Mannix is an American television detective series that ran from 1967
to 1975 on CBS. Created by
Richard Levinson and
William Link and
developed by executive producer Bruce Geller, the title character, Joe
Mannix, is a private investigator. He was played by Mike Connors.
2.1 Appearances on other shows
3.1 Mannix's automobiles
5 Awards and honors
7 Royalties lawsuit
8 DVD releases
11 External links
During the first season of the series, Joe
Mannix works for a large
Los Angeles detective agency called Intertect, which was the planned
original title of the show. His superior is Lew Wickersham, played
by Joseph Campanella, with the agency featuring the use of computers
to help solve crimes.
As opposed to the other employees who must wear dark suits and sit in
rows of desks with only one piece of paper allowed to be on their
desks at one time,
Mannix belongs to the classic American detective
archetype, thus he usually ignores the computers' solutions, disobeys
his boss's orders, and sets out to do things his own way. He wears
plaid sport coats and has his own office that he keeps sloppy between
his assignments. Lew has cameras in all the rooms of Intertect
monitoring the performance of his employees and providing instant
feedback through intercoms in the room. Unlike the other Intertect
Mannix attempts to block the camera with a coat rack and
insults Lew, comparing him to Big Brother.
To improve the ratings of the show,
Lucille Ball and
Bruce Geller made some changes, making the show similar to
other private-eye shows. Ball thought the computers were too high-tech
and beyond the comprehension of the average viewer of the time and had
From the second season on,
Mannix works 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 black actresses to have a regular
series role. He also has a working relationship with the Los Angeles
Police Department, as he will often exchange information with his
contacts. The first of these to have a featured role was Lieutenant
George Kramer, portrayed by Larry Linville, who had been the partner
of Peggy's late husband. Over the course of the series, Mannix's
most frequently used contact is Lieutenant Art Malcolm, played by Ward
Wood. Another semi-regular guest, although not as frequent, was Robert
Reed, whose appearances as Lieutenant Adam Tobias coincided with his
tenure on The Brady Bunch, which also was produced by Paramount
Jack Ging played another
Mannix contact, Lieutenant Dan
Ives, who made several appearances later in the series.
In the 1969 season, he also employs the services of a competitive
private investigator, Albie Loos (performed by Joe Mantell), as a sort
of investigative gofer. In the 1972 season, Albie returns, played by a
different actor (Milton Selzer).
Mannix was not generally known as a show that explored socially
relevant topics, several episodes had topical themes. Season two had
episodes featuring compulsive gambling, deaf and blind characters
who were instrumental in solving cases in spite of their physical
limitations, and episodes that focused on racism against Blacks
and Hispanics. Season six had an episode focusing on the
Vietnam War had on returning veterans, including the
effects of PTSD.
Joseph R. "Joe"
Mannix is a regular guy, without pretense, who has a
store of proverbs on which to rely in conversation. What demons he has
mostly come from having fought in the U.S. Army during the Korean War,
where he was initially listed as MIA while he was a prisoner of
war in a brutal POW camp until he escaped. Over the length of the
series, a sizable percentage of his old Army comrades turn out to have
homicidal impulses against him, as does his
fellow running back from his college football days.
During the series,
Mannix is also revealed to have worked as a
mercenary in Latin America. Like the actor who plays him, Mannix
is of Armenian descent, despite the surname being traditionally an
Irish one. He speaks fluent Armenian from time to time during the
series, as well as conversational Spanish.
Mannix is notable for the high level of physical punishment he
withstands. During the course of the series, he is shot and wounded
over a dozen separate times, and knocked unconscious around 55
times. He frequently takes brutal beatings to the abdomen; some of
these went on quite a long time, particularly by the television
standards of the era. Whenever he gets into one of his convertibles,
he can expect to be shot at or 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.
While making the television pilot "The Name Is Mannix", Connors
dislocated his shoulder running away from a From Russia with
Love–type pursuit from a helicopter, and broke his left wrist
punching a stuntman who happened to be wearing a steel plate on his
back. This character aspect was lampooned multiple times by radio
comedians Bob and Ray, as "Blimmix", portrayed as dim-witted, and
ending with Blimmix being soundly beaten by his adversary. These
parodies retained the Lalo Schifrin–composed theme song at the
beginning and conclusion.
