Banacek (NBC 1972-1974, George Peppard, Ralph Manza)

Crime drama series with a slight twist in the premise in that Thomas Banacek was actually worked as an investigator for insurance companies winning back their stolen property taking 10% of its worth as his fee. Banacek only took big cases and unusual ones at that too such as tracing paintings stolen from a sealed truck and so on. Of Polish-American descent Banacek drove both a 1973 Fleetwood Cadillac and a 1941 Packard Darrin and also lived in Boston’s upmarket Beacon Hill area. Regulars in the show included Banacek’s chauffeur Jay Drury, his confidante Felix Mulholland who ran an antiquarian bookshop.

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Also during the shows second season Banacek regularly tangled with fellow investigator Carlie Kirkland. The show (made up of feature length episodes) originally appeared as part of NBC’s Mystery Movie series. The show’s creators Levinson and Link were also behind two other biggies with Columbo and Murder She Wrote. This show was also actually George Peppard’s TV lead debut.

production details
USA / NBC-Universal ‘Mystery Movie’ / 17×90 minute episode (including pilot) / Broadcast 1972-1974

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Creators: Richard Levinson, William Link
Music: Billy Goldenberg
Executive Producer: George Eckstein
Producer: Howie Horowitz

Cast
GEORGE PEPPARD as Thomas Banacek
RALPH MANZA as Jay Drury
MURRAY MATHESON as Felix Mulholland
CHRISTINE BELFORD as Carlie Kirkland
LINDEN CHILES as Penniman

Alastair James is the editor in chief for Memorable TV. He has been involved in media since his university days. Alastair is passionate about television, and some of his favourite shows include Line of Duty, Luther and Traitors. He is always on the lookout for hot new shows, and is always keen to share his knowledge with others.