Shadow Chasers

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Shadow Chasers
Created by Brian Grazer
Kenneth Johnson
Starring Dennis Dugan
Composer(s) Joe Harnell
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 13 (4 unaired)
Executive producer(s) Kenneth Johnson
Brian Grazer
Running time 60 minutes
Production company(s) Kenneth Johnson/Brian Grazer Productions
Warner Bros. Television
Original network ABC
Original release November 14, 1985 – January 16, 1986

Shadow Chasers is an American science fiction television series created by Brian Grazer and Kenneth Johnson.[1] Thirteen episodes were produced, nine of which were shown on the ABC television network, the remaining four on the Armed Forces Network. It debuted on November 14, 1985, and was produced by Warner Bros. Television.[1]


Shadow Chasers features strait-laced British anthropologist Jonathan MacKensie (played by Trevor Eve), who works for the fictional Georgetown Institute Paranormal Research Unit (PRU). MacKenzie's department head, Dr. Julianna Moorhouse (Nina Foch), withholds a research grant to force him into investigating a supposed "haunting" involving a teenage boy (Bobby Fite).[2] He is paired with flamboyant tabloid reporter Edgar "Benny" Benedek (Dennis Dugan) to reduce the length of the investigation, over Moorhouse's objections.[clarification needed][1][3] Benny and Jonathan did not get along, but managed to solve the case despite their differences.[4] The episodes featured Jonathan and Benny grudgingly learning to respect and admire each other.[2]



Only nine episodes were shown in the U.S. Four others were only shown overseas on the Armed Forces Network during the original run of the series. The pilot frequently appears on cable, particularly on the Mystery Channel.

The show was the lowest-rated of 106 programs during the 1985-1986 TV season, (due in part to being broadcast in the same time slot as NBC's The Cosby Show and Family Ties and CBS's Magnum P.I. and later, Simon & Simon) averaging only a 5.8/9 rating/share.[5][6] This competition had been the focus of a series of humorous commercials for the series, starring luminaries of the time as Ricardo Montalban and Ron Howard. While heavily promoted during the network's mini-series North and South, the commercials proved to be prophetic,[clarification needed] in that the series drew small audiences, and was frequently pre-empted in some markets.


  1. ^ a b c O'Connor, John J. (November 14, 1985). "'Shadow Chasers' on ABC". The New York Times. New York, NY. Retrieved August 30, 2010. 
  2. ^ a b Rothenberg, Fred (November 14, 1985). "ABC Tries 'Shadow Chasers' To Combat Cosby And Magnum". The Dispatch. Lexington, NC. p. 24. Retrieved August 30, 2010. 
  3. ^ Buck, Jerry (November 13, 1985). "Dennis Dugan plays writer in 'Shadow Chasers'". The Telegraph. Nashua, NH. Associated Press. p. 48. Retrieved August 30, 2010. 
  4. ^ Holsopple, Barbara (November 13, 1985). "'Shadow Chasers' latest of bad lot as ABC sweeps out management". The Pittsburgh Press. Pittsburgh, PA. p. C12. Retrieved August 30, 2010. 
  5. ^ Kelley, Bill (April 24, 1986). "NBC Top Network in 1985-1986 Nielsens". Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel. Fort Lauderdale, FL. p. 1E. Retrieved August 30, 2010. The lowest-rated series, ABC's Shadow Chasers, drew 9 percent. 
  6. ^ Grossi, Mark (May 19, 1986). "Laughs on you; This fall, networks to give viewers what they want: sitcoms". Providence Journal. Providence, RI. p. A11. Retrieved August 30, 2010. 96. Shadow Chasers (ABC) 5.8 

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