Who can have been failed to be impressed by the recent series
about ambitious executive Jim Profit, and his antics as an executive
at Gracen & Gracen?
Fox-TV for one, who decided to axe this series after only
eight episodes had been made. As Mr Profit might have said:
in television, what seems like an opportunity can all too often become
In America, or so I understand, only the first four episodes were
shown in the series original run.
When sold abroad all 8 episodes have tended to be shown.
Meanwhile, in Britain
The series was shown late in 1997. It
started to positive reviews in some of
the national press. One of the features they seemed to
like was the amoral character of Jim Profit, and
the elevation of apparent villain to hero of the piece.
I think at least one source likened the main character to Richard III.
As the series continued, it became clear that the motives of
Jim Profit were less clear than might have been expected - or did
the writers not have the courage to follow through with some of
the opportunities that presented themselves? A good feature was
that, unlike in a Columbo murder case, there was always at least
some doubt that Profit would prevail.
However, whilst all episodes were shown Sunday night
without interruption - unusual so close to Christmas -
the scheduling was not constant.
I think the starting time was rarely before
11.30, and Profit was shown on the less-watched
public channel BBC 2. I haven't seen audience figures, but
this combination suggests they must have been low.
In a final twist, the last two episodes were shown back-to-back,
good for those with VCRs or insomniacs.
So, for those deprived of the final four episodess,
I offer illustrated summaries of the last - really the last - programmes,
and a limited description of the earlier episodes. But be aware
that they contain brief summaries of the plot and
Areas of interest
The cast, featuring an MPEG video
of Bobbi and Jim.
The episodes, with links to further details and multimedia for
the second four episodes
|The pilot (Profit) ||Jim takes over
as V.P. of aquisitions at
Gracen&Gracen, following the death of Wayne
Grisham. In his efforts to become president of acquisitions Jim Profit
ensures the press hears about a recent take-over. His ultimate ambition is
finally thwarted by Jack Walters.
|Hero ||Profit sorts out Walters, who is
imprisoned for the murder of
Grisham (who did actually die of natural causes!).
|Sykes ||Gracen&Gracen hire a sharp lawyer (Sykes),
and take over the firm of a Russian mafia boss. But Sykes
manages to get the upper hand with Profit.
|Healing ||Jim Profit and
Joanne Meltzer take lie-detector tests. Jim seems to put a lot of effort into
finally getting rid of Joanne, only to then rescue her. But a corrupt
therapist is ruined.
|Cupid ||Profit must re-unite
an abusive husband with his estranged wife to secure a take-over. His plan
to oust Sykes at the same time does not quite work.
|Chinese box ||Profit must find a
way to divest G&G of Wong Industries. To do so he must convince Gail to
romance a former harasser and computer scientist. Also has a nice triumph
of Profit over Sykes.
|Security ||Profit roots
out a journalist writing about corruption in G&G, and writes his own story.
Gracen speaks out about her uncle, who was planning to take
over G&G with the help of Pete Gracen and Sykes.
So, which were the good and not-so-good episodes? Each will have
particular favourites. I would say that Healing was probably
the weakest: why bother to "save" Joanne? Unless we assume that Profit
really wants to be liked, or something. Security had a nice
triumph of Profit over an
adversary with seemingly similar aptitudes, whilst Chinese Box
creepily allowed Profit to make Gail confront her own demons. The pilot,
of twice the usual length, I thought was particularly effective. Sykes
came at a good time, to show that Profit could lose - at least in
the short-term, whereas previously the setbacks had been more minor, and
more easily reversed - such as the run-in with Jack Walters. However,
by the time Forgiveness was reached, it was hard to know
what would become of the backplot of Joanne to un-mask Jim
Profit as some sort of dishonest
person (which I thought was rather helpful at G&G).
Other Profit-related sites
There are relatively few sites dealing with Profit, perhaps
not surprising given the lukewarm reception the series had in
But what there is displays much better web design skills than this
The best on the web, to my knowledge, is run by Laura Petix, known
Wishes: Jim Profit. This
site contains a FAQ, WAV sounds, more links and some
screen captures, among other features.
There are more detailed plot summaries of some
of the earlier episodes at The
(unofficial) Profit Home Page. The site also contains
some small pictures of the cast, of better quality than
Last update 07 April 1998 by