Connors later expressed his concerns over what he saw as the show's
dismissive attitude toward violence and its consequences, citing the
Mannix being thrown down a flight of stairs and appearing
without a scratch almost immediately after.
Starting in season two,
Mannix lives and works in
West Los Angeles
West Los Angeles in
a mixed-use development called Paseo Verde; his home at 17 Paseo Verde
has an attached office out of which he runs his agency.
Mannix grew up
in a town called Summer Grove, where he was a star football and
basketball player. Summer Grove had a thriving Armenian immigrant
community. As of 1969, Mannix's mother had died 10 years earlier, and
Mannix had not been back to the town since the funeral. Mannix's
estranged father, Stefan, was still living in Summer Grove, and Mannix
and his father would start a reconciliation. When
to Summer Grove for a case three years later, his father and he are on
Following military service in the Korean War,
Mannix attended Western
Pacific University on the GI Bill, graduated in 1955, and obtained his
private investigator's license in 1956. He is a black belt in karate.
Throughout the series, he appears proficient in a variety of athletic
pursuits, including sailing, horseback riding, and skiing. He is an
accomplished pool player, golfs regularly, and is also a skilled
airplane pilot. In the first season, he carries a Walther PP
semiautomatic pistol. From the second season on,
Mannix carries a Colt
Special snubnosed revolver in
.38 Special caliber.[citation
Appearances on other shows
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In 1971, Connors guest-starred on an episode of
Here's Lucy entitled
Mannix Are Held Hostage".
In 1997, Connors reprised the role of
Mannix on an episode of
Diagnosis: Murder entitled "Hard-Boiled Murder", which serves as a
sequel to the
Mannix episode "Little Girl Lost".
"Mannix" was used as a reference several times by Mystery Science
Theater 3000 when there was a foot chase or a fight.
Gary Morton, the second husband of
Lucille Ball and head of Desilu
Studios, noticed a 1937
Bentley convertible being driven by Mike
Connors. A car enthusiast, Morton began talking about cars to Connors
when he remembered a
Desilu detective show coming up in which he
thought Connors would do well.
Mannix was initially a production of
Desilu Productions, which had
been purchased by
Gulf + Western
Gulf + Western earlier in 1967. During the first
Gulf + Western
Gulf + Western integrated Desilu's operations into its
Paramount Pictures subsidiary and the company became Paramount
Television. The series featured 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 waltzes.
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. The dot over the "i" in Mannix
had the appearance of a computer tape reel. This was removed after the
Over the life of the series, several famous entertainers were featured
in one-time roles, including
Neil Diamond and
Buffalo Springfield as
Lou Rawls as a club singer,
Rich Little as an
Milton Berle as a stand-up comedian. Essay humorist
Art Buchwald also had a cameo role unrelated to journalism, and in
Rona Barrett played herself.
The automobile was a focus of Mannix's professional life, and he had
several of them as his personal vehicle in the eight-year run of the
series. Those were:
Season 1 – 1966
Mercury Comet Caliente convertible (pilot episode:
"The Name Is Mannix"), 1967
Mercury Comet Cyclone convertible (one
episode only: "Skid Marks on a Dry Run"), 1967
Ford Galaxie 500
four-door hardtop then a 1967 Ford Fairlane 500 four-door sedan after
the Galaxie got shot up – both were Intertect company cars (one
episode only: "The Cost of a Vacation"). In all other season-one
Mannix drove a 1967 Oldsmobile Toronado roadster customized
by George Barris, builder of TV's Batmobile from the 1960s Batman ABC
series, since the producers wanted a convertible and Oldsmobile never
produced an open-topped Toronado. Due to a change in episode run order
("The Cost of a Vacation" was the second episode of
Mannix shot after
the pilot, although it was the sixth episode
CBS broadcast), the
one-shot appearances of the Galaxie and Fairlane were after the
Toronado had been established as Mannix's car.
