The cases of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Reviews
Popularity
4,248 ( 88)

Episodes

Seasons


Years



9   8   7   6   5   4   3   2   1  
1974   1973   1972   1971   1970   1969   … See all »
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Marcus Welby, M.D. (1969–1976)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The show is about doctors Marcus Welby, a general practitioner and Steven Kiley, Welby's young assistant. The two try to treat people as individuals in an age of specialized medicine and ... See full summary »

Stars: Robert Young, James Brolin, Elena Verdugo
Cannon (1971–1976)
Action | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Frank Cannon is an overweight, balding ex-cop with a deep voice and expensive tastes in culinary pleasures; he becomes a high-priced private investigator.

Stars: William Conrad, Patrick Culliton, Tom Pittman
I Spy (1965–1968)
Action | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A pair of intelligence agents posing as a tennis pro and his coach go on secret missions around the world.

Stars: Robert Culp, Bill Cosby, Kenneth Tobey
Route 66 (1960–1964)
Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

The adventures of two young drifters across America.

Stars: Martin Milner, George Maharis, Glenn Corbett
It Takes a Thief (1968–1970)
Adventure | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The adventures of suave cat burglar Alexander Mundy, who plies his trade for the U.S. Government.

Stars: Robert Wagner, Fred Astaire, Malachi Throne
McMillan & Wife (1971–1977)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

San Francisco Police Commissioner Stewart "Mac" McMillan and his amateur detective wife keep their marriage unpredictable while solving the city's most baffling crimes.

Stars: Rock Hudson, John Schuck, Susan Saint James
Hawaii Five-O (1968–1980)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The investigations of Hawaii Five-0, an elite branch of the Hawaii State Police answerable only to the governor and headed by stalwart Steve McGarrett.

Stars: Jack Lord, James MacArthur, Kam Fong
Mod Squad (1968–1973)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Three young outsiders fight crime as undercover agents for the police. (One white, one black, one blonde.)

Stars: Michael Cole, Clarence Williams III, Peggy Lipton
Ironside (1967–1975)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Wheelchair-bound detective Robert T. Ironside battles the bad guys on the streets of San Francisco.

Stars: Raymond Burr, Don Galloway, Don Mitchell
Baretta (1975–1978)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

The cases of maverick undercover New York City detective Tony Baretta.

Stars: Robert Blake, Tom Ewell, Michael D. Roberts
Love, American Style (1969–1974)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

An anthology comedy series featuring a line up of different celebrity guest stars appearing in anywhere from one, two, three, and four short stories or vignettes within an hour about versions of love and romance.

Stars: Stuart Margolin, Barbara Minkus, William Callaway
The Untouchables (1959–1963)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Special Agent Eliot Ness and his elite team of incorruptable agents battle organized crime in 1930s Chicago.

Stars: Robert Stack, Walter Winchell, Nicholas Georgiade
Edit

Cast

Complete series cast summary:
...
 Inspector Lewis Erskine (241 episodes, 1965-1974)
...
 Arthur Ward (241 episodes, 1965-1974)
...
 Special Agent Tom Colby / ... (161 episodes, 1966-1974)
Edit

Storyline

Cases, based on real FBI files, were handled by Inspector Lewis Erskine and several coworkers over the years. Erskine reported to Arthur Ward, assistant to the director of the FBI. Written by J.E. McKillop <jmckillo@notes.cc.bellcore.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Crime

Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

16 September 1965 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

F.B.I.  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(239 episodes)

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Alcoa and American Tobacco Company co-sponsored the first season with Ford. See more »

Connections

Followed by Today's F.B.I. (1981) See more »

Soundtracks

F.B.I. Theme
by Bronislau Kaper
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A Sunday Night Institution
1 February 2005 | by (Durham,North Carolina) – See all my reviews

"The FBI",appearing on ABC-TV from 1965 to 1974,was the longest running series from the prolific offices of QM Productions,the production company guided by the powerful television producer,Quinn Martin. Long time Martin associate and former writer Philip Saltzman produced this series for QM with the endorsement and cooperation of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. For the nine years that it ran on the ABC-TV network this show ran opposite,"The Wonderful World Of Disney","Lassie", "Bonanza", and "The Ed Sullivan Show". This was in fact an Sunday night institution of entertainment that even after some 30 years off the air,it was one of the most realistic cop shows of all time,second to another successful crime drama show,"Dragnet".

"The FBI",marked the first time that Quinn Martin productions chronicled the exploits of an actual federal law enforcement body and each episode was subject not only to general Bureau approval,but to the personnel approval of director J. Edgar Hoover. And in each episode came with the proper procedure for bringing down and indicting some of the most dangerous criminals that were on the Bureau's most wanted list and bringing them to justice. This was a show that was acted in the utmost accuracy and exclusive detail with a genuine sincerity,and it reflected on the decency and majority of the FBI agents in the field,since most of the acting and the action sequences kept viewers tuned in each week. The show featured the brilliant talents of Efrem Zimbalist,Jr. as FBI Inspector Lewis Erskine. During the show's first two seasons(1965-1967), Agent Jim Rhodes(Stephen Brooks),was Erskine's associate and boyfriend to Erskine's daughter(Lynn Loring). But it was during the show's third season,that Brooks left the show,and he was replaced by Agent Tom Colby (William Reynolds),who was Erskine's sidekick for the remainder of the series. All the principals answered to Agent Arthur Ward(Philip Abbott) who was the head of the division of the FBI Offices along with the head of security for the FBI(Lex Barker). During the series run,these individuals were the infantry in an endless battle of crime,and received its assurance from those in the Bureau. Several more FBI agents joined the cause including,during the show's final season,a female agent,Chris Daniels(Shelly Novack),and a African-American agent appeared on the last season of the series.

The series drew critical scorn but it was very successful for ABC,slipping in and out of the Top Twenty shows for the nine years of its run,and quickly rising to the tenth position of the Nielsens during the 1970-1971 season. This was one of Quinn Martin's most successful show and it was second only to his other venture,the drama,"The Fugitive",which was on the same network for four seasons(1963-1967). One thing that was interesting about this show. Toward the end of each episode,Efrem Zimbalist,Jr. would step out of his character and would present the audience pictures of some of the most wanted criminals in America and request assistance in capturing them(the same format that is used today by John Walsh of America's Most Wanted). One of the most prominent names from this segment was James Earl Ray,the man who assassinated the civil rights leader,Dr.Martin Luther King,Jr. Another interesting concept was that in almost every episode,you get to see these FBI agents or criminals always driving around in a new Ford product,since the show's sponsor was The Ford Motor Company,and even at the ending credits you always saw Inspector Erskine driving towards his Washington,DC brownstone in a shiny brand new Ford product.

Shortly after the series left the air in 1974,Quinn Martin produced two made-for-television films,"The FBI versus Alvin Karpis"(1974),and the Emmy nominated "The FBI versus the Ku Klux Klan"(1975). What really canceled this successful show? For one,the loss in faith with the government,the scandal at Watergate,and trauma leading to the resignation of President Nixon,and the distrust of the Vietnam War,led ABC's decision to pull the plug on this brilliant show,which was still in the Top Ten of the Nielsens when it was cancelled.


14 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page