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Published:October 9th, 2006 06:42 EST

Hawk is back on TV One

By Garrett Godwin

On the streets of Boston, he was private eye Spenser`s right-hand man.  On the streets of D.C., he was A Man Called Hawk. A spin-off of Spenser: For Hire, the show aired on ABC as a mid-season replacement in 1989 and only lasted 13 episodes.  Now TV One is re-airing all episodes of A Man Called Hawk every Saturday at 12N.

The show stars future Star Trek (Deep Space Nine) captain Avery Brooks as Hawk, based on the character created by author Robert B. Parker, who is also responsible for Spenser, who came to life on the small screen on ABC in 1985 and lasted three years.

On Spenser: For Hire, Hawk was Spenser`s best friend and confidant who was also an enforcer for both sides of the law.  He was the bald, strong and silent type-- deadly yet sexy with a .357 Magnum and enjoyed the finer things in life.  Hawk was always there for Spenser whenever the PI needed some help on his cases.

Now, in A Man Called Hawk, he was out on his own in Washington, D.C., only this time on the right side of the law completely.  Hawk was around to help those that others couldn`t or wouldn`t help. 

Late and great, acclaimed actor Moses Gunn is Old Man, Hawk`s mentor and father figure who was there to provide wisdom and guidance for him.

The series made Hawk more multi-dimensional.  He was a Vietnam vet that loved jazz. He was also a skilled piano player and a lover of the African arts.  It also made Hawk more of a hero by showing empathy and compassion to the victims of crime while still maintaining his bad self when taking on criminals.

A Man Called Hawk features guest stars that had success on both the big and small screen such as Oscar nominee Angela Bassett and Emmy winner Charles "Roc" S. Dutton.

A Man Called Hawk is such a hidden gem because it is rare to have an African-American hero-- especially as the protagonist -- on the small screen, and Brooks, nailed the title role dead on.  He was perfect to play Hawk.

Avery Brooks is A Man Called Hawk every Saturday at 12N on TV One.