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Nero Wolfe 1979 TV Pilot & 1981 TV Series

The 14 episodes of the series ran from January through August, 1981. It was a spinoff of a 1977 TV movie/pilot, that aired in 1979. See below for information regarding the pilot.

William Conrad - Nero Wolfe
Robert Coote - Theodore Horstmann
Lee Horsley - Archie Goodwin
Allan Miller - Inspector Cramer
George Voskovec - Fritz Brenner
George Wyner - Saul Panzer

See IMDB for further episode, cast, and crew details.

THE PILOT for the series was filmed in 1977 and telecast in 1979 as a late-night movie. It starred Thayer David and Tom Mason. Mr. David died in 1978. In addition to Mr. David's untimely death hampering the telecast of the show, the plot of The Doorbell Rang was a far from complimentary treatment of the FBI.

The William Conrad series was poorly received by fans of the books due to its lack of adherence to the book's plots (even in those few instances when the episode name corresponded to a book title) and Mr. Conrad's lack of similarity to Mr. Wolfe in appearance and personality.

The Cast with Rebecca Stout
(daughter of Rex & Pola)
Click to see an enlargement
Cast with Rebecca Stout Bradbury

1981 Series on YOUTUBE:

Theme Song:

Theme Song with series intro scenes:

Frank Cannon spoof:

Nero Wolfe

PILOT: The Doorbell Rang
(Thayer David) 1977 (aired 1979)

William Conrad Series

Sequential Episode List
1 The Golden Spiders
2 Death on the Doorstep
3 Before I Die
4 Wolfe at the Door
5 Might As Well Be Dead
6 To Catch a Dead Man
7 In the Best of Families
8 Murder by the Book
9 What Happened to April?
10 Gambit
11 Death and the Dolls
12 The Murder in Question
13 Blue Ribbon Hostage
14 Sweet Revenge

might as well be dead
Thayer David with Theodore
In 1977, Thayer David and Tom Mason starred in the made-for-tv movie based on The Doorbell Rang, intended as the pilot episode for a television series. Very soon after the pilot was completed, Thayer David died, July, 17, 1978. The show was first telecast in 1979. The 1981 series with William Conrad and Lee Horsley was eventually made rather quickly.


Thayer David - Nero Wolfe
Tom Mason - Archie Goodwin
Biff McGuire - Inspector Cramer
John Randolph - Lon Cohen
Anne Baxter - Mrs. Rachael Bruner
David Hurst - Fritz Brenner
John O'Leary - Theodore Horstmann (photo: far left)

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Last updated
Last updated March 19, 2015 12:20