| Hardcastle & McCormick
Judge Milton C. Hardcastle
Lt. Mike Delaney
John Hancock (1984-85)
Lt. Frank Harper
Joe Santos (1985-86)
Mary Jackson (1983)
Judge Milton "Hardcase" Hardcastle may have retired from the Los Angeles Superior Court, but he hasn't quit the fight for 2justice. In 20 years on the bench he has seen dozens of hardened criminals go free thanks to legal loopholes. Now he's going after the ones who are still committing crimes. To that end, he recruits Mark "Skid" McCormick, a race-car driver who has been accused (wrongly, as it turns out) of auto theft. Hardcastle gets McCormick paroled into his custody, in exchange for the latter's assistance in his crusade. McCormick discovers that Hardcastle takes some getting used to. The Judge can be an irascible old codger, and he's a little eccentric, too. He wears T-shirts with slogans such as "Blast 'Em, Tonto!" and "No Plea Bargaining In Heaven." He lives on a Malibu estate called Gulls Way, which he inherited from his late wife. And his take-no-prisoners approach to criminal justice is at times a little much for the laid-back McCormick.
Created by Stephen J. Cannell, Hardcastle & McCormick was dismissed by some as just another cops-and-robbers show. Nearly all of the 65 one-hour episodes included the obligatory car chase -- and why not, since the car used by McCormick and the Judge was a bright red Coyote X. But this light-hearted adventure series devoted a good deal of time to developing the relationship between the two leads, an unlikely pair of crime fighters who were continually at odds and yet grew to respect one another. Cannell was the creative force behind other action series of the 1980s, including The A-Team (1983-87), Riptide (1984-86), Hunter (1984-91) and 21 Jump Street (1987-90) -- not to mention one of the previous decade's best series, The Rockford Files (1974-80).
The role of tough-as-nails Judge Hardcastle was tailor-made for Brian Keith, star of stage and screen, and a veteran of a previous TV series, the very successful sitcom Family Affair (1966-1971). Since both of his parents were actors, Keith grew up in show business, and was three years old when he first appeared on the screen in the 1924 film Pied Piper Malone. He performed on radio and stage before joining the Marines to fight in World War II. After the war it was off to Broadway and a film career that included Arrowhead (1953), The Rare Breed (1966) and The Wind and The Lion (1975), in which he portrayed President Theodore Roosevelt. (He would play another president, William McKinley, in the 1997 made-for-TV movie, Rough Riders.) His co-star, Daniel Hugh-Kelly, had done a four-year stint in the daytime soap, Ryan's Hope, and appeared in the 1983 film Cujo before signing on with Hardcastle & McCormick. After the series was cancelled, Hugh-Kelly would go on to appear in numerous made-for-TV movies.
The First Season (1983-1984)
Rolling Thunder (9.18.83) -- Mark McCormick agrees to help Judge Hardcastle prove that industrialist Martin Cody killed a man to gain ownership of an experimental car.
Man in a Glass House (9.25.83) -- The son of a retired mobster who has written a tell-all autobiography is kidnapped.
The Crystal Duck (10.2.83) -- A parole officer is forcing ex-cons to steal for him, and one of the thieves is Mark's former cellmate.
Goin' Nowhere Fast (10.9.83) -- An escaped convict is accompanied by a warden's wife as his flight from the authorities brings him to Gulls Way.
The Black Widow (10.16.83) -- Mark gets a little too close to Tina Grey, a woman involved in the deaths of five mobsters.
The Boxer (10.23.83) -- Boxer Kid Calico is told to throw a fight if he wants to see his kidnapped father again.
Once Again With Vigorish (10.30.83) -- Mark infiltrates the trucking operation of racketeer Frank Kelly (Michael Callan.)
Killer B's (11.6.83) -- Buddy Ebsen agrees to help Hardcastle get the goods on a B-movie producer who is dealing drugs.
Prince of Fat City (11.13.83) -- Hardcastle tries to rehabilitate a teenage gang leader involved in a blackmail scheme.
Hotshoes (11.27.83) -- Mark agrees to drive a race car owned by a man that Judge Hardcastle recognizes as a career criminal.
Flying Down to Rio (12.4.83) -- Mark and the Judge journey to South America to bag an ex-CIA agent running an illegal arms operation.
