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|Created by||Cynthia Saunders|
|Theme music composer||Angelo Badalamenti|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||4|
|No. of episodes||83 (list of episodes)|
|Running time||approx. 42min, hour with commercials (per episode)|
|Original release||September 21, 1996 –|
July 1, 2000
Profiler is an American crime drama created by Cynthia Saunders that aired on NBC from September 21, 1996, to July 1, 2000. The series follows the exploits of a criminal profiler working with the fictional FBI Violent Crimes Task Force (VCTF) based in Atlanta, Georgia.
The show initially starred Ally Walker as profiler Dr. Samantha Waters, the victim of a stalker known as "Jack Of All Trades". At the end of the third season, Walker departed the series and was replaced by Jamie Luner as prosecutor-turned-profiler Dr. Rachel Burke during the show's final season. Robert Davi, Roma Maffia, Peter Frechette, and Julian McMahon co-starred for all four seasons. Caitlin Wachs and Erica Gimpel also co-starred for the first two seasons; Wachs was replaced by Evan Rachel Wood in a recurring role for the third season, while Gimpel appeared as a guest star.
Along with The Pretender, Profiler was a staple of NBC's Saturday night lineup during the late 1990s. The series shared a similar lead character and premise with the Fox series Millennium, which also 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 (fictitious) Violent Crimes Task Force ("VCTF"), based in Atlanta, Georgia. She is a criminal profiler with her own unique gift to "see" through the eyes of others. This gift gives Sam an added special insight into the workings of the criminal mind.
Sam performs all of her duties diligently and competently, her drive coming from experiencing both a professional and personal tragedy years earlier in which her husband was murdered by a serial killer known only as "Jack of All Trades." Due to Jack's dangerous and pathological nature, Sam must live under 24/7 police guard in a former firefighter station with her seven-year-old daughter Chloe (Caitlin Wachs, later Evan Rachel Wood); and her best friend, artist Angel Brown (Erica Gimpel).
After helping her mentor Bailey Malone (Robert Davi) on a difficult case, Sam comes out of retirement and reclusiveness to join the FBI Violent Crimes Task Force. Also on the team are detectives John Grant (Julian McMahon) and Nathan Brubaker (Michael Whaley), computer hacker George Fraley (Peter Frechette), forensic pathologist Grace Álvarez (Roma Maffia).
In season two, Brubaker leaves the VCTF and is replaced by Marcus Payton (Shiek Mahmoud-Bey), who creates tension on the team due to his skepticism of Sam's methods. Jack also recruits violent ex-felon Sharon Lesher (Traci Lords) to become his partner-in-crime "Jill of All Trades." Bailey is also faced with the rebellious behavior of his daughter Frances (Heather McComb) after she becomes involved in criminal activity.
In season three, all three of the new characters were dropped while Chloe was downgraded to a recurring character. With "Jack" seemingly being captured as a childhood schoolmate of Sam named Donald Lucas (Mark Rolston), the series began to focus more on VCTF cases and Sam's attempts to reintegrate back into society. Sam and Chloe move into an upscale house in the Atlanta suburbs, while Sam also begins to reconnect with her estranged father Walter Anderson (Lawrence Pressman) and pursue a relationship with prosecutor Paul Sterling (John Mese). Bailey also reconciles with his ex-wife Janet (Patricia Healy).
It is discovered at the end of season three that Lucas is not the real "Jack"; he was instead framed by violent sociopath Albert Newquay (Dennis Christopher). To mislead and tease the viewers, Albert Newquay, the real Jack's true name, was first mentioned in season two when he took refuge at the Maryland home of his wealthy mother Miriam (Louise Fletcher) to recover after being shot by Sam. Newquay then appeared on-camera for the first time in season three posing in disguise as Ed Post, the seemingly buffoonish sheriff of a sinister fictional small northern California town.
At the start of season four, Sam is kidnapped by Newquay. Bailey calls in for assistance from profiler Rachel Burke (Jamie Luner), a former FBI instructor at Quantico who also had Waters' skill of profiling. After being freed, Sam departs VCTF and Burke joins the team.
Burke initially alienates the team members due to her brusque take-charge manner that is unlike Sam. She and John Grant, who had met her previously, in particular clash due to a disagreement on whether they had actually engaged in intercourse during a liquor-filled nightcap. Rachel struggles to help her self-destructive younger brother Danny (Raphael Sbarge); Grace faces dealing with her second pregnancy after her husband leaves her; and George develops an addiction to painkillers after being injured in a minor car accident.
