Edward Woodward suffered a heart attack in the summer of 1987. Accordingly, the producers needed to find a quick replacement while Woodward recuperated. Robert Mitchum was brought on as an old friend of Robert McCall who helped McCall's son search for his missing father in the two-part episode, "Mission: McCall." Richard Jordan was also brought on as embittered former operative Harley Gage and stayed for eight more episodes.
During the height of the show's popularity, actor Edward Woodward was often approached on the street by people in need, with situations similar to those depicted in the show. He began carrying flyers with the phone numbers of social services organizations and legal clinics for them to contact.