This show was cancelled after season three. The last episode aired on July 9, 1978. In August of 1979, Robert Wagner returned to television in the pilot movie of Hart to Hart (1979) with Stefanie Powers and Lionel Stander.
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Launched the television career of Sharon Gless.
At first, Sharon Gless admitted she was a little intimidated working work Eddie Albert, yet, she truly loved him.
This show premiered on Tuesday, September 9, 1975, on CBS at 10:00 p.m. EDT/9:00 p.m. PDT, bumping the Hawaii Five-O (1968) series to Fridays, at 9:00 p.m. ET/8:00 p.m. PT, on the same network.
Robert Wagner was married to Natalie Wood, in real-life. Near the show's cancellation, she had a very small scene.
Eddie Albert and Robert Wagner are the only two actors to appear in every episode of the series.
In the final season, Pete Ryan (Robert Wagner) moved into an apartment above Malcolm Argos' (Charlie Callas') bar.
Just shortly after this show was cancelled, Eddie Albert and Sharon Gless made an appearance in Crash (1978).
In the first season, the show was originally a detective series, about midway through the second season, the series became more serious in tone and more of a traditional crime drama.
In the show's three season run, one episode had a clip show that featured only three guest actors, with all, except only scenes set in the title bar.
While working on this show, Robert Wagner and Natalie Wood had formed their own production company, "Rhona 2", who co-owned the shows: Charlie's Angels (1976), The Love Boat (1977), Vega$ (1978), Fantasy Island (1977), and Hart to Hart (1979). Together, they were hired to work at Spelling-Goldberg Productions.
This show had three theme songs. But two of them were only rarely heard. The series opened with a Stu Phillips theme, which was quickly yanked, although it continued as background music at the end of many shows. About eight shows into the second season, Ed Sauter wrote a theme that appeared once. For all of the other episodes, first-season Executive Producer Glen A. Larson wrote the theme (his first official theme song, not counting McCloud (1970), which is not credited to anyone).
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Long before Robert Wagner and Sharon Gless starred on this show, both of them were lifelong Eddie Albert fans, as little children.
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The line which Frank MacBride (Eddie Albert) had repeatedly said was taken from It Takes a Thief (1968), which was Robert Wagner's first television series.
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After a few years of guest-starring on shows for Universal Television, Eddie Albert was Producer Glen A. Larson's first choice for the role of Frank MacBride, and because of his lifelong friendship with his devoted fan, Robert Wagner, he accepted the role.
Frank MacBride spent his time in World War II. In real-life, Eddie Albert was enlisted in the United States Coast Guard, and was discharged in 1943 to accept as an appointed Lieutenant in the U.S. Naval Reserve.
In the premiere episode, before Ryan worked for MacBride, he was arrested and Mac was the best police officer ever to catch him.
The Feather and Father Gang (1976) and McCoy (1975), that copied this show, had failed to become successful, unlike this show. The most coincidental thing is all three shows debuted the same year.
The show was similar to The Rockford Files (1974), which was also produced by Universal Television.
Some of the actors who guest-starred with Eddie Albert on this show; had previously guest-starred with him on Green Acres (1965): J. Pat O'Malley, Don Porter, Gordon Jump, Bernie Kopell, Len Lesser, and Bob Hastings.
The Sting (1973), on which this show was based, was tested badly, Producer Glen A. Larson needed to put the cards up, along with the set of the show up, the shut out, including the sting to put the show together.
Eddie Albert later worked with Lorenzo Lamas (Jane Wyman's protégé and is the best friend of Albert's) on Falcon Crest (1981), he met him on an episode of the show.
Eddie Albert was sixty-nine years old when the show started.
This show was one of seven shows that Universal Television cancelled in 1978, and it lasted three seasons. The remaining six were: Columbo (1971), whose show was the longest-running and had lasted for seven seasons, Kojak (1973), whose show had lasted five years, and three months later: The Six Million Dollar Man (1974), also lasted five years, Baretta (1975), whose show lasted four years, and eight months before this show debuted, The Bionic Woman (1976), whose show lasted three years, and four months after this show debuted, and Baa Baa Black Sheep (1976), whose show lasted two years.
Pete Ryan (Robert Wagner) and Malcolm Argos (Charlie Callas) were con men.
