Banacek (1972–1974)
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Let's Hear It for a Living Legend 

When a football player vanishes from the field in full view of network cameras and a live audience, it's up to Banacek to figure out how his kidnappers spirited him away without a trace.




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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Angie Ives
Holly Allencamp
Jerry Brinkman
John Brodie ...
Ritchie Mulligan
Ben Davidson ...
Deacon Jones ...
Tom Mack ...
Ed Wolinski
Gene Washington ...
Clay Mills
Clancy Williams ...
Walt Hicks
Video Technician
Albert Bates
Curt Gowdy ...
Curt Gowdy
Charlie Jones ...
Charlie Jones


In the middle of a televised professional football game, star running back Hank Ives disappears from the bottom of a pileup. Insurance investigator Banacek, seeing the game on TV, soon looks into this curious vanishing act. Even though a ransom note arrives demanding two million dollars for Ives' safe return, Banacek suspects football promoter Jerry Brinkman of pulling off yet another crazy publicity stunt for which he is so well-known. Murder, however, makes it serious business. Written by statmanjeff

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery





Release Date:

13 September 1972 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Banacek's chauffeur offers a solution for the missing player by saying they cut a slit in the turf where they hid the player. While it was meant to be a joke here, that idea was the basis of a solution for another case Banacek would solve later in the season. See more »


For some reason nobody (especially Banacek ) never wondered where the football player with the #20 suddenly came from after all of the tacklers got off the ground. See more »


Felix Mulholland: Didn't Jake give you my message?
Thomas Banacek: Well he was going to but your accent is better.
Jay Drury: JAKEE: Well someday I'd like to hear his Sicilian.
See more »

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User Reviews

Who's got the running back
30 September 2016 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

I was less than impressed with the general plot of Banacek's first broadcast episode. I have to say the idea was intriguing, but the solution offered involved way too many people being complete dupes. Granted that there is always that dumb jock stereotype, but a whole group of football players, no way.

For those who hate the Patriots the way some baseball fans hate the Yankees this will be satisfying. During a game that Banacek himself is watching the Boston running back is nailed by four tacklers. When they get up, the opposing player has vanished.

The first thought that everyone has is that it's a publicity stunt by the franchise owner Robert Webber who acts like Donald Trump without the political ambitions. The missing player's ex-wife Stefanie Powers has a modicum of concern, but is more interested in George Peppard as it turns out.

I wasn't crazy about the solution. Still I couldn't help wondering if millions of football fans around the country outside New England wouldn't wish this on Tom Brady.

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