Ryan was an Australian adventure television series screened by the Seven Network from 27 May 1973. The series was produced by Crawford Productions and had a run of 39 one hour episodes. The title character was a dashing private investigator played by Rod Mullinar. Ryan's assistant was played by New Zealand-born actor Pamela Stephenson, soon to leave for England and a successful television career. Other regular characters were Tony Angelini, a taxi driver and Ryan's regular informant, while Detective Cullen was Ryan’s main liaison with the police force. Ryan was shot entirely on film and in colour with an eye to potential international sales. An initial sale of 39 episodes to the Seven Network recouped only 55% of the series' relatively high production costs. An international sale was therefore crucial to the show's continued feasibility. Australian television was still broadcasting in black and white in 1973, while key international markets broadcast in colour and would more readily purchase a colour series. Though many Australian series shot their interior scenes on videotape in the studio using a multiple-camera setup with only outdoor scenes shot on film, because Australia was yet to switch to colour television the television studios were not yet equipped with colour equipment. This meant Ryan had to be shot entirely on film. In another concession to international marketability Mullinar was instructed to play the role using a Mid-Atlantic American accent.