Works for me – Rick Hunter
Television’s answer to Dirty Harry, Hunter became a favorite on Saturday nights with Fred Dryer as the tough-as-nails L.A. detective and Stepfanie Kramer as his equal, Dee Dee McCall, and together they keep the streets safe from drug dealers, rapists, murderers, and other criminal elements that plagues sunny California.
During his first season, Hunter was fighting a bigger battle besides crime on Fridays. His competition was Dallas, the #1 show in America at the time. However, creator Stephen J. Cannell showed then-NBC President Brandon Tartikoff a look into the two-part “The Snow Queen” with that guest-starred fellow future crime-fighter Dennis Franz (NYPD Blue) to keep the show from being canceled. Tartikoff liked the episode, and Hunter moved to Saturdays, and became a Top 30 hit.
Maverick creator Roy Huggins, who also co-created The Rockford Files with Cannell, took over as executive producer and showrunner over the next three seasons that focused less on Hunter’s backstory (his family in organized crime) and more on the relationship between Hunter and McCall both as partners and friends (maybe even more?). Dryer then went on to become executive producer in the show’s later years.
After six years, Kramer left Hunter in 1990 to start a singing career and pursue other acting opportunities. For his final season, Hunter moved to Wednesday nights at 10pm, where he had two new female partners: Darlene Fleugal (To Live and Die in L.A.) as Officer Joanne Molenski in the first half, and Lauren Lane (The Nanny) as Sgt. Chris Novak in the second half, who also became Hunter’s new love interest. However, fans believed that this is when Hunter “jumped the shark”, and the show was canceled in 1991 after seven successful seasons.
Dryer reprised the role in 1995’s The Return of Hunter: Everyone Walks to L.A., and 2002’s Hunter: Return to Justice, where he reunited with Kramer’s McCall. The success of the latter led to a short-lived 2003 revival series.
Anchor Bay Entertainment released seasons 1-3 of Hunter from 2005-06, and now Mill Creek Entertainment have recently re-released the first two seasons as well as all 153 episodes. Sadly, there are no audio commentaries and new interviews from the cast and crew.
See why breaking the rules is so much fun with Hunter: The Complete Series currently available on DVD.
“Works for me” – Rick Hunter