The Night Stalker

ABC has announced their fall schedule and one of the shows they picked up is Frank Spotnitz’s new version of THE NIGHT STALKER.  The original starred Darren McGavin as a down-on-his-luck wire service  reporter who inevitably stumbled on stories involving the supernatural. It was a very funny series with its share of scares. Think ROCKFORD FILES with ghosts.  But Spotnitz is seemingly going in a much, much darker direction…at least according to this report from TVTracker.

Network: ABC
Genre: Drama
Studio: Touchstone
Commitment: Series Pick Up (13 Episodes)
Auspices: Frank
Spotnitz (EP, W-Pilot), Daniel Sackheim (D-Pilot, EP N/W)
Cast: Eric
Jungmann, Cotter Smith, Stuart Townsend, Gabrielle Union
Logline: There are things in the dark, things adults deny but children are right to fear… When a pregnant woman is snatched from her home, the shocked citizens of L.A. believe it’s an act of domestic violence. But crime reporter Carl Kolchak
suspects that the truth is far more complicated. That’s because 18 months ago, Kolchak’s wife was killed in a bizarre fashion and he has been the FBI’s #1 suspect ever since. Kolchak’s determination to find out the truth behind his wife’s mysterious murder has led him to investigate other crimes that seem to have some kind of supernatural component. But he’s trying to piece together a puzzle that keeps changing its shape. Who or what is committing these crimes? How are they all related? And why do some victims end up with a strange red mark on their hands in the shape of a snake? With sidekick Perri Reed, a sexy if skeptical fellow reporter in tow, Kolchak will go to any lengths to answer these questions. But when he does discover the truth – will anyone believe him?

This, by the way, is one of two new series on ABC (the other is John Wells THE EVIDENCE) involving heroes haunted by the unsolved murders of their wives.  This is a popular theme on series television these days  (MONK is another example that comes to mind).

7 thoughts on “The Night Stalker”

  1. I can still remember the original Night Stalker. Kolchak was hiding in a closet when a vampire opens the door. Kolchak cowered on the floor and did the only thing he could think of: form a crude crucifix. The surprise on his face when it worked was priceless! This new show sounds like Kolchak has wandered into the X-Files.

  2. I remember seeing some episodes when I was a kid and being incredibly creeped out. Then I sat through a daylong SciFi Network Night Stalker Marathon. Funny, but creepy? Not so much.

  3. How about a DVD release of the original Night Stalker series BEFORE we go and make a new (no doubt grimmer and less fun) version?

  4. Holy cow.
    I’ve been writing Kolchak spec scripts (just for fun) for years, since I was 15 or so. When I was a kid the show was my favorite (after STar Trek, which was already cancelled, but which I saw in re-runs). In fact, it was the ‘Kolchak as reporter-icon’ which led to my decision in first grade to become a writer.
    I think I was born for this show, or at the very least, made for it, through multiple late nights of watching it, memorizing the episode guide published in the mid-80s Starlog Magazine (or was it Fangoria?). Once I even met Darren McGavin and told him how much I loved the show: he grimaced and remarked that he’d only be remembered for Kolchak. I think it was a faux pas for me to remind him of Hanger 18, the movie.
    How the heck would I get this gig? Time to dig like a mole into the labyrinth of tunnels that make up television bureaucracy. Good thing I moved to LA in 2005, to put my 20 years of non-Hollywood writing experience (journalism and tech) to more entertaining uses. Is 40 too old to be a “writier’s assistant” on the remake of a TV show you loved as a kid? Is that pathetic? Is it interesting? Am I talking to myself?
    Great web pages, Lee. I’m a fan, and have been folowing your site for a while now, but finally decided: KOLCHAK is the sign I should post a reply. Thanks for the notice.

  5. Unfortunately the Kolchak of today has to come with “…a sexy if skeptical fellow reporter in tow…” This is what disgusts me about movies and television shows nowadays. You can’t have anything without some stupid broad along for the ride. I find this an insult to men everywhere, as if we can’t watch something unless there’s some woman in a skin tight halter top included for “our viewing pleasure.”
    So like a breath of fresh air I return to the golden era of yesteryear with the original Kolchak, a show that relied on excellent casting, sharp writing, and nary a bitch to be found.


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