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The Detectives (1959 TV series)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Detectives
Ursula Thiess Robert Taylor The Detectives 1960.JPG
Robert Taylor as Capt. Matt Holbrook and wife Ursula Thiess as Lisa Bonay in The Detectives
Also known asRobert Taylor's Detectives
GenreCrime drama
Written byLee Berg
Borden Chase
Patricia Chase
Calvin Clements Sr.
Norman T. Herman
Michael Morris
Louis Pelletier
Gene Roddenberry
Alvin Sapinsley
Palmer Thompson
Directed byLewis Allen
Richard Carlson
Thomas Carr
Alvin Ganzer
Murray Golden
Arthur Hiller
Arnold Laven
Don McDougall
Don Medford
Ted Post
Paul Wendkos
StarringRobert Taylor
Tige Andrews
Russell Thorson
Lee Farr
Mark Goddard
Adam West
ComposerHerschel Burke Gilbert
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons3
No. of episodes97
Arthur H. Nadel
CinematographyJoseph F. Biroc
Wilfred M. Cline
EditorsLyle Boyer
Marsh Hendry
Running time25 minutes
50 minutes
Original networkABC (1959–1961)
NBC (1961–1962)
Picture formatBlack-and-white
Audio formatMonaural
Original releaseOctober 16, 1959 (1959-10-16) –
May 18, 1962 (1962-05-18)

The Detectives (also known as The Detectives Starring Robert Taylor and Robert Taylor's Detectives) is an American crime drama series which ran on ABC during its first two seasons (sponsored by Procter & Gamble), and on NBC during its third and final season. The series, starring motion picture star Robert Taylor, was produced by Four Star Television in association with Levy-Gardner-Laven Productions.[1]


Taylor stars as Detective Captain Matt Holbrook, the tough, no-nonsense head of an elite police investigative unit in a major U.S. city. Ostensibly, each man in Holbrook's hand-picked squad of detectives came from a different division. Lt. Johnny Russo (Tige Andrews) was from burglary, Lt. Jim Conway (Lee Farr) came from homicide, and Lt. Otto Lindstrom (Russell Thorson) was from the bunco squad.[2]


In the series' second season, Farr left the series and was replaced by Mark Goddard as Detective Sgt. Chris Ballard. Future Batman star Adam West joined the cast during the third season as Sgt. Steve Nelson. The series moved to NBC for its third season and was increased from 30 to 60 minutes. The series was also retitled to Robert Taylor's Detectives. A total of 97 episodes were produced before the series was cancelled in 1962.[3] The series was produced for Four Star by Levy-Gardner-Laven Productions, which produced other successful Four Star series, such as The Rifleman and The Big Valley.

Future Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry was a contributing writer to the series.


