Profiler (TV series)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Profiler (TV series) (title card).jpg
Profiler title
Created byCynthia Saunders
Theme music composerAngelo Badalamenti
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons4
No. of episodes83 (list of episodes)
Running timeapprox. 42min, hour with commercials (per episode)
Production company(s)
  • NBC Studios
  • Three Putt Productions
    (seasons 3-4)
  • Sander/Moses Productions
Original networkNBC
Original releaseSeptember 21, 1996 (1996-09-21) –
July 1, 2000 (2000-07-01)

Profiler is an American crime drama that aired on NBC as part of its Thrillogy block and CNBC Europe from 1996 to 2000. The series follows the exploits of a criminal profiler working with the fictional FBI Violent Crimes Task Force (VCTF) based in Atlanta, Georgia.

Ally Walker starred as profiler Dr. Samantha Waters during the first three seasons (1996–99), and was later replaced by Jamie Luner as prosecutor-turned-profiler Dr. Rachel Burke during the show's final season.[1][2] Robert Davi, Roma Maffia, Peter Frechette, Erica Gimpel and Julian McMahon co-starred throughout the show's run. Caitlin Wachs played Dr. Waters' daughter for the first two seasons, a role taken over by Evan Rachel Wood in 1998.

Profiler shares a similar lead character and premise with the Fox Network series Millennium, created by Chris Carter. Both shows premiered at the beginning of the 1996–97 television season.


Dr. Samantha "Sam" Waters (Ally Walker) is a forensic psychologist working for the FBI's Violent Crimes Task Force based in Atlanta, Georgia. She is a "profiler"; she has a unique gift to "see" through the eyes of others which gives Sam a special insight into the workings of the criminal mind. While she performs all of her duties diligently, her real motive lies in a both professional and personal tragedy years earlier in which her husband was murdered by a serial killer known only as Jack of All Trades (played by Dennis Christopher, who was never fully seen until the middle of the third season, when he first appeared posing as a buffoonish sheriff of a small California town). Sam is part of an elite team of pros led by her mentor, Bailey Malone (Robert Davi), and that also includes Detective John Grant (Julian McMahon), computer hacker George Fraley (Peter Frechette), and forensic pathologist Grace Alvarez (Roma Maffia). Together, they solve the toughest of cases. She lives in a former firefighter station, guarded 24/7, with her seven-year-old daughter Chloe Waters (Caitlin Wachs), and her best friend Angel Brown (Erica Gimpel), an artist.

Other characters included Michael Whaley playing Nathan Brubaker who appeared throughout season one; a detective who was a former defense attorney. Shiek Mahmoud-Bey played Marcus Payton in season two who was an FBI agent skeptical of Sam's methods. A Martinez, who had previously worked with Ally Walker on the NBC daytime serial Santa Barbara, appeared occasionally in the first and second seasons playing Nick Cooper, an ATF bomb disposal expert who was Sam Waters love interest, who was later murdered by Jack. Heather McComb appeared frequently in the first and second seasons as Frances Malone, the wayward and rebellious teenage daughter of Bailey Malone. Traci Lords appeared throughout the second season playing a violent ex-convict named Sharon Lesher, who became the serial killer Jill of All Trades after she was recruited by Jack.

In season three, the VCTF finally closed in on Jack, whose name was revealed to be Donald Lucas (played by Mark Rolston). With Jack finally in custody (so it seemed), Sam and her daughter Chloe (now played by Evan Rachel Wood) moved out of the fortress-like firehouse where they had lived for the past two years and into a fancy house in the Atlanta suburbs. Sam had a brief romance with Paul Sterling (John Mese), a district attorney prosecuting Donald Lucas, while Sam also dealt with her estranged father Walter Anderson (Lawrence Pressman) who had some kind of connection to the imprisoned Donald Lucas. But as it turned out, the arrest of Donald Lucas was a ploy by the real Jack of All Trades (whose real name was revealed in one episode in season two to be Albert Newquay) who had in fact escaped yet again and was revealed to be in hiding in a small California town playing a sheriff, named Ed Boast.

