Maxwell Smart, a.k.a. Agent 86, works for CONTROL, a Washington, D.C.-based counterintelligence agency. Totally inept as a secret agent, Smart can barely use the gadgetry the agency provides him (including a phone embedded in his shoe). Nevertheless, he and his fellow agents always seem to thwart the operations of KAOS, an organized crime outfit dedicated to evil. Agent 99 is Smart's smarter partner, a resourceful agent who eventually marries her bumbling cohort. Smart and Agent 99's boss is a man known only as The Chief.
A group of extraordinary spies, each experts in their own fields, belong to the Impossible Missions Force (IMF) -- first headed up by Daniel Briggs and later overseen by Jim Phelps. The IMF is a government agency that undertakes only the most hazardous of espionage missions. The beginning of each episode featured the now-famous tape-recorded message outlining the latest task for the group to tackle. Popular during the Cold War, the group's missions usually centered on overthrowing the government of some small communist country causing problems for the free world. The IMF crew included disguise expert Rollin Hand, charmer Cinnamon Carter, electronics technician Barney Collier, strong man Willy Armitage and, in later episodes, disguise-master Paris.
Charming gunslinger James West and Artemus Gordon, an inventor and master of disguise, are the country's first Secret Service agents, traveling the Old West at the behest of President Ulysses S. Grant, fighting villains, encountering beautiful women and dealing with fiendish plots to take over the world.
Dr. Richard Kimble is wrongly convicted for the murder of his beloved wife. Kimble, determined to track down the real killer, escapes from custody following a train crash while being transported to death row. What follows is a game of cat-and-mouse -- for both the true murderer and the good doctor. But while Kimble searches for the real killer, the authorities -- notably Lt. Philip Gerard -- are on the hunt for him.
Newspaper editor Britt Reid has a secret that only a couple of close confidantes know -- when crime strikes, he becomes Green Hornet, a crime-fighting superhero. "Green Hornet," based on comic books of the same name, lasted for only one season on ABC, but it had a significant impact on American entertainment. The show introduced martial artist Bruce Lee to American audiences. Lee, who starred in the series as Green Hornet's sidekick, Kato, would go on to become arguably the most-famous actor in martial arts films in America.
Detective Steve McGarrett (Jack Lord) heads up Hawaii Five-O, a special division of the state police tasked with bringing down organized crime on the islands. The Five-O team works with local police from time to time on individual cases, and McGarrett's nemesis is crime kingpin Wo Fat. The show, which ran for 12 seasons during its original run, is famous for its catchphrase "Book 'em, Danno," said by McGarrett at the end of most episodes. The show's theme song, composed by Morton Stevens, became popular during the show's original run.
"Columbo" isn't the typical detective whodunit TV show. On most detective shows, viewers don't know who committed the crime until the detective pieces the clues together and figures it out. On this show, however, viewers see the crime unfold at the beginning of most episodes, including who the perpetrator is. The mystery and fun for viewers is trying to spot the clues that will lead Lt. Columbo (Peter Falk) to discover the culprit and watching the tricks he uses to get a confession. Episodes of "Columbo" were movie-length and ran sporadically on multiple networks during its run.