Trivia / Remington Steele

  • Edited for Syndication: One episode actually used this practice as a major plot point: The killer du jour had used a co-worker as an alibi, noting that the two had watched a classic TV show together at the time of the murder (unbeknownst to the co-worker, the culprit had used a VCR and reset the clocks; but it turned out that due to syndication, the scene the two had watched together had been cut.
  • Executive Meddling: The series started out with each episode being a genuine Fair-Play Whodunnit, but they got renewed for a second season on the condition that they dumbed down the plots, so after that, they pretty much just cut to the chase.
  • Hostility on the Set: It was rumoured that Pierce Brosnan and Stephanie Zimablist didn't get on. They both admitted some level of personal conflict in press interviews during and since, attributing some of it to the stress of long working hours, while also maintaining that it did not damage their ability to work together.
  • Post-Script Season: The fourth season married off Laura and Steele, as the show's cancellation looked certain and Pierce Brosnan had been offered the role of James Bond. However, because Brosnan got the Bond role, NBC decided to renew the show, bringing it back for a very lame half-season which lacked all of the charm of the preceding seasons and effectively scuttling Brosnan's big movie break. Brosnan didn't end up playing Bond for some years.
  • Real-Life Relative:
    • Pierce Brosnan's late wife Cassandra Harris made four appearances on the show playing two different former lovers.
    • Stephanie Zimbalist's father Efrem Zimbalist Jr would appear almost every season as Daniel Chalmers, Steele's surrogate father and apparently his biological father.
  • Reality Subtext:
    • In "The Steele That Wouldn't Die" — the first episode after the series was UnCanceled — a number of references are made to James Bond, the role Brosnan was forced to give up. Brosnan's performance was also considerably less involved than in previous seasons, due to his anger at NBC screwing him over as well as a general desire to move onto better things.
    • Stephanie Zimbalist and Pierce Brosnan reportedly did not like each other. They both deny this, ostensibly to protect loyal fans and viewers, but the subtext of dislike or distrust is prevalent in Steele and Laura's relationship.
  • Running Joke: A minor Reality Subtext-based one in the UnCancelled Screwed by the Network 5th season that generally works like this:
    Travel Agent: I'll see if there's been a cancellation.
    Steele: Don't say that word.
  • Screwed by the Network: In this case, both leads were pretty badly to irreparably screwed by NBC. NBC cancelled the show in its Fourth Season, which left Brosnan free to do The Living Daylights. Because of the fan publicity Brosnan was getting from being announced as the new Bond, NBC literally renewed the show for a fifth season at the very last second, for which Brosnan was contractually obligated to do, forcing him to drop out of The Living Daylights, with Timothy Dalton filling the role. The fifth season is deemed by fans to be the worst. As a result, the show was cancelled for good. As a side-effect, Stephanie Zimbalist had to turn down RoboCop (1987), and her career never recovered, even though Brosnan did eventually get to be Bond. Oh, and making matters worse, the series pulled an adult version of Cousin Oliver by adding a third-wheel adventurer character in the final season as a rival for Laura's affections, thereby taking some of the spotlight away from Brosnan.
  • Star-Making Role: The series introduced audiences to Pierce Brosnan, but it wasn't until GoldenEye that his career really took off.
  • Un-Canceled: See Screwed by the Network above.
  • Written by Cast Member: Stephanie Zimbalist co-wrote "Steele in the Chips."