In season four, after finally stopping Jack, Sam retired from the VCTF, being replaced by a new forensic psychologist, Rachel Burke (Jamie Luner). Rachel was a former FBI instructor at Quantico who also had Sam Waters' skill of profiling. But unlike Sam, Rachel had a very brusque take-charge manner that alienated some of the team members. Rachel had her own life problems of being single and dealing with her self-destructive younger brother, Danny, who died from a drug overdose near the end of the season. Late in the season, the show established a new overarching villain, a shadowy urban legend named Damian Kennasas. Gregory Itzin also had a recurring role as Joel Marks, an unstable FBI agent who stalked Rachel. As the series came to an end, it appeared that the elite VCTF team might be shut down by the U.S. Congress for the high funds it took to operate.


SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
122September 21, 1996 (1996-09-21)May 10, 1997 (1997-05-10)
220November 1, 1997 (1997-11-01)May 9, 1998 (1998-05-09)
321October 17, 1998 (1998-10-17)June 5, 1999 (1999-06-05)
420September 25, 1999 (1999-09-25)July 1, 2000 (2000-07-01)




  1. ^ Replaced Caitlin Wachs as Chloe after season 2.


  • Dennis Christopher as Jack of All Trades/Albert Newquay (Uncredited or credited as 'Jack' during seasons 1–2)

The Pretender universe[edit]

Profiler shared the same universe with The Pretender, with three crossover episodes, one with Michael T. Weiss guest starring on Profiler, Ally Walker making a guest appearance on The Pretender in season 3, episode 19, and Jamie Luner making a guest appearance on The Pretender in season 4, episode 10.


Profiler was first syndicated to Court TV in 2000.[4] Profiler aired weeknights at 1AM and 4AM Eastern on NBC Universal's 24-hour crime and mystery-themed cable channel Sleuth in 2007.

Home media[edit]

A&E Home Video has released the entire series on DVD in Region 1 in the United States of America.

  • Episode #1.4 'I'll Be Watching You' from Season 1 was not included in the set due to music right issues over the title song.[5]
Title Format Ep # Discs/Tapes Region 1 (USA) Special Features USA Distributor
Profiler (Season 1) DVD 22 5 1 July 2003 Profiles of Evil: Inside the Criminal Mind episode of A&E's American Justice series

Photo gallery

A&E Home Video
Profiler (Season 2) DVD 20 6 28 October 2006 None A&E Home Video
Profiler (Season 3) DVD 21 6 30 March 2004

Commentary with Roma Maffia on the episode "Heads You Lose"

Ally Walker's final season

Cast Biographies

A&E Home Video
Profiler (Season 4) DVD 20 28 September 2004 None A&E Home Video

Australian DVD Release[edit]

Title Format Ep # Discs/Tapes Region 4 (Australia) Special Features Australia Distributor
Profiler (Season 1&2) DVD 42 12 22 May 2019 Bonus Episode – “I’ll Be Watching You” Via Vision Entertainment
Profiler (Season 3&4) DVD 41 12 10 July 2019 None Via Vision Entertainment


Season U.S. ratings Network Rank
1 1996–97 7.4 million NBC #82
2 1997–98 9.9 million NBC #86
3 1998–99 8.9 million NBC #89
4 1999-00 8.1 million NBC #86


  1. ^ Josef Adalian (July 12, 1999). "NBC's 'Profiler' looks to Luner". Variety. Retrieved July 11, 2016.
  2. ^ Shauna Snow (July 13, 1999). "Morning Report". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 11, 2016. Luner's character, former prosecutor-turned-FBI-profiler Rachel Burke, will be introduced in a two-part season premiere...
  3. ^ Ray Richmond (December 4, 1996). "Martinez Joins 'Profiler'". Variety. Retrieved July 11, 2016.
  4. ^ John Dempsey (July 14, 2000). "Court TV gavels in 'Profiler,' 'Forensic'". Variety. Retrieved July 11, 2016.
  5. ^ Susan King (July 26, 2003). "Back for reruns, but why?". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 11, 2016. The set features all but one episode from the premiere season -- the fourth episode is missing because of the very expensive music rights for the Police classic "Every Breath You Take," which is prominently featured in the episode.

External links[edit]