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TV’s Happy Valentines: Adorable Sleuthing Couples in McMillan & Wife, Remington Steele, and More

By Karen A. Romanko

Television has a long history of scripted shows with “adorable sleuthing couples,” as I like to call them. Starting with The Detective’s Wife in 1950, with Connie and Adam Conway (Lynn Bari and Donald Curtis), and continuing with Mr. & Mrs. North (1952-1954), among others, the formula is the same, plus or minus a detail. The husband is a professional detective, while the wife is a talented amateur, as with Mrs. North (Barbara Britton), who has a keen eye for detail and an impressive ability to read people. There’s lots of witty banter, and the crime investigation is played mostly for laughs, with some light thrills and romance thrown in for extra spice.

The 70s revisited this formula, and produced my favorite adorable sleuthing couple in McMillan & Wife (1971-1977), starring Rock Hudson and Susan Saint James as San Francisco Police Commissioner Stewart “Mac” McMillan and his hip, irrepressible wife Sally. Mac and Sally solve crimes together, even though Sal…

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