McMillan & Wife (known simply as McMillan from 1976–77) was a lighthearted American police procedural that aired on NBC from 1971 to 1977. Starring Rock Hudson and Susan Saint James in the title roles, the series premiered in episodes as part of Universal Television's wheel series NBC Mystery Movie, in rotation with Columbo and McCloud. Initially airing on Wednesday night, the original lineup was shifted to Sundays in the second season, where it aired for the rest of its run. This was the first element to be created especially for the Mystery Movie strand.
McMillan & Wife revolved around a 40-ish San Francisco police commissioner, Stuart McMillan (Rock Hudson) and his attractive, bright and affable 20 something wife Sally (Susan Saint James). Often, the storylines featured Mac and Sally attending fashionable parties and charity benefits before solving robberies and murders. John Schuck appeared as Sgt. Charles Enright and Nancy Walker was Mildred, the couple's sarcastic, hard-drinking maid, both characters serving as comic relief.
The show ran for five seasons as McMillan & Wife and a sixth season as McMillan on the NBC television network, from September 17, 1971, to April 24, 1977, for a total of 40 episodes.
Like the other two original shows in the NBC Mystery Movie, McMillan & Wife was an immediate hit. After its network run on NBC, it appeared regularly as part of The CBS Late Movie and later, in the form of syndicated reruns on local and cable television in the United States.
Since January 1, 2015, McMillan & Wife has been airing on Me-TV as part of the "MeTV Mystery Movie" late night block. The block includes the other two long running Sunday Mystery Movie series, McCloud and Columbo, the Wednesday Mystery Movie series Banacek, and the 1980s series of Perry Mason television films. Each week features a different series, with the series featured airing five episodes during its feature week.
For its sixth and final season, the series underwent a major retooling. Susan Saint James left after being unable to come to terms on a new contract. Nancy Walker also left the series before the sixth season premiered in 1976 to star in an eponymous sitcom.
With these developments, the show became known as McMillan and Sally was killed off in a plane crash along with the couple's never-seen son. Mac, now a widower, moved out of the family home and into a luxury apartment. Mildred, meanwhile, was written out as having left the McMillans to open her own diner on the East Coast, which was an inside joke playing up her role as Rosie the waitress in a then-ongoing series of commercials for Bounty Paper Towels.
John Schuck had his role reduced as he joined the sitcom Holmes and Yo-Yo, which show director Leonard B. Stern was working on. Martha Raye, who had played Mildred's sister Agatha in an earlier episode, joined the series full-time with Agatha taking over Mildred's role as Mac's housekeeper in his new apartment. Meanwhile, Sergeant Enright was promoted to Lieutenant and became Deputy Chief of the San Francisco Police, which took him away from his position as Mac's liaison. Richard Gilliland joined the cast as Enright's replacement, Sergeant DiMaggio, who always introduced himself by saying "no relation" (in reference to Joe DiMaggio).
Universal Studios Home Entertainment released the first season of McMillan & Wife on DVD in Region 1 & Region 2 in 2005/2006.
On May 21, 2010, Visual Entertainment announced it had acquired the rights to distribute McMillan & Wife on DVD in Region 1. They subsequently released seasons 2-6 on DVD in Canada and the USA. All US releases are distributed by Millennium Entertainment.
On November 30, 2012, VEI released McMillan & Wife - The Complete Series on DVD in both the US and Canada. This 24-disc set features all 40 episodes of the series as well as bonus copy of The Snoop Sisters Complete Collection.
In Region 4, Madman Entertainment has released all six seasons on DVD in Australia. On November 20, 2013, it released McMillan and Wife: The Complete Collection, a 19-disc set featuring all 40 episodes of the series.
The interior set of the McMillans' home in the pilot episode was actually Rock Hudson's house. In the second episode they moved to a new home, exterior shots were done on Greenwich Street in San Francisco. The address for the couple was once given in the show as 250 Carson Street. In later episodes a different house was used as the exterior shot of the house. In the final season McMillan, newly widowed, moved into an apartment and the house was never seen or mentioned again.