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ENTERTAINMENT
October 8, 1986 | CLARKE TAYLOR
For Robert Urich, the return of TV's "Spenser: For Hire" for a second season means more than mere prime-time survival. It means a second shot at making the series about a Boston detective something special. "Last year, we laid a good, solid foundation, and now it's time to let Spenser branch out and blossom," Urich said in a recent interview on location here.
ARTICLES BY DATE
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 20, 2010 | By Dennis McLellan
Robert B. Parker, the best-selling author whose long-running "Spenser" private-eye novels updated the genre of hard-boiled detective fiction in the 1970s, has died. He was 77. Parker died Monday of a heart attack at his home in Cambridge, Mass., said his longtime literary agent, Helen Brann. "He was at his desk, working on a new book -- a new Spenser," Brann said. Once dubbed "the doyen of old-school, hard-boiled American pulp," the former English professor at Northeastern University in Boston wrote 60 novels -- 37 of them featuring his tough but literate private eye, Spenser, who debuted in "The Godwulf Manuscript" in 1973.
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NEWS
August 16, 1987 | Lawrence Eisenberg, Eisenberg is a novelist and magazine writer who lives in New York City. and
Look, up in the sky. It's a bird . . . It's a plane . . . It's "Spenser: For Hire." ABC's programmers must have thought their new detective show was Superman--or a kamikaze pilot--when they introduced it on Sept. 20, 1985, opposite "Miami Vice." When they came back from lunch and read the ratings, the programmers who still had jobs decided on a more prudent course: On Oct. 29, 1985, "Spenser" became a Tuesday-night fixture opposite "Hunter," where "Spenser" did well for 11 months.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 20, 2010 | By Sarah Weinman
Robert B. Parker, who died Monday in his Cambridge, Mass., home at age 77, spent his final moments doing exactly what he'd done for almost four decades: sitting at his desk, working on his next novel. He didn't concern himself with looking back. Instead, he wrote, and in the process irrevocably altered American detective fiction, forging a link between classic depictions and more contemporary approaches to the form. Parker produced more than five dozen books in a variety of styles, including westerns, historical fiction, a marriage memoir and a nonfiction account of horse racing.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 24, 1985 | MORGAN GENDEL
While "Cagney & Lacey" wrestles hypothetically with the subject of abortion on the Nov. 11 episode, as reported Wednesday in The Times, the issue will hit closer to home for the title character in "Spenser: For Hire" on Tuesday night. John Wilder, executive producer of the ABC series from Warner Bros. Television, Wednesday pointed out that on next week's "Spenser" episode--the first in its new Tuesday 10 p.m.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 20, 2010 | By Sarah Weinman
Robert B. Parker, who died Monday in his Cambridge, Mass., home at age 77, spent his final moments doing exactly what he'd done for almost four decades: sitting at his desk, working on his next novel. He didn't concern himself with looking back. Instead, he wrote, and in the process irrevocably altered American detective fiction, forging a link between classic depictions and more contemporary approaches to the form. Parker produced more than five dozen books in a variety of styles, including westerns, historical fiction, a marriage memoir and a nonfiction account of horse racing.
NEWS
March 6, 1988
I am upset. Why did ABC move "Spenser: For Hire" to Saturday evenings? I looked forward to sitting down on Sunday evenings to watch two great shows, "Spenser" and "21 Jump Street." Linda Joyce, Los Angeles
NEWS
May 29, 1988
Like David McNott (Viewers' Views, May 1), I too am amazed that "Spenser: For Hire" does not get better ratings. It's my favorite weekly program. I would never miss it. The cast is tops, especially Robert Urich and Avery Brooks. They are superb. Spenser's musings and the settings in Boston also add interest. Kay Hart, Glendale
NEWS
December 14, 1986
My utter bewilderment continues week after week as I watch "Spenser: For Hire." Why the producers decided to get rid of the Susan Silverman character is beyond me. The rapport between Spenser and Silverman was characterized by wit, warmth and a kind of playful romanticism that was nothing short of brilliant. And, adding insult to injury, the network decision-makers have replaced Spenser's love interest with a character more resembling a stone than a person. C'mon guys, let's worry less about formula and more about content.
