Darren McGavin first offered to star in the ''Kolchak'' series while they were still shooting ''The Night Stalker''

McGavin knew that he wasn't done playing Kolchak after the first television film.

NBC/Universal

Some have greatness thrust upon them, and some people are willing to fight and claw their way to greatness. While the latter method seems like a great deal more effort, the victory of success will be all the sweeter, just trust Darren McGavin. 

McGavin is best known as Kolchak in the television series Kolchak: The Night Stalker. It was a show that was preceded by two television movies, but a concept that McGavin wholeheartedly believed in from the jump, despite its very unconventional premise. Today, a supernatural show like Kolchak: The Night Stalker is in good company with other series like Twin Peaks and The X-Files, but at the time of its original run in 1974, it was a tough sell for some viewers.

McGavin himself was aware of the difficulty that such a series might have in finding an audience, though it didn't dampen his hope. 

In the book T.V Close Ups, written by Peggy Herz, McGavin confessed that he actually advocated for a series adaptation during the filming of the first television film, The Night Stalker. McGavin said, "I feel very responsible for it. From the beginning, I said that if it was bad, it would be my fault — because the second night we were shooting The Night Stalker movie, I said to a network executive, 'I'm free now, I have no plans for the next year, and this would make a terrific series.' 

The network executive's response was less than ideal. McGavin added, "The executive said I was out of my head."

Luckily, McGavin knew better than most, and when the network finally came around to the idea of Kolchak as a television series, McGavin was waiting patiently to return to the character of Carl Kolchak.

Watch Kolchak: The Night Stalker on MeTV!

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10 Comments

ronm 2 months ago
It was a tough watch for me because even though I loved it as a young teen I was also scared at the same time.
lbwilmoth 2 months ago
Although I like the series, it was the original movie that holds a place dear to my heart because it scared the crap out of me as a 10-year-old. It took me weeks to overcome being scared going upstairs to my bedroom every night and sleeping with the covers over my head.
sagafrat69 2 months ago
Great show not really suited for network television. Probably would've done much better on cable if more cable networks existed other than HBO. The remake done a few years back was a disaster. Just proves they had caught lighting in a bottle for that one season. Unfortunately was not very well planned out for multiple seasons. Also, the fact that McGavin gave up on the show didn't help. Interesting fact that David Chase of "The Sopranos" fame was part of writing crew. That opening theme music is the best. I remember as a kid watching the show in it's original run and being scared and loving every minute of it.
Bapa1 2 months ago
.........and during the series run would end up begging the network to cancel it.
Runeshaper 2 months ago
McGavin made a GREAT Carl Kolchak and Mike Hammer!
cperrynaples Runeshaper 2 months ago
Yep, and before you say "don't you mean Stacy Keach", McGavin played Hammer in the '50's! He also did Riverboat with Burt Reynolds BEFORE Gunsmoke!
Runeshaper cperrynaples 2 months ago
EXCELLENT! Thanks for sharing!
Coldnorth Runeshaper 2 months ago
I would like Mike Hammer to be on MeTV
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