O'Hara, U.S. Treasury

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O'Hara, U.S. Treasury
GenreCrime drama
Created byJames E. Moser
Jack Webb
Written byFletcher Beaumont
Richard Carlson
James Doherty
Jackson Gillis
Herman Groves
Robert I. Holt
William P. McGivern
Dick Morgan
James E. Moser
Tony Patino
Herb Purdum
Gilbert Ralston
Bill Rega
Hank Searls
Jack Turley
Dan Ullman
David H. Vowell
Directed byAlan Crosland, Jr.
Lawrence Dobkin
Sam Freedle
Daniel Haller
Paul Krasny
Paul Landres
Gerald Mayer
Dick Moder
James Neilson
Allen Reisner
Ron Winston
StarringDavid Janssen
Theme music composerRay Heindorf
William Lava
ComposersFred Steiner
William Lava
Sidney Fine
Dave Brubeck
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes22 + Pilot
Executive producerJack Webb
ProducerLeonard B. Kaufman
CinematographyFred Mandl
Running time60 minutes
Production companiesMark VII Limited
David Janssen Enterprises Inc.
Universal Television
Original release
ReleaseSeptember 17, 1971 (1971-09-17) –
March 10, 1972 (1972-03-10)

O'Hara, U.S. Treasury (on-screen title is O'Hara, United States Treasury) was an American television crime drama starring David Janssen and broadcast by CBS during the 1971-72 television season. Jack Webb's Mark VII Limited packaged the program for Universal Television. Webb and longtime colleague James E. Moser created the show; Leonard B. Kaufman was the producer. The series was produced with the full approval and cooperation of the United States Department of the Treasury.[1]


O'Hara, U.S. Treasury starred Janssen (whose company co-produced the show with Mark VII) as the title character, Treasury Agent Jim O'Hara. A county sheriff from Nebraska whose wife and child died in a fire, O'Hara cut all ties with his past life. He takes the Treasury Enforcement Agent exam and puts in an application with the United States Department of the Treasury, Secret Service. He is offered a position as a Special Agent with the Customs Service. He accepts the offer. He is assigned to a Customs office on the U.S.-Mexico border. His first case requires him to go undercover to break up a large narcotics smuggling organization. His abilities as an undercover agent become apparent to his bosses.

As a "T-Man," O'Hara was available to any of the various law enforcement agencies then part of the Department, all of which cooperated in this positive portrayal of their various organizations, much in the manner of the Los Angeles Police Department with Webb's Dragnet and Adam-12. These included the Secret Service, the Intelligence Unit of the Internal Revenue Service, the then-Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms Division of IRS, and the then-Customs Bureau.

O'Hara sometimes worked undercover. Janssen was the series' only regular, as he was given a different assignment at the start of each weekly episode.

Guest stars in the series' brief run included: Bruce Bennett, Godfrey Cambridge, Paul Comi, William Conrad, Yvonne Craig, Gary Crosby, Will Geer, Frank Gorshin, Alan Hale, Jr., Martha Hyer, Marilyn Maxwell, Ricardo Montalbán, Judy Pace, Leslie Parrish, Larry Pennell, Brock Peters, Charles Knox Robinson, Marion Ross, Don Stroud, George Takei, Jessica Tandy, Angel Tompkins, Lindsay Wagner, Betty White, Joseph Wiseman, Lana Wood, and Dana Wynter.

O'Hara marked the first Mark VII show to run a full hour in length; all of Webb's previous efforts (excepting the TV-movie pilot for Dragnet 1967) ran in half-hour episodes. It was also one of the few he did not package for NBC. The show failed to compete in the Nielsen ratings against ABC's The Partridge Family and Room 222 and ended after one season, ranking 48th out of 78 shows with an average 17.1 rating.[2] Reruns were later shown on the A&E Network in the 1990s and on Retro Television Network in the 2000s.[3]

According to Brandon Tartikoff, when Fred Silverman was the head of programming at CBS and considering whether or not to renew O'Hara, he met with a representative of the Treasury Department, who told him, "There are those of us down in Washington who like the idea of a weekly prime-time showcase. So if the show gets cancelled, we're gonna do what we've gotta do." Silverman didn't take the Treasury representative seriously, but according to Tartikoff, after the show was cancelled, "about a dozen top CBS executives on both coasts had their income taxes audited the following year."[4]


No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
TBA"Operation: Cobra"Jack WebbJames E. MoserApril 2, 1971 (1971-04-02)
1"Operation: Big Store"Gerald MayerStory by : Gilbert Ralston
Teleplay by : Gilbert Ralston & Robert I. Holt
September 17, 1971 (1971-09-17)
2"Operation: Bandera"Allen ReisnerWilliam P. McGivernSeptember 24, 1971 (1971-09-24)
3"Operation: Stolen Bonds"Sam FreedleFletcher BeaumontOctober 1, 1971 (1971-10-01)
4"Operation: Bribery"Allen ReisnerRobert I. HoltOctober 8, 1971 (1971-10-08)
5"Operation: Time-Fuse"Lawrence DobkinWilliam P. McGivernOctober 15, 1971 (1971-10-15)
6"Operation: Offset"Richard ModerHank Searls & Richard CarlsonOctober 22, 1971 (1971-10-22)
7"Operation: Heroin"James NeilsonDavid H. VowellOctober 29, 1971 (1971-10-29)
8"Operation: Spread"Alan Crosland, Jr.Richard CarlsonNovember 5, 1971 (1971-11-05)
9"Operation: Deadhead"Paul KrasnyJack TurleyNovember 12, 1971 (1971-11-12)
10"Operation: Hijack"Sam FreedleHerman GrovesNovember 26, 1971 (1971-11-26)
11"Operation: Crystal Springs"Alan Crosland, Jr.Gilbert RalstonDecember 3, 1971 (1971-12-03)
12"Operation: Payoff"Daniel HallerHerb PurdumDecember 10, 1971 (1971-12-10)
13"Operation: Moonshine"Paul LandresJames Moser & Robert I. HoltDecember 17, 1971 (1971-12-17)
14"Operation: XW-1"Ron WinstonWilliam P. McGivernJanuary 7, 1972 (1972-01-07)
15"Operation: Lady Luck"Sam FreedleBill RegaJanuary 14, 1972 (1972-01-14)
16"Operation: Deathwatch"James NeilsonJackson Gillis & Robert I. HoltJanuary 21, 1972 (1972-01-21)
17"Operation: White Fire"Alan Crosland, Jr.David H. VowellJanuary 28, 1972 (1972-01-28)
18"Operation: Dorais"Lawrence DobkinRichard CarlsonFebruary 4, 1972 (1972-02-04)
19"Operation: Rake-Off"Sam FreedleJames DohertyFebruary 11, 1972 (1972-02-11)
20"Operation: Mr. Felix"Alan Crosland, Jr.Tony PatinoFebruary 18, 1972 (1972-02-18)
21"Operation: Good Citizen"Dick ModerDick MorganMarch 3, 1972 (1972-03-03)
22"Operation: Smoke Screen"James NeilsonDan UllmanMarch 10, 1972 (1972-03-10)

Award nomination[edit]

Year Award Result Category
1972 Golden Globe Award Nominated Best TV Show - Drama


  1. ^ "O'Hara, U.S. Treasury series regulars and episode guide". Ultimate 70s. 27 January 2014.
  2. ^ "The TV Ratings Guide: 1971-72 Ratings History".
  3. ^ http://www. myretrotv.com/shows.html
  4. ^ Tartikoff, Brandon; Leerhsen, Charles (1992). The Last Great Ride. New York: Turtle Bay Books. p. 27. ISBN 039458709X.

External links[edit]