Felony Squad

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Felony Squad
Howard Duff Felony Squad 1967.JPG
Howard Duff working in front of the camera and behind it, 1967.
Genre Crime drama
Created by Richard Murphy
Starring Howard Duff
Dennis Cole
Ben Alexander
Theme music composer Pete Rugolo
Country of origin USA
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 3
No. of episodes 73
Producer(s) Richard Newton
Philip Saltzman
Running time 30 mins.
Production company(s) 20th Century Fox Television
Distributor 20th Television
Original network ABC
Original release September 12, 1966 – January 31, 1969

Felony Squad is a half-hour television crime drama originally broadcast on the ABC network from September 12, 1966, to January 31, 1969, a span encompassing seventy-three episodes.


The program starred Howard Duff (as Sergeant Sam Stone) and Dennis Cole (as Detective Jim Briggs) as investigators in a major crimes unit. The setting was an unidentified West Coast city (background scenes obviously show Los Angeles, and L.A. City Hall is shown at dusk in the final scene of the opening credits). Duff's character was the veteran who was teaching his younger partner the nuances of life in this new facet of police work. Another main character was desk sergeant Dan Briggs (portrayed by Ben Alexander), the father of Cole's character.

Originally titled Men Against Evil, the show was set to be a soap opera-type program about a police captain. However, when the concept proved to be unworkable, the project was changed to a standard police drama with three main characters. In addition, following a sponsor's objection about being associated with the word "evil," the show's title was changed.

For the first two years of the show's run it was broadcast on Monday nights, with 30 episodes comprising a season's run. In the fall of 1968 it was switched to Friday evening time slot, a move that proved disastrous. The program was cancelled at midseason after just thirteen aired episodes. The final episode of the series was part of a crossover with the ABC legal drama Judd, for the Defense, starring Carl Betz. The stunt also proved to be no more effective for Judd, which was cancelled at the end of its season after a two-year run.

Alexander's role in the series was not only onscreen but also offscreen as a technical adviser. His earlier work with Jack Webb in Dragnet was the basis for this added position, but ironically resulted in his inability to reprise his role of Officer Frank Smith when Webb revived Dragnet in late 1966. He died of a heart attack less than six months after Felony Squad left the air. The show and its title were later "parodied" in the 1980s by the Leslie Nielsen TV comedy series and following theatrical movies "Police Squad".

Felony Squad was sponsored by L&M Cigarettes, as seen on the 1967 episode "The Day Of The Shark Part 1".

Regular Cast[edit]

  • Howard Duff as Detective Sgt. Sam Stone (73 episodes, 1966-1969)
  • Dennis Cole as Detective Jim Briggs (73 episodes, 1966-1969)
  • Ben Alexander as Desk Sgt. Dan Briggs (73 episodes, 1966-1969)
  • Frank Maxwell as Captain Frank Nye (13 episodes, 1966-1968)

Guest Stars[edit]

External links[edit]