We've lost another classicist, a man responsible for some truly classic television mysteries. Stephen J. Cannell, the producer and creator of such hits as "The A-Team," "Wiseguy" and "The Rockford Files," has died. He was 69 years old. The AP (via Google) has details.
Cannell really was an innovator, bringing mysteries to a prime-time public. I'm not sure I buy the AP writer's line about "generally identified with action dramas full of squealing tires and tough guys trading punches" - I think there was more to it. As the Los Angeles Times notes, he was also a strong and influential voice speaking on behalf of independent producers. He will be missed. There's an appreciation at The Rap Sheet blog today.