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The Thin Man (TV series)

The Thin Man
Kirk and Lawford as Nick and Nora with Asta, 1957.
Genre Comedy
Written by Ben Starr
Starring Peter Lawford
Phyllis Kirk
Country of origin USA
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 72
Running time 1/2 hour (25:33 minutes)
Production company(s) Clarington Productions
Distributor MGM Television
MGM/UA Television
Turner Entertainment Company
Warner Bros. Television Distribution (current)
Original channel NBC
Original release September 20, 1957 – August 28, 1959

The Thin Man is a half-hour weekly television series based on the mystery novel The Thin Man (1933) by Dashiell Hammett and the 1934 movie of the same name. The 72 episodes were produced by MGM Television and shown on NBC for two seasons from 1957–1959 on Friday evening. It was the first program produced for television by MGM.[1]


The series starred Peter Lawford and Phyllis Kirk as Nick and Nora Charles. The dog, Asta, was played by three identical wire-hair terriers.[1] Jack Albertson, Patricia Donahue, and Nita Talbot had recurring roles during the show's second season. Albertson played Lieutenant Harry Evans of the New York Police Department. Donahue played Hazel, Nick and Nora's neighbor. Talbot played Beatrice Dane, alias Blondie Collins, a criminal who dragged Nick and Nora into her schemes. Both Hazel and Beatrice made attempts to seduce Nick. Nora's jealousy fueled her sarcasm on these occasions.

A newspaper columnist wrote that Nora Charles' role was different from that of other female leads in detective programs on television. Kirk commented:

We were the first of the sophisticated detective dramas, and from the scripts it was simple to see that the part of Nora Charles was that of a leading lady who made more than token appearances. Since then some of the new shows just use girls as part of the scenery.[2]

Among the series guest stars was Billy Gray, who appeared at the same time he was cast as James "Bud" Anderson, Jr., in Father Knows Best. Ann McCrea was cast as Billie in the 1958 episode, "The Lost Last Chapter". Of note is the "guest star" in the episode "Robot Client", none other than the original Robby the Robot from the 1956 film "Forbidden Planet".

Ben Starr was the program's writer; Sam Marx was the executive producer.[1]


  1. ^ a b c "Hollywood Today". Eureka Humboldt Standard. July 3, 1957. p. 2. Retrieved April 13, 2015 – via  
  2. ^ Scott, Vernon (April 24, 1959). "Phylliss Kirk's Brain Power Keeps Her Flying on Series". The Daily Inter Lake. p. 10. Retrieved April 13, 2015 – via  

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