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Nancy Drew Mysteries

By Anonymous

Believe it or not, the Nancy Drew series of books – aimed mainly at girls and young women, just as the Hardy Boys were at the males – will celebrate its 75th anniversary in 2005. (The Hardy Boys series’ 75th anniversary was in 2002. ) One constant is that the outgoing female sleuth was forever a youth.

When it came to TV in early 1977, with Pamela Sue Martin (Dynasty) in the title role, Nancy Drew alternated with the Hardy Boys as part of its Sunday night mystery series. The premise was straightforward: Nancy would, often in the company of best buds George and Bess, find herself in the thick of one mystery or another, whether in her hometown of River Heights or another part of the world. Usually they weren’t violent, although there was the odd emotional tug-of-war. She was able to count on a helping hand from her law-student boyfriend Ned, until he made his way up the legal ladder and feared she would complicate whatever case he was handling at the time.

Its run was said to end on New Years Day 1978, upon which both series merged into one — a decision Martin did not appreciate. The overall series lasted into 1979, bearing almost no resemblance to how it began. It might surprise some people to know that "author" Carolyn Keene is not an actual name, at least in conjunction with the franchise. It was used by the same collection of people who wrote the Hardy Boys series under the "Franklin W. Dixon" name.

Both male and female writers were used for both series. In the mid-90s, a Canadian company remade both series, remaining true to the philosophy of the original creators while using their own landscapes. More recently, we were supposed to have seen “Nancy Drew and Daughter, ” a made-for-TV movie in which the legendary sleuth was now the mother of a young gumshoe. When star Margot Kidder was badly injured on the set of the shoot, the project was indefinitely scrapped.


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Aired: February 6, 1977 - January 1, 1978

Cast: Pamela Sue Martin, William Schallert, George O'Hanlon Jr., Ruth Cox, Susan Buckner, Jean Rasey

Network: ABC

Genre: Adventure

Theme song

Image courtesy of ABC

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