Here’s a guide to the characters of classic 1980s detective series Simon & Simon. The show followed the endless misadventures of the title duo, who are brothers with polar opposite personalities. They run a detective agency in San Diego and the show’s combination of breezy humor and action made it a robust hit for CBS. The series debuted in 1981, just ahead of the curve when it came to the popularity of the buddy cop formula, which officially kicked off the following year thanks to the success of 48 Hrs.

Simon & Simon was far from an instant success, however, and lackluster ratings saw it nearly being canceled after its first season. It was saved when the brothers had a crossover with CBS’ other detective show Magnum P.I., starring Tom Selleck. In a sneaky move, the crossover with Magnum – where they team up with the hunky P.I. to recover a cursed artifact – found the villain fleeing at the end, so viewers had to watch an episode of Simon & Simon to see the storyline conclude. This slick decision worked, with Magnum P.I.’s audience giving Simon & Simon a chance and its ratings steadily improved. In another bizarre move, the Magnum P.I. crossover episode shot an alternate ending where the villain was captured at the end of the episode, allowing it to play as a standalone story in syndication.


Simon & Simon would run for eight seasons and came to an end in 1989. The brothers reunited one last time for 1995’s TV movie Simon & Simon: In Trouble Again. Here’s a quick cast and character guide for the series.

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Gerald McRaney – Rick Simon

Rick is played by Gerald McRaney (Deadwood), who is the decidedly wilder sibling. A Vietnam vet clad in denim and cowboy boots, Rick plays by his own rules which leads to some conflicts with his more uptight brother. That said, Rick is a fine detective and over the course of the series he and A.J. start to gel as a team.

Jameson Parker – A.J. Simon

A.J. (Jameson Parker, Prince Of Darkness) is a college graduate who dresses in nice suits and drives fancy cars. A.J. is the more refined, nice guy of the Simon & Simon duo, though he’s handy in a fight too.

Mary Carver – Cecilia Simon

Cecilia is the Simon matriarch and no matter what bickering the brothers get into, their shared love for their mother always brings them together. In Simon & Simon: In Trouble Again they have to rescue her from a stolen yacht.

Tim Reid – Lieutenant Marcel Proust Brown

Tim Reid (IT 1990) plays the brother’s contact in the police department. Their hijinks often cause the Lieutenant an undue amount of stress but they remain friendly. Reid left Simon & Simon during season 6, though he returned for the 1995 reunion movie.

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