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The F.B.I. (TV series)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The F.B.I.
The F.B.I. (TV series).jpg
GenrePolice procedural
StarringEfrem Zimbalist, Jr.
Philip Abbott
William Reynolds
Country of originUnited States
No. of seasons9
No. of episodes241 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s)Quinn Martin
Philip Saltzman[1]
Running time60 minutes
Production company(s)QM Productions
Warner Bros. Television
(1965–1967; 1970–1974)
Warner Bros.- Seven Arts Television
DistributorWarner Bros. Television Distribution
Original networkABC
Original releaseSeptember 19, 1965 –
April 28, 1974
Related showsToday's F.B.I. (1981-1982)
FBI (2018-)
From left: Stephen Brooks, Lynn Loring and Efrem Zimbalist, Jr., 1965.

The F.B.I. is an American police television series created by Quinn Martin and Philip Saltzman for ABC and co-produced with Warner Bros. Television, with sponsorship from the Ford Motor Company, Alcoa and American Tobacco Company. The series was broadcast on ABC from 1965 until its end in 1974. Starring Efrem Zimbalist, Jr., Philip Abbott and William Reynolds, the series, consisted of nine seasons and 241 episodes, chronicles a group of FBI agents trying to defend the US Government from unidentifed threats.


Produced by Quinn Martin and based in part on concepts from the 1959 Warner Bros. theatrical film The FBI Story, the series was based on actual FBI cases, with fictitious main characters carrying the stories. Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. played Inspector Lewis Erskine, a widower whose wife had been killed in an ambush meant for him. Philip Abbott played Arthur Ward, assistant director to FBI Director 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. Although the couple was soon engaged on 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 FBI's most wanted criminals of the day, decades before the Fox Network aired America's Most Wanted. The most famous instance was in the April 21, 1968 episode, when Zimbalist asked for information about fugitive James Earl Ray, who was being hunted for the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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, as Warner Bros. held the television and theatrical rights to any project based on The FBI Story. It was the longest-running of all of Quinn Martin's television series, airing nine seasons.[citation needed]


Season Episodes First aired Last aired
1 32 September 19, 1965 (1965-09-19) May 8, 1966 (1966-05-08)
2 29 September 18, 1966 (1966-09-18) April 16, 1967 (1967-04-16)
3 27 September 17, 1967 (1967-09-17) April 28, 1968 (1968-04-28)
4 26 September 22, 1968 (1968-09-22) March 30, 1969 (1969-03-30)
5 26 September 14, 1969 (1969-09-14) March 8, 1970 (1970-03-08)
6 26 September 20, 1970 (1970-09-20) March 21, 1971 (1971-03-21)
7 26 September 12, 1971 (1971-09-12) March 19, 1972 (1972-03-19)
8 26 September 17, 1972 (1972-09-17) April 1, 1973 (1973-04-01)
9 23 September 16, 1973 (1973-09-16) April 28, 1974 (1974-04-28)

Nielsen ratings

  • Season 1: Not in Top 30
  • Season 2: #29, 20.2
  • Season 3: #22, 21.2
  • Season 4: #18, 21.7
  • Season 5: #24, 20.6
  • Season 6: #10, 23.0
  • Season 7: #17, 22.4
  • Season 8: #29, 19.2
  • Season 9: Not in Top 30

Home media

A 1969 "Ten Most Wanted List" segment; these were seen at the close of some episodes.
A 1969 "Ten Most Wanted List" segment; these were seen at the close of some episodes.

Warner Bros. (under the Warner Home Video label) has released all nine seasons of The F.B.I. on DVD in region 1 via their Warner Archive Collection. These are Manufacture-on-Demand (MOD) releases and are available through Warner's online store and[2][3][4][5][6][7] The ninth and final season was released on September 23, 2014.[8]

DVD Name Ep # Release Date
The First Season, Part 1 16 May 24, 2011
The First Season, Part 2 16 August 2, 2011
The Second Season, Part 1 16 February 14, 2012
The Second Season, Part 2 13 February 14, 2012
The Third Season, Part 1 16 September 11, 2012
The Third Season, Part 2 11 September 11, 2012
The Fourth Season, Part 1 13 February 26, 2013
The Fourth Season, Part 2 13 February 26, 2013
The Fifth Season, Part 1 13 June 4, 2013
The Fifth Season, Part 2 13 June 4, 2013
The Sixth Season 26 October 15, 2013
The Seventh Season 26 February 25, 2014
The Eighth Season 26 June 10, 2014
The Ninth Season 23 September 23, 2014

Similar series

  • In September 2018, a similar series, titled FBI, debuted on CBS; this series was co-created by Dick Wolf and Craig Turk for Universal Television. Unlike The F.B.I. and Today's FBI, however, the cases presented are largely fictional.

Popular culture


  1. ^ "Philip Saltzman, Producer of 'Barnaby Jones'". Los Angeles Times. August 21, 2009. Retrieved August 23, 2009.
  2. ^ "The F.B.I. - DVDs for 'The 1st Season, Part 1' Announced: Date, Package, Cost and More!". Archived from the original on January 14, 2012.
  3. ^ "The F.B.I. - Warner Archive Completes the Rookie Year with Today's 'The 1st Season, Part 2' on DVD". Archived from the original on September 14, 2011.
  4. ^ "The F.B.I. - Box Art, Contents and More for Today's Archive Sets of 'The 2nd Season, Part 1' and 'Part 2'". Archived from the original on June 14, 2012.
  5. ^ "The F.B.I. - 'The 3rd Season, Part 1' and 'Part 2' are BOTH Now on DVD!". Archived from the original on September 13, 2012.
  6. ^ The F.B.I. - Package Art Pics for Warner Archives DVDs of 'The 4th Season' Archived March 1, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ The F.B.I. – 'The 5th Season' is Now Available from the Warner Archive Archived June 19, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ The 9th and Final Season is Now Available on DVD! Archived September 24, 2014, at the Wayback Machine

External links

This page was last edited on 19 October 2019, at 10:10
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