The F.B.I. (TV series)

The F.B.I. (TV series)

infobox television
show_name = The F.B.I.
format = Crime Drama
runtime = 60 minutes
executive_producer = Quinn Martin
starring = Efrem Zimbalist, Jr.
Philip Abbott
country = USA
network = ABC
first_aired = September 19, 1965
last_aired = September 8, 1974
num_episodes = 240 |

"The F.B.I." is an American television series that was broadcast on ABC from 1965 to 1974. It was sponsored by the Ford Motor Company.


Produced by Quinn Martin and based in part on concepts from the 1959 Warner Bros. theatrical film "The FBI Story", the series was an authentic telling of or fictionalized accounts of actual F.B.I. cases, with fictitious main characters carrying the stories. Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. played Inspector Lewis Erskine, while Philip Abbott played Arthur Ward, assistant director to F.B.I. chief J. Edgar Hoover. Although Hoover served as series consultant until his death in 1972, he was never seen in the series.

Stephen Brooks played Inspector Erskine's assistant, Special Agent Jim Rhodes, for the first two seasons. Lynn Loring played Inspector Erskine's daughter and Rhodes' love interest, Barbara, in the first few episodes of the show. That romantic angle was soon dropped.

In 1967, Brooks was replaced by veteran actor William Reynolds, who played Special Agent Tom Colby until 1973. The series would enjoy its highest ratings during this time, peaking at No. 10 in the 1970-1971 season. For the final season, Shelly Novack played Special Agent Chris Daniels.

Some episodes ended with a "most wanted" segment hosted by Zimbalist, noting the F.B.I.'s most wanted criminals of the day (this was decades before the Fox Network aired "America's Most Wanted"). The series aired on ABC at 8 p.m. Sunday from 1965 to 1973, when it was moved up to 7:30 p.m. for the final season.

The series was a co-production of Quinn Martin Productions and Warner Bros. Television. Warner Bros. held the television and theatrical rights to any project based on "The F.B.I.". As it turned out, it was the longest running of all of Quinn Martin's television series, having aired nine seasons.

Mark Felt, then an assistant director at the F.B.I. and later to become famous as the "Deep Throat" source in the Watergate scandal, is reported to have served as an unpaid technical adviser to the series, occasionally going onto the set with Zimbalist. Recent disclosures of memos by the F.B.I., under the FOIA, reveal that the real F.B.I. had casting control over the show.

"Today's F.B.I."

An updated and revamped version of the series, "Today's F.B.I.", executive produced by David Gerber, aired on ABC in 1981 in the same Sunday 8 p.m. time slot as its predecessor. A remake of the original series, produced by Ron Howard's Imagine Entertainment for the Fox network, is set for air in Fall 2008.

External links

*imdb title|id=0058801|title=The F.B.I.
* show|id=522|title=The F.B.I.
*imdb title|id=0081948|title=Today's F.B.I.
* show|id=8177|title=Today's F.B.I.
* [ The 1965 F.B.I. Show Tribute Site]
* [ Full episodes of "The F.B.I." at AOL Video]

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