This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.Find sources: "Hart to Hart" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (October 2017) (Learn how and when to remove this message)
Hart to Hart
Created bySidney Sheldon
Developed byTom Mankiewicz
Creative directorTom Mankiewicz (credited as "creative consultant")
Theme music composerMark Snow
ComposerDon Davis
Country of originUnited States
No. of seasons5
No. of episodes110 (list of episodes)
Executive producers
  • David Levinson (1979–80)
  • Mart Crowley (1980–83)
  • Leigh Vance (1983–84)
Running time44–49 minutes
96 minutes (pilot)
Production companies
Original release
ReleaseAugust 25, 1979 (1979-08-25) –
May 22, 1984 (1984-05-22)

Hart to Hart is an American mystery television series that premiered on August 25, 1979, on ABC. The show stars Robert Wagner and Stefanie Powers as Jonathan and Jennifer Hart, respectively, a wealthy couple who lead a glamorous jetset lifestyle and regularly find themselves working as unpaid detectives in order to solve crimes in which they become embroiled. The series was created by novelist and television writer Sidney Sheldon. The series ended after five seasons on May 22, 1984, but was followed by eight made-for-television movies, from 1993 to 1996.


The premise of the show is summed up in the opening credits sequence, narrated by Max, the Harts' majordomo (Lionel Stander), as he introduces the characters:

This is my boss – Jonathan Hart, a self-made millionaire. He's quite a guy.
This is Mrs. H – she's gorgeous. What a terrific lady.
By the way, my name is Max. I take care of them - which ain't easy; 'cause their hobby is - murder.

Several early first season episodes originally included a slightly differently worded intro, with some alternative accompanying shots. This is replaced with the standard first season opening in syndication and later digital releases:

This is my boss – Mr. Jonathan Hart, self-made millionaire and quite a guy.
This here's his wife, Mrs. H – yeah, she's gorgeous, but don't let her looks deceive you.
Oh, and me? My name is Max. I'm their chauffeur... among other things, and it's my job to try and take care of them - which ain't easy; 'cause when they meet... it's murder.

Beginning with Season 2 onward, the opening lines were slightly changed:

This is my boss – Jonathan Hart, a self-made millionaire. He's quite a guy.
This is Mrs. H – she's gorgeous. She's one lady who knows how to take care of herself.
By the way, my name is Max. I take care of both of them – which ain't easy; 'cause when they met, it was murder.

Jonathan Hart (Robert Wagner) is the CEO of Hart Industries, a global conglomerate based in Los Angeles. His wife Jennifer (Stefanie Powers) is a freelance journalist. Living the jetset lifestyle, the Harts often find themselves involved in cases of smuggling, theft, corporate and international espionage and, most commonly, murder. At their opulent Bel Air estate, they are assisted by Max (Lionel Stander), their shared mansion's loyal, gravel-voiced majordomo, who also helps with their cases. The Harts' beloved pet dog is a Löwchen called Freeway, so named because he was a stray that they found wandering on the freeway. The Harts own a Mercedes-Benz 300 TD diesel wagon, a dark green Rolls-Royce Corniche convertible (replacing the Series III Bentley custom cabriolet in the first season), and a yellow Mercedes-Benz SL roadster (1979 450 SL, replaced by a 1981 380 SL) with personalized California vanity plates "3 HARTs", "2 HARTs", and "1 HART" respectively. The opening credits sequence (stock footage drawn from the series pilot) also shows Jonathan Hart driving a red Dino 246 GTS. They also own a Grumman Gulfstream II private jet, which is featured at the start of the opening credits.

Critics have long noted that the premise of Hart to Hart strongly resembles that of The Thin Man series of 1930s and 1940s films and 1950s The Thin Man television series, which also depicted a wealthy and glamorous crime-fighting couple that had a dog, and no children.[1][2][3]


Screenwriter and novelist Sidney Sheldon had originally written a script for CBS, titled Double Twist, in the early 1970s; it was about a married couple who were also both spies. The script remained unfilmed for several years before producers Aaron Spelling and Leonard Goldberg decided to update the idea for a potential television series. They offered the script to screenwriter Tom Mankiewicz, who had by that time written several screenplays, including three of the James Bond films.

Their instruction to Mankiewicz was to update the script to make it more contemporary and viable for a potential weekly series. They also told Mankiewicz that if his draft was successful, he would also be able to direct the pilot episode himself.[4] Mankiewicz reworked Sheldon's original script and it was renamed Hart to Hart, emphasizing the romantic aspect of the couple. Mankiewicz also made his directorial debut with the pilot episode as planned, and remained a creative consultant to the series afterwards. The first ten episodes were developed by Mankiewicz and the series's original story editor, Bob Shayne.

