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shows: Burke's Law ("Who Killed the Tennis Ace") [TV mystery/drama]
Burke's Law  Icon  role: Harrold "Spider" Author, an obnoxious, arrogant tennis ace who has alienated those around  him; one kills him, ironically with a poisonous spider.
additional cast: Patricia Jackson, his manager (Nana Visitor); Dale Montrose, his mentor/sponsor (William Windom); Stephanie Romanov, his betrayed girlfriend (Liza Dean); athletic shoe executive (Michael Nouri).
network: CBS, 1995


Scene begins with two reporters, a female and male, discussing Spider's up-BLaw01 Spider playing tennis BLaw01coming tennis match. The female reporter was a former tennis pro, and Spider's ex-wife. The male reporter asks her if Spider's reputation of being "the bad boy" who throws temper tantrums, and uses foul language is an act, or the real thing. She tells him that it is very real, Spider is an over-grown child, who who strives for perfection on the court.

Meanwhile we see Spider, aggressively play against his practice partner, and treating him brutally, it is not practice but deadly serious. Watching him are his mentor, Dale Montrose, and his manager Patricia Jackson who look disgust at Spider's tactics.
SPIDER: HIT IT COME ON... (his practice partner cannot keep up. Spider is even more merciless, hitting the ball harder and harder)... I'm trying to get a warm up here.... you call that a back hand.

Spider hits the ball so hard it knocks the guy over. The others watch in disgust. Especially his manager. He swaggers over to her, very cocky, and pours himself a drink. She is disgusted with him.

Spider antagonizes his manager
25 sec; 950K

BLaw02 Spider makes kissing noisesSPIDER: (You can bank your 10% of the winner's check now, Patricia, I'm ready.

PATRICIA: You're also a son-of-a-bitch.

SPIDER: Who's made you rich.

PATRICIA: And made me suffer for it everyday (walking off in disgust).

SPIDER: (Making kissing noises) I love you too.

He walks off. The manager asks the practice partner if he is okay. Spider does not seem to care. He walks past the net where his benefactor, Dale Montrose is.

Spider antagonizes his benefactor
45 sec; 1.7 Meg
Looking great, Spider... strong... dontcha think you out to see if he is hurt?

SPIDER: Who's he, your next charity case?

MONTROSE: It's just common courtesy.

SPIDER: Look, old man, I don't need you to tell me how to lead my life anymore. I don't need anything from you, you got that (he taps him hard on the chest). Just leave me alone.


Spider walks away and is joined by another man, a representative from sports product company, who also seems annoyed by him. Again, as with the others, Spider is obnoxious and arrogant with him.

Spider antagonizes his corporate sponser
30 sec; 1 Meg
EXECUTIVE: Spider (Spider ignores him and keeps walking he catches up)... If you walk out on that court you better be wearing Aries.

BLaw04 Spider alienates another personSPIDER: (Smug) Why?

EXECUTIVE: Why? How about this is called the "Aries Open." How about we are paying you two million dollars a year to be the our spokesman.

SPIDER: So sue me, I'm tired of being exploited. Why should Aries get rich off my name, when I can have my own Spider Wear line and keep all the money for myself.

EXECUTIVE: You signed a contract.

SPIDER: My manager signed a contract! Talk to her.

Spider walks off, and the executive, with hatred, watches him walk off. BLaw05 Spider struts in, wearing very low cut shorts
Spider enters his apartment.

BLaw06 Liza seductively kiss Spider, who isn't interestedA sexy woman, struts up to him and starts come on to him,kissing him very erotically; but he does not respond, and seems bored, and turned off.

Spider antagonizes his girlfriend
30 sec; 1000K
LIZA:  You're all sweaty, I like that in a man (she continues to kiss him seductively).

SPIDER: (Not responding, and turned off) What do you think you're doing?

LIZA: I just thought you could use a little loosening up.

SPIDER: (Disgusted) What I could use, Liza, is some privacy. You know I need to be alone before a match.

LIZA: Yeah, but what about after?

SPIDER: (Pushing her away) Don't cancel your manicure.
BLaw07 Looking at her with digust
Look, I saw the way you were looking at the ball girl yesterday. I told you, you think you can cheat on me (storming off).... You're going to regret it.

He watches as she walks off and then opens a door. Inside he struts over to a CD player and puts on some classical musical.

One of Spider's enemies strikes
1:25 min; 3.2 Meg

BLaw08 Spider's ritual Spider begins a ritual. First he does some stretching, with some hand motions like tai chi. Then he walks over to a mirror, and lights two scented candles. He takes off a gold chain necklace with a spider figure,
BLaw09 Spider kisses his spider chain kisses it, and then drapes it over one of the candles. Finally, he looks intently into the mirror and begins to recite his strange mantra.


SPIDER: Who are you?... The Spider! (He gets louder louder.) Who are you? The Spider! Who are you? The Spider! What are you going to do? Kill! What are you going to do? Kill!BLaw10 Kill!
.... What are you going to do? Kill! Kill! Kill! Kill!.... KILL!

BLaw11 Spider is bit by a spiderSpider goes to his closet, there are several tennis shirts copies of what he is wearing, white with a red color and a spider logon, he opens a tennis shoe box, and inside is a large tarantula, which bites him. Frantic, he groans in agony. He is gasping for air, and reaches for a near-by table, knocking it over. He continues to gasp, and search for something. He reaches for a cell phone, and tries to call, but it is too late, he gasps one final time, then dies, with a look of horror on his face.

BLaw12 Dead spider from spider bite

Later we see his dead corpse on a gurney. The paramedic covers his face, and he is rolled away.

By the end of the show Burke and his son solve the case. It was his mentor/benefactor, who disgusted by Spider's actions, believes that he needs to put a stop to such a no good jerk as Spider.


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