Because Dick Powell was known for musical comedies prior to his appearance as Philip Marlowe in Raymond Chandler's Murder, My Sweet (1944) and because he was a detective who sang in Richard Diamond, Private Eye, some regard this radio series as an influence on the character of Philip E. Marlow (Michael Gambon) in Dennis Potter's Chandleresque The Singing Detective (1986).
Powell's company, Four Star Television, produced the TV series, which premiered on CBS but was later telecast on NBC. David Janssen starred as Diamond, a hard-boiled private detective in the film noir tradition. His secretary, Sam, was shown only from the waist down to display her beautiful legs. Initially, these were the legs of Mary Tyler Moore, but later, the legs of other actresses were seen. At one point during the three-year run, the show's setting was moved from New York City to Los Angeles.
Original music by Frank De Vol included the theme for the first and second seasons. The third season featured a jazz score by Pete Rugolo, including a new theme. The final theme was by Richard Shores.