Warner Bros studio’s L.A.-based private eye television series “77 Sunset Strip” was a staple of ABC’s Friday night schedule in the late 50s and early 60s.
’77 Sunset Strip’ premiered on October 10, 1958 at 9:30pm on ABC.
The series revolved around two private detectives played by Efrem Zimbalist Jr. (Stuart ‘Stu’ Bailey) and Roger Smith (Jeff Spencer).
The duo worked out of a stylish office located at 77 Sunset Boulevard, next door to Dean Martin’s real-life lounge.
Edd Byrnes with his signature hair-combing move was the breakout star of the series. He played Gerald Lloyd “Kookie” Kookson III, a wisecracking hipster and aspiring private eye who worked next door as a valet parking attendant.
The series changed several timeslots on ABC’s Friday night, but mostly aired between 9 and 10pm.
The success of 77 Sunset Strip led to the creation of several other detective shows in exotic locales, all produced by the Warner Brothers studio which created Strip — Bourbon Street Beat in New Orleans, Hawaiian Eye in Hawaii, and Surfside 6 in Miami.
Many up-and-coming stars made a guest appearance on the show, including Roger Moore, Mary Tyler Moore, Jay North, Elizabeth Montgomery, William Shatner, Buddy Ebsen, Adam West and many other.
In the final 6th season the show attempted a radical overhaul – the entire cast except for Zimbalist was let go and the show changed its tone. The changes were unsuccessful and the show was canceled in February 1964.