Season 2 – 1968 Dodge Dart GTS 340 convertible "kustomized" by
George Barris with functional hood scoops, Lucas Flamethrower driving
lights, blacked-out grille, racing-style gas filler cap, molded-in
rear spoiler, blacked out tail light panel, and custom tail light
lenses. The car was originally red, but Executive Producer Bruce
Geller wanted it changed to a British Racing Green, which Barris did.
(This car still retains its original red paint under the carpet.) A
Motorola car-phone (a remarkably expensive and rare item in 1968) was
installed. Rader mag wheels like those on the Batmobile were
originally installed by Barris, but changed later in the 1968 season
to Cragar S/S chrome wheels. George Barris also installed his own
"Barris Kustoms" emblem on the lower part of each front fender. No
Mannix Darts were built; it is a "1 of 1" car. This car
was used in both the 1968 and 1969 seasons of Mannix.
Though a 1969 Dart was built by Barris to replicate this car in the
show's 1969 season, the 1968 Dart was regularly seen during the 1969
season. (In the 1969 episode "A Penny for the Peep Show", both the
1968 and 1969 Darts are used in the same shot, to elude a police tail
on Mannix, but no explanation in the episode was given for why or how
two identically customized green Dart convertibles show up together.)
In further tracing the car's history, the 1968 Dart was reportedly
sold to a secretary at Paramount Studios and then was lost for decades
until being discovered near a ranger station in the California
mountains. It has since been restored to its original Mannix/Barris
condition and was featured in Hemmings Muscle Machines, December 2009
Mannix Dart and its intriguing history was also featured on
the TV show Drive on Discovery HD Theater in 2010. The TV show
reunited the car with
Mike Connors for the first time in over 40
years. The car is currently owned by C. Van Tune, former
editor-in-chief of Motor Trend magazine, who conducted the TV
Mike Connors and who also wrote an article on the
Mannix Dart for the summer 2011 issue of Motor Trend Classic magazine.
In that article, the Dart is reunited with Mike Connors, George
Mannix stuntman Dick Ziker.
Another article on the famous Dart was published in the October 2011
issue of Mopar Action magazine. An article in the New York Times (July
22, 2012) included information on the 1968
Mannix Dart and a recent
Mike Connors with the car. The
Mannix Dart was also mentioned
on Sirius/XM Radio's "60s on 6" channel by disc jockey Mike Kelly.
Season 3 – 1969 Dodge Dart GTS 340 convertible "kustomized" by
George Barris to replicate the 1968 Dart: This car was totalled in a
wreck soon after being sold, following its use on the series.
Season 4 – 1970 Plymouth Cuda 340 dark green convertible
Season 5 – 1971 Plymouth Cuda convertible, actually, three 1971s
(all dark green with green interiors and black soft tops), were
Chrysler Corporation, and all had differently sized (318,
340, 383) engines. One was wrecked, but later repaired. One episode
the hood is raised, dynamite discovered, and the air cleaner reads
Season 6 – 1973 Plymouth Cuda convertible (actually two of the 1971
cars updated with 1973 grilles, headlamps, front fenders, front/rear
bumpers, and tail lights)
Season 7 – 1974 Dodge Challenger 360 Coupe: Two were built
especially for the show, and had every available option installed,
including the rare factory sunroof. Mild Barris customizing included
Cragar S/S 15-inch chrome wheels, G60x15 Goodyear radial tires, and an
upper body pinstripe.
Season 8 – Chevrolet Camaro LT, and a red 1975 Chevrolet Impala 2
door with a white convertible.
Peggy Fair's cars were less prominent, but in seasons two through
eight, they included a Simca 1000,
Simca 1204 hatchback, Dodge Colt
hardtop, and finally a
Chevrolet Vega hatchback.
Main article: List of
September 16, 1967 (1967-09-16)
March 16, 1968 (1968-03-16)
September 28, 1968 (1968-09-28)
April 12, 1969 (1969-04-12)
September 27, 1969 (1969-09-27)
March 21, 1970 (1970-03-21)
September 19, 1970 (1970-09-19)
March 13, 1971 (1971-03-13)
September 15, 1971 (1971-09-15)
March 8, 1972 (1972-03-08)
September 17, 1972 (1972-09-17)
March 11, 1973 (1973-03-11)
September 16, 1973 (1973-09-16)
March 31, 1974 (1974-03-31)
September 22, 1974 (1974-09-22)
April 13, 1975 (1975-04-13)
Awards and honors
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 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".
