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NBC Mystery Movie, The (NBC 1971-1977, Rock Hudson, George Peppard)

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Classic TV Revisited: McMillan And Wife

The roots of NBC’s hugely successful Mystery Movies series of individual series lay in two earlier shows World Premiere Movie which saw the debut of shows such as Ironside and a first try out for Columbo and a movie called Who Killed Miss USA which would serve as a pilot for McCloud; Secondly there was Four In One which four hour long rotating episodes of shows such as San Francisco International Airport, Night Gallery, The Psychiatrist and McCloud.

After both of these formats proved successful NBC expanded the concept to introduce the Mystery Movie strand which again includes McCloud (with episodes now extended to 90 minutes) as well as McMillan and Wife and Columbo. All three shows would be major hits prompting NBC to introduce more shows into the format including the likes of Banacek, Madigan, Amy Prentiss and Quincy M.E. Only really Banacek and Quincy M.E. caught the public interest though, Quincy long out lived it’s Mystery Movie origins too and continued as an hour long series until 1985. In fact some such as the long forgotten Cool Million and The Snoop Sisters only lasted a few episodes

As a whole though the Mystery Movie are all supremely well made glossy, star studded slices of entertainment.

The list of series
Columbo (1971-77)
McCloud (1971-77)
McMillan and Wife (1971-77)
Hec Ramsey (1972-74)
Madigan (1972-74)
Cool Million (1972-73)
Banacek (1972-73)
Tenafly (1973-74)
Faraday and Company (1973-74)
The Snoop Sisters (1973-74)
Amy Prentiss (1974-75)
McCoy (1975-76)
Quincy M.E. (1976-77) (the show itself lasted until 1983 as a weekly 60 minute series)
Lanigan’s Rabbi (1976-77)

production details
USA / NBC – Universal / x 90 minute episodes and x120 minute episodes / Broadcast 15 September 1971 – 4 September 1977

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