Diagnosis: Unknown

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Diagnosis: Unknown
GenreMedical drama
Created byAlan Woods
James A. Bank,
based on "Diagnosis: Homicide" by Lawrence G. Blochman
Written byJoel Carpenter
Arnold Manoff
Bill S. Ballinger
Elliott Norman
Steven Gethers
Theodore Apstein
Alvin Boretz
Ernest Kinoy
Directed byFielder Cook
Paul Stanley
William Corrigan
StarringPatrick O'Neal
Phyllis Newman
Chester Morris
Martin Huston
Cal Bellini
Theme music composerIrwin Kostal
Edward Scott
Joe Hamilton
Opening theme"Diagnosis: Unknown" (aka "Coffee's Theme")
Composer(s)Irwin Kostal
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes9
Executive producer(s)Bob Banner
Producer(s)Leo Davis
Running time45–48 minutes
Production company(s)Bob Banner Associates, Inc.
Red Wing Productions, Inc.
CBS Television
Original networkCBS
Picture formatBlack-and-white videotape
Audio formatMonaural
Original releaseJuly 5 (1960-07-05) –
September 20, 1960 (1960-09-20)

Diagnosis: Unknown is an American medical drama that aired on CBS from July 5 to September 20, 1960. Produced by Bob Banner, the series aired as a summer replacement for The Garry Moore Show, a variety program.


The series stars Patrick O'Neal as pathologist Dr. Daniel Coffee,[1] who works at a metropolitan hospital and uses forensic medicine to assist the police in solving unconventional murders. The co-stars were Phyllis Newman, as Doris Hudson; Cal Bellini, a native of Singapore, as Dr. Motilal Mookerji; Chester Morris, the former star of Boston Blackie, as detective Lieutenant Max Ritter, and Martin Huston as Link, the young handyman. The characters were originally featured in a series of short stories written by Lawrence Blochman, initially published in Collier's magazine.

Diagnosis: Unknown aired at 10 p.m. Eastern time, and was preempted twice in July by the major party national conventions.[1]

In 1993, thirty-three years after Diagnosis: Unknown ended its brief run, CBS launched the successful Diagnosis Murder series, starring Dick Van Dyke and his son, Barry Van Dyke, as a physician, Dr. Mark Sloan and a police detective, Steve Sloan, respectively, who collaborate in the solving of difficult crimes. The Van Dyke series was similar in title, theme, and plot to Diagnosis: Unknown.


Episode # Episode title Guest stars Original airdate
1-1 "The Case of the Radiant Wine" Tom Bosley, Larry Hagman, Patricia Barry, Murray Matheson July 5, 1960
1-2 "Main Course -- Murder " Jack Carter August 2, 1960
1-3 "A Sudden Stillness" Gretchen Wyler August 9, 1960
1-4 "Final Performance" Philip Abbott August 16, 1960
1-5 "The Case of the Elder " Joan Hotchkis and Judith Lowry August 23, 1960
1-6 "The Curse of the Gypsy" Michael Tolan and Jessica Walter August 30, 1960
1-7 "Gina, Gina" Tim O'Connor and Telly Savalas September 6, 1960
1-8 "The Parasite" Jeanne Bal and Biff McGuire September 13, 1960
1-9 "The Red Death"
September 20, 1960


  1. ^ a b "Diagnosis: Unknown". Classic Television Archives. Retrieved February 5, 2010.

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