“Remington Steele was an American crime drama television series co-created by Robert Butler and Michael Gleason. The series, starring Stephanie Zimbalist and Pierce Brosnan, was broadcast on NBC from October 10, 1982, to February 17, 1987. The series blended the genres of romantic comedy, drama, detective procedural, and international political intrigue and espionage.The premise of “Remington Steele” was that Laura Holt (Stephanie Zimbalist), a licensed private investigator opened a detective agency under her own name but found potential clients refused to hire a woman, no matter how qualified. To solve the problem, Laura invented a fictitious male superior she named Remington Steele. Through a series of events in the first episode, Pierce Brosnan’s character, a former thief and con man (whose real name even he proves not to know and is never revealed), assumes the identity of Remington Steele. Behind the scenes, a power struggle ensues between Laura and Steele as to who is really in charge, while the two carry on a casual romantic relationship.
The show was solidly crafted, well-acted, and groundbreaking in its own way. It modified the
1970s detective show conventions by telling its stories from the point of view of an independent, professional woman. It also blurred the line between hour-long dramas and half-hour comedies, in that, at the time, hour-long series were mostly serious dramas and half-hour shows were humorous sitcoms. “Remington Steele” incorporated multiple styles of comedy into the standard detective format, and it pioneered the slowly evolving “will they or won’t they” relationship arc that is now common to television drama of all genres.
“Remington Steele” was known for having launched the career of Pierce Brosnan and for serving as a forerunner of the similar, edgier series, “Moonlighting,” which starred Cybill Shepherd and Bruce Willis, and which did for Willis’ career what “Remington Steele” did for Brosnan’s.