Guest stars


Season 1: 1959–60

No. in
Title Directed by Written by Original air date Prod.
11"The Streger Affair"Arnold LavenPalmer ThompsonOctober 16, 1959 (1959-10-16)66-03
22"Shot in the Dark"Arnold LavenChristopher KnopfOctober 23, 1959 (1959-10-23)2810
33"The Hiding Place"Joseph H. LewisDonald S. SanfordOctober 30, 1959 (1959-10-30)7102
44"Decoy"James NeilsonLouis PelletierNovember 6, 1959 (1959-11-06)2830
55"The Murderous Deadline"Don MedfordPalmer ThompsonNovember 13, 1959 (1959-11-13)2826
66"The Bait"Don MedfordLeonard FreemanNovember 20, 1959 (1959-11-20)2836
77"My Name is Tommy"Joseph H. LewisPeter PackerNovember 27, 1959 (1959-11-27)2812
88"Back-Seat Driver"Arthur HillerMeyer DolinskyDecember 4, 1959 (1959-12-04)2834
99"Two-Time Loser"Don MedfordRobert J. ShawDecember 11, 1959 (1959-12-11)2802
1010"The Long Drive"Don MedfordStanley NissDecember 18, 1959 (1959-12-18)7106
1111"Masquerade"Stuart RosenbergRichard CollinsDecember 25, 1959 (1959-12-25)2808
1212"Life in the Balance"Don MedfordJoseph StefanoJanuary 1, 1960 (1960-01-01)2816
1313"Karate"Ted PostGene RoddenberryJanuary 8, 1960 (1960-01-08)2832
1414"Blue Fire"Don MedfordGene RoddenberryJanuary 15, 1960 (1960-01-15)2842
1515"My Brother's Keeper"Don MedfordHerbert Abbott SpiroJanuary 22, 1960 (1960-01-22)2820
1616"House Call"Arnold LavenPeter ParkerJanuary 29, 1960 (1960-01-29)7104
1717"The Trap"Don MedfordHerbert Abbott SpiroFebruary 5, 1960 (1960-02-05)2844
1818"Conspiracy of Silence"Stuart RosenbergPeter PackerFebruary 12, 1960 (1960-02-12)2806
1919"Twelve Hours to Live"Arthur HillerPeter PackerFebruary 19, 1960 (1960-02-19)2814
2020"Anatomy of Fear"Don MedfordJoseph PetraccaFebruary 26, 1960 (1960-02-26)2846
2121"Armed and Dangerous"William GrahamLouis PelletierMarch 4, 1960 (1960-03-04)2838
2222"The Bad Eye of Rosa Rosetti"Don MedfordJoseph StefanoMarch 11, 1960 (1960-03-11)2840
2323"Time and Tide"Harry KellerDavid P. HarmonMarch 18, 1960 (1960-03-18)2850
2424"Little Girl Lost"Don MedfordCalvin Clements Sr.March 25, 1960 (1960-03-25)2848
2525"The Chameleon Truck"Robert B. SinclairRobert B. SinclairApril 1, 1960 (1960-04-01)2822
2626"The Old Gang"Ted PostCurtis KenyonApril 8, 1960 (1960-04-08)2854
2727"The Bodyguards"James YarbroughPalmer ThompsonApril 15, 1960 (1960-04-15)2856
2828"The Prowler"Arnold LavenTeleplay by: Milton Gelman
Story by: Alfred Brenner
April 22, 1960 (1960-04-22)2852
2929"Floating Face Down"Felix E. FeistMichael PlantApril 29, 1960 (1960-04-29)2804
3030"The Long Jump"Paul WendkosPeter PackerMay 6, 1960 (1960-05-06)2824
3131"Trial by Fire"Richard WhorfStanley NissMay 13, 1960 (1960-05-13)2828
3232"The Retirement of Maria Muir"Paul WendkosJudy & George W. GeorgeMay 20, 1960 (1960-05-20)2818
3333"Song of Songs"Don MedfordJoseph StefanoMay 27, 1960 (1960-05-27)2862

