1 9 7 8 – 1 9 8 1 (USA)
68 x 60 minute episodes
The 1957 Thunderbird convertible seen driving the streets of Las Vegas was owned by bad-ass private detective Dan Tanna (Robert Urich). The renovated red convertible was equipped with a mobile phone and a .44 Magnum gun stored in the glove compartment.
Tanna lived in a decked-out converted theatrical warehouse on the grounds of the Desert Inn & Country Club and parked his red T-Bird (personalised license plate: TANNA) in his living room.
Each week Dan split his time between running errands for casino boss Tony Curtis and working especially lurid cases, often involving drugs, pornography, strippers, human trafficking, or extortion. He did all this while walking past showgirls and through plush casinos, often just to improve the scenery rather than for the sake of the plot.
Comic relief was supplied in the form of Tanna’s bumbling legman, Binzer (Bart Braverman), and his bubble-headed, bubble-breasted receptionist, Angie (Judy Landers).
Showgirl Beatrice (Phyliss Davis) also helped out with phones and typing and all-round Tanna care at night.
This was another Aaron Spelling creation, which meant many episodes were awash in special guest stars, usually in the lighter-toned subplots (as in one episode that involves Abe Vigoda, Morey Amsterdam, Vic Tayback, and a missing lion) but occasionally – and disastrously – in the main story, as when The Brady Bunch’s Robert Reed plays the publicity-shy father of a beauty queen/rape victim, played by The Brady Bunch’s Maureen McCormick.
Urich pulled on his gumshoes once again for Spenser: For Hire, a tedious adaptation of the Robert B Parker novels.
There were two ’57 Thunderbirds used on the show and when the show was cancelled the two convertibles were sold to someone in New Jersey.
Bobby Borso ‘Binzer’
Eli Two Leaf
Lt David Nelson