Remington Steele is an American television series co-created by Robert Butler and Michael Gleason. The series, starring Stephanie Zimbalist and Pierce Brosnan, was produced by MTM Enterprises and first broadcast on the NBC network from 1982 to 1987. The series blended the genres of romantic comedy, drama, and detective procedural. Remington Steele is best known for launching the career of Pierce Brosnan.
Remington Steele's premise is that Laura Holt, a licensed private detective played by Stephanie Zimbalist, opened a detective agency under her own name but found that potential clients refused to hire a woman, however qualified. To solve the problem, Laura invents a fictitious male superior whom she names Remington Steele. Through a series of events that unfold in the first episode, "License to Steele," Pierce Brosnan's character, a former thief and con man whose real name is never revealed, assumes the identity of Remington Steele. Behind the scenes, a power struggle ensues between Laura and Mr. Steele as to who is really in charge, whilst the two carry on a casual romantic relationship.
Remington Steele was a unique hybrid of romantic comedy, drama, and detective procedural that paid homage to Hollywood movies of the 1930s and 1940s, drawing particularly from screwball comedy in the romantic storyline, while often referencing film noir in the mystery storylines. It subverted 1970s detective show conventions by telling its stories from the point of view of an independent, professional woman. At a time when hour-long series were serious and half-hour series were humorous, Remington Steele incorporated multiple styles of comedy into the standard detective format. It pioneered the slowly evolving "will they or won't they" relationship arc that is now common to television drama of all genres. Furthermore, Remington Steele’s unusual premise allowed it to explore themes of personal identity and role-playing in strikingly complex ways. As critic Jaime Weinman concludes, "Remington Steele is a great hybrid of detective story and romance because it treats romance as similar to detective work: it's about finding out what the other person is hiding."