Lalo Schifrin composed the music for the series. The theme "Mannix",
with the B-side "End Game", was released as a single in 1969.
In May 2011, Connors filed suit in Los Angeles Superior Court against
CBS Television Studios, claiming that he was never paid
royalties from the
Mannix series. With the release of the series
on DVD, the case was later settled out of court in November of that
CBS Home Entertainment (distributed by Paramount) has released all
eight seasons of
Mannix on DVD in Region 1.
On May 9, 2017
CBS DVD released Mannix- The Complete series on DVD in
In Region 4, Shock has released the first three seasons on DVD in
The First Season
June 3, 2008
August 10, 2010
The Second Season
January 6, 2009
October 12, 2010
The Third Season
October 27, 2009
February 9, 2011
The Fourth Season
January 4, 2011
The Fifth Season
July 5, 2011
The Sixth Season
January 24, 2012
The Seventh Season
July 3, 2012
The Eighth and Final Season
December 4, 2012
The Complete Series
May 9, 2017
CBS Television Distribution
CBS Television Distribution holds the distribution rights for Mannix,
but does not offer the complete series (only 130 episodes) for local
stations. Portions of season seven and the entire first and final
seasons are not offered.
The show has also aired in its entirety on Heroes & Icons and
currently airs on MeTV.
^ a b "YouTube".
^ p.41 Snauffer, Douglas Crime Television 2006 Greenwood Publishing
Mannix - Season 2, Episode 24 - "Merry Go Round for Murder"
Mannix - season 2, episode 21 - "Odds Against Donald Jordan"
Mannix - season 2, episode 1 - "The Silent Cry",
Mannix - season 2, episode 23 - "The Solid Gold Web"
Mannix - season 2, episode 18 - "Death in a Minor Key"
Mannix - season 2, episode 22 - "Last Rites For Miss Emma"
^ a b
Mannix - season 2, episode 25 - "To Catch A Rabbit"
Mannix - season 6, episode 7 - "To Kill A Memory"
^ a b c
Mannix - season 3, episode 3 - "Return to Summer Grove"
^ a b
Mannix - season 2, episode 19 - "End Game"
Mannix - season 2, episode 13 - "Death Run"
Mannix - season 4, episode 1 - "A Ticket to the Eclipse"
Mannix - season 6, episode 16 - "The Man Who Wasn't There"
Mannix - season 8, episode 7 - "A Small Favor for an Old Friend"
Mannix - season 8, episode 13 - "A Word Called Courage"
Mannix - season 6, episode 24 - "The Danford File"
Mannix - season 1, episode 6 - "The Cost of a Vacation"
Mannix - season 1, episode 10 - "Coffin for a Clown"
^ a b
Mannix - season 5, episode 4 - "Wine From These Grapes"
Mannix - season 6, episode 10 - "Harvest of Death"
^ Neely Tucker (November 18, 2007). "
Mannix Was the Man". Washington
Post. Retrieved 2007-11-18.
Mannix was, by one count, shot 17 times
and knocked unconscious another 55 during the show's eight-year run,
and how great is that?
^ Aaker, Everette Encyclopedia of Early Television Crime Fighters (p.
140), 2006 McFarland.
^ Brooks, Tim; Marsh, Earle (2007). The Complete Directory to Prime
Time Network and Cable TV Shows 1946-Present (Ninth Edition).
Ballantine Books. p. 1685-1687.
^ Belloni, Matthew (May 19, 2011). "'Mannix' Star
Mike Connors Sues
CBS, Paramount for Unpaid Profits (Exclusive)". The Hollywood
^ Johnson, Ted (July 6, 2012). "Studios, stars tussle over enduring
value of hit TV shows". The Hollywood Reporter.
Mannix DVD news: Announcement for The Complete Series -
^ "MANNIX". syndicationbible.cbstvd.com.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Mannix.
Mannix on IMDb
Mannix at TV.com
DVD review of series and production history
Golden Globe Award
Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series – Drama
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