Surfside 6 is an ABC television series (1960–1962) about a Miami Beach detective agency set on a
houseboat, featuring Troy Donahue as Sandy Winfield, II, Van Williams as Kenny Madison (a character recycled from
Bourbon Street Beat, a similar series that had appeared in the same time slot the season before), and Lee Patterson
as Dave Thorne. Diane McBain co-starred as socialite Daphne Dutton, whose yacht was berthed next to their
houseboat. Margarita Sierra also had a supporting role as Cha Cha O'Brien, an entertainer who worked at The Boom
Boom Room, a popular Miami Beach hangout at the Fontainebleau Hotel, directly across the street from Surfside 6.
Surfside 6 was in fact a real address in Miami Beach, where an unrelated houseboat was moored at the time; it can
also be seen in the sweeping aerial establishing shot of the Fontainebleu in 1964's Goldfinger.
Surfside 6 was one of four detective TV series produced by Warner
Brothers around that time, the others being 77
Sunset Strip (set in L.A.), Hawaiian Eye (set
in Hawaii), and the aforementioned Bourbon Street Beat (set in New Orleans). Plots, scripts (changing the names and
locales), characters, and almost everything else crossed over from one series to another, not a difficult feat
since they were all actually shot on the studio's backlots in Los Angeles.
Surfside 6 had a memorable theme song, written by Jerry Livingston
and Mack David. The theme has often been parodied in popular culture. The lyrics varied from week to week, but
"Surfside 6" and "In Miami Beach!" stayed intact. When the women would be introduced, the melody picked up with
back-up singers singing "Cha Cha Cha" when the announcer introduced Margarita Sierra, who vamped exaggeratedly and
winked at the camera during this brief weekly sequence.
In its first season, Surfside 6 was paired opposite the CBS
sitcoms Bringing Up Buddy and The Danny Thomas Show and NBC's Western Tales of Wells Fargo starring Dale Robertson.
In the second year, Surfide 6 competed against Danny Thomas and The Andy Griffith Show on CBS and NBC's short-lived
but highly acclaimed 87th Precinct starring Robert Lansing, a series about a fictitious New York City police