Gabriel's Fire

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Gabriel's Fire
GenreCrime drama
Created by
  • Donald R. Boyle
  • Coleman Luck
  • Jacqueline Zambrano
ComposerWilliam Olvis
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes22
Executive producers
Running time60 minutes
Production companiesCrystal Beach Entertainment
Coleman Luck Productions
Lorimar Television
Original networkABC
Original releaseSeptember 12, 1990 (1990-09-12) –
June 6, 1991 (1991-06-06)
Followed byPros and Cons

Gabriel's Fire is an American crime drama television series created by Donald R. Boyle, Coleman Luck and Jacqueline Zambrano that ran on ABC from September 12, 1990, to June 6, 1991, in the United States during the 1990–91 television season. A revamped version of the series, entitled Pros and Cons, aired briefly the following season.


The main character, Gabriel Bird, was played by James Earl Jones. He was a former Chicago police officer who, over twenty years prior, had been wrongfully sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of a fellow police officer. In fact, he shot the officer to protect a defenseless mother and child whom the officer was about to murder in cold blood during a 1969 police raid. Unbeknownst to Bird, the raid had been merely a pretext for the police to attack the members of a militant black nationalist organization.

This incident in the character's background was inspired by the 1969 death of Black Panther Party leader Fred Hampton, who was shot and killed during a raid upon his residence conducted by Chicago police and other law enforcement personnel. On the show, the street on which the raid involving Bird had occurred was identified as "Hampton Street".

After serving about twenty years in prison, a human rights lawyer decides to work for his release as his testimony is needed in another case. At first, Bird opposes any attempts to release him, as he became accustomed to life in prison, but after his release takes place against his will, he begins to get used to life as a free person and uses his time away from prison to help other people who are wronged by society or the authorities.

When Bird is released, he starts working as a private detective, hired by the lawyer who had helped free him.

Pros and Cons[edit]

Pros and Cons ran on ABC from September 26, 1991, to January 2, 1992, in the United States during the 1991–92 television season. It is a revamped, more lighthearted version of Gabriel's Fire. Jones and Sinclair reprised their roles as Gabriel and Josephine.



No. Title Directed by Written by Original air date
1"Pilot"Robert LiebermanColeman Luck & Jacqueline ZambranoSeptember 12, 1990 (1990-09-12)
2"To Catch a Con: Part 1"UnknownUnknownSeptember 20, 1990 (1990-09-20)
3"To Catch a Con: Part 2"UnknownUnknownSeptember 27, 1990 (1990-09-27)
4"Louis' Date"UnknownUnknownOctober 4, 1990 (1990-10-04)
5"The Descent"UnknownUnknownOctober 18, 1990 (1990-10-18)
6"Money Walks"UnknownUnknownOctober 25, 1990 (1990-10-25)
7"The Neighborhood"UnknownUnknownNovember 1, 1990 (1990-11-01)
8"I'm Nobody"UnknownUnknownNovember 8, 1990 (1990-11-08)
9"The Wind Rancher"UnknownUnknownNovember 15, 1990 (1990-11-15)
10"Windows"UnknownUnknownNovember 29, 1990 (1990-11-29)
11"Judgements"UnknownUnknownDecember 6, 1990 (1990-12-06)
12"Tis the Season"UnknownUnknownDecember 20, 1990 (1990-12-20)
13"The Great Waldo"UnknownUnknownJanuary 10, 1991 (1991-01-10)
14"First Date"UnknownUnknownJanuary 24, 1991 (1991-01-24)
15"Truth and Consequences"UnknownUnknownJanuary 31, 1991 (1991-01-31)
16"Finger on the Trigger"UnknownUnknownFebruary 14, 1991 (1991-02-14)
17"Postcards from the Faultline"UnknownUnknownFebruary 21, 1991 (1991-02-21)
18"A Prayer for the Goldsteins"UnknownUnknownMarch 7, 1991 (1991-03-07)
19"One Flew Over the Bird's Nest"UnknownUnknownApril 17, 1991 (1991-04-17)
20"Kelly Green"UnknownUnknownApril 24, 1991 (1991-04-24)
21"Birds Gotta Fly"UnknownUnknownMay 1, 1991 (1991-05-01)
22"Belly of the Beast"UnknownUnknownJune 6, 1991 (1991-06-06)


  • James Earl Jones
    • Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series (1991)
    • Image Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series, Mini-Series or Television Movie (1993)
  • Madge Sinclair
    • Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series (1991)
  • David Opatoshu
    • Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series (1991); playing Max Goldstein in the episode "A Prayer for the Goldsteins"


External links[edit]