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Spy Game (TV series)

Spy Game is an American action-adventure television series that aired on ABC for 13 episodes during the spring and summer of 1997. The series was created by screenwriter and physician Ivan Raimi, director Sam Raimi, and writer John McNamara. The series was originally developed under the title Cloak and Dagger, but was renamed prior to airing.

Spy Game
Created byJohn McNamara
Ivan Raimi
Sam Raimi
Written byScott Brown
Anne Collins
John McNamara
Kathy McCormick
Eric Morris
Gene F. O'Neill
David Simkins
Noreen Tobin
Jeff Vlaming
Directed byLou Antonio
James Frawley
Elodie Keene
Winrich Kolbe
John T. Kretchmer
Les Landau
Doug Lefler
Alan J. Levi
Jefery Levy
Martha Mitchell
T.J. Scott
Oz Scott
StarringLinden Ashby
Allison Smith
Bruce McCarty
Keith Szarabajka
D.D. Howard
Composer(s)Christophe Beck
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes13 (4 unaired)
Executive producer(s)John McNamara
Sam Raimi
Robert G. Tapert
Producer(s)Edward Ledding
CinematographyStephen McNutt
Running time60 minutes
(with commercials)
Production company(s)McNamara Paper Products, Inc.
Renaissance Pictures
Warner Bros. Television
Universal Television
DistributorNBCUniversal Television Distribution
Original networkABC
Original releaseMarch 3 –
July 12, 1997


The series starred Linden Ashby as Lorne Cash, a retired secret agent who reluctantly agrees to get back into the "spy game" and work for a secret government agency. Following the collapse of the former Soviet Union and the downsizing of international intelligence agencies worldwide, the reduced demand for highly qualified espionage agents has flooded the civilian market with displaced former agents. With the surplus of independent agents running rogue operations, Cash is called in to work with a meager agency whose sole directive is to police these newly freelance spies.

Cash contrasts his partner, Max London, played by Allison Smith in their "low" vs. "high" tech approaches to problems. Cash is an expert martial artist and was trained to improvise by re-purposing objects in his environment as tools or weapons; conversely, Max prefers to arm herself with the latest cutting-edge technology and gadgets, which occasionally puts them at odds. For example, when disabling a camera system, Max speculates about defeating it with electronic jamming, while Cash simply puts a post-it note over the lens. Alternately, Cash may spend considerable time trying to defeat an opponent in hand-to-hand, while Max will simply use a tranquilizer gun.

Despite initial friction, the two quickly establish a rapport (with the usual romantic overtures). Some of the show's humor is generated from Lorne's reluctance to use modern gadgets, as well as the occasional revelations about his past and his high connections. In the premiere episode, for example, Lorne calls the president who is a personal friend and is given a security clearance higher than his boss'.

The series was a throwback to the stylish spy series of the 1960s, with particular comparison being made to The Avengers and The Man from U.N.C.L.E., while at the same time poking fun at the genre. (The opening credits were a parody of the opening credits of The Avengers.) The show's first episode featured cameos by numerous stars of spy shows of the past (including Patrick Macnee and Robert Culp).

Spy Game was canceled after nine of the thirteen episodes produced were aired.



No. Title Directed by Written by Original air date
1"Why Spy?"Elodie KeeneJohn McNamaraMarch 3, 1997 (1997-03-03)
2"With Friends Like These"Lou AntonioEric MorrisMarch 10, 1997 (1997-03-10)
3"Nobody Ever Said Growing Up Was Easy"Doug LeflerGene O'Neill & Noreen TobinMarch 17, 1997 (1997-03-17)
4"Dead and Gone Honey"James FrawleyAnne CollinsJune 7, 1997 (1997-06-07)
5"You Just Can't Trust Anyone These Days"TBATBAJune 14, 1997 (1997-06-14)
6"What, Micah Worry?"Alan J. LeviDavid SimkinsJune 21, 1997 (1997-06-21)
7"What Family Doesn't Have Its Ups and Downs"Les LandauGene O'Neill & Noreen TobinJune 28, 1997 (1997-06-28)
8"And That About Concludes Our Session"TBATBAJuly 5, 1997 (1997-07-05)
9"Lorne and Max Drop the Ball"Jefery LevyKathy McCormickJuly 12, 1997 (1997-07-12)
11"Necessity is the Mother of Infection"Winrich KolbeScott BrownUNAIRED
12"How Diplomatic of You"TBATBAUNAIRED
13"Well, Nothing to Fear But Death Itself"TBATBAUNAIRED

Though the last four episodes were never aired in the USA, they were shown overseas, for instance by Channel 4 in the UK (though very late at night).

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