A Man Called Hawk

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A Man Called Hawk
Genre Drama
Created by Robert B. Parker
(lead character)
Developed by Stephen Hattman
William Robert Yates
Starring Avery Brooks
Moses Gunn
Opening theme Stanley Clarke
Avery Brooks
Lawrence "Butch" Morris
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 13
Running time 60 minutes
Production company(s) Warner Bros. Television
Original network ABC
Original release January 28 – May 13, 1989
Preceded by Spenser: For Hire

A Man Called Hawk is a prime time television series that ran on the ABC television network between January 1989 and May 1989. The series is a spin-off of the crime drama series Spenser: For Hire, and features the character Hawk, who first appeared in the 1976 novel Promised Land, the fourth in the series of Spenser novels by mystery writer Robert B. Parker.

Avery Brooks reprised the role of Hawk in four subsequent TV movies: Spenser: Ceremony (1993), Spenser: Pale Kings and Princes (1994), Spenser: The Judas Goat (1994), and Spenser: A Savage Place (1995). Each is considered a sequel to Spenser: For Hire.


On the air for just thirteen episodes, A Man Called Hawk starred Avery Brooks as the title character, who has relocated from Boston to his hometown, Washington, D.C. The series co-starred actor Moses Gunn, who portrayed a father figure to Hawk known only as "Old Man". It was a spin-off of the recently cancelled Spenser: For Hire, which aired on ABC from 1985 through 1988. Brooks co-wrote the theme music for the show with jazz legends Stanley Clarke and Butch Morris, the latter of whom also did most of the incidental music for the show.

During the first three seasons of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Brooks wore a full head of hair and shaved his goatee, as a means of distinguishing his character Benjamin Sisko from Hawk. However, the goatee was added to Sisko's look near the end of Season 3, and his head was permanently shaven at the start of Season 4. Also on Deep Space Nine, Sisko's old friend and mentor, Dax, was called 'Old Man' by Brooks' character.



On Spenser: For Hire, the character of Hawk was defined by his sharp outfits, streetwise manner, sunglasses (worn even at night) and the incredibly large long barreled Colt Python .357 Magnum revolver that he carried with him nearly everywhere. He most often acted as a street resource for his private detective friend Spenser. Notably, Hawk had a clean shaven head, well before Michael Jordan and other celebrities popularized the look in the 1990s.

After spinning off to his own series, Hawk became less of an anti-hero and more of a traditional champion of people that needed help and could not fight for themselves. A deeper personal history was developed for the character, and Hawk became more of a Renaissance man, displaying talents for boxing, chess, playing jazz, and an appreciation of fine African art.

Additionally, the character Hawk appeared in two TV movies with no connection to either Spenser: For Hire or A Man Called Hawk. In Spenser: Small Vices (1999), Hawk was portrayed by Shiek Mahmud-Bey. In Walking Shadow (2001), the role went to Ernie Hudson. See Spenser (TV movies).

List of episodes[edit]

Episode Production Airdate Title Notable Guest Stars
1 101 January 28, 1989 "The Master's Mirror" Angela Bassett, Vondie Curtis-Hall
2 102 February 4, 1989 "A Time and a Place" Anthony LaPaglia, Jay O. Sanders
3 103 February 11, 1989 "Hear No Evil" Charles S. Dutton, Lorraine Toussaint
4 104 February 18, 1989 "Passing the Bar" Earle Hyman
5 105 February 25, 1989 "The Divided Child" Mary McDonnell, James McDaniel
6 106 March 4, 1989 "Vendetta" Keith David, Delroy Lindo
7 107 March 11, 1989 "Choice of Chance" Wesley Snipes, Joe Morton, Charles S. Dutton
8 108 March 25, 1989 "Poison" William Fichtner, Joseph C. Phillips
9 109 April 1, 1989 "Never My Love" Angela Bassett, Wendell Pierce
10 110 April 15, 1989 "Intensive Care" Samuel L. Jackson, Olivia Cole
11 111 April 29, 1989 "If Memory Serves" Nathan George
12 112 May 6, 1989 "Beautiful Are the Stars" Chris Noth, Karen Malina White, Valerie Simpson
13 113 May 13, 1989 "Life after Death" Thomas Hearns, Paul Guilfoyle, Kasi Lemmons


The TV One network resumed airing episodes of A Man Called Hawk in September 2006.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]