Spelling's and Goldberg's initial choice for the role of Jonathan Hart was Cary Grant. However, Grant (seventy-five years old at the time) had effectively retired from acting over a decade earlier; his last film, Walk, Don't Run, had been released in 1966. They then decided to find a younger actor who might embody the same style, zest and persona that Grant was famous for, and offered the role to Robert Wagner. No one else was seriously considered for the role; George Hamilton had a high profile at the time and was suggested, but Aaron Spelling said that if he was signed for the role, "the audience will resent him as Hart for being that rich. But no one will begrudge RJ [Wagner] a nickel."[5]

ABC wanted Wagner's then-real life wife Natalie Wood to co-star with him as Jennifer Hart, but Wagner did not think it was a good idea. (Wood did make a cameo appearance in the pilot, as an actress playing Scarlett O'Hara.) Initial choices for the role of Jennifer Hart included Suzanne Pleshette, Kate Jackson (months removed from ending a three-year turn starring as detective Sabrina Duncan on Charlie's Angels) and Lindsay Wagner (no relation), but Wagner suggested Stefanie Powers, who had previously worked with him when she made a guest appearance in an episode of his action-adventure series It Takes a Thief in 1970.[5]

Wagner wanted Sugar Ray Robinson to portray Max, but ABC-TV executives were worried about a black man as majordomo for a rich white couple. Eventually they signed Lionel Stander, who had also worked with Wagner in an episode of It Takes a Thief. In that episode, "King of Thieves", he had also played a character named Max, who was likewise a lifelong friend.

The main title theme for the series was scored by Mark Snow.

Fashion and jewelry designer Nolan Miller, who later designed the clothes for Dynasty, was the costume designer for the show.

The ranch-style house used for exterior filming had previously belonged to actors Dick Powell and his wife, June Allyson. Powell was an old friend of both Robert Wagner and Aaron Spelling. The actual estate, known as Amber Hills, is situated on 48 acres (19 ha) in the Mandeville Canyon section of Brentwood, Los Angeles. In the series, the Harts' address is given as 3100 Willow Pond Road, Bel Air: the real address of the house is 3100 Mandeville Canyon Road. One episode was shot in San Diego, California.[6]

As with most of the Spelling library series under the control of Sony Pictures Television, the series was remastered from the original masters in the 2000s for widescreen high definition presentation. This version of the series is currently a regular part of the schedule for Hallmark Movies & Mysteries.


Main article: List of Hart to Hart episodes

SeasonEpisodesOriginally airedRankRating
First airedLast aired
PilotAugust 25, 1979 (1979-08-25)
122September 22, 1979 (1979-09-22)May 13, 1980 (1980-05-13)
220November 11, 1980 (1980-11-11)May 26, 1981 (1981-05-26)2319.9
324October 6, 1981 (1981-10-06)May 18, 1982 (1982-05-18)1521.1 [a]
422September 28, 1982 (1982-09-28)May 10, 1983 (1983-05-10)1718.9
522September 27, 1983 (1983-09-27)May 22, 1984 (1984-05-22)46[7]15.6[8]
TV moviesNovember 5, 1993 (1993-11-05)August 25, 1996 (1996-08-25)

TV movies

In 1993, almost a decade after the series ended, Wagner and Powers reunited for a series of Hart to Hart TV movies. Eight 90-minute telemovies were made in total between 1993 and 1996. The first five aired on NBC; the final three were broadcast on The Family Channel:

Lionel Stander reprised his role as Max in five of the movies before his death from lung cancer on November 30, 1994. His last screen appearance was in Secrets of the Hart, which aired in March 1995.


In 2002, Alan Cumming was attached to star in a series being developed for ABC that was being touted as a "gay Hart to Hart". Titled Mr and Mr Nash, the planned series featured a gay couple, both interior designers, who "stumble upon a murder each week", but it never went into production.[9] In September of 2015, Deadline Hollywood reported that NBC had made a script commitment to a Hart to Hart remake series featuring a gay male couple. Written by Christopher Fife and produced by Carol Mendelsohn and Julie Weitz, the new series was described as "a modern and sexy retelling of the classic series that focuses on by-the-book attorney Jonathan Hart and free-spirited investigator Dan Hartman, who must balance the two sides of their life: action-packed crime-solving in the midst of newly found domesticity."[10] But as of late September of 2020, that series was not known to be in production either.

Home media

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment released the first two seasons of Hart to Hart on DVD in Regions 1 & 2 in 2005/2006.

In 2010/2011, Sony Pictures released all eight TV movies on DVD individually via the Warner Archive Collection. These were Manufacture-on-Demand (MOD) releases and are available exclusively through and On October 2, 2012, Sony released all eight TV movies in two volume collections titled Hart to Hart: TV Movie Collection, Volume 1 and Hart to Hart: TV Movie Collection, Volume 2.[11] These are also manufacture-on-demand (MOD) releases, available via, and are part of the Sony Choice Collection.

On September 4, 2014, it was announced that Shout! Factory had acquired the rights to the series for Region 1. They released Season 3 in December 2014, Season 4 in February 2015, the fifth and final season in June 2015, and The Complete Series on May 30, 2017.[12][13][14][15][16]

DVD Name Ep# Release Dates
Region 1 (USCA) Region 2 (DACH) Region 2 (UKIE)
The Complete First Season 23 October 25, 2005 November 8, 2005 April 10, 2006
The Complete Second Season 20 September 19, 2006 September 19, 2006 October 9, 2006
The Complete Third Season 24 December 9, 2014 TBA TBA
The Complete Fourth Season 22 February 10, 2015 TBA TBA
The Complete Fifth and Final Season 22 June 9, 2015 TBA TBA
The Complete Series 111 May 30, 2017 TBA TBA
Hart to Hart: TV Movie Collection, Volume 1 4 October 2, 2012 N/A N/A
Hart to Hart: TV Movie Collection, Volume 2 4 October 2, 2012 N/A N/A
Hart to Hart – Movies Are Murder Collection 8 August 13, 2019 N/A N/A

Awards and nominations

Main article: List of awards and nominations received by Hart to Hart

The Greatest Event in Television History (2013)

On June 6, 2013 (June 7 in the Eastern Time Zone), Adult Swim aired an edition of The Greatest Event in Television History. Hosted by Jeff Probst, the program went behind the scenes during the making of a shot-for-shot remake of the Hart to Hart opening sequence, with Adam Scott and Amy Poehler respectively in the roles of Jonathan and Jennifer Hart, and Horatio Sanz as Max.[17] The remake followed a similar effort in the fall of 2012, adapting the opening credit sequence of Simon & Simon.


  1. ^ Tied with Trapper John, M.D.


  1. ^ "Picks and Pans Review: Hart to Hart: Home Is Where the Hart Is".
  2. ^ "DVD Review: Hart to Hart – The Complete Series". July 1, 2017.
  3. ^ Douglas Snauffer (10 March 2015). The Show Must Go On: How the Deaths of Lead Actors Have Affected Television Series. McFarland. p. 138. ISBN 978-0-7864-5504-1.
  4. ^ Tom Buckley (Sep 9, 1979). "PRIMING FOR PRIME TIME: PRIME TIME". The New York Times. p. SM114.
  5. ^ a b Tom Mankiewicz, My Life as a Mankiewicz: An Insider's Journey Through Hollywood, with Robert Crane. University Press of Kentucky, 2012, p. 222.
  6. ^ (1983-12-01). Spotlight on filming in SD County. Daily Times-Advocate, 52, 56-57.
  7. ^ "The TV Ratings Guide: 1983-84 Ratings History".
  8. ^ "The TV Ratings Guide: 1983-84 Ratings History".
  9. ^ Gans, Andrew (November 13, 2002). "Alan Cumming Signs on for TV Series, a Gay Hart to Hart". Playbill. Retrieved September 17, 2015.
  10. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (September 15, 2015). "Hart to Hart Gay Couple Remake Set At NBC With Carol Mendelsohn Producing". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved September 16, 2015.
  11. ^ "Hart to Hart – Details, Boxes for 'The TV Movie Collection, Volume 1' and 'Volume 2' MODs". Archived from the original on 23 September 2012.
  12. ^ "Hart to Hart DVD news: Announcement for Hart to Hart – The Complete 3rd Season –". Archived from the original on 14 July 2015. Retrieved 19 September 2015.
  13. ^ "Hart to Hart DVD news: Announcement for Hart to Hart – The Complete 4th Season –". Archived from the original on 24 October 2015. Retrieved 19 September 2015.
  14. ^ "Hart to Hart DVD news: Announcement for Hart to Hart – The Final Season -". Archived from the original on 14 July 2015. Retrieved 19 September 2015.
  15. ^ "Hart to Hart – Get All 5 Seasons Together in 'The Complete Series' DVD Set! Get every episode starring Robert Wagner and Stefanie Power, together, by the end of May -". Archived from the original on 14 February 2017. Retrieved 13 February 2017.
  16. ^ "Hart to Hart – Shout! Sent Over Their Formal Press Release for 'The Complete Series' 5-season set on 29 DVDs will be in stores at the end of May". Archived from the original on 7 April 2017. Retrieved 6 April 2017.
  17. ^ "The Greatest Event in Television History: Hart to Hart' -- VIDEO". Adult Swim. 6 June 2013. Archived from the original on 2021-11-18. Retrieved 6 June 2013.