The Lawless Years

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The Lawless Years
Genre Crime drama
Directed by Allen H. Miner
James Neilson
Starring James Gregory
Robert Karnes
John Vivyan
Theme music composer Raoul Kraushaar
William Loose
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 3
No. of episodes 47
Producer(s) Jack Chertok
Camera setup Single-camera
Running time 25 mins.
Production company(s) Jack Chertok Television Productions
California National Productions
Original network NBC
Picture format Black-and-white
Audio format Monaural
Original release April 16, 1959 (1959-04-16) – September 22, 1961 (1961-09-22)

The Lawless Years is an American crime drama series that aired on NBC from April 16, 1959, to September 22, 1961. The series is the first of its kind set during the Roaring 20s, having pre dated ABC's far more successful The Untouchables by six months. The series stars James Gregory and Robert Karnes.


James Gregory stars as real-life NYPD Detective Barney Ruditsky, with Robert Karnes as Max, his associate. Ruditsky, who had become a private investigator in Hollywood after retiring from law enforcement, served as the show's technical advisor. Jack Chertok was the producer.[1]

Guest stars[edit]

Broadcast history[edit]

The program debuted at the 10:30 p.m. Eastern slot on Thursday after Groucho Marx's You Bet Your Life. The last third of Playhouse 90 ran on CBS at the same time. In the 1961 run, the series aired on Friday.[2]

DVD release[edit]

On September 25, 2012, Timeless Media Group released The Lawless Years - The Complete Series on Region 1 DVD. The 6-disc set features all 47 episodes of the series.[3] Alpha Video has released two individual volumes on DVD-R, each containing four episodes from the series.[4][5] A third is slated to release on February 25, 2014[6]


  1. ^ Alex McNeil, Total Television, New York: Penguin Books, 1996, 4th ed., p. 472
  2. ^ 1959-1960 American network television schedule
  3. ^ Lambert, David (July 13, 2012). "The Lawless Years - 'The Complete Series' of the '59 Show on Timeless DVDs". Retrieved March 1, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Alpha Video - Lawless Years, Volume 1". Retrieved 2014-01-30. 
  5. ^ "Alpha Video - Lawless Years, Volume 2". Retrieved 2014-01-30. 
  6. ^ "Alpha Video - Lawless Years, Volume 3". Retrieved 2014-01-30. 

External links[edit]