Just Another Round of That Old Song (12.11.83) -- A crooked cop hopes a paroled bank robber will lead him to stolen loot.
Third Down and Twenty Years to Life (1.1.84) -- The sister of a man Hardcastle sentenced to prison convinces the judge he might have made a mistake.
Whistler's Pride (1.8.83) -- The Judge inherits a race horse, only to have it stolen by a crooked horse breeder.
Mr. Hardcastle Goes To Washington (1.15.84) -- When Hardcastle is mentioned as a possible Supreme Court nominee, someone tries to ruin his reputation.
School for Scandal (1.29.84) -- Mark infiltrates a "crime school" run by a supposedly reformed master thief.
The Georgia Street Motors (2.5.84) -- Hardcastle is approached by three vigilante judges who are killing ex-cons. (Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. guest stars.)
The Homecoming (two-part, 3.4.84 & 3.11.84) -- Returning to Arkansas for his high school reunion, Hardcastle discovers that crooked officials are forcing people to give up their farms.
Did You See The One That Got Away (3.18.84) -- Hardcastle learns that the government has freed a cop killer in order to nab a drug dealer.
Really Neat Cars and Guys With A Sense of Humor (3.25.84) -- Mark and the Judge bust a dating service whose girls marry wealthy men who then turn up dead.
Scared Stiff (4.1.84) -- Mark and the Judge become hostages during a prison riot carried out by convicts trying to expose a crooked warden.
Hart to Hart
Jonathan Hart.....Robert Wagner
Jennifer Hart.....Stefanie Powers
It started out an idea by famed novelist and playwright Sydney Sheldon. He called it Double Twist, the adventures of a husband-and-wife team of amateur sleuths who would travel around the world to do battle with master criminals. The concept, however, was never sold. In the late 1970s, Tom Mankiewicz and Robert Wagner reworked an old Double Twist script. Wagner's vision was of a show that combined drama, romance and comedy, akin to the classic Thin Man movies starring William Powell and Myrna Loy. Co-produced by Spelling-Goldberg Productions and RONA II (a production company owned by Wagner and wife Natalie Wood), the concept was sold to ABC. Wagner agreed to star on one condition -- that his costar would be Stefanie Powers.
Jonathan Hart (Wagner) is a sauve, handsome, self-made millionaire who heads a conglomerate called Hart Industries. His wife Jennifer (Powers) is an internationally famous freelance journalist. Jonathan and Jennifer are madly in love -- when they're not solving cases they are busily romancing each other; as far as the Harts are concerned, life is one big honeymoon. Their base of operations is a Beverly Hills mansion, but they're often jetting around the globe, hobnobbing with other rich and famous sorts, and solving crimes along the way. Their chauffuer-cook-butler and all-round factotum is Max (Lionel Stander), whose past is largely a mystery; he befriended a young and penniless Jonathan Hart and steered him away from a life of crime. He likes to gamble and relishes a good cigar and, when all's said and done, is the Hart's most trusted friend. (In 1983, Stander won a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Series.) The Harts don't have children, but they do own a pampered dog named Freeway, an extremely smart and talented mutt who sometimes plays a role in the crime-solving.
Hart to Hart consistently ranked in the Top 20 most-watched shows through its first four seasons (and was syndicated in nearly 90 countries), but in the fifth season the quality of the scripts declined and so did the ratings. Nonetheless, ABC's decision to cancel the series came as a shock to Wagner and Powers. Subsequently, NBC aired six made-for-TV movies featuring the Harts (Hart to Hart Returns, 1993; Crimes of the Hart, 1994; Hart Throb, 1994; Home Is Where the Hart Is, 1994; Old Friends Never Die, 1994; and Secrets of the Hart, 1995.) Two more movies followed, Harts in High Season (1996) and Til Death Do Us Hart (1996).
