Cannon (1971–1976)

TV Series  |   |  Action, Crime, Mystery
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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.


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Title: Cannon (1971–1976)

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5   4   3   2   1  
1976   1975   1974   1973   1972   1971  
Nominated for 3 Golden Globes. Another 2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »
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Complete series cast summary:
 Frank Cannon (120 episodes, 1971-1976)


The weekly adventures of Frank Cannon, an overweight, balding ex-cop with a deep voice and expensive tastes in culinary pleasures, who becomes a high-priced private investigator. Since Cannon's girth didn't allow for many fist-fights and gun battles (although there were many), the series substituted car chases and high production values in their place. Written by