The adventures of two young drifters across America.
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1964   1963   1962   1961   1960  
Nominated for 2 Primetime Emmys. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Complete series cast summary:
 Tod Stiles / ... (116 episodes, 1960-1964)
 Buz Murdock (82 episodes, 1960-1963)
 Linc Case (32 episodes, 1963-1964)


Only fiction series written & shot all over North America. Two young adventurers in a Corvette explore early 60's social problems and changing mores, looking for the right place to settle down while seeking themselves. Debuting 3 years after "On the Road" transformed modern literature, while such newly available fast cars dominated the new teenage culture, Tod, an Ivy Leaguer, and Buz, an orphan from Hell's Kitchen, cruise the U.S.A. coping with shifting relationships and lifestyles. The FCC's Newton Minow characterized U.S. TV as a "vast wasteland," in 1961, but "Route 66" found important, compelling stories all over. Sterling Silliphant who won an Oscar for writing "In the Heat of the Night," traveled around the U.S. and Canada scouting locales, while writing ¾ of the very dark, literate show's episodes - a feat only Rod Serling matched with The Twilight Zone. Soon, a crew of 50 arrived at the location. Shows were filmed in 40 States. Tod, from a once-wealthy family, inherited only ... Written by David Stevens

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Two soldiers of fortune ride the highway to adventure in this thrilling new series (season 1)







Release Date:

7 October 1960 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Searchers  »

Company Credits

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| (116 episodes)

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Did You Know?


George Maharis walked off the show during the third season during a bout with hepatitis, although it has been alleged that he was dissatisfied with his contract and wanted to work in film, and that he had ongoing clashes with the show's producers. He was replaced by Glenn Corbett, but audiences did not like the change and the show was canceled as a result. See more »


Followed by Route 66 (1993) See more »

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User Reviews

I too hit the road
26 December 2000 | by (pacfica, ca) – See all my reviews

I saw many of the 1960 and 1961 episodes while in the service. I was so taken by the show that in my mind (confusing reality and television), I decided to hit the road when I got discharged in 1962. I purchased a 1961 Vette and a buddy and I set off from Sacramento, California sometime in May 1963 a la Tod and Buzz to find adventure and romance at every stop. Unfortunately we only got as far as southern Utah when we totally ran out of money. I guess we forgot that Buzz and Tod took time out to work here and there. Anyway, it was fun while it lasted and my only lasting regret was having sold the Corvette. Back to the show: one fascinating aspect is in the scripts. Silliphant in particular was a great writer both serious and comedic - but what is amusing today is the amount of beat-era language, as well as existentialist philosophy. Sterling must have read his Sartre and Camus - or at least Tod did while at Yale. The show had at times a strangely schizophrenic nature: trite, even stupid story lines, but some very profound dialogue (at least for television). And the need for at least one fist fight in every episode gives the lie to any myth of a "kinder and gentler nation" before the counter culture invasion in the mid 60's.

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