Frank MacBride used to work as a police officer before retiring. He came out of retirement to work as a private investigator.
In occasional interviews, Eddie Albert, Robert Wagner, and Sharon Gless all got along real well, on the show and in real-life, and remained close friends, until Albert's death in 2005.
This show was the starring vehicle for Eddie Albert, after a four year hiatus on television, after the cancellation of Green Acres (1965), as well as Robert Wagner.
Frank MacBride had acrophobia.
By the second and third season, the storylines were becoming bland, this led to the show's cancellation.
Robert Wagner worked with Sharon Gless, again, this time on a short-lived series The Trials of Rosie O'Neill (1990).
While Eddie Albert appeared in the pilot episode (Switch: Las Vegas Roundabout (1975)), he also appeared in Escape to Witch Mountain (1975), at the same time.
After the show was being cancelled, Sharon Gless, who was still under contract with Universal, was also appearing in Turnabout (1979) and in the final season of House Calls (1979).
Eddie Albert did not work with Natalie Wood for the first time. His first encounter with her was working with her on an episode of General Electric Theater: I'm a Fool (1954).
Eddie Albert spent much of his acting career, playing both good-natured men and villainous roles.
Pete Ryan (Robert Wagner) called Frank MacBride (Eddie Albert) a "sadist", when he almost murdered his partner. Eddie played a sadistic prison warden in The Longest Yard (1974).
At the time of Frank MacBride's retirement from the police squad, Pete Ryan was later released, and it was their call to become partners of their own agency.
One fact hearing MacBride loving organic orange juice acknowledges the fact that Eddie Albert was an organic farmer in real-life.
In one episode, Ryan said "Golly", the word that was used on Green Acres (1965), which was the show on which Eddie Albert worked previously.
After cancellation, Charlie Callas was reunited with Sharon Gless on Cagney & Lacey (1981) season four, episode ten, "Lady Luck".
According to Glen A. Larson, Eddie Albert wanted to play Pete Ryan, so that his character could get the girl, when he eventually got Frank MacBride, instead, and came to work with a sweatshirt that went past his knees, and Albert's character was supposed to be the inexpensive police officer, that wasn't flashy.
In order for Glen A. Larson to develop the series, Roy Huggins (who along with Stephen J. Cannell created The Rockford Files (1974); at the time) had introduced him to con artists, where The Sting (1973) was based on and James Cagney had introduced him to another one of his books that took place in the 1920s, in New York City.
Pete T. Ryan's real name was Peterson. It wasn't used until season one, episode four.
On one episode, Mac became a surrogate father to Pete, in real-life, Eddie Albert was twenty-four years older than Robert Wagner.
"The Saracen Horse" is the the detective novel Pete read in one episode.
During one episode, Pete occasionally read aloud from a detective novel. The events of the novel match up suspiciously well with whatever the villain, a corrupt private eye, happened to be doing at the moment.
How Robert Wagner got the younger lead role of Pete T. Ryan was because of his friendship with Glen A. Larson.
This wasn't the first time Robert Wagner worked with Glen A. Larson. Their collaboration began when they were working on It Takes a Thief (1968).
In one episode, Don Ho mentioned "calling in McGarrett" the next time the partners come to town. The character was from Hawaii Five-O (1968), which was also a CBS show.
By the time the fourth episode of the last season aired, the series was running dead last in the season-to-date ratings (although Mulligan's Stew (1977), which ultimately was the lowest-rated show of the season, had not yet premiered). CBS, which had ordered and paid for twenty-two episodes, gave this show another chance on Mondays to replace the departed Rafferty (1977), but the network was in a Monday night slump for the only time in its history and ratings did not significantly improve. CBS dumped all of the Monday shows in January (moving Maude (1972) to a death-row Saturday night slot, cancelling outright The Fitzpatricks (1977), which was in second-to-last place, and the troubled The Betty White Show (1977)) and effectively cancelling this show. Ironically, the show enjoyed its best ratings ever when it got a third chance in a Sunday night time slot that summer.
During scene transitions in the first season, the image shrinks to a small circle, which narrows and then widens like a spinning coin.
Before Martin Kove worked with Sharon Gless on Cagney & Lacey (1981), he worked with her on one episode.
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