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Peter Gunn

Peter Gunn may be the closest episodic television ever came to perfectly capturing the classic elements of film noir. Created, written and directed by Blake Edwards and shot in black and white, the title character (played by Craig Stevens) was not your typical world-weary gumshoe; he was a well-dressed sophisticate with expensive tastes and a love of contemporary jazz. (The show’s music – especially the incredible instrumental theme composed by Henry Mancini – did much to spread the gospel of contemporary jazz to the masses.) It ran on NBC, and later ABC, from 1958 to 1961; we have the entire first season below.