9 Hard-Hitting Facts About ‘Hunter’
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Sometimes criticized as too violent for television during its initial run, on Hunter by-the-book police work doesn’t always cut it when taking down LA’s slimiest criminal elements. On this show, tough-minded renegades were essential if the LAPD was ever going to really take out the trash.
LAPD homicide detectives Sgt. Rick Hunter (Fred Dryer) and Sgt. Dee Dee McCall (Stepfanie Kramer) play by their own rules, rebellious law enforcers who aren’t afraid to do what it takes to see justice served.
1. ‘Hunter’ initially faced cancellation.
The series struggled at first, broadcast on NBC Friday nights, competing with the popular Dallas. In an attempt to attract viewers, a catchphrase was introduced (“Works for me”) and several episodes featured montages set to popular music, à la Miami Vice. Criticized for often graphic violence and facing cancellation for poor ratings, the show was put on hiatus by NBC, but the network gave it one more chance. After two months on the shelf, Hunter began airing on Saturday nights and viewership started to rise.
2. Roy Huggins saved the series in its second season.
The show’s second season benefited from the inclusion of Hollywood veteran Roy Huggins, who previously worked on Maverick, The Rockford Files and The Fugitive. Acting as executive producer, Huggins softened the violence, made Hunter less volatile, and placed an emphasis on the chemistry between Hunter and McCall. Also, the setting moved from the gritty and dangerous backstreets to posh areas of Los Angeles, and a Mob-related subplot from season one disappeared.