Route 66 is an American drama series about two restless young drifters, Tod Stiles (Martin Milner) and Buz Murdock (George Maharis), who travel across America in a Corvette in search of work, adventure, and themselves. The two men take odd jobs along the way which bring them in contact with dysfunctional families or troubled individuals (portrayed by many recognizable guest stars) in need of help. Tod Stiles comes from a background of privilege and wealth and is the embodiment of the decent, honest, all-American young man. His father owned a shipping company which, as Tod discovers after his father’s passing, went bankrupt – leaving his only inheritance: the Chevy Corvette. Buz is an orphaned laborer who worked on one of the senior Mr. Stiles’ ships. He represents the working-class, hipper, more Beat Generation persona. As the show progresses, Buz Murdock is replaced by Lincoln “Linc” Case (Glenn Corbett), a recently discharged Vietnam veteran who decides to follow Tod on his travels.
Route 66 was filmed on location in 25 states across the US and in Canada, which gave executive producer Herbert B. Leonard and writer Stirling Silliphant an unlimited landscape for presenting a wide variety of storylines. The series, inspired by Jack Kerouac’s novel On the Road, employs a format with elements of both traditional drama and anthology drama with episodes centering on the guest stars rather than the regular cast. Route 66 was recognized for its literate scripts and rich characterizations.
Original Air Dates: CBS (1960-64)
Created by: Stirling Silliphant & Herbert B. Leonard