When novelist Mickey Spillane brought private dick Mike Hammer to television, he brought along the read-under-the-covers sex and violence—very explicit for 1958—that made his books best sellers. Introduced in I, the Jury, P.I. Hammer also played judge and executioner in the gritty series that bore his name. Peter Gunn was a cooler sort of TV detective, smooth and sophisticated. After solving a case, Gunn repaired to the jazz club Mother’s and his singer girlfriend, Edie. Henry Mancini’s classic theme song added even more to the appeal of this Blake Edwards creation. Johnny Staccato took the Gunn concept even further, some say into pure affectation. Played by a young John Cassavetes, Staccato spent his time between cases playing piano in Waldo’s—which, along with the Elmer Bernstein score, provided a handy excuse for guest appearances by real jazz performers such as Red Norvo and Barney Kessel. Check out a few episodes of these first-class dicks’ classic TV shows at 7 p.m. at the Library of Congress’ Pickford Theater, 101 Independence Ave. SE. Free. For reservations call (202) 707- 5677. (Mark W. Sullivan)