Robert Wagner (b. 2.10.30 in Detroit, Michigan) went to Hollywood in 1950 to become a movie star. He started off a contract player for 20th Century Fox and in 1956 met Natalie Wood; their marriage the following year was heralded by studio publicity departments as the "most glittering union of the 20th century." It was certainly one of the most extraordinary of Tinseltown relationships. The couple were divorced in 1963; both met and married someone else, and both had a child. Then, in 1971, they met by accident, fell back in love, and were married a second time in 1972. Two years later they had a daughter of their own. Natalie Wood died tragically in November 1981. Professionally, RJ (as Wagner was known to his friends), made his bigscreen debut in 1950's The Happy Years and appeared in numerous supporting roles until his performance as a young killer in A Kiss Before Dying (1956) convinced the studio heads that he had real star potential. He subsequently headlined such films as Between Heaven and Hell (1956) and All the Fine Young Cannibals (1960). In the 1970s he appeared in such classics as The Towering Inferno (1974) and Midway (1976). With his film career somewhat on the decline, he starred in two successfult television series -- It Takes A Thief (1968-71) and Switch (1975-78) before appearing in Hart to Hart.
Stefanie Powers (b. Stefania Zofia Fedserkiewicz 11.2.42 in Hollywood, California) attended Hollywood High (with Linda Evans) and, still a teenager, signed a contract with Columbia Pictures. Touted as one of the brightest young stars in Tinseltown's firmament, she enjoyed a brief career in films before taking a five-year hiatus. (She was replaced as the star of West Side Story by none other than Natalie Wood, and met Robert Wagner on the set of that film. Powers also took ballet in a class that included Natalie Wood and Jill St. John, the actress with whom Wagner had a long-term relationship following Wood's death.) She returned to make numerous television guest-star appearances before signing on to do Hart to Hart. Following a relatively brief marriage with actor Gary Lockwood, she had a friendship-turned-romance with William Holden, who died in 1981. President of the William Holden Wildlife Foundation, Powers is a passionate spokesperson for wildlife conservation. Her films include McLintock (1963), Stagecoach (1966) and Warning Shot (1967).
Pilot (2-hr. movie; 8.25.79): The authorities insist that Jonathan's good friend Sam Roberts committed suicide, but the Harts set out to prove that he was murdered.
Hit Jennifer Hart (9.22.79): Jennifer's rash of near-fatal accidents seems to be connected somehow with a young writer whom she has befriended.
Passport to Murder (9.29.79): A vacation in Mexico ends up with Jonathan and Jennifer on the run from the Mexican police and a gang of drug dealers.
Death in the Slow Lane (10.13.79): The Harts tangle with a mysterious couple who will stop at nothing to get their hands on an antique car that Jonathan has purchased.
You Made Me Kill You (10.23.79): A woman who works for Hart Industries is obsessed with her boss and decides to do away with the biggest obstacle to her fantasies -- Jennifer Hart.
With This Gun I Thee Wed (12.4.79): The Harts arrive in Monte Carlo in time to rescue a friend from becoming the unwilling bride of ruthless blackmailer.
Night Horrors (1.22.80): Jonathan and Jennifer set out to solve a murder committed during a treasure hunt in a haunted house.
The Raid (2.26.80): Jonathan engineers a night raid on the South American stronghold of a man who has kidnapped two scientists employed by Hart Industries.
Murder Wrap (1.6.81): The Harts come home to find a mummy -- and an unsolved murder involving an Egyptian museum exhibit.
Murder is a Drag (2.3.81): Jonathan is mistaken for a hitman and paid $100,000 to do a job, and decides to pose as the hired killer in order to save the intended victim.
The Murder of Jonathan Hart (4.28.81): A lawyer who works for the Harts decides to hire an assassin to murder Jonathan, so that he can marry Jennifer and gain control of the Hart fortune.
Operation Murder (5.12.81): Hospitalized with a concussion, Jennifer witnesses a murder, and tries to convince her husband that she isn't imagining things.
Harts and Flowers (10.6.81): Jennifer is stalked by a psycho after Max enters a rose hybrid he's named the Jennifer Hart Rose into a prestigious competition.
A Couple of Harts (10.13.81): Jonathan and Jennifer pose as domestics at a Mexican estate in an attempt to thwart a political assassination.
Harts and Fraud (5.18.82): The Harts suspect insurance fraud when they're hit with a wrongful death suit after being involved in a auto collision.
One Hart Too Many (12.7.82): Jennifer goes to a health farm, only to learn that a doctor there is killing guests and replacing them with exact duplicates.
