Lime Street is an American action/drama series that aired on the ABC television network during the 1985 television season. The series was created by Linda Bloodworth-Thomason, who also served as executive producer alongside husband Harry Thomason and series star Robert Wagner. The series centers on James Culver (Wagner), a widower who investigates insurance cases with the British Edward Wingate (John Standing), while simultaneously dealing with the growing pains of his two daughters, Elizabeth (Samantha Smith) and
Margaret Ann (Maia Brewton), whom he raises with his own father (Lew Ayres).
Samantha Smith, a schoolgirl from Manchester, Maine, had previously made headlines when, at the age of ten, she wrote a letter to Soviet premier Yuri Andropov asking if he really wanted a nuclear war with the United States. He wrote her back saying he wasn't, and asked her to visit the Soviet Union. The resulting media circus got her numerous slots on various talk shows, including The Tonight Show where Harry Thomason's brother spotted her and alerted the production team to get her to audition for the role of Elizabeth, which she was then rewarded. Despite only having acted once before (on an episode of CBS' Charles in Charge), Smith proved to have a natural talent for acting, and she was an instant hit with the cast and crew. Tragically, she and her father Arthur died in a plane crash with just three episodes and the two-hour pilot completed, less than a month before the series was set to premiere. Although production continued, the role was never recast, and the showrunners even considered adding another daughter to Wagner's character to the show, a notion that was later abandoned.
The show also took a ratings hit from NBC's hit series The Golden Girls and 227; the show would be pulled from ABC's schedule in October 1985, after episode 5 aired, though the three unaired episodes aired on the Lifetime cable channel in 1987. Of the eight episodes produced, only one ("The Mystery of Flight 101") can be found on YouTube in its entirety. YouTube user SamanthaSmithINFO has uploaded clips of the other four episodes featuring Smith ("Pilot", "The Wayward Train", "Diamonds Aren't Forever", and "Old Pilots Never Die"), while the three Lifetime episodes ("Swiss Watch and Wait", "Treasure Hunt" and "The Three Million Dollar Spirit") have been unaccounted for in any format.