The Thin Man was a half-hour weekly TV show based on Dashiell Hammett's 1933 mystery novel of the same name and the 1934 movie. It starred Peter Lawford and Phyllis Kirk as Nick and Nora Charles. Asta the dog was played by three identical wire-hair terriers. Seventy-two episodes were produced by MGM; they aired Friday evenings on NBC for two seasons, from 1957 to 1959.
Jack Albertson, Patricia Donahue, and Nita Talbot had recurring roles in season two. Albertson played Lieutenant Harry Evans of the New York Police Department, Donahue played Nick and Nora's neighbor, Hazel, and Talbot played Beatrice Dane, alias Blondie Collins, a criminal who dragged Nick and Nora into her schemes. Hazel and Beatrice both tried to seduce Nick, which in turn set off Nora's jealousy-fueled sarcasm.
One newspaper columnist wrote that Nora Charles' role was different from that of other female leads in TV detective shows. Kirk responded:
“We were the first of the sophisticated detective dramas, and from the scripts it was simple to see that the part of Nora Charles was that of a leading lady who made more than token appearances. Since then some of the new shows just use girls as part of the scenery.”
Series guest stars included Billy Gray, and Ann McCrea, who was cast as Billie in the 1958 episode “The Lost Last Chapter”. Of special note is the “guest star” in the “Robot Client” episode — the original Robby the Robot from the 1956 sci-fi classic “Forbidden Planet”.
Ben Starr was the show's writer, and Sam Marx its executive producer.