Hunted Harts (1.4.83): While visiting a wildlife reserve, Jonathan and Jennifer become the prey hunted by a competitor of Hart Industries.
Two Harts Are Better Than One (9.27.83): Jonathan and Jennifer reminisce about how they met and fell in love in London -- and solved a case of murder and intrigue at the same time.
Hostage Hearts (10.18.83): While on a business trip to Paris, Jonathan is taken hostage by ruthless jewel thieves during a robbery.
Love Game (11.8.83): Tennis great Martina Navritilova guest stars in a story about a tennis pro who is being blackmailed.
Passing Chance (11.15.83): Participating in a car rally in Greece, Jonathan and Jennifer are marked for death by a rival business magnate.
Highland Fling (11.29.83): A visit to the Scottish Highlands turns perilous for the Harts when Jennifer learns she may become the leader of a clan.
Year of the Dog (12.13.83): A dangerous Chinese arms dealer and a priceless jade carving spell danger for Jonathan and Jennifer when they visit Macao.
Silent Dance (1.31.84): Star ice skater Tai Babilonia guest stars in an episode featuring the Harts trying to rescue a young skater's dream of competing in the Olympics.
Slam Dunk (3.6.84): Jonathan and Jennifer pose as a teacher and a student in an effort to find the person responsible for framing a college basketball star -- who happens to be Max's nephew.
Hill Street Blues
Capt. Frank Furillo
Daniel J. Travanti
Sgt. Phil Esterhaus
Michael Conrad (1981-84)
Officer Bobby Hill
Officer Andy Renko
Det. Mick Belker
Lt. Ray Calletano
Det. Johnny (J.D.) LaRue
Det. Neal Washington
Lt. Howard Hunter
Sgt./Lt. Henry Goldblume
Officer/Sgt. Lucille Bates
Barbara Babcock (1981-85)
Barbara Bosson (1981-86)
Capt. Jerry Fuchs
Vincent Lucchesi (1981-84)
Det./Lt. Alf Chesley
Gerry Black (1981-82)
Officer Leo Schnitz
Robert Hirschfield (1981-85)
Officer Joe Coffey
Ed Marinaro (1981-86)
Chief Fletcher P. Daniels
Officer Robin Tataglia
Lisa Sutton (1983-87)
Asst. D.A. Irwin Bernstein
George Wyner (1982-87)
Judge Alan Wachtel
Det. Harry Garibaldi
Ken Olin (1984-85)
Det. Patricia Mayo
Mimi Kuzyk (1984-85)
Mayor Ozzie Cleveland
J.A. Preston (1982-85)
Sgt. Stanislaus Jablonski
Robert Prosky (1984-87)
Lt. Norman Buntz
Dennis Franz (1985-87)
Judith Hansen (1985-87)
Sidney (The Snitch) Thurston
Peter Jurasik (1985-87)
Officer Pagtrick Flaherty
Robert Clohessy (1986-87)
Officer Tina Russo
Megan Gallagher (1986-87)
David Selburg (1987)
One of the most innovative, ground-breaking and critically acclaimed dramas in television history, Hill Street Blues began as a concept devised by NBC's Fred Silverman, who suggested an hour-long police drama that incorporated elements of the sitcom Barney Miller and the anthology series, Police Story. Grant Tinker's MTM Enterprises, which specialized in ensemble dramas and sitcoms, was given the task of developing a series. It was created by Steven Bochco and Michael Kozoll, a pair of veteran television writers who had collaborated before on the '70s cop show Delvecchio. The new series aired as a midseason replacement on 15 January 1981. Bochco and Kozoll broke all the rules -- they had a cast, at times of two dozen recurring characters. Some episodes incorporated as many as a half-dozen ongoing story lines, which often spanned many episodes. The atmosphere of the show was gritty and realistic; the main setting, Hill Street Station, was a noisy, chaotic, scruffy place, and the streets of the precinct were dirty and mean. (The exterior shots of the precinct were actually a real station house -- Chicago's Maxwell Street Station.)
