Do You Remember: Mr. & Mrs. Smith
Back in 1996 when then struggling actress Maria Bello had only appeared in episodes of Nowhere Man, The Commish and Due South, she landed a role in a TV series where she starred alongside well-known actor Scott Bakula, several seasons after his acclaimed series Quantum Leap came to an end.
That show was called Mr. & Mrs. Smith – not to be confused with the 2005 movie that starred recently separated megastars Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt in the lead roles.
Mr. & Mrs. Smith debuted on CBS (but was owned by Warner Bros. Television) in September 1996, but only aired 9 of the 13 produced episodes. Ironically, the four remaining episodes aired in Norway, Poland, Finland, Australia, The Netherlands and Germany; but not here in the United States.
The show focused on a spy known only as Mr. Smith (Bakula), who worked for a private security organization known as “The Factory”. Using covert operatives and the latest technology they gather information on technology, science, and economics in an effort to protect corporate America from espionage. They are also hired out as private security or to help with covert operations like the recovery of stolen Stinger missiles.
In the pilot, a rival named Mrs. Smith (Bello) became entangled in a case with Mr. Smith. After losing her job when her mission failed, The Factory hired her and assigned the two spies to work together. Though they often bickered, and knew nothing about each other’s personal lives, including their real names, they made a good team (albeit for only one season).
Actor Roy Dotrice (the original TV series Beauty and the Beast) appeared as their boss Mr. Big and the pilot episode of the series marked the acting debut of actor Timothy Olyphant, who is best known for his work on Justified. It should also be noted that Bakula served as one of the show’s producers.
Among the guest stars featured in the show included:
• Timothy Omundson, who has starred in Psych and Galavant;
• Kelly Hu, who has starred in the X-Men franchise and The Scorpion King;
• Erick Avari, a veteran actor, who has appeared in The Mummy;
• David McCallum, best known for his role on the long-running series NCIS; and,
• Lorraine Toussaint, most recently starring in Rosewood, and recurring in The Fosters.
Here is the original TV introduction for Mr. & Mrs. Smith:
Do you remember Mr. & Mrs. Smith?
What short-lived series would you like to see spotlighted next? Please share your thoughts in our comments section below. And, please also check out previous “Do You Remember” pieces for shows like Higher Ground, Glory Days, Eastwick and Love Monkey.