Question: I know there was a short-lived TV series based on the book series of teenage detective Nancy Drew. Can you tell me more about that? Why was it cancelled and how long did it run? Great column, and thanks for your help! Christina
Televisionary: No, no, Christina thank you for your support. The truth is The Nancy Drew Mysteries, which debuted in February 1977, wasn't so much cancelled as it was eaten by The Hardy Boys Mysteries, with which it traded off Sunday nights on the ABC schedule.
Teen detective Nancy, originally created by a stable of writers who used the pen names Carolyn Keene for a Drew book series and Franklin W. Dixon for the Hardy novels, was the 18-year-old daughter of a famous attorney (William Schallert). She shared her dad's fascination with crime and had her own talent for getting to the bottom of a mystery.
ABC decided Nancy should share the timeslot more closely with the Boys (Parker Stevenson and Shaun Cassidy), so several episodes in which the characters appeared on each other's shows led to the two series merging in early 1978. Losing her solo gig didn't sit well with star Pamela Sue Martin, who played Nancy, so she walked away. Replacement Janet Louise Johnson shouldered the role for a short time, but the character was soon axed and the series became The Hardy Boys, which lasted about a year and a half more before making its own exit in August 1979.