Each episode would open with the roll call, presided over from 1981-1984 by Sergeant Phil Esterhaus (Michael Conrad), a plot technique that would reacquaint viewers with both the characters and the plot threads. In command of of "The Hill" was Captain Frank Furillo (Daniel J. Travanti), a quiet but forceful career cop who had to cope with the crime on the streets, the foibles of the men and women under his command, the oftentimes infuriating politics and backstabbing of the police bureaucracy and a fluid personal life that included a bout with alcoholism, a badgering ex-wife and his ongoing romance with Joyce Davenport (Veronica Hamel), a public defender, with whom he was often at odds in a professional context. His subordinates included the occasionally maniacal Belker, a disheveled if dedicated undercover cop; Goldblume, an idealistic community affairs officer who found the brutality of the streets sometimes too much to bear; Lt. Howard Hunter, the gung-ho leader of the precinct's SWAT team; Hill and Renko, a pair of uniform cops, one black and one white, as well as another team -- this one male and female -- of Coffee and Bates. Furillo provided the moral center for a universe where right and wrong, good and bad were often blurred, while Sgt. Esterhaus was another patriarchal figure who never failed to end roll call with the fatherly admonishment, "Let's be careful out there."
Coupled with the lean and sometimes daring writing -- Bochko and Kozell penned most of the scripts for the first two seasons -- the greatest asset of the series were it's thoroughly realized regular characters, all of whom had their flaws as well as their good qualities. They came across as real, ordinary people who occasionally did heroic deeds, and sometimes made the wrong calls. They weren't indestructible either; in the first season both Hill and Renko are shot while on duty, and both find it difficult to adjust to living and working on the streets in the aftermath. Esterhaus dies in the 1983-84 season, and his loss shakes the precinct to its core.
With its uncompromising reality and complex weave of plots and subplots, Hill Street Blues never garnered big ratings; in fact, after its first season it was the lowest-rated primetime series ever to be renewed. But the critics appreciated it, as did a small but dedicated corps of fans, and NBC was amenable to renewing it for its prestige value, if nothing else. And it didn't hurt that the show dominated the Emmy Awards in its first year, earning 21 nominations and eight awards, including Best Drama, Best Actor (Travanti), Best Actress (Barbara Babcock), Best Supporting Actor (Conrad), Best Director and Best Writer in the Drama categories. (The 21 nominations was a record that would last 12 years, until NYPD Blue, another Bochco series, got 26 nominations for its 1993-94 season. The eight awards was the most won by a series in its first season.) In its seven seasons, Hill Street Blues would earn a total of 98 Emmy nominations, winning 26 awards, including four consecutive Best Drama trophies, a record shared with L.A. Law -- which happened to be yet another Bochco series. The Mike Post theme was #10 on Billboard's 1981 list of Top TV Theme Songs. A total of 146 hour-long episodes aired.
The series proved to be a showcase for up-and-coming talent that would later make it big -- actors like David Caruso, Laurence Fishburne, Danny Glover, Linda Hamilton, Tim Robbins, Ally Sheedy, Brent Spiner, Meg Tilly, Keenan Ivory Wayans and Forest Whitaker all made good impressions in guest starring roles. Novelist Joyce Carol Oates would write in a 1985 TV Guide review would describe Hill Street Blues as "Dickensian in its superb character studies, its energy, its variety; above all, its audacity." And in her critical analysis of the series, Helena Sheehan wrote that the series "skated on the very edges of television conventions in its narrative structure, its textural density, its linguistic richness, its ensemble casting, its generic re-combination and its verite style of soundtrack and camera movement." It would pave the way for subsequent highly acclaimed ensemble dramas like NYPD Blue, ER and Law and Order.
Hill Street Station (1.15.81): Hill Street Precinct Captain Frank Furillo tries to defuse a hostage situation; Officers Hill and Renko are shot.
Presidential Fever (1.17.81): Furillo must broker a summit between rival gangs and prepares for a presidential visit to the Hill.
Can World War III Be An Attitude? (1.24.81): The cancellation of the presidential visit to the Hill results in an eruption of gang violence so severe that police must barricade themselves inside the station.
Up in Arms (2.21.81): Furillo must make make Decker Avenue merchants, who have decided to take the law into their own hands, see reason; a mysterious black van causes problems for Officers Harris and Santini.
Life, Death, Eternity (3.14.81): Joyce Davenport's client implicates a city councilman in the murder of a prostitute, and Furillo risks his career by launching an investigation.