NEWS
May 1, 1988
It is amazing to me that "Spenser: For Hire" does not fare better in the ratings. In my opinion, the show's popularity is likely to grow in syndication for many of the same reasons the original "Star Trek" series did: The characters are intriguing, the stories are riveting and each show has something to say about this thing called life. "Spenser" is a quality show in every sense of the word. David McNott, Claremont
ENTERTAINMENT
January 27, 2008 | David L. Ulin;Kristina Lindgren;Nick Owchar
Queen ELIZABETH I made him England's poet laureate. But the complete works of Edmund Spenser -- whose epic poem, "The Faerie Queene," so dazzled the monarch -- are hard to find these days. Now, thanks to Oxford University Press, a coterie of Spenserian scholars and a $150,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, an updated collection of the English master's prose and poetry is in the works. Joseph F. Loewenstein, a Renaissance literature expert at Washington University in St.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 17, 2002 | SUSAN KING, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Robert Urich, the personable actor best known for his tough-guy TV roles as Las Vegas private detective Dan Tana on "Vega$" and as Robert Parker's sophisticated Boston private investigator in "Spenser: For Hire," died Tuesday morning of cancer. He was 55. Urich, whose career spanned 30 years, died at the Los Robles Regional Medical Center in Thousand Oaks, said his publicist, Cindy Guagenti. His wife of 28 years, actress Heather Menzies, and his three children were with him at the time.
OPINION
July 1, 2001 | JOHN BALZAR
Robert B. Parker writes mystery books. He uses short, direct sentences. Very short. Very direct. His bread-and-butter hero is a droll, over-muscled, never-rattled private detective from Boston named Spenser. Spenser's approach to life, love, food and crime is as direct as Parker's sentences. That is to say, head-on. No double-talk. I have been a fan for years. But until now I have kept it to myself.
NEWS
April 10, 2000 | DICK LOCHTE, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
In the past 26 years, Robert B. Parker has written 36 books, a prodigious achievement by any standard. Even more remarkable, nearly all are worth reading. Most--26 by my count--have featured Parker's famous Boston private detective Spenser. Though, of late, the plots have thinned and Spenser's cool demeanor has slipped into smugness, the series has continued to be among the best of its kind. Last year's "Hush Money," for example, found author and creation at top form.
NEWS
July 18, 1999 | SUSAN KING, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Robert B. Parker admits he didn't watch many episodes of "Spenser for Hire," the 1985-88 ABC series based on his best-selling mystery novels about a principled Boston detective. "I had an ongoing involvement as a consultant," says Parker of the show which starred Robert Urich as Spenser and Avery Brooks as his streetwise friend, Hawk. "The job of the consultant, of course, is every Monday to take the check down to the bank to deposit it," Parker says, laughing.
NEWS
June 16, 1999 | DICK LOCHTE, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
When novelist Robert Crais introduced Elvis Cole in "The Monkey's Raincoat" a little over a decade ago, the West Coast private eye owed much to Robert B. Parker's well-established Boston sleuth, Spenser. Though younger and hipper (Spenser pounded the bags at Henry Cimoli's gym; Cole achieves mind-body perfection with taekwondo), he was just as fast with a quip and just as ruggedly efficient at solving crimes and sauteing veggies.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 20, 1985 | HOWARD ROSENBERG
This is TV history: the first time that two series premiering on consecutive nights on the same network each have a major character who wears a black stocking cap. Are ABC's "Spenser: For Hire" (10 tonight) and "Hollywood Beat" (8 Saturday night) the beginning of a major fashion trend? Will ABC's shrewd stocking-cap strategy work against the Friday night clothes horses on NBC's smash "Miami Vice?"
ENTERTAINMENT
May 14, 1986
With ABC's announcement late Monday that it will be introducing nine new series in the fall, the network's prime-time schedule will look like this: Sunday: "Disney Sunday Movie," "ABC Sunday Night Movie." Monday: "MacGyver," "Monday Night Football." Tuesday: "Who's the Boss?" "Growing Pains," "Moonlighting," "Our Kind of Town" (new). Wednesday: "Perfect Strangers," "Head of the Class" (new), "Dynasty," "Hotel." Thursday: "Our World" (new), "The Colbys," "20-20." Friday: "Webster," "Mr.
BOOKS
April 4, 1999
FICTION 1. SINGLE & SINGLE by John le Carre (Scribner: $26) Corrupt liaisons between the new Russian states and the West and of the downfall of two families. Last Week: 1; Weeks on List: 4 2. COWBOY by Sara Davidson (Cliff Street Books: $24) Every girl needs a cowboy. Especially if she is over 40 and thinks her days of passion are fading fast. Last Week: --; Weeks on List: 1 3. TESTAMENT by John Grisham (Doubleday: $27.
NEWS
March 24, 1999 | PAUL D. COLFORD, NEWSDAY
You could still pass through this life and never read or view anything written by Robert B. Parker. But it's now a lot harder. "Hush Money," Parker's 25th novel about Spenser, Boston's best-known private detective, will debut Sunday at No. 5 on the New York Times' national bestseller list.
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