Switch (TV series)

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This article is about the US TV series. For the unrelated UK TV series of the same name, see Switch (UK TV series).
Switch
Eddie Albert Robert Wagner Switch 1975.JPG
Eddie Albert and Robert Wagner, 1975.
Format Crime/Action/Drama
Created by Glen A. Larson
Starring Eddie Albert
Robert Wagner
Charlie Callas
Sharon Gless
William Bryant
James Hong
Mindi Miller
Country of origin United States
No. of seasons 3
No. of episodes 70
Production
Executive producer(s) Glen A. Larson
Jon Epstein
Matthew Rapf
Running time 60 minutes
Broadcast
Original channel CBS
Original run September 9, 1975 (1975-09-09) – July 9, 1978 (1978-07-09)

Switch is an American action-adventure, tongue-in-cheek detective series starring Eddie Albert and Robert Wagner, who work as private eyes, for a deceptive sting operation. It was broadcast on the CBS network for three seasons between September 9, 1975 and August 20, 1978, bumping the Hawaii Five-O detective series to Friday nights.

TV series[edit]

History[edit]

It was inspired by the 1973 movie The Sting and was similar to The Rockford Files, which debuted a year earlier. It was created by Glen A. Larson. Donald P. Bellisario was one of the writers.

Plot[edit]

The series focused on two main characters, Frank MacBride (Eddie Albert), a retired bunco cop who once arrested Pete Ryan (Robert Wagner), who was an ex-con, before he served as his trusted crime-fighting partner. After Ryan's release, the two open up their own detective agency in Los Angeles that specializes in "out-conning the cons" by using the same sorts of double-crosses and deceptions used by con men in order to capture criminals. Assisting them is another former con man of Mac's, restaurant owner Malcolm Argos (Charlie Callas) who went straight and Maggie Philbin (Sharon Gless), Mac's and Pete's young receptionist who helps them out in each of the cases, known as the all-around girl Friday.

Originally, Switch started out as an adventure series, it did pretty well in the ratings at the end of the first year, in addition to Charlie Callas's contribution to the show. Midway through the second season, the show turned into a crime drama, playing second-only to shows like: Kojak, Hawaii Five-O, McMillan & Wife, Police Woman, The Streets of San Francisco, The Rockford Files, among many others. The series pilot for CBS aired on March 21, 1975, as a 90-minute made-for-television movie.

During the show's run the series became more serious in tone and more of a traditional crime drama.[citation needed] William Bryant joined the cast as Lt. Shilton. In the final season, Pete moves into an apartment above Malcolm's bar and Mindi Miller and James Hong joined the cast.

The modestly successful show was put on hiatus in early 1978, being replaced by The Incredible Hulk; it came back during the summer to air its final 10 episodes before ultimately being canceled that August because of low ratings. Years after the show was canceled, it began airing in reruns.

Cast[edit]

  • Eddie Albert - Frank "Mac" MacBride - A retired police officer
  • Robert Wagner - Peterson T. "Pete" Ryan - Mac's ex-con man turned partner
  • Charlie Callas - Malcolm Argos - Mac's ex-con man who worked at the restaurant recruited by Mac & Pete
  • Sharon Gless - Maggie Philbin - Mac's & Pete's classy receptionist who worked at MacBride & Ryan investigations
  • William Bryant - Lt. Shilton - Mac's & Pete's partner (seasons 2-3)
  • James Hong - Wang - Malcolm's cook (season 3)
  • Mindi Miller - Revel - Waitress who work at Malcolm's restaurant (season 3)
  • Anne Archer - Laurie - played one of the semi-regular cast of grifters who helped Mac and Pete with their sting operations. Although only seen in a handful of Season One episodes, she and her bikini stayed in the title sequences for all of Season One and at least part of Season Two.

Eddie Albert and Robert Wagner are the only two actors to appear in every episode. Sharon Gless appeared in all the episodes with the exception of three, and Charlie Callas missed four episodes throughout the run.

