An ex-New Yorker and a quiet guy from Minnesota became a police duo in sunny California in the series Starsky & Hutch.
Created by William Frederick Blinn and produced by Spelling Goldberg Productions, the show was based on Blinn’s observations of the relationships that developed between cops.
The production company did a 70 minute tv movie that was well-received and got the green light from ABC to start a series.
Paul Michael Glaser was Michael Starsky, the brash loudmouth who loved his red Ford Gran Torino, while the thoughtful Ken Hutchinson was played by David Soul, whose battered tan Ford Galaxie 500 occasionally made an appearance.
The cop duo wandered the streets of fictional Bay City, California, chasing after the bad guys, finding information from their guy Huggy Bear, played by Antonio Fargas, and reporting in to their Captain Harold Dobey, played by Bernie Hamilton.
The show covered many storylines from poverty and drugs to prostitution and murder – each one reflecting the changing society of the 1970s and a masculine view of the world.
Debuting on ABC TV in April 1975, the show was a hit with viewers for its unique writing and for revealing the friendship that developed between Starsky & Hutch. Even their informant Huggy Bear became so popular, a spin-off series was considered, a pilot created, but the response was lukewarm from viewers.
By the beginning of season three, Paul Michael Glaser wanted out of his contract to try to for the big screen. The producers offered him more money and creative control, which lasted for a season before he asked again for more, knowing the series was a hit and his star was rising in Hollywood.
But at the end of season four, the complaints by Glaser and his desire to leave as well as declining ratings resulted in ABC cancelling the series. But its lasting effect was on showing the close relationships that develop under the circumstances of being a police officer.