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Based on the novels by Robert Parker, and starring Robert Urich, Spenser For hire is a show about a private detective who is instrumental in helping the police solve murders on a consistent basis. Although the police Lieutenant doesn't like him very much, they get along well enough to make sure the murder cases are closed and the bad guys are brought to justice.

Being an ex-boxer, Spenser works out in an old gym in his free time to stay in shape. This is where he meets Hawk, (played by Avery Brooks), who is a street thug working for the highest bidder. Hawk helps Spenser out from time-to-time because he seems to be able to gather information on the streets when no one else can.

Spenser and the police Sergeant, don't get along but they do have a mutual respect for each because Spenser was a cop himself until he left the force.

3 Seasons, 66 Episodes
September 20, 1985
Drama, Action & Adventure
Cast: Robert Urich, Avery Brooks, Ron McLarty, Richard Jaeckel
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Spenser: For Hire Full Episode Guide

  • Spenser investigates an old child kidnapping case when he tries to track down a teenage girl's biological parents.

  • Spenser assists a lawyer in proving the innocence of his client, a Navy seaman accused of murdering the captain's daughter. The only witness is a missing Polish sailor.

  • Spenser investigates the death of a friend apparently involved with white supremicists. Hawk is rendered blind by an explosion.

  • Spenser protects a child artist after the child witnesses a mob execution while painting in the forest.

  • Spenser suspects insurance fraud when a building blows up. Susan has a possibly cancerous mass removed.

  • One of Spenser's old trainers lures Spenser to a deserted warehouse where Spenser is supposed to be killed, to get out from under a gambling debt. Spenser survives, then turns around and protects his trainer from the goons now after him.

  • Sammy Backlin calls Spenser for protection when he's being hunted by a 'vicious horde of bloodthirsty assassins'.

  • When Frank's niece dies of a drug overdose, Spenser and Frank go after the men responsible.

  • Spenser protects an old friend, Arthur, after he's assaulted and robbed. In the course of his investigation, Spenser comes across disturbing information connecting Arthur with racketeering.

  • Hawk and Susan along with other people are held captive in a post office. Richard Brooks later seen on Law and Order during Season's 1 & 2 plays one of the hostage takers.

  • Spenser and Hawk find themselves on opposite sides of the same case. Spenser is hired to retrieve a stolen journal containing information damaging to a judge's career. Hawk is hired by the thief to extort money from the judge.

  • A sniper takes some shots at Spenser and Susan, and a young boy ends up dead in the crossfire. Spenser sets out to determine why such a tragedy happened and track down the shooter.

  • Spenser runs into an old friend while visiting a recreation of a Puritan village. Spenser does everything in his power to exonerate said friend when he's accused of a brutal slaying. As he uncovers more and more, Spenser begins to think it might be hard to clear the name of a guilty man.

  • Susan is in trouble when her claims of sexual harassment lead her college counselor to retaliate by hiring a hit man to keep her quiet. Spenser gets arrested for getting involved in a fight.

  • Spenser becomes obsessed with an apparently suicidal woman after a chance encounter on the street.

  • Spenser helps an old friend, an alcoholic priest who tries to help homeless teenagers, when he gets involved over his head.

  • Lt. Quirk faces his mortality when he suffers a heart attack. Spenser and Hawk protect him from revenge-minded villains as he recovers.

  • A streetwise young kid gets involved over his head in the underworld. Spenser and Hawk try to protect him from would-be killers.

  • A prison inmate with a grudge against Hawk hires outside muscle to rub him out.

  • Rita and her old college friends are reunited when a fictional person they created 20 years ago is found dead in his apartment.

  • NRA poster-boy Sammy Backlin breezes into town for a book signing, unwittingly involving Spenser in a shoot out. Spenser agrees to protect Sammy from gangland thugs.

  • Spenser loses all feeling in his right arm after he's shot while guarding a politician.

  • Spenser becomes embroiled in the seamy Vietnamese organized crime racket after a Vietnamese crime boss uses Spenser to track down a former soldier.

  • Spenser and Hawk protect a man who owes money to men of dubious ethics. When their client, Bo Braxton tries to blackmail his creditors, he and his alcoholic teenage daughter go on the run.

  • A pimp is wrongfully arrested for the murder of one of his girls. Spenser agonizes between pursuing the real murderer or letting the pimp take the rap.

  • A girl comes to Boston looking for her estranged father. Spenser decides to help her.

  • Spenser and Rita go after a corrupt African.

  • Spenser investigates the apparent suicide of a philandering financier about to turn state's evidence to bring down insider trading. Rita has problems of her own when an old boyfriend shows up. Belson hires Spenser to find his missing wallet containing a winning lottery ticket.

  • A wealthy man is murdererd and, surprise, an innocent man is arrested. If you've seen one Spenser, you've seen them all.

  • Hawk is the main suspect when Lt. Quirk is shot, due to a recent fracas between the two. Spenser suspects a new man in town, trying to take Hawk down to make a name for himself.

  • With the help of Hawk, a disgusted Spenser is determined to get rid of thugs who are terrorizing his Boston neighborhood.

  • A girl who apparently has the unique ability to 'see' through both space and time, enlists Spenser's help to solve a rash of arsons.

  • A friend of Spenser's is shot and killed while portraying Paul Revere during a Revolutionary War re-enactment.

  • A young criminal's father attacks a bus transporting convicts to the state prison.

  • Spenser protects a man suffering from amnesia.

  • A mobster's pregnant teenage girlfriend tries to keep her unborn son from his father.

  • While Spenser and Hawk are in a small town to view a boxing match, Hawk is arrested, ostensibly for carrying a concealed weapon, but Spenser suspects racism may be involved.

  • A small fishing family hires Spenser to investigate the death of their father. Spenser suspects a rival fishing family, the Almeidas.

  • New District Attorney Rita Fiori tries to prosecute Spenser for blackmail.

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