Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer (1957-1959)
Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer (1984-1985)
The New Mike Hammer (1986-1987)
Mike Hammer: Private Eye (1997)
Okay. I have a base rule of not including shows as being connected if they are in fact connected because they were both based on same starting material. Say a book or a comic book. The Adventures Of Superman and Lois And Clark: The New Adventures Of Superman, for example, are only related because they are based on the same comic book but not directly related.
I'm bending that rule in this case. See, there are all these Mike Hammer shows starring Stacy Keach that are all tied together and that qualify for this page. Then there is an older Mike Hammer series from the 50's utterly separate from the Keach shows and only related because they are based on the same Mickey Spillane books. I'm bending the rules because I basically figured I already had to write a huge page on all the other Hammer shows so, screw it, lets just include it as well.
Mike Hammer was a hard bitten detective from a series of detective thrillers written by Mickey Spillane. In 1957 a syndicated show based on his adventures and called Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer hit the air and ran for two seasons. The show had all the action and tough guy exploits you would expect and that critics could condemn. Hammer was played by Darren McGavin who would later star in Kolchak: The Night Stalker as a reporter looking into supernatural goings on and also guest star in various episodes of Chris Carter's The X-Files and Millennium.
In 1984, Mike Hammer returned to TV on CBS in a new series once again titled Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer. Again, Mike was a badass who could take out the villains in violent style and still have enough energy to romance the voluptuous ladies on the show. Bringing Mike Hammer into the 1980's, Stacy Keach helped make the show a success. He was the tough good guy hero personified.
Well, until he got busted for possession of cocaine and went away to jail for awhile. It was just for six months but having the star of your show in jail can put a crimp in that production schedule and having your heroic lead exposed as a drug abuser doesn't help get people wanting to tune in and root for him. So bye bye Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer...
...And then hello to the comeback film The Return Of Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer. With Keach out of jail, a new Hammer TV movie was made to see if people would in fact still want to tune in to see Mike Hammer after all the controversy. Turns out they did and soon The New Mike Hammer was up and running in 1986. Mike was still one violent SOB. Not enough folks still cared though I guess. After a short run with the new name Mike Hammer faded to black again.
And then he came back again. For the love of Mike... I mean for the hate of Mike can't somebody just kill this show! It just won't die! In 1997 Stacy Keach was back in the syndicated Mike Hammer: Private Eye. Need I say it? He was still a badass gum shoe just an older badass gum shoe. This time Mike got lost in the syndicated shuffle. By 1997 there were TV networks and mini-netlets popping up all over the place. The room for original syndicated shows was shrinking like... like something really shrinky. Even if a syndicated show did find a home on a channel, unless it was Xena or Hercules that home was more than likely in the middle of the night right before or after an infomercial. The show just couldn't make a dent in the ratings and after one season Mike Hammer was finally whacked for good... for now... The New Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer: Private Eye anyone? Come on UPN, you're hurting bad enough to give it a shot.
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