Mannix is an American television detective series that ran from 1967 through 1975 on CBS. Created by Richard Levinson and William Link and developed by executive producer Bruce Geller, the title character, Joe Mannix, is an Armenian-American private investigator. He is played by Mike Connors, an actor also of Armenian heritage.
During the first season of the series Joe Mannix worked for a large Los Angeles detective
agency called Intertect. His superior is Lew Wickersham, played by Joseph Campanella
. The agency features the use of computers to help solve crimes. Mannix belongs to the classic American detective archetype
and thus usually ignores the computers' solutions, disobeys his boss's orders and sets out to do things his own way.
From the second season on, Mannix worked on his own with the assistance of his loyal secretary Peggy Fair, a police officer's widow played by Gail Fisher (one of the first African-American actresses to have a regular series role). He also has assistance from the police department, the two most prominent officers being Lt. Art Malcolm (portrayed by Ward Wood) and Lt. Adam Tobias (portrayed by Robert Reed). Other police contacts were Lt. George Kramer (Larry Linville) and Lt. Dan Ives (Jack Ging).
Joe Mannix is a regular guy, without pretense, who has a store of Armenian proverbs to rely upon in conversation. What demons he has mostly come from his having fought in the U.S. Army
during the Korean War
. Unfortunately a sizeable percentage of his old Army "buddies" turn out to have homicidal impulses against him.
Joe Mannix is notable for taking a lot of physical punishment. During the course of the series he is shot and wounded (over a dozen separate times) or is knocked unconscious far more often. Whenever Mannix gets into one of his convertibles he can expect to be shot at from another car, run off the road by another car, or find his vehicle sabotaged. Nevertheless he keeps his cool and perseveres until his antagonists are brought down.
features a dynamic split-screen opening credits sequence set to theme music from noted composer Lalo Schifrin
. Unusual for a private detective series, the Mannix
theme is in triple time
, the same signature used for waltz
The show's title card, opening credits and closing credits roll are set in variations of the City typeface, a squared-off, split-serif face that was long used by IBM Corporation as part of their corporate design and still appears in their logo. This refers to the computers used by Intertect in the first season.
Midway through the opening credits, a screen layout appears bearing a resemblance to the Flag of Armenia, though it is unknown whether the staff did this intentionally.
For his work on Mannix
, Mike Connors was nominated for four Golden Globe Awards
, winning once, and for four Emmy Awards
. Gail Fisher
was nominated for four Emmy Awards, winning once, and for three Golden Globe Awards, winning twice.
The series itself was twice nominated for the Emmy Award for best dramatic series, and four times for the Golden Globe Award, winning once. In 1972, writer Mann Rubin won an Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America for the episode "A Step in Time".
CBS Paramount Television
(formerly Paramount Television), which gained ownership of Mannix
in 1967 following Gulf + Western's purchase of Desilu Productions
, syndicates the program. However, Paramount does not release episodes from the series' first and last seasons into syndication. The reasons for these episodes being omitted from Paramount's syndication packages is not known.
CBS Home Entertainment released the first season of Mannix on DVD in Region 1 on June 3, 2008. Season 2 is scheduled for release on January 6, 2009.
||Release Date |
| 1st Season
|| June 3 2008 |
In 1997, Mike Connors reprised the character on Diagnosis: Murder
in the episode “Hard-Boiled Murder”. The episode is actually a sequel to “Little Girl Lost” a 1973 Mannix
episode from the original series' seventh season, with many of the guest stars from that episode reprising their roles.
The automobile was a focus of Joe Mannix's professional life, and he had a several of them as his personal vehicle in the eight-year run of the series. Those were:
Peggy Fair's cars were less well publicized, but they are a Simca 1204, Dodge Colt sedan and finally a Chevrolet Vega.