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Matt Helm
Format Detective drama
Created by Donald Hamilton
Starring Anthony Franciosa
Country of origin  United States
No. of episodes 13
Running time 60
Original channel ABC
Original run September 20, 1975 – January 3, 1976

Matt Helm is a short-lived American mystery television series which aired on the ABC Network during the 1975-1976 season. The title character was played by Anthony Franciosa.


The series was loosely based upon the literary character Matt Helm, who had been created and introduced by Donald Hamilton in his 1960 novel, Death of a Citizen; he had also been played by Dean Martin in a series of spy comedy films in the late 1960s. This series resembled neither the books—in which Helm was a terse assassin for a secret government agency—nor the films—in which Helm was a womanizing secret agent.

The concept of the series sees Matt Helm, a retired spy, opening a private detective business. Thus, most of the plot lines were standard detective stories of the day, such as one episode in which Helm investigates the disappearance of a race horse. Laraine Stephens co-starred as Claire Kronski, Helm's assistant.

A pilot TV movie aired on May 7, 1975 and was popular enough for ABC to commission a series, which debuted on September 20 of the same year. Ratings were not strong enough for the series to continue past its initial 13 episodes, and the final episode aired on January 3, 1976.

Many notable guest stars appeared on the series during its short run, including Lynda Carter, who appeared in the penultimate episode, "Panic", playing a singer. Her appearance coincided with her rise to fame as Wonder Woman.

To date, the Matt Helm TV series marks the most recent attempt to adapt Donald Hamilton's creation, although there were reports in 2006 that a film studio had optioned the rights to the character.


Episode # Episode Title Original Airdate
1 "Dead Men Talk" September 20, 1975
2 "Now I Lay Me Down to Die" September 27, 1975
3 "Scavenger's Paradise" October 11, 1975
4 "The Game of the Century" October 18, 1975
5 "Murder on Ice" October 25, 1975
6 "Squeeze Play" November 1, 1975
7 "Deadly Breed" November 8, 1975
8 "Death Rods" November 15, 1975
9 "Double Jeopardy" November 22, 1975
10 "Think Murder" December 6, 1975
11 "Murder on the Run" December 13, 1975
12 "Panic" December 27, 1975
13 "Die Once, Die Twice" January 3, 1976

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