Season 2: 1960–61

No. in
Title Directed by Written by Original air date
341"The New Man"Don MedfordLee KarsonSeptember 16, 1960 (1960-09-16)
352"Longshot"John RichBorden & Patricia ChaseSeptember 23, 1960 (1960-09-23)
363"The Sports Job"Arnold LavenHarry KronmanSeptember 30, 1960 (1960-09-30)
374"Alibis"Alvin GanzerMichael MorrisOctober 7, 1960 (1960-10-07)
385"Shuttle"Alvin GanzerPeter PackerOctober 14, 1960 (1960-10-14)
396"Cop on Trial"Roger KayBorden & Patricia ChaseNovember 4, 1960 (1960-11-04)
407"The Little Witness"Arthur HillerLee BergNovember 11, 1960 (1960-11-11)
418"You Only Die Once"Arthur HillerDavid HarmonNovember 18, 1960 (1960-11-18)
429"Adopted"Ted PostStory by : Erna Lazarus
Teleplay by : Harry Kronman & Erna Lazarus
November 25, 1960 (1960-11-25)
4310"The Other Side"Paul WendkosBorden & Patricia ChaseDecember 2, 1960 (1960-12-02)
4411"The Scalpel"John RichPalmer ThompsonDecember 9, 1960 (1960-12-09)
4512"Big Poison"Gerald MayerEllis MarcusDecember 16, 1960 (1960-12-16)
4613"The Informer"William F. ClaxtonHenry GreenbergDecember 23, 1960 (1960-12-23)
4714"Razor's Edge"Paul WendkosLawrence DobkinDecember 30, 1960 (1960-12-30)
4815"The Frightened Ones"Lamont JohnsonGordon Gordon & Mildred GordonJanuary 6, 1961 (1961-01-06)
4916"Power Failure"Lewis AllenLaurence MascottJanuary 13, 1961 (1961-01-13)
5017"Kinfolk"Don WeisJay SimmsJanuary 20, 1961 (1961-01-20)
5118"Quiet Night"Dick ModerGeorge BruceJanuary 27, 1961 (1961-01-27)
5219"See No Evil"Tom GriesJohn K. Butler & Boyd CorrellFebruary 3, 1961 (1961-02-03)
5320"Personal Enemy"Robert ButlerA. I. BezzeridesFebruary 10, 1961 (1961-02-10)
5421"Matt's Woman"Lewis AllenStory by : Donn Mullally
Teleplay by : Donn Mullally & Harry Kronman
February 17, 1961 (1961-02-17)
5522"An Eye for an Eye"James ClavellMort ThawFebruary 24, 1961 (1961-02-24)
5623"Bad Apple"Paul WendkosHoward DimsdaleMarch 3, 1961 (1961-03-03)

Season 3: 1961–62

No. in
Title Directed by Written by Original air date US
681"Tobey's Place"Paul WendkosMichael MorrisSeptember 29, 1961 (1961-09-29)
692"The Legend of Jim Riva"Richard CarlsonStory by : Arthur Browne Jr.
Teleplay by : John K. Butler & Boyd Correll
October 6, 1961 (1961-10-06)
703"Shadow of His Brother"Richard CarlsonPalmer ThompsonOctober 13, 1961 (1961-10-13)
714"A Barrell Full of Monkeys"Robert ButlerCalvin Clements Sr.October 27, 1961 (1961-10-27)
725"One Lucky Break"Thomas CarrAlvin SapinsleyNovember 3, 1961 (1961-11-03)
736"A Piece of Tomorrow"Walter DonigerLee BergNovember 10, 1961 (1961-11-10)
747"Beyond a Reasonable Doubt"Alvin GanzerHerman GrovesNovember 17, 1961 (1961-11-17)
758"Hit and Miss"Richard CarlsonLouis PelletierDecember 1, 1961 (1961-12-01)
769"Song of the Guilty Heart"Ted PostMichael MorrisDecember 8, 1961 (1961-12-08)
7710"Escort"Richard CarlsonEd AdamsonDecember 15, 1961 (1961-12-15)
7811"The Queen of Craven Point"Thomas CarrCalvin Clements Sr.December 22, 1961 (1961-12-22)
7912"Act of God"Paul WendkosJack LairdDecember 29, 1961 (1961-12-29)
8013"Point of No Return"Charles F. HaasCalvin Clements Sr.January 12, 1962 (1962-01-12)
8114"Crossed Wires"Richard CarlsonAntony EllisJanuary 19, 1962 (1962-01-19)
8215"Night on the Town"Robert ButlerElliot WestJanuary 26, 1962 (1962-01-26)
8316"Pandora's Box"Paul WendkosCalvin Clements Sr.February 2, 1962 (1962-02-02)
8417"The Jagged Edge"Alvin GanzerA.I. BezzeridesFebruary 9, 1962 (1962-02-09)
8518"The Outsider"Thomas CarrBarry TriversFebruary 16, 1962 (1962-02-16)
8619"Walk a Crooked Line"Lewis AllenClark HowatFebruary 23, 1962 (1962-02-23)
8720"Night Boat"Arthur HillerCalvin Clements Sr.March 2, 1962 (1962-03-02)
8821"One Lousy Wednesday"Lewis AllenAlvin SapinsleyMarch 9, 1962 (1962-03-09)
8922"The Con Man"Paul WendkosLewis ReedMarch 16, 1962 (1962-03-16)
9023"Never The Twain"Richard DonnerCalvin Clements Sr.March 23, 1962 (1962-03-23)
9124"Three Blind Mice: Part 1"Paul WendkosAlvin SapinsleyMarch 30, 1962 (1962-03-30)
9225"Three Blind Mice: Part 2"Paul WendkosAlvin SapinsleyApril 6, 1962 (1962-04-06)
9326"Finders Keepers"Paul WendkosDon BrinkleyApril 13, 1962 (1962-04-13)
9427"The Fourth Commandment"Lawrence DobkinLee BergApril 20, 1962 (1962-04-20)
9528"The Walls Have Eyes"Alvin GanzerGordon Gordon, Mildred Gordon, & Anthony BoucherApril 27, 1962 (1962-04-27)
9629"Strangers in the House"Tom GriesPeter StephensMay 4, 1962 (1962-05-04)
9730"Saturday Edition"Robert ButlerSy SalkowitzMay 18, 1962 (1962-05-18)

Paperback Novel

Prolific pulpsmith Norman Daniels was tapped by Lancer Books to write an original novel based on the series' concept and characters, and the book, named for the series, was released in 1962, with a cover price of 35¢, its copyright assigned to the author. It manages to sport all three iterations of the title: The cover, beneath a close-up photo of the star's eyes, says Robert Taylor starring in The Detectives; the spine says merely The Detectives and then cites the author; the title page proclaims Robert Taylor's Detectives.

Comic book

Dell Comics issued a comic book rendition of Robert Taylor's "The Detectives" during the series run .[4][5][6]


A few years after The Detectives ended, Barbara Stanwyck, Robert Taylor's ex-wife, had her very own successful series also produced by Four Star/Levy-Gardner-Laven Productions, The Big Valley, which also aired on ABC.

Several cast members on The Detectives went on to major TV roles after the series ended:

  • Robert Taylor, series star of The Detectives, who played Det.Capt. Matt Holbrook, went on to star in the successful syndicated TV series Death Valley Days, where he remained until his death in 1969. He had enjoyed a long and successful film career as a leading man in over 70 films- prior to starring in The Detectives.
  • Adam West, who was added to the cast in The Detectives' final season as Det. Steve Nelson, went on to play the lead role in the ABC series Batman.
  • Tige Andrews, who played Det. Johnny Russo, went on to play as Police Detective Captain Adam Greer in ABC's The Mod Squad. He also appeared in the original Star Trek as Klingon officer Kras in the episode "Friday's Child".
  • Mark Goddard, who played Det. Chris Ballard, went on to star in the CBS sci-fi series Lost In Space. Prior to the Detectives, Goddard co-starred in the popular (but cancelled after one season), CBS-TV series, Johnny Ringo, also produced by Four Star.
  • Russell Thorson, who played Det. Otto Lindstrom, had a long list of film and T.V. credits before and after The Detectives, including the T.V. movie "Cocoon"[citation needed]


In syndication, the series was rebroadcast for a time under the name, Captain of Detectives. Rebroadcasts were shown in the early 2000s on cable's TV Land network.

Home media

The Detectives has been released in Germany (in dubbed German language only) under the name "Kein Fall für FBI" [1] As of 2019, there has been no official release of Robert Taylor's "The Detectives" on DVD in the U.S.


  1. ^ Brown, Les (1992). Les Brown's Encyclopedia of Television (3 ed.). Gale Research. pp. 152. ISBN 0-8103-8871-5.
  2. ^ "The Detectives".
  3. ^ Wayne, Jane Ellen (2006). The Leading Men of MGM. Carroll & Graf Publishers. pp. 187–188. ISBN 0-7867-1768-8.
  4. ^ "four-color-series-ii-issue-1168".
  5. ^ "four-color-series-ii-issue-1219".
  6. ^ "four-color-series-ii-issue-1240".

External links

This page was last edited on 2 January 2022, at 04:36
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