Old School Americana & Nostalgia


Darren McGavin Once Gave His Thoughts on a ‘Kolchak: The Night Stalker’ Revival

Darren McGavin Once Gave His Thoughts on a ‘Kolchak: The Night Stalker’ Revival

While Kolchak: The Night Stalker has been considered a cult TV show classic, the star of the series, Darren McGavin, had some thoughts about it ever being revived. 

Kolchak: The Night Stalker originally ran from 1974 to 1975. It was inspired by the television films The Night Stalker and The Night Strangler. The series followed Carl Kolchak, who was a reporter for a Chicago newspaper. He ended up investigating homicides that usually involved some sort of supernatural force. Instead of just reporting the homicides, Kolchak ended up solving them. The series only had 20 episodes in total before ABC gave it the axe. 

According to Me.TV, McGavin was very confident about Kolchak: The Night Stalker, but he didn’t expect the show to ever be revived. “I don’t think it will be revived,” he told Fangoria Magazine in 1983. “Though I haven’t really thought about it lately.”

Although he had his doubts about a revival, McGavin said he wouldn’t have passed up on being a part of the TV series again. “I’ll talk to ‘em. I love the character. I’d pull the suit out of mothballs.”

However, McGavin admitted there were some issues off-set that he needed to figure out before the Kolchak: The Night Stalker revival could’ve happened. “There was a lot of friction between myself and the production entity,” he explained. “We ended up spending so much money on scripts that were totally unproducible. There were scripts we just threw away.”

Darren McGavin Admitted to Quitting ‘Kolchak: The Night Stalker’ at the End of the First Season

Meanwhile, as he continued to speak about his time on the Kolchak: The Night Stalker set, Darren McGavin admitted that he actually quit the production at the end of the first season.

“I called up the network and said, ‘Let’s cancel this goddamn thing,’” the actor recalled. “‘You’re losing money, we’re losing money, and I’m tired and I don’t want to do [it] anymore. Why don’t we just stop?’”

The actor also spoke about the issues he had with the Kolchak: The Night Stalker confusing plot lines. “How many monsters can you go through?” he questioned. “It’s silly. You’re gonna do the werewolf, you’re gonna do the vampire, and you’re gonna do the zombie.”

McGavin noted that when the show was done with all three monsters, there weren’t any other stories it was going to be able to tell. He said within hours of his talk with ABC, the network canceled the show. Unfortunately for the actor, his hope to reprise his Kolchak role never came to be. The actor passed away in February 2006 at the age of 83.