EB and his best friend Sally in front of Idaville’s town hall.
Encyclopedia Brown is a one season live action HBO television series adaptation of the books about boy detective Leroy Brown by Donald J. Sobol. Brown was nicknamed “Encyclopedia” due to his ability to solve mysteries and his extensive general knowledge. In the series he preferred to be called E.B. Encyclopedia Brown ran on HBO starting in 1989. Scott Bremner played the title role, with Laura Bridge playing Sally Kimball, his best friend and protector. Other main characters included Dion Zamora as Bugs Meany, the town bully who was always trying to run scams but was regularly thwarted by E.B. and Sally. E.B.’s parents were played by Tiana Pierce and Bruno Marcotulli. His dad was the Chief of Police in the small town of Idaville, where they lived. The series ran for eight episodes. It had an additional spin off called One Minute Mysteries. The series was produced by Howard David Deutsch and directed by Savage Steve Holland.
EB is on the mound pitching in a baseball game.
Many of the mysteries revolved around E.B. helping his father solve a crime. This is true in the opening hour-long special, “The Case of the Missing Time Capsule”. In this episode Idaville’s celebration of its 100th birthday is in danger of being spoiled by the theft of a time capsule left by the town founder that was supposed to be the highlight of the festivities. It was rumored to have some sort of treasure in it, but a few days before the celebration, someone broke into the metal capsule containing the time capsule at the base of Ida’s statue and removed it. With time limited to find the culprit and the missing capsule, E.B. and Sally help Chief Brown investigate. Among the many suspects are Ida’s grandsons, Casey Sparkz (Alan Merrill) and Buddy Claggett (Rick Overton).
Encyclopedia Brown is about to solve the case of the missing baseball cards.
After the premier, the subsequent episodes were thirty minutes long. Many of these involved E.B. outwitting town bully Bugs Meany, the leader of a gang known as the Tigers. Throughout the episodes there were always a large group of town kids around as extras, including some individuals who were scammed or tricked by Bugs into giving up a valuable possession, as in the “Case of the Amazing Race Car”. Davey (Donny Lord), one of those kids, looks like a sure winner in a funny car derby until someone steals his car. E.B. and Sally eventually figure out that Bugs was behind the theft and how he hid Davey’s car so he could win the prize.
In a dream sequence, EB defends a friend in court accused of stealing a bicycle.
Several of the episodes had a supernatural or extraterrestrial nature. In the “The Case of the Missing U.F.O.”, a flying saucer and flashing lights appear in the night sky and crashes to the ground witnessed by a number of Idaville residents. E.B. and Sally interrupt their relaxing camping trip to investigate what happened when the UFO disappears. In “The Case of the Ghostly Rider”, the ghost of the Wildcat Kid, the meanest, toughest bad man who ever lived, who once roamed Old Glenville (the name of Idaville before the Civil War), appears again in the dead of night to haunt the town again. Apparently Wildcat left behind some buried treasure with only a single cryptic clue about where to find it. Will E.B. and Sally be able to solve the mystery and find the treasure?
EB kicks back at his desk.
Although Encyclopedia Brown only had one season of episodes, it still had its own popularity of dedicated watchers. For example, HBO has run the opening hour long episode over 200 times since its premiere. There have been other attempts to continue the series, like “Encyclopedia Brown, The Boy Detective in One Minute Mysteries” released straight to video that included five stories from the books. For those interested in the series, you can see all the original episodes and the “One Minute Mysteries” on YouTube.
Closeup of EB’s red high top chucks as he picks up some spilled playing cards.
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