Shaft (TV series)

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Richard Roundtree Ed Barth Shaft (television version) 1973.JPG
Richard Roundtree and Ed Barth in "The Killing", 1973.
Genre Detective fiction
Starring Richard Roundtree
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 7
Original network CBS
Original release October 9, 1973 – February 19, 1974
Preceded by Shaft  (1971 film)

Shaft is a series of TV movies that aired along with Hawkins and other TV movies during 1973-74 television season on The New CBS Tuesday Night Movies. Broadcast every third week, the series was based on the three films beginning with Shaft (released in 1971), and starring Richard Roundtree as private detective John Shaft.[1]

Because it was aired on over-the-air television, CBS felt that the characters needed to be toned down. Now instead of working against the police, he worked with them, possibly because it rotated with Hawkins, another high-quality series but with a starkly conflicting demographic, and was cancelled after one season. Contemporary analysts suggested that since the two shows—Shaft and Hawkins—appealed to vastly different audience bases, alternating them only served to confuse fans of both series, giving neither one the time to build up a large viewership.[2][3][4][5] Richard Roundtree himself has publicly expressed his disdain for the small-screen version of Shaft.[6][7]


# Title Original airdate
1 "The Executioners" October 9, 1973 (1973-10-09)
2 "The Killing" October 30, 1973 (1973-10-30)
3 "Hit-Run" November 20, 1973 (1973-11-20)
4 "The Kidnapping" December 11, 1973 (1973-12-11)
5 "Cop Killer" January 1, 1974 (1974-01-01)
6 "The Capricorn Murders" January 29, 1974 (1974-01-29)
7 "The Murder Machine" February 19, 1974 (1974-02-19)


  1. ^ Obenson, Tambay A. (2 October 2011). "Warner Bros Releasing Short-Lived "Shaft" TV Series Collection To DVD". 
  2. ^ Serafino, Jason (28 June 2012). "The 10 Worst TV Shows Inspired By Movies". Complex. 
  3. ^ Murray, Noel (9 November 2011). "Shaft: The TV Movie Collection". The A.V. Club. 
  4. ^ Hicks, Chris (7 October 2011). "'Shaft' TV movies come to DVD". Deseret News. 
  5. ^ King, Susan (30 October 1994). "Retro : Return of the Short Timers : SERIES THAT DIDN'T LAST MORE THAN A SEASON GET A SECOND SHOWING ON TNT". Los Angeles Times. 
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Richard Roundtree." Unsung Hollywood. Nar. Gary Anthony Williams. Exec. Prod. Frank Sinton, Arthur Smith, Kent Weed, and Mark Rowland. TV One, 25 Mar. 2015. Television.

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