Starring James Garner, Noah Beery Jr., Joe Santos, Gretchen Corbett, Stuart Margolin.
Created by Roy Huggins and Stephen J. Cannell.
NBC’s popular private investigator show (starring the charismatic James Garner) has remained in constant syndication from its original airing in 1974. The title character was unique in the pantheon of little screen detectives, being an ex-con (albeit a falsely accused one) who lived in a brokendown trailer at the ocean in LA, chasing minor cases and avoiding bill collectors.
Famously, every episode begins with a short, wry telephone answering machine message that changes with every episode (incidentally, an answering machine was quite a novelty in 1974). Just after the message ends, a quick montage of Los Angeles sights flashes by, including a somewhat creaky looking pre-restoration Hollywood Sign.
(Contributed by Paul Hennessy)