Episode titles[edit]

Season 1 (1975-1976)[edit]

Title Airdate
1 "The James Caan Con" 1975 September 9
2 "The Late Show Murders" 1975 September 16
3 "The Old Diamond Game" 1975 September 23
4 "Stung from Beyond" 1975 September 30
5 "The Deadly Missiles Caper" 1975 October 7
6 "The Man Who Couldn't Lose" 1975 October 14
7 "Death Heist" 1975 October 21
8 "The Body at the Bottom" 1975 November 4
9 "The Cruise Ship Murders" 1975 November 11
10 "Kiss of Death" 1975 November 25
11 "Death by Resurrection" 1975 December 2
12 "The Cold War Con" 1975 December 9
13 "Through the Past Deadly" 1975 December 16
14 "Mistresses, Murder and Millions" 1975 December 23
15 "The Walking Bomb" 1976 January 6
16 "Ain't Nobody Here Named Barney" 1976 January 13
17 "Come Die with Me" 1976 January 27
18 "One of Our Zeppelins Is Missing" 1976 February 10
19 "Before the Holocaust" 1976 February 17
20 "Big Deal in Paradise" 1976 February 24
21 "The Case of the Purloined Case" 1976 March 2
22 "The Girl on the Golden Strip" 1976 March 16
23 "Round Up the Usual Suspects" 1976 March 23
24 "Death Squad" 1976 April 6

Season 2 (1976-1977)[edit]

Title Airdate
25 "The Pirates of Tin Pan Alley" 1976 September 21
26 "The Twelfth Commandment" 1976 September 28
27 "Fleece of Snow" 1976 October 5
28 "The Argonaut Special" 1976 October 12
29 "The Things That Belong to Mickey Costello" 1976 October 19
30 "Quicker Than the Eye" 1976 November 9
31 "Gaffing the Skim" 1976 November 16
32 "The Lady from Liechtenstein (Part 1)" 1976 November 23
33 "The Lady from Liechtenstein (Part 2)" 1976 November 30
34 "Switch Hitter" 1976 December 7
35 "Maggie's Hero" 1976 December 14
36 "The Hundred Thousand Ruble Rumble" 1976 December 21
37 "Portraits of Death" 1977 January 4
38 "The Snitch" 1977 January 16
39 "Eyewitness" 1977 January 23
40 "Camera Angles" 1977 January 30
41 "Butterfly Mourning" 1977 February 6
42 "The Four Horsemen" 1977 February 13
43 "Eden's Gate" 1977 February 20
44 "The Hemline Heist" 1977 February 27
45 "Three for the Money" 1977 March 6
46 "Two on the Run" 1977 March 13
47 "Whatever Happened to Carol Harmony?" 1977 March 27
48 "Heritage of Death" 1977 April 3

Season 3 (1977-1978)[edit]

Title Airdate
49 "Net Loss" 1977 September 23
50 "Downshift" 1977 September 30
51 "Fade Out" 1977 October 14
52 "Legend of the Macunas (Part 1)" 1977 October 21
53 "Legend of the Macunas (Part 2)" 1977 October 21
54 "Dancer" 1977 December 5
55 "Go for Broke" 1977 December 12
56 "Lady of the Deep" 1977 December 19
57 "Thirty Thousand Witnesses" 1977 December 26
58 "Dangerous Curves" 1978 January 2
59 "The Tong" 1978 January 9
60 "Who Killed Lila Craig?" 1978 January 16
61 "The Cage" 1978 June 25
62 "Coronado Circle" 1978 July 2
63 "Blue Crusaders Reunion" 1978 July 9
64 "Stolen Island (a.k.a. Death Island)" 1978 July 16
65 "Play-Off" 1978 July 23
66 "Mexican Standoff" 1978 July 30
67 "Three Blond Mice" 1978 August 6
68 "The Siege at the Bouziki Bar" 1978 August 13
69 "Formula for Murder" 1978 August 20
70 "Photo Finish" 1978 September 3

See also[edit]

  • McCoy, a similarly themed TV series that also debuted in 1975.

External links[edit]