The one-hour program revolved around two detectives who had their own detective agency in Los Angeles. E. L. ("Early Leroy") "Tenspeed" Turner (Ben Vereen) was a hustler who worked as a detective to satisfy his parole requirements. His partner Lionel "Brownshoe" Whitney (Jeff Goldblum) was an archetypal accountant, complete with button-down collars and a nagging fiancee (at least for the pilot episode), who had always wanted to be a 1940s-style Bogart P.I. A running joke was his penchant for reading a series of hard-boiled crime novels, sub-titled, "A Mark Savage Mystery", written by Stephen J. Cannell (though he never wrote such a series of novels), with Goldblum reading particularly purple passages in voice-over. He was sharper than he seemed, although a little naïve and more reasonable than his career path demanded, and had picked up karate to Black Belt standard.