Cover Up
Coverup hexum oneill.JPG
Jon-Erik Hexum and Jennifer O'Neill
Created byGlen A. Larson
StarringJennifer O'Neill
Jon-Erik Hexum
Antony Hamilton
Theme music composerDean Pitchford
Jim Steinman
Opening theme"Holding Out for a Hero" performed by Bonnie Tyler
ComposersJoseph Conlan
J.A.C. Redford
Morton Stevens
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes22
Executive producerGlen A. Larson
ProducersBrian Alan Lane
Bob Shayne
Harker Wade
Production locationsStage 18, 20th Century Fox Studios - 10201 Pico Blvd., Century City, Los Angeles, California, USA
EditorsDavid Howe
Gene Ranney
Camera setupSingle-camera
Running time44 mins.
Production companies20th Century Fox Television
Glen A. Larson Productions
Distributor20th Century Fox Television (1984-1992)
20th Television (1992-2020)
Disney-ABC Domestic Television (2020-present)
Original networkCBS
Picture formatColor
Audio formatMono
Original releaseSeptember 22, 1984 (1984-09-22) –
April 6, 1985 (1985-04-06)

Cover Up is an American action/adventure television series that aired for one season on CBS from September 22, 1984, to April 6, 1985. Created by Glen A. Larson, the series stars Jennifer O'Neill, Jon-Erik Hexum, Antony Hamilton, and Richard Anderson.


Fashion photographer Dani Reynolds's life suddenly changes after the death of her husband. That's when she discovers that he was actually an undercover CIA agent. When she learns he had been murdered, she recruits Mac Harper, a former Special Forces Operator, to help her find her husband's killers.

Henry Towler, her husband's boss, then offers her the dead husband's job. Dani would pretend she was still a photographer and Mac would be her model. Henry would send them anywhere in the world where Americans are in trouble or criminals need to be caught. Once there, they act pretty much on their own.

After the death of actor Jon-Erik Hexum, who played Mac, the episode "Writer's Block" introduced Dani's new assistant, Jack Striker. Jack was a CIA agent who, like Mac, operated under the cover of a model.

At the end of the episode "Writer's Block", they explained that 'Mac' was not coming back and ran the following message that replaced the closing credits:

"When a star dies, its light continues to shine across the universe for milleniums [sic]...Jon Eric Hexum [sic] died in October of this year... but the lives he touched will continue to be brightened by his light... forever... and ever..."[1]



On-set accident

During a break between scenes on the set on Friday, October 12, 1984, Jon-Erik Hexum became bored with the filming delays. He began playing Russian roulette with what he believed was a harmless .44 Magnum prop gun and jokingly placed it to his temple and pulled the trigger. The shot sent the wadding from the blank cartridge into Hexum's skull, driving a bone fragment the size of a quarter into his brain and causing massive hemorrhaging. Hexum was rushed to the hospital, where he was declared brain dead nearly a week later. On October 18, he was taken off life support.[2]

Hexum appeared in only seven episodes of the series, including the pilot. He was replaced by Antony Hamilton for the remainder of the season.[3] Jennifer O'Neill appeared in all of the episodes. As Cover Up continued to air throughout the winter of 1984–85, ratings held up. The network ultimately canceled the series after its first season due to mediocre ratings.[4]

Episode list

No. Title Directed by Written by Original air date
"Pilot"Peter CraneGlen A. LarsonSeptember 22, 1984 (1984-09-22)
3"Death in Vogue"Guy MagarDavid H. BalkanSeptember 29, 1984 (1984-09-29)
4"The Million Dollar Face"Phil BondelliGlen A. LarsonOctober 6, 1984 (1984-10-06)
5"Harper-Gate"Arthur Allan SeidelmanBob ShayneOctober 13, 1984 (1984-10-13)
6"Sudden Exposure"Guy MagarLane DelOctober 20, 1984 (1984-10-20)
7"Nothing to Lose"Richard A CollaDoug Heyes Jr.October 27, 1984 (1984-10-27)
8"Golden Opportunity"Sidney HayersBob ShayneNovember 3, 1984 (1984-11-03)
Hexum's last episode[5]
9"Writer's Block"Richard A. CollaS : Low Shaw;
T : David H. Balkan & Douglas Brooks West;
S/T : Andrew Schneider & Sam Egan
November 24, 1984 (1984-11-24)
Hamilton's first episode[6]
10"Murder in Malibu"Sidney HayersTBADecember 1, 1984 (1984-12-01)
11"Midnight Highway"TBADoug Heyes Jr.December 8, 1984 (1984-12-08)
12"A Subtle Seduction"Walter GraumanDouglas Brooks WestDecember 29, 1984 (1984-12-29)
13"Black Widow"Sidney HayersRobert HamiltonJanuary 5, 1985 (1985-01-05)
14"Murder Offshore"Jeffrey HaydenJoe GannonJanuary 12, 1985 (1985-01-12)
15"The Assassin"Christopher HiblerTBAJanuary 26, 1985 (1985-01-26)
16"Rules to Die By"Bernard McEveetyRobert HamiltonFebruary 2, 1985 (1985-02-02)
17"Healthy, Wealthy and Dead"TBATBAFebruary 23, 1985 (1985-02-23)
18"The Ugliest American"Don WeisTBAMarch 2, 1985 (1985-03-02)
19"Who's Trying to Kill Miss Globe?"TBATBAMarch 9, 1985 (1985-03-09)
20"Adam's Rib"John D. HancockRobert HamiltonMarch 23, 1985 (1985-03-23)
21"Jack of Spades"TBATBAMarch 30, 1985 (1985-03-30)
22"Passions"Don Carlos DunawayDoug Heyes Jr.April 6, 1985 (1985-04-06)


  1. ^ "Cover Up 1x07 (Excerpt) Jon-Erik Hexum Memorial". Archived from the original on 2021-12-22. Retrieved Oct 22, 2021 – via
  2. ^ "Jon-Erik Hexum Fatal Joke". Entertainment Weekly. 1994-10-14. Retrieved 2008-08-16.
  3. ^ Davidson, Casey; Shaw, Jessica (1995-04-28). "Monitor: Pop Culture News". Archived from the original on 2011-03-26. Retrieved 2008-08-16.
  4. ^ Snauffer, Douglas (2008). The Show Must Go On - How the Deaths of Lead Actors Have Affected Television Series. McFarland & Company, Inc. pp. 88–92. ISBN 978-0-7864-3295-0.
  5. ^ "Cover Up: Golden Opportunity". Archived from the original on 2009-01-13. Retrieved 2007-04-06.
  6. ^ "Cover Up: Writer's Block". Archived from the original on 2009-01-13. Retrieved 2007-04-06.