The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries was a show that had it all for the teen set: engaging Scooby-Doo-style mystery plots, a trio of attractive teen-idol stars, and even an occasional catchy pop tune crooned by star Shaun Cassidy.
This hour-long drama was based upon two legendary children’s book series, the ‘Hardy Boys’ books and the ‘Nancy Drew’ books. These novels were respectively credited to Franklin W. Dixon and Carolyn Keene, but no such people existed. The books were actually the products of a pool of ghostwriters supervised by Edward Stratemeyer that churned out stories not only for these characters but also for Tom Swift, the Bobbsey Twins and several other children’s book icons. When Stratemeyer passed on, his daughter Harriet Adams continued the business.
Networks were interested in adapting the books from television’s earliest days. There was a “Hardy Boys” segment on The Mickey Mouse Club and a cartoon in the late 60’s, but Adams held out on a full-fledged series until she could get a deal that involved script approval. Universal Studios ultimately agreed to this arrangement, and Adams allowed them to produce a show for ABC. Veteran producer Glen Larson, the man behind Battlestar Galactica and Knight Rider, was brought into to produce the show, which began its run in January of 1977.
The Hardy Boys were Joe and Frank, two brothers who were the sons of the internationally-famous investigator Felton Hardy. The two younger Hardys felt compelled to follow in their father’s footsteps, investigating mysteries with the help of their Aunt Gertrude and Callie, a girl who worked part-time at their father’s agency.
Nancy Drew was the daughter of a famous widowed criminal attorney named Carson Drew. She had the same detective urge that drove the Hardy Boys, and she followed that urge with the help of Ned, her father’s assistant, and George Fayne, a faithful if not always courageous friend.
Originally, two separate series were produced, one for Nancy Drew and one for the Hardy Boys, and the two alternated in the same Sunday night timeslot. Just the same, the two series often overlapped as they helped each other search for clues. The mysteries might involve phenomena as diverse as smuggling, kidnapping, blackmail, robberies, and even ghosts and haunted houses. Since the show was aimed at a young audience, violent elements were downplayed in favor of the mystery angle.
Though the basic plotting of the novels was retained, they were updated in certain respects to appeal to a 70’s youth audience. For instance, one Hardy Boys mystery involved the two going to Dracula’s castle for a rock concert, only to become aware of supernatural goings-on. Also, the producers made certain to place their stars in attractive settings and have them wearing the latest hip clothes. Shaun Cassidy decided to launch a music career during this time and it was incorporated into the show, adding extra teen-idol appeal to the series. Cassidy performed his current single, “Da Doo Run Run,” on an episode in April of 1977, and the song quickly went to number one on the pop-record charts.
The course of the shows changed in early 1978 when the producers decided to merge the three sleuthing youths into one show, working alongside each other. Pamela Sue Martin, who played Nancy Drew, disagreed with the decision and left the show. She was replaced with Janet Louise Johnson. The merged version of the show was short-lived: the Nancy Drew character was dropped from the show altogether in the fall of 1978, and the show was retitled The Hardy Boys Mysteries. Two new characters were added in the 1978-79 season: federal agent Harry Gibbon and CIA operative Harry Hammond.
The show was canceled in August of 1979 after two seasons, but it would later be revived briefly as a syndicated series in 1995 with a new cast. However, the original still pops up on occasion in reruns, and there is no doubt that the show still has a special place in the heart of any grownup who swooned over one of the show’s stars in younger years.
|9/6/69 – 9/5/70 ABC (The Hardy Boys)
1/30/77 – 1/21/79 ABC (The Hardy Boys Mysteries)
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Clairvoyant, The (BBC-2 1986, Roy Kinnear, Sandra Dickinson)
In Roy Clarke penned sitcom The Clairvoyant used car salesman Arnold Bristow is knocked down in a car accident and suddenly finds himself with psychic powers – or so he believes. There was a pilot broadcast 27 Nov 1984.
ROY KINNEAR as Arnold Bristow
SANDRA DICKINSON as Lily
HUGH LLOYD as Burma
SHAUN CURRY as Newton
GLYNIS BROOKS as Dawn
CARMEL CRYAN as Carmen
Writer: Roy Clarke
Producer and Director: Alan J.W. Bell
Network and Production Companies: BBC-2
Duration: 6×30 minute episodes
Aired From: Pilot – 27 November 1984 and Series – 15 May – 19 June 1986
Christmas Princess (UP 2017, Nicole Munoz, Zak Santiago)
Christmas Princess is the true story of Donaly Marquez who, through a childhood of neglect and abuse, achieved her dream of becoming a rose bowl princess. An inspirational story of resilience, strength and finding a family to call your own.
Nicole Muñoz as Donaly Marquez
Rosa Blasi as Sara
Zak Santiago as Ignacio Marquez
Olivia Steele Falconer as Emily Marquez
Jaedon Siewert as Abraham Marquez
Lina Renna as Young Donaly
Paloma Kwiatkowski as Chloe
Ty Wood as Trent
Pendo Muema as Monique
Kalyn Miles as Maria
Kaaren de Zilva as Roberta
Garfield Wilson as Dr. Miller
Clay St. Thomas as Judge #1
Patti Allan as Judge #2
Natalie von Rotsburg as Judge #3
Director: Allan Harmon
Writer: Tracy Andreen
Network and Production Companies: UP
Duration: 1×120 minute episode
Aired From: Sunday 10 December 2017
Christmas Reunion, A (Lifetime 2015, Catherine Hicks, Denise Richards)
In A Christmas Reunion a Madison Avenue executive, Amy, discovers an unusual Christmas surprise when she inherits her Aunt’s hometown bakery. The real surprise comes when she learns the other half of the bakery was left to her long-ago boyfriend, Jack.
Unresolved personal issues resurface between them, as the exes return home to co-manage the store, along with its traditional holiday cookie bake-off.
Denise Richards as Amy Stone
Patrick Muldoon as Jack Evans
Jake Busey as Dylan Carruthers
Catherine Hicks as Aunt Linda
Parker Stevenson as Don Dupree
Patricia De Leon as Janette Crowder
Jon Briddell as Luke Crowder
Robert R. Shafer as Frank O’Brien
Anna Barnholtz as Chloe
John Colton as Steve Evans
Sandra Evans as Shari
Brody Fitzgerald as Young Jack Evans
Michael Gaglio as Earl Pratt, Sr.
Gib Gerard as Earl Pratt, Jr.
Joyce Greenleaf as Helen
Director: Sean Olson
Writers: Margaret Base, Mary Glenn, Sam Irvin, Sean Olson, Peter Sullivan, Michael Varrat
Network and Production Companies: Lifetime – Hybrid
Duration: 1×120 minute episode
Aired From: 13 December 2015
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