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McMillan & Wife (NBC 1971-1977, Rock Hudson, Susan St James)

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Crime drama series McMillan And Wife was part of the NBC Mystery Movie series and detailed the often murderous cases of Commissioner Stewart McMillan who usually managed to get his wife Sally involved (although to be fair it was more often than not Sally who got McMillan involved).

This light-hearted and mostly fun series probably had its roots in the Nick and Nora Thin Man films of the 1930’s and 1940’s and featured much of the same banter between the leads that characterised those films. Also heavily involved in the series was Mac’s right hand man Sgt Charles Enright and their none too polite housekeeper Mildred.

The show was one of three debut Mystery Movie segments (along with McCloud and Columbo) and appeared on a rotating basis with them.

There were major changes for the final season which saw the shows title shortened to simply McMillan, this was necessitated by a number of factors including the fact that due to a contract dispute Susan Saint James didn’t appear (Sally was supposed to have died in an air crash) and also the fact that the character of Mildred had graduated to her own sitcom. A new housekeeper (Mildred’s sister Agatha was brought in to replace her). To help him on his cases in this season McMillan got two new helpers in the shape of Sgt DiMaggio and secretary Maggie.

Although Susan Saint James was handpicked for the role by Hudson the pair didn’t in fact get on off screen, especially as Saint James was nominated for an Emmy for four years running.

production details
USA | NBC – Universal – Talent Associates – Norton Simon | x75 minutes | Broadcast Wednesday 29 September 1971 – Sunday 21 August 1977

Creator and Executive Producer: Leonard B. Stern
Executive Story Consultant: Robert Lewin
Producer: Paul Mason

cast
Rock Hudson as Stewart ‘Mac’ McMillan
Susan Saint James as Sally McMillan
John Schuck as Sgt. Charles Enright
Nancy Walker as Mildred
Martha Raye as Agetha
Richard Gilliland

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