Banacek (one of the rotating elements of The NBC Mystery Movie) is a short-lived, light-hearted detective TV series starring George Peppard which aired on NBC from 1972 to 1974. Peppard played Thomas Banacek, a suave, Polish-American freelance investigator based in Boston, who solved seemingly impossible thefts. He then collected from the insurance companies 10% of the insured value of the recovered property.Also featured were Ralph Manza as Banacek's chauffeur Jay Drury, Murray Matheson as rare-bookstore owner and information source Felix Mulholland and Christine Belford as Carlie Kirkland, Banacek's sometime-lover and always-rival.Banacek was part of the NBC Wednesday Mystery Movie lineup, and was the only spoke of this Wheel Program to run in both seasons.
Banacek provides examples of:
- Cool Car: The AMX-400 from the second episode.
- Football Episode: "Lets Hear It For a Living Legend"
- Girl of the Week
- Insurance Fraud: The only type of crime investigated.
- Locked Room Mystery
- Mile-High Club: "A Million the Hard Way"
- Mystery of the Week
- No Pronunciation Guide: Banacek has to correct someone's pronunciation of his name in every episode. Not Banna-seck but Banna-check. (And sometimes he corrects the spelling: "B-A-N-A-C-E-K, just like it sounds.")
- Once an Episode: Jay suggests a solution to the mystery, which Banacek immediately finds a flaw with.
- Running Gag: Banacek's Polish proverbs, Jay suggests his solution to the mystery.
- Technology Marches On: The room sized computer in "If Max Is So Smart, Why Doesn't HE Tell Us Where He Is?"; Banacek's car phone.
- Wheel Program