Rites of Spring, I & II (5.19.81): The deaths of several junkies due to tainted drugs has Goldblume working with a racist narcotics detective; Furillo and Washington try to clear the narc after he's accused of shooting an unarmed black man.
Hearts and Minds (10.29.81): A domestic situation turns violent at the station; Joyce represents a topless waitress who accuses a detective of blackmailing her for sex; Belker nabs a purse-snatching orangutang.
Fruits of the Poisonous Tree (12.3.81): Furillo, Washington and La Rue are accused of entrapping Joyce's client; Bates kills a 14-year-old in a shootout.
The Spy Who Came In From Delgado (1.21.82): Hunter tries to use bassett hounds to track down wild street dogs; Belker, Hill and Renko's scam operation to catch corrupt cops is a success despite help from Captain Freedom; Furillo finds out Chief Daniels has a spy on the Hill.
Some Like It Hot-Wired (3.18.82): Joyce threatens to quit, as does Calletano, while Esterhaus contemplates retirement; Goldblume loses out on a promotion and is shot while working undercover.
Trial by Fury (9.30.82): Furillo bends the rules to catch two men suspected of the rape and murder of a nun during a church robbery; Belker befriends a gay prostitute.
Domestic Beef (10.7.82): Furillo must sit on a board of inquiry judging the fitness of a fellow captain and old friend; Hill and Renko investigate urban cattle rustling; Washington and LaRue apply for the same job -- in the Bahamas.
A Hair of the Dog (11.25.82): When the governor's dog is stolen and Furillo receives a ransom demand, he enlists the help of the gangs to find the animal.
Phantom of the Hill (2.2.82): Esterhaus' plans to propose to Grace are stalled when his engagement ring becomes part of the loot in a jewelry store heist; Furillo tries to build a murder case without a corpse; the Phantom strikes again.
Santaclaustrophobia (12.16.82): Washington struggles with guilt over shooting an innocent man; Belker and Hunter try to do their jobs while dressed in seasonal costumes; Bates spends the holidays in the hospital.
Moon Over Uranus, (in 3 parts; 1.27.83, 2.3.83, 2.10.83): Furillo worries that Joyce may take a job with the Justice Department -- in Washington; Hunter orchestrates an operation to clean up a block of Decker Avenue; Goldblume tries to protect a battered wife from her sadistic husband.
Here's Adventure, Here's Romance (10.13.83): The only witness to a massacre in a gay bar is an off-duty cop who's reluctant to come forward; the cops on the Hill have to deal with myriad problems during a blackout.
Midway to What? (12.1.83): Furillo's raid on a bookie joint uncovers evidence that several cops are dirty -- including a rookie Hunter, who tries to commit suicide.
Nichols from Heaven (1.19.84): Capt. Furillo is having the worst day of his life. A cop killer is on a rampage; he finds out Joyce can't have children; rats return to the precinct house; and a corruption investigation hits very close to home.
Grace Under Pressure (2.2.84): The entire precinct struggles to come to terms with the news that Esterhaus is dead; Leo finds out his wife is having an affair; a rookie cop busts Furillo's ex-wife for solicitation.
Watt A Way to Go (10.4.84): Goldblume takes the law into his own hands when his wife is raped; a domestic situation turns into a hostage crisis; Furillo and Joyce attend an execution.
Somewhere Over the Rambo (10.31.85): "Rambo" storms the precinct house; Furillo's corruption commission delivers its findings, and a spiteful Chief Daniels goes after a young Hill Street cop who shot a black man.
Fathers and Huns (11.21.85): Furillo's pursuit of a drug kingpin antagonizes his superiors and causes a drug drought that has desperate junkies launching a crime spree on the Hill.
I Want My Hill Street Blues (2.6.86): Chaos ensues as a rock video is filmed at the station house; a tenant of low-income housing marked for demolition dies under suspicious circumstances.
Falling from Grace (12.2.86): Chief Daniels pressures Furillo to stop investigating a councilman who claims he shot a drug dealer in self-defense; meanwhile, the councilman tries to smear Furillo and Washington.
More Skinned Against Than Skinning (12.23.86): Racial tensions explode at the station house when a white cop kills his black partner; Hill and Renko find several skinned bodies; a news team invades the station for a "Day in the Life" feature.