Rachel soon receives a stalker of her own with the shadowy urban legend named Damian Kennasas. Unstable FBI agent Joel Marks (Gregory Itzin) is initially presented as the main suspect. However, the season ends with a cliffhanger as Rachel is framed for Joel's murder by the real Damian. The VCTF also faces disbandment from U.S. Congress over its high budget. The cancellation of the series resulted in these cliffhangers never being answered.
|First aired||Last aired|
|1||22||September 21, 1996||May 10, 1997|
|2||20||November 1, 1997||May 9, 1998|
|3||21||October 17, 1998||June 5, 1999|
|4||20||September 25, 1999||July 1, 2000|
|Ally Walker||Dr. Samantha "Sam" Waters||Main||Guest|
|Robert Davi||Agent Bailey Malone||Main|
|Julian McMahon||Agent John Grant||Main|
|Roma Maffia||Dr. Grace Alvarez||Main|
|Michael Whaley||Agent Nathan Brubaker||Main|
|Peter Frechette||George Farley||Main|
|Erica Gimpel||Angel Brown||Main||Guest|
|Caitlin Wachs||Chloe Waters[Note 1]||Main|
|Evan Rachel Wood||Recurring|
|Heather McComb||Frances Malone||Recurring||Main|
|Shiek Mahmud-Bey||Agent Marcus Payton||Main|
|Traci Lords||Sharon Lesher||Main|
|Jamie Luner||Agent Rachel Burke||Main|
- Wood replaced Wachs as Chloe after season 2. However, she was credited in a recurring role instead of a main role.
- A Martinez as Nick Cooper (seasons 1–2), an ATF bomb disposal expert and love interest of Sam Waters. He was murdered by "Jack" out of jealousy at the beginning of season two. Martinez and Walker had previously worked together on the NBC daytime serial Santa Barbara.
- Evan Rachel Wood as Chloe Waters (seasons 3–4)
- Mark Rolston as Donald Lucas (season 3), a childhood schoolmate of Sam who is believed to be "Jack." However, it is proven he was framed by the real "Jack"
- John Mese as Paul Sterling (season 3), a prosecutor whom Sam begins dating.
- Lawrence Pressman as Walter Anderson (season 3), Sam's estranged father who has a mysterious connection to Donald Lucas.
- Patricia Healy as Janet Bailey (season 3), Bailey's ex-wife with whom he tries to reconcile. The reconciliation is ultimately unsuccessful, and she is not seen again after the third season.
- Raphael Sbarge as Danny Burke (season 4), Rachel's younger brother. A self-destructive drug addict, he dies from an overdose towards the end of season four.
- Gregory Itzin as Joel Marks (season 4), an unstable FBI agent who stalked Rachel after she taped him threatening her and derailed his career. He is murdered at the end of season four, with Rachel being framed for the crime as revenge for her brother's death.
- Dennis Christopher as "Jack of All Trades" / Albert Newquay (Uncredited or credited as "Jack" during seasons 1–2)
The Pretender universe
Profiler shared the same universe with The Pretender, with three crossover episodes, three with Michael T. Weiss guest-starring on Profiler, Ally Walker made 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. Profiler aired weeknights at 1:00 a.m. and 4:00 a.m. Eastern on NBC Universal's 24-hour crime and mystery-themed cable channel Sleuth in 2007. From 2018 to 2022, reruns aired at 1:00 a.m. and 2:00 a.m. daily on the network channel Start TV.
In Europe, the series aired on CNBC Europe.
A&E Home Video (under license by NBC Entertainment) has released the entire series on DVD in Region 1 in the United States of America. The four-season release box set has been discontinued and is now out of print.
- 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.
|Title||Format||Ep #||Discs/Tapes||Region 1 (USA)||Special Features||USA Distributor|
|Profiler (Season 1)||DVD||21||6||1 July 2003
29 July 2003
|Profiles of Evil: Inside the Criminal Mind episode of A&E's American Justice series
Commentary by Ally Walker and Robert Davi on the pilot episode "Insight"
|A&E Home Video|
|Profiler (Season 2)||DVD||20||6||28 October 2003
25 November 2003
|Commentary with Investigative Criminal Profiler Pat Brown on episode "Victims of Victims"
|A&E Home Video|
|Profiler (Season 3)||DVD||22||6||30 March 2004
27 April 2004
Commentary with Roma Maffia on the episode "Heads You Lose"
Ally Walker's final season
|A&E Home Video|
|Profiler (Season 4)||DVD||20||5||28 September 2004
26 October 2004
|Interview with series consultant Howard Teten, Former FBI Unit Chief and Criminal Profiler
Commentary with executive producer Clifton Campbell on the final episode "On Your Marks"
|A&E Home Video|
Australian DVD Release
|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|
|Profiler (The Complete Series)||DVD||83||23||16 November 2019||None||Via Vision Entertainment|
- Josef Adalian (July 12, 1999). "NBC's 'Profiler' looks to Luner". Variety. Retrieved July 11, 2016.
- 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...
- Ray Richmond (December 4, 1996). "Martinez Joins 'Profiler'". Variety. Retrieved July 11, 2016.
- John Dempsey (July 14, 2000). "Court TV gavels in 'Profiler,' 'Forensic'". Variety. Retrieved July 11, 2016.
- Susan King (July 26, 2003). "Back for reruns, but why?". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on August 18, 2016. 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.