Dear Hollywood: NBC Mystery Movie Revamp

Okay, NBC, here’s a free idea for you:  Revamp the NBC Mystery Movie series.  There you go, NBC.  You’re welcome.

For those of you NBC Bigwigs who don’t know, the NBC Mystery Movie ran in the early-mid 1970s, and was a weekly series of recurring/rotating programs, most notably Columbo starring Peter Falk, McCloud starring Dennis Weaver, and McMillan and Wife starring Rock Hudson and Susan St. James.  There were other, lesser, series throughout the run, but these three were the major players.

Obviously, they’d each have to be recast with today’s crop of talent.  No fear, I’m here to assist you with that, too.

Let’s start with Columbo.  In the original, Peter Falk played the wily, seemingly absent-minded LAPD detective who always ended up a couple of steps ahead of the Villain-Of-The-Week.  I have the perfect actor for you, NBC.  He’s currently a hot-commodity movie actor, but you might be able to lure him into TV.  Not only does he bear a resemblance to Falk (which, admittedly has its pluses and minuses), but he’s an actor who seems to have that Falk naturalness and likability.  Like I said, he’s a perfect candidate.  Call his agent right now.   He is Mark Ruffalo:

Mark Ruffalo











He is, unquestionably, this century’s perfect Columbo.

So, Columbo is cast.  Let’s move on to McCloud.

McCloud was another detective (actually a Marshall) series.  It was about a New Mexico Marshall who was transplanted (along with his horse, even) to New York City, and starred Dennis Weaver.

Again, I have a terrific casting choice for you.  Although, there may be issues since this actor is already involved in a tv series about a marshal.  The FX show Justified.  I think Timothy Olyphant would be a fantastic McCloud.  

Timothy Olyphant










Like Ruffalo, he bears a resemblance to his predecessor.  Slap a moustache and cowboy hat on him and let him go.  Can you think of a better modern-day McCloud?

Now, onto McMillan and Wife.  This was, admittedly, my least favourite of the three NBC Mystery Movie series.  But I think there needs to be a rotation of three different series, so I’m going to include it.

It starred Rock Hudson (as a San Fransisco Police Commissioner) and Susan St.James (as his wife).  Who to cast, you ask?  Honestly, I’m not sure.  Nobody is really coming to mind.  The only name I came up with is Patrick Warburton (Puddy from Seinfeld) which is not the right choice, I freely admit. So, Hollywood, I’ll leave it to you to come up with new casting for McMillan and Wife.


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