Spenser Returns Friday

(Above: Mark Wahlberg and Winston Duke in Netflix’s ‘Spenser’)

Spenser Confidential, a Netflix movie debuting this Friday, March 6, stars Mark Wahlberg (Spenser) and Winston Duke (Hawk) in roles originated by Robert Urich and Avery Brooks in the 1985-1988 ABC series, Spenser for Hire.

Spenser for Hire was based on a highly successful series of detective novels by Robert B Parker. He began the book series in 1973 and had written 40 Spenser tales by the time of his death in 2010.

Spenser Confidential, on the other hand, is based on Wonderland, a 2013 novel by Ace Atkins who took over the series in 2012 and has since penned eight solo Spenser novels, plus one co-written tome.

Spenser completists no doubt also know that Urich and Brooks starred in four Spenser movies for Lifetime between 1993 and 1995. Joe Mantegna then played Spenser in three A&E movies from 1999 to 2001, with Shiek Mahmud-Bey and, later, Ernie Hudson, playing Hawk.

Where to stream

For the Netflix movie, subscribers can visit netflix.com/SpenserConfidential starting Friday.

You can stream the first episode of each of Spenser for Hire’s three seasons for free, with ads, from Amazon. You can then continue watching all of season one’s 22 episodes for a package price of $24.99 from Amazon or iTunes, or $1.99 individually from Amazon.

The Lifetime and A&E movies seem to have fallen through the streaming cracks for the most part, but here’s Pale Kings and Princes, from Lifetime in 1994. Parker himself co-wrote the teleplay.

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About Les Luchter

Les Luchter is a former managing editor of Multichannel News, editor-in-chief of Cable Marketing, and news editor of Broadcast Week.

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