About the Show
January 23, 1983
George Peppard as John "Hannibal" Smith
Dwight Schultz as "Howling Mad" Murdock
Mr. T as B.A. Baracus
Dirk Benedict as Templeton "Faceman" Peck
"The A-Team" was created by Stephen J. Cannell and Frank Lupo based on a pitch by then-NBC President Brandon Tartikoff for a show that combined "The Road Warrior," "The Dirty Dozen" and "Mission: Impossible" with Mr. T driving the car. The series follows the exploits of a "crack commando unit" that becomes soldiers of fortune known as The A-Team after escaping from the maximum-security prison they were sent to for a crime they didn't commit. On the run from the military, they are heroes for hire, and "if you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire the A-Team."
The show stars George Peppard ("Breakfast at Tiffany's") as Colonel John "Hannibal" Smith, Mr. T ("Rocky III") as B.A. Baracus, Dirk Benedict ("Battlestar Galactica") as Templeton "Faceman" Peck and Dwight Schultz ("Star Trek: The Next Generation") as "Howling Mad" Murdock. Hannibal, the leader of the team, formulates their unorthodox but effective plans, famously stating "I love it when a plan comes together." Face, his second in command, is a con artist so good-looking he can charm anyone into getting what he needs. B.A. Baracus is the team's mechanic and intimidating strongman who is so afraid of flying that to get on a plane he must be knocked out. And the team's expert pilot, "Howling Mad" Murdock, is a certified lunatic, whom the rest of the team breaks out of a mental hospital whenever they need him for a mission.
Known for its cartoonish violence, memorable theme tune and characters' ability to make weaponry out of odd parts, the show immediately became popular, with its first regular episode reaching over 25% of the television audience and placing fourth in the Nielsen Top 10. During its five-season run from 1983 to 1987, "The A-Team" was nominated for three Emmy Awards. Several novels were based on the series, and Marvel Comics produced a three-issue A-Team comic book series. In 2010, 20th Century Fox released a feature film version of "The A-Team" starring Liam Neeson and Bradley Cooper.
Notable series guest stars include Joe Namath, William "The Refrigerator" Perry, Rick James, Boy George, Hulk Hogan, Vanna White ("Wheel of Fortune"), Pat Sajak ("Wheel of Fortune"), David McCallum ("NCIS"), Tia Carrere ("Wayne's World"), Richard Moll ("Night Court"), Markie Post ("Night Court"), Yaphet Kotto ("Homicide: Life on the Street"), Joanna Kerns ("Growing Pains"), Liz Sheridan ("Seinfeld"), Dean Stockwell ("Quantum Leap") and Della Reese ("Touched by an Angel").