Starsky and Hutch (usually written as Starsky & Hutch) is an American action drama television series created by William Blinn which follows the adventures of two Southern California policemen: David Starsky, a streetwise detective with intense, sometimes childlike moods; and Kenneth 'Hutch' Hutchinson, a more reserved and intellectual character.
Under the radio call sign "Zebra Three", they were known for usually tearing around the streets of the fictional California city Bay City.
The series aired in the USA on ABC from 30 April, 1975 to 15 May, 1979. There are 93 episodes in four seasons, including an extended pilot episode.
The series originally aired in South Africa on the old SABC service in the late 70s and early 80s. It premiered on TopTV's Fox Retro channel on Wednesday 2 June 2010, at 19h40. See "Seasons" below for seasonal broadcast dates and times.
Season 3 premiered on Fox Retro on Wednesday 27 April 2011, at 20h30. New episodes broadcast weekly at 20h30, preceded by a repeat of the previous episode at 19h40. There are 23 episodes in the third season.
The protagonists are two Southern California policemen: the dark-haired Brooklyn transplant David Starsky (Paul Michael Glaser), a streetwise detective with intense, sometimes childlike moods; and the blond Duluth, Minnesota native Kenneth 'Hutch' Hutchinson (David Soul), a more reserved and intellectual character.
Under the radio call sign "Zebra Three", they are known for usually tearing around the streets of the fictional California city Bay City.
The vehicle of choice is Starsky's two-door Ford Gran Torino, which is red with a large white vector stripe. It is nicknamed the "Striped Tomato" by Hutch in the episode "Snowstorm"; the nickname was subsequently adopted by the fans of the series.
However, the term didn't come from the writers - it came from a real-life comment that Glaser made. In a segment titled Starsky & Hutch: Behind The Badge that was featured on the first season DVD collection, Glaser stated that when he was first shown the Torino by Aaron Spelling, he sarcastically said to Soul, "That thing looks like a striped tomato!"
Hutch also has a car, a battered tan 1973 Ford Galaxie 500, which occasionally appears when the duo needed separate vehicles or for undercover work.
Their main underworld contact is the street-wise, jive-talking Huggy Bear (Antonio Fargas), who often dresses extravagantly and runs his own bar named Huggy Bear's, later The Pits.
The duo's boss is the gruff, no-nonsense but fair Captain Harold C. Dobey, played by Bernie Hamilton in the series (gravel-voiced actor Richard Ward in the pilot).
Starsky and Hutch was one of the first prime-time dramatic shows to cast black characters in a positive light; with both Captain Dobey, and—despite his walking on the edge of the law—the honest and trustworthy Huggy seen to be positive black role models.
Huggy's immense popularity caused Spelling and Goldberg to consider giving Fargas his own series. The second season episode "Huggy Bear and the Turkey" was the test pilot for a proposed spin off with Huggy and his friend, former Sheriff "Turkey" Turquet (Dale Robinette) becoming private investigators.
However, the premise proved unpopular with viewers and it never led to a series. In the episode it was revealed that Huggy's last name is Brown (no clue as to his first name was given).
Two character names came from William Blinn's past: "Starsky" was the name of a high school friend, and "Huggy Bear" was a local disc jockey.
Note: this information is for the run of the show on Fox Retro only. Broadcast details for the original run of the show on the SABC are not available.
Season 1 (23 episodes)
Premiere: 2 June 2010 | Finale: 27 October 2010 | Wednesdays, 20h30
Season 2 (25 episodes)
Premiere: 3 November 2010 | Finale: 20 April 2011 | Wednesdays, 20h30
Season 3 (23 episodes)
Premiere: 27 April 2011 | Finale: 28 September 2011 | Wednesdays, 20h30
Season 4 (22 episodes)
Premiere: 5 October 2011 | Finale: 29 February 2012 | Wednesdays, 20h30