In the mid-1960s, it felt like you couldn’t turn on a TV channel without a private eye appearing… then there’s Mannix.
One of the better private eye shows, Mannix ran from 1967-75. Mike Connors stars as Joe Mannix, who starts out working for Joseph Campanella at Intertect. That goes away after Season 1. From then on, it’s Joe and Peggy, his trustworthy secretary, played by Gail Fisher. Mannix is not a one-trick pony when it comes to his work. He’s able to handle a gun, but he’s also willing to get into a scrape with one of the bad guys.
Mannix almost hit the TV scrap heap. CBS was going to cancel it. Lucy stepped in, made some changes, and kept the show going. Yes, THAT Lucy (Lucille Ball). Bruce Geller is the creative mind behind this show. You might recognize his name from his work with Mission: Impossible. And the theme song? By none other than the great Lalo Schifrin.
OK, so let’s take a look at some top episodes for Mannix.
A Ransom For Yesterday
Mannix finds himself in the middle of a mess in this Season 8 episode. A ransom demand of $250,000 hits and it leads Joe to get involved in a case. Not just any case, but an unsolved, closed case around a kidnapped boy. Oh yeah, this kidnapping took place more than 5 years ago. Will Mannix be able to solve the issue?
A Matter of Principle
Portia and Penelope Penhaven, a couple of sisters, visit Mannix. They want him to investigate a hit-and-run that happened earlier in the day. One headlight on their car was damaged in this Season 6 episode. Well, Joe agrees to look into the situation. What he finds out about the car leaves Mannix with more questions than answers.
Mask for a Charade
Eyewitnesses say that they saw policeman Al Reardon commit murder in this Season 7 episode. Well, he doesn’t want to be pegged with a murder. Reardon goes ahead and hires Mannix. He wants Joe to show that the whole thing was a frame-up. But there’s a problem. Joe has Reardon on his back. See, Reardon wants it shown that he was framed. If only he could get his story straight…
The Silent Cry
In a pretty incredible Season 2 episode, we have a deaf woman who “overhears” part of a kidnapping/murder plot being laid out. Now Mannix has as his mission the need to determine the victim’s identity and locations. Why? There happens to be a time limit around the ransom in this case.
To The Swiftest, Death
As Season 2 rolls out, viewers catch Mannix having fun being an amateur auto racer. Danger, though, lies ahead. A racer is killed when his car loses control and goes over an embankment. The racer’s widow reaches out to Joe. She wants him to look into it. She believes that it was a homicide. Mannix gets busy, but he’s got to watch what happens with the federal authorities.
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