1 9 8 5 – 1 9 8 8 (USA)
66 x 60 minute episodes
This ABC crime drama series first aired on 20 September 1985 and continued until 3 September 1988.
Mustang-driving Boston private detective Spenser (Robert Urich) was an ex-cop and accomplished cook. He lived at 357 Masave Street.
Spenser (no first name) first lived in an apartment that was later destroyed by fire, then in an abandoned firehouse that was later re-commissioned.
The full-time bookworm and former boxer was aided in his principled quests by his psychologist girlfriend Susan Silverman (Barbara Stock), while his black, street-savvy Magnum-carrying associate, Hawk (Avery Brooks) – a former enforcer for the Mob – earned his own short-lived spin-off series, A Man Called Hawk.
Although Spenser helped people solve their problems and brought criminals to justice, he enjoyed violence and considered himself a thug for hire. He was sensitive, romantic and a gourmet cook who enjoyed
a cold beer with each meal.
He kept in shape by lifting weights. He also quoted poetry and lines from books but had trouble accepting authority – a situation that caused him to leave his job at the DA’s office in Suffolk County and turn his talents to becoming a private detective.
Richard Jaeckel costarred as Spenser’s friend on the force, Lt. Martin Quirk.
The second season saw the addition of a new Assistant DA, Rita Fiori (Carolyn McCormick), looking to rein in the freewheeling private detective, regardless of Spenser’s chummy relationship with Quirk.
Spenser’s thirst for knowledge and yearning for justice saw him framed for blackmail, meeting mad mountain men and coming to the aid of a modern Salem witch while staying true to his personal code.
Spenser For Hire was a curiously soft-sell version of Robert B Parker’s novels, almost entirely lacking their Chandleresque wise-cracking wit and tough guy violence.
Assistant DA Rita Fiori
Lt Martin Quirk
Sgt Frank Belson