Hardcastle and McCormick

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Hardcastle and McCormick
File:Hardcastle and McCormick.png
Created by Stephen J. Cannell, Patrick Hasburgh
Starring Brian Keith
Daniel Hugh Kelly
Country of origin United States
No. of seasons 3
No. of episodes 67
Running time 60 minutes per episode
Production company(s) Stephen J. Cannell Productions
Distributor Sony Pictures Television
Original network ABC
Original release September 18, 1983 – May 5, 1986
External links
[{{#property:P856}} Website]

Hardcastle and McCormick is an American action/drama television series from Stephen J. Cannell Productions, shown on ABC from 1983 through 1986. The series stars Brian Keith as Judge Milton C. Hardcastle and Daniel Hugh Kelly as ex-con and race car driver Mark "Skid" McCormick. The series premise was somewhat recycled from a previous Cannell series, Tenspeed and Brown Shoe.


Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Milton C. "Hardcase" Hardcastle, an eccentric judge notorious for being strict with the law in both his duties and towards defendants, is retiring. With file drawers filled with 200 people who escaped conviction due to legal technicalities, the judge, inspired by his childhood hero the Lone Ranger, desires to make the criminals answer for their crimes anyway. Mark McCormick is a smart-mouthed, streetwise car thief. He faces a long incarceration for his latest theft, a prototype sports car called the Coyote X, designed by his murdered best friend. Together the judge and the car thief strike a deal: Hardcastle helps McCormick catch the murderer; McCormick agrees to be released and work as the judge's agent. In addition, McCormick is allowed to keep the Coyote, which proves to be an excellent pursuit vehicle for their needs.


Coyote X

The car that McCormick drove, the Coyote X, was built from custom molds based on the McLaren M6GT.[1] The original Coyote X was molded, modified and assembled by Mike Fennel. The nose, windshield doors and lower body (minus the ventral intakes) are faithful representations of the McLaren; the cut down rear deck, however, was a custom component that became a feature on many Manta Montage kits with damaged or removed rear windows. The most noticeable differences between the Coyotes and Mantas are the wheel wells, roll pan height and shape, and the fact that the Coyote has a one piece front clip that terminates about an inch before and surrounding the windshield.

Most of the cars made for the show were molded and assembled by either Mike Fennel or Unique Movie Cars. Like many kit cars of the time, the car uses a chassis from a Volkswagen Beetle and its engine from a Porsche 914.[2][3] For the second and third seasons, producers used a different Coyote which was based on a De Lorean DMC-12, as Brian Keith had difficulty getting in and out of the original Coyote.[4]

The Season 2 and Season 3 Coyote does not resemble the Manta, as the front is larger than the original, making the car resemble a front-engined car. A Season 1 car that was used in the production of Hardcastle and McCormick is owned by a private owner in southern New Jersey.[citation needed] The stunt car was reconfigured for the Knight Rider 2000 television pilot, then consequently turned into Jay Ohrberg's show car "Taz-Mobile".[5][citation needed] In April 2011, the car was sold and shipped to Texas where it will be re-bodied back to its Coyote configuration, retaining as many of the original Coyote pieces as possible.[citation needed] A Season 2 car appeared briefly on the sixth episode of Season 5 of the sitcom Married... with Children.


The opening theme song during Season 1 was entitled "Drive". It was composed by Mike Post and Stephen Geyer and sung by David Morgan. For the first part of Season 2, the theme song was "Back to Back", also composed by Post and Geyer but sung by Joey Scarbury (who also sang Post and Geyer's theme for The Greatest American Hero). Public demand,[citation needed] however, resulted in the "Drive" theme being reinstated and kept through Season 3. Post and Pete Carpenter scored the music for the series.

Nielsen ratings

  • 1983-84: #15 (18.71 rating)
  • 1984-85: #39 (15.82 rating)
  • 1985-86: #52 (13.90 rating)[6]

DVD releases

Visual Entertainment has released all three seasons of Hardcastle and McCormick on DVD in Region 1 (Canada only). VEI also released Hardcastle & McCormick: The Complete Series on DVD on September 3, 2008.[7] As of March 2016, the complete DVD set was available on Amazon.com.

DVD Name Ep # Release Date Additional Information
The Complete First Season 22 February 14, 2006
  • Includes 2-hour pilot, "Rolling Thunder"
The Complete Second Season 22 August 15, 2006
  • All Original Music
The Complete Third and Final Season 22 October 30, 2007
  • Photo Gallery
  • All Original Music
The Complete Series 66 September 3, 2008


  1. "Hardcastle and McCormick - The Manta Montage". The Amazo Effect. June 15, 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. The car-star of Hardcastle & McCormick at the Wayback Machine (archived November 15, 2010)
  3. "Coyote Version I (The Original)". September 23, 2005.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Pete's Manta Montage (McLaren M6BGT): History, Coyote at the Wayback Machine (archived September 3, 2004)
  5. Jay Ohrberg. "Taz-mobile - Jay Ohrberg's Hollywood Cars".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. TVTango.com ratings archive
  7. David Lambert (August 31, 2008). "Hardcastle and McCormick - VEI Planning a Complete Series 15-DVD Release!".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links