughter of cop Jimmy Houghton (played by Francis X. McCarthy) who also appears in several episodes of the show. Nora Houghton develops during the course of the show, but unfortunately the show simply did not have enough episodes to completely realize the character. Initially, the feminine aspects of the character are emphasized with blatant touches such as her wearing high heels to a crime scene and carrying a purse everywhere she goes. As the show progressed, Nora Houghton is more often seen as simply a good, tough cop with some toned down feminine touches thrown in.
Nora Houghton's partner is Will Stratton, played well by Al Fann. Detective Stratton often plays the comic relief on Bodies of Evidence and veteran actor Al Fann is certainly able to handle this duty. Nora Houghton is a rookie and Will Stratton is nearing retirement and this is a source of several plot-lines and much banter.
George Clooney plays Detective Ryan Walker, a young and cocky rich kid who decides to join the police force. In my opinion (sorry if you like him), he is the weak link on Bodies of Evidence. The show relied much too much on his far too modest charms and his ability as an actor leaves a great deal to be desired. As a subplot, there is some sexual tension between Nora Houghton and Ryan Walker. In one episode they almost get together but wisely decide against it. Even towards the end of the series, the two detectives occasionally got jealous of each other but the show ended before their relationship could be fully explored.
Click here to see images from the debut episode of Bodies of Evidence.
Here are some photos of the cast of Bodies of Evidence:
Here are two newspaper reviews of Bodies of Evidence. The first one is by someone who doesn't like the show and the author criticizes the series for being too .
This newspaper article about Bodies of Evidence is more positive but doesn't really give an opinion about the show. It is more for informational purposes and, rather than giving a take on the show, features quotes from star Lee Horsley.
I watched the entire series recently and quite enjoyed it. Many reviewers at the time weren't very impressed by show but I think some of the problem was that they may have been taking the show a little too seriously. Bodies of Evidence is a fun little show that certainly deserved to have more than 16 episodes.