DEA (1990 TV series)

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Created byRichard Di Lello
Written byMichael Ahnemann
Richard Di Lello
Directed byRob Bowman
Colin Bucksey
StarringChristopher Stanley
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes13
Executive producerRichard Di Lello
ProducersMichael Ahnemann
Gordon Freeman
Cyrus Nowrasteh
Peter McCabe
Running time60 minutes
Production companyLorimar Television
Original networkFox
Original releaseSeptember 7, 1990 (1990-09-07) –
May 24, 1991 (1991-05-24)

D.E.A. is an American drama series which was aired on Fox as part of its 1990-91 lineup.

D.E.A. was based on true stories of the Drug Enforcement Administration. Shot in cinéma vérité style, the program combined recreated scenes using actors with actual surveillance footage and film of actual newscasts covering the stories depicted.

Fox apparently had considerable confidence in this concept. When the initial version garnered low ratings and was put on hiatus, before its return the program was retooled into DEA—Special Task Force, which placed more emphasis on the agents' personal lives and showed less graphic violence. The revamped show premiered in April 1991, but also failed to achieve significant ratings and the program was canceled for good in June 1991.


  • Jenna Gago as Teresa Robles
  • Tom Mason as Bill Stadler
  • Miguel Sandoval as Rafael Cordera
  • Byron Keith Minns as Jimmy Sanders
  • Christopher Stanley as Nick Biaggi
  • David Wohl as Phil Jacobs


No. Title Directed by Written by Original air date
1"DEA (Pilot)"TBATBASeptember 7, 1990 (1990-09-07)
2"Aftermath"TBATBASeptember 14, 1990 (1990-09-14)
3"Under Presidential Seal"TBATBASeptember 21, 1990 (1990-09-21)
4"Jumping the Trampoline"TBATBASeptember 28, 1990 (1990-09-28)
5"Prime Mover"TBATBAOctober 5, 1990 (1990-10-05)
6"Bloodsport"TBATBAOctober 12, 1990 (1990-10-12)
7"MethLab"TBATBAOctober 26, 1990 (1990-10-26)
8"Moving Mary Jane"TBATBANovember 2, 1990 (1990-11-02)
9"The Fat Lady Sings Alone"TBATBAApril 19, 1991 (1991-04-19)
10"Dance with the Devil"TBATBAApril 26, 1991 (1991-04-26)
11"The Connection"TBATBAMay 3, 1991 (1991-05-03)
12"White Lies"TBATBAMay 10, 1991 (1991-05-10)
13"Zero Sum Game"TBATBAMay 24, 1991 (1991-05-24)


The original concept of the show came from showrunner/creator Richard DiLello, who claimed that he'll create a hybrid format for the show that will combine elements of documentary (including newsreel footage and interviews) with drama.[1]

The project was soon pitched to Lorimar Television, which was in turn pitched to the fast-growing Fox Broadcasting Company.[2]

On May 14, 1990, the Fox Broadcasting Company announced that they would pick up the series for the new Friday night schedule, alongside reality program America's Most Wanted, which was shown at 8:00-9:00pm.[3]


The show received mostly positive reviews by critics. The San Francisco Examiner called the show "the biggest breakthrough of the new season."[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The Ready for Prime Time Players" (PDF). Broadcasting. 1990-06-18. Retrieved 2021-09-12.
  2. ^ "Lorimar reveals its fall line" (PDF). Broadcasting. 1990-03-05. Retrieved 2021-09-12.
  3. ^ "The fall of living dangerously" (PDF). Broadcasting. 1990-06-04. Retrieved 2021-09-12.
  4. ^ "Fox's arresting DEA". San Francisco Examiner. 1990-09-07.

External links[edit]