Ah, love. Jonathan and Jennifer Hart oozed it all over the screen in Hart to Hart, an American TV detective show that aired from 1979 to 1984 on ABC.
He was chief executive officer of global Hart Industries and a self-made millionaire; she was a freelance journalist. They cooed and snuggled, and were tended by Max, their butler/chauffeur/cook, and dog Freeway, named for where he was found.
A dangerous hobby
That wasn’t enough to keep the rich and glamorous couple busy, though. They also were amateur detectives, with cases ranging from murder and theft to smuggling and international espionage. The Harts were played by Robert Wagner and Stefanie Powers, old friends who were so convincing onscreen that some viewers suspected they were a couple in real life.
That relationship and threats to it played out in some episodes, such as when a Hart Industries employee became obsessed with Jonathan and decided Jennifer had to be eliminated. More often, though, the plots were an escapist window onto the world of the wealthy, as when Jonathan buys his wife an antique auto and a mysterious couple will stop at nothing to acquire it.
Various episodes take place in Monte Carlo, Vail, Hawaii, Acapulco, Napa Valley, London, the Bahamas, Macao, on an ocean liner and at the opera, a polo field, a fox hunt, and the Harts’ mountain cabin. At one point they are asked to buy a bankrupt ghost town.
Max is the focus of a number of episodes, whether he is being taken hostage or creating a rose hybrid named for Jennifer. Even Freeway gets in on the act, running away with a gun used in a neighbor’s murder and favoring a new dog food that turns out to be addictive.