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I Had Three Wives

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I Had Three Wives
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes6 (1 unaired)
Running time60 minutes
Production companyWarner Bros. Television
Original release
ReleaseAugust 14 (1985-08-14) –
September 11, 1985 (1985-09-11)

I Had Three Wives is an American comedy-drama television series that aired on CBS from August 14 to September 11, 1985.[1] The series' lead was Victor Garber in his first starring role on television.[2]



The series follows Los Angeles-based "eternally romantic"[3] private investigator Jackson Beaudine (Victor Garber) who leverages the skills of his three ex-wives to help solve cases. His first wife, Mary, who has remarried and who also has custody of Jackson's 10-year-old son Andrew, is a lawyer. Second wife, Samantha, is an actress with skills in disguise and martial arts. And his third wife, Liz, is a newspaper reporter with a number of useful contacts.[1]









Six episodes were produced,[3] but only five episodes were aired during summer 1985 as the pilot episode of the series was never aired. Bill Bixby was among those who directed an episode of the series.[4] I Had Three Wives was one of four television shows that were part of an early experiment by CBS to program original series during summer.[5]


No.Title [6][7]Directed by [7]Original air date [7]Prod.
code [7]
1"You and I Know"John HancockAugust 14, 1985 (1985-08-14)185832
2"Till Death Do Us Part"William WiardAugust 21, 1985 (1985-08-21)185833
3"Bedtime Stories"Bob SweeneyAugust 28, 1985 (1985-08-28)185834
4"The Butterfly Murder"William WiardSeptember 4, 1985 (1985-09-04)185835
5"Runaround Sue"Cliff BoleSeptember 11, 1985 (1985-09-11)185831
6"Pilot"Bill BixbyUnaired206738



Howard Rosenberg of Los Angeles Times reviewed I Had Three Wives negatively, calling the comedy/mystery series "...thin-plotted idiocy, a sort of citified Sleuths of Hazzard..."[8] Rosenberg later reported that the series earned "weak ratings" during its summer run, which likely damaged its chances for renewal.[9] The final episode of the series, aired on September 13, ranked 53rd for the week of September 9–15, 1985, earning a 10.5 rating.[10]


  1. ^ a b Brooks, Tim; Marsh, Earle (2007). "I Had Three Wives (Detective Comedy/Drama)". The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows 1946–Present (9 ed.). New York: Random House Publishing. p. 650. ISBN 978-0-345-49773-4. Retrieved 2024-05-23.
  2. ^ "Victor Garber". Turner Classic Movies (TCM). Retrieved 2017-06-23. He landed his first leading role in a series with "I Had Three Wives" (CBS, 1985), playing a private investigator who receives help from a trio of ex-wives (Shanna Reed, Teri Copley and Maggie Cooper).
  3. ^ a b Lee Margulies (April 14, 1985). "Dramas". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2017-06-23.
  4. ^ "TV star Bill Bixby dies at 59". Variety. Associated Press. November 22, 1993. Retrieved 2017-06-23. [Bixby] directed several episodes of ABC's "Rich Man, Poor Man" as well as "Three on a Date," "Another Pair of Aces" and "I Had 3 Wives."
  5. ^ Morgan Gendel (June 7, 1985). "Cbs Takes Shine To Late Nights". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2017-06-23.
  6. ^ From the Writers Guild of America, West catalog: "Signatory Project Confirmation". Writers Guild of America, West. Retrieved 2017-06-23. Note – Search: "I Had Three Wives".{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: postscript (link)
  7. ^ a b c d From the United States Copyright Office catalog: "Public Catalog - Copyright Catalog (1978 to present)". United States Copyright Office. Retrieved 2017-06-23. Note – Search: "I Had Three Wives".{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: postscript (link)
  8. ^ Howard Rosenberg (August 21, 1985). "Some Shows Prove You Can't Go Home Again". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2017-06-23.
  9. ^ Howard Rosenberg (September 9, 1985). "1 Dramas and Two Comedies". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2017-06-23. ...as did two other short-run series, "I Had Three Wives" and the news magazine "West 57th." By earning weak ratings, both may have damaged their chances of returning later on a permanent basis.
  10. ^ Lee Margulies (September 18, 1985). "Nbc Starts Fast In Ratings Race". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2017-06-23.