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Hart to Hart
Hart to Hart.jpg
Format Drama
Created by Sidney Sheldon
Starring Robert Wagner
Stefanie Powers
Lionel Stander
Country of origin  United States
No. of seasons 5
No. of episodes 110
Production
Running time 47 minutes per episode
Broadcast
Original channel ABC
Original run August 25, 1979 – May 22, 1984

Hart to Hart is an American television series starring Robert Wagner and Stefanie Powers. The series was created by writer Sidney Sheldon and produced by Aaron Spelling and Leonard Goldberg. It ran from 1979 to 1984 on the ABC Television Network.

Contents

Premise

Jonathan Hart (Robert Wagner) was a self-made millionaire and the CEO of Hart Industries, a global conglomerate. His wife Jennifer (Stefanie Powers) was a beautiful freelance journalist. Living the jetset lifestyle, the glamorous couple spent their free time as amateur detectives and in every episode they found themselves involved in cases of smuggling, theft, international espionage and, most commonly, murder. At their opulent Californian home, they were assisted by Max (Lionel Stander), their loyal, gravelly-voiced butler, cook, and chauffeur who also helped out in their "cases". The Hart's pet dog was "Freeway", named so because he was a stray they had rescued when he was found wandering on the freeway.

Series Details

Screenwriter and novelist Sidney Sheldon had originally written a script for CBS entitled "Double Twist" about a married couple who were also both spies. The script remained unfilmed for several years before producers Aaron Spelling and Leonard Goldberg decided to update the idea for a potential television series. They offered the script to screenwriter Tom Mankiewicz, who had by that time written several screenplays including three of the James Bond films. Their instruction to Mankiewicz was to update the script to make it more contemporary and viable for a potential weekly series. They also told Mankiewicz that if his draft was successful, he would also be able to direct the pilot episode himself. Mankiewicz reworked Sheldon's original script and it was renamed "Hart to Hart". Mankiewicz also made his directorial debut with the pilot episode as planned, and remained a "Creative Consultant" on the series afterwards.

Spelling and Goldberg's initial choice for the role of Jonathan Hart was Cary Grant. However, Grant (who was 75 years old at the time) had effectively retired from acting some years earlier. They then decided to find a younger actor who might embody the same style and persona that Grant was famous for and offered the role to Robert Wagner.

Initial choices for the role of Jennifer Hart included Suzanne Pleshette and Lindsay Wagner, before the producers decided to offer the role to Stefanie Powers.

The main title theme for the series was scored by Mark Snow.

The Hart's ranch-style house originally belonged to Dick Powell, an old friend of Wagner's, and was situated in Mandeville Canyon, Los Angeles.

U.S. Ratings

(rankings for each season in top 30)

  • Season 1 (1979-80) - not in top 30
  • Season 2 (1980-81) - 23 (15.9 million viewers)
  • Season 3 (1981-82) - 15 (17.1 million viewers)
  • Season 4 (1982-83) - 17 (15.7 million viewers)
  • Season 5 (1983-84) - not in top 30

TV movies

In 1993, almost a decade after the series ended, Wagner and Powers teamed up again for a series of Hart to Hart reunion TV movies. Eight 90-minute telemovies were made in total between 1993-96:

  • Hart to Hart Returns (1993)
  • Home is Where the Hart Is (1994)
  • Crimes of the Hart (1994)
  • Old Friends Never Die (1994)
  • Secrets of the Hart (1995)
  • Two Harts in 3/4 Time (1995)
  • Harts in High Season (1996)
  • Till Death Do Us Hart (1996)

Lionel Stander reprised his role as Max in five of the movies before his death (from lung cancer) in late 1994. His last ever screen appearance was in Secrets of the Hart, which aired in March 1995.

No More Reunions

In his autobiography Pieces of My Heart, Wagner stated that he was offered 10 million dollars to produce 3 more Hart to Hart movies. Everybody was interested in doing them except Stefanie Powers. Wagner said he was furious with her and saw it as a betrayal not just of himself but of all the cast and crew who had worked with them for years. Powers didn't want to be typecast and felt the show was holding her back. However as recently as 2008 Powers agent contacted Wagner suggesting one more reunion but Wagner turned it down stating he had no interest in being "the oldest detective in television history".

DVD releases

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has released the first two seasons of Hart to Hart on DVD in Regions 1 & 2. It is unknown if the remaining three seasons will be released at some point.

DVD Name Ep# Release Dates
Region 1 Region 2 (GER) Region 2 (UK)
The Complete First Season 23 October 25, 2005 November 8, 2005 April 10, 2006
The Complete Second Season 20 September 19, 2006 September 19, 2006 October 9, 2006

International

  • In the United Kingdom, the show was shown on Sundays at 7.45pm nationally on the ITV Network for most of its run, though was later subject to regional variations. It was subsequently shown on Granada Plus and Alibi.
  • In Denmark, the show was shown on TV3 as "Par i Hjerter" ("Pair of Hearts").
  • In France, the show was shown on TF1 as "Pour l'amour du risque" ("For The Love Of Risk").
  • In Germany the show was shown on ARD and later with all episodes on Pro7, Kabel 1 and Das Vierte as "Hart aber herzlich", which translates to "Hard but hearty" or "Tough but hearty" and thus mimicked the original pun. The movies were shown on ProSieben.
  • In Ireland, the show was shown on RTÉ One.
  • In Italy the show was first shown on Rai 2 television beginning from June 1981, and then replied many times. The new Italian title is "Cuore e batticuore", which translates to "Heart and heartbeat". Since June 2007 the show is aired on La7 television with the original title.
  • In Brazil, the show was shown on Rede Globo with the title Casal 20, that translates roughly into English as "Couple 20".
  • In Serbia, the show was shown on TV Palma.
  • In Kenya, the show was shown on Voice of Kenya (VOK) TV now KBC TV.
  • In The Netherlands, the show was shown on TROS as "Harten Twee" ("Two Hearts").
  • In Greece, the show was shown on ET2 as "Hart ké Hart" ("Hart and Hart") and later on the regional Makedonia Channel.

External links








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