Spenser: For Hire

1985, TV Show

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Avery Brooks

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Cheers & Jeers: Is Rizzoli & Isles Full of Beantown?

Angie Harmon

Jeers to Rizzoli & Isles for committing the biggest crimes against Boston since Bill Buckner and "Bucky F---ing Dent."

Want more Cheers & Jeers? Subscribe to TV Guide Magazine.

TNT's hit summer drama is ostensibly set in Beantown, but most of the stock L.A. locales where the show is actually shot look more like Malibu than Massachusetts. It's too bad R&I couldn't shoot on location, like the vastly superior mystery adaptation Spenser: For Hire did back in the '80s, but apparently it's cheaper to fake it on a backlot.

Even worse, Angie Harmon's Texas twang keeps slipping through her stab at a Boston brogue.... read more

I've read all of Robert B. ...

Robert Urich and Barbara Stock, Spenser: for Hire

Question: I've read all of Robert B. Parker's Spenser books and thought they did a decent job of depicting the character on TV's Spenser: For Hire, given the TV programming of the time. (Can you imagine that show on FX now?) But I never could figure out why they got rid of Susan, Spenser's girlfriend, and then brought her back. Can you shed any light on that? Thank you, and I love your column.


Answer: You're very welcome, Gayle, and thank you. I imagine the fact that they actually shot Spenser: For Hire in your stomping grounds gave the show the authenticity that only someone who lives in Boston could appreciate.

Anyway, guidance counselor Susan Silverman (Barbara Stock) was shown the door — or, more accurately, s read more

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Premiered: September 20, 1985, on ABC
Rating: None
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Premise: Robert B. Parker's cultured Boston cop-turned-PI probes cases with his brooding, enigmatic pal, Hawk (later spun off into the `A Man Called Hawk' series). Various lady friends also helped the sensitive sleuth, notably guidance counselor Susan Silverman and ADA Rita Fiori. Parker was a consultant for this series. `The business of television,' he wrote in TV Guide, `is to put on good television, not to replicate my books.' And `Spenser: For Hire' was indeed good television.

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