The F.B.I. (TV series)
From left: Stephen Brooks, Lynn Loring and Efrem Zimbalist, Jr., 1965.
|Starring||Efrem Zimbalist, Jr.
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||9|
|No. of episodes||240 (List of episodes)|
|Executive producer(s)||Quinn Martin
|Running time||60 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Quinn Martin Productions (1965–1974)
Warner Bros. Television (1965–1967; 1969–1974)
Warner Bros.- Seven Arts Television (1967–1969)
|Original run||September 19, 1965 – September 8, 1974|
|Related shows||Today's F.B.I.|
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, and the characters almost always drove Ford vehicles in the series. Alcoa was co-sponsor of Season One only.
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.
Cartha D. “Deke” DeLoach, who was the third-ranking official at the FBI under J. Edgar Hoover and briefed the president on the bureau’s activities in the late 1960s. Mr. DeLoach helped burnish the bureau’s public image throughout the 1960s. He negotiated a deal with Hollywood mogul Jack Warner for a network television series about the FBI and reviewed scripts.
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.
An updated and revamped version of the series, Today's F.B.I., executive produced by David Gerber, aired on ABC from October 1981 through April 1982 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 Fox, was set for air in Fall 2008; however, that series has yet to air.
Warner Bros. has released the first six 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 Amazon.com. Season 6 was released on October 15, 2013.
|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|
- "Philip Saltzman, Producer of 'Barnaby Jones'". Los Angeles Times. August 21, 2009. Retrieved August 23, 2009.
- "The F.B.I. - DVDs for 'The 1st Season, Part 1' Announced: Date, Package, Cost and More!".
- "The F.B.I. - Warner Archive Completes the Rookie Year with Today's 'The 1st Season, Part 2' on DVD".
- "The F.B.I. - Box Art, Contents and More for Today's Archive Sets of 'The 2nd Season, Part 1' and 'Part 2'".
- "The F.B.I. - 'The 3rd Season, Part 1' and 'Part 2' are BOTH Now on DVD!".
- The F.B.I. - Package Art Pics for Warner Archives DVDs of 'The 4th Season'
- The F.B.I. - 'The 5th Season' is Now Available from the Warner Archive
- Warner Archive Releases 'The 6th Season' MOD Set
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to The F.B.I. (TV series).|
- The F.B.I. at the Internet Movie Database
- The F.B.I. at TV.com
- Today's F.B.I. at the Internet Movie Database
- Today's F.B.I. at TV.com
- The 1965 F.B.I. Show Tribute Site