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‘The Hardy Boys’ Rolls on Hulu

'The Hardy Boys' trailer screengrab
(Image credit: Future)

Drama The Hardy Boys starts on Hulu Dec. 4. There are 13 episodes. Rohan Campbell and Alexander Elliot play the boys, ages 16 and 12, and James Tupper portrays their father Fenton. 

After the untimely death of their mother, Frank and Joe Hardy are moved to their parents’ hometown for the summer. They discover their father, a detective, has taken on a secret investigation, and the brothers start an investigation of their own. 

The Hardy Boys books, featuring a pair of investigation-minded brothers, go back almost a hundred years. There have been various TV series, including one on ABC in the late ‘70s, The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries, that had Parker Stevenson and Shaun Cassidy playing the brothers. 

The new series is set around the same time the Stevenson/Cassidy one was--no cellphones, kids getting around on bikes, not wearing helmets. “The vibe of the ‘80s is really cool to me,” Elliot told B+C. “Stranger Things, the Walkman, old-style walkie-talkies--there’s a cool, adventurous kind of vibe to the ‘80s.”

Tupper said he’s been “a big Hardy Boys fan from the get-go.” 

He said his father was his inspiration in finding his Fenton character, mentioning how his dad would set up elaborate treasure hunts that saw the kids following clues and digging when they stumbled upon a big X in the ground. “Actors often rely on their parents and this one was for my dad,” he said. 

The characters are of course familiar to many, but the plot lines on the Hulu series are fresh. “It’s definitely its own storyline,” said Campbell. “They’ve created something special for it.”

Campbell and Elliot said they hit it off early in production. The young actors met at the table read, which was held in an arcade. They read, they played laser tag, they drove some bumper cars, they connected. “It was a really fun environment,” said Elliot. “We developed a strong bond even after three days.”

Tupper said his youthful co-stars bring a maturity that belies their age. “These boys have blown my mind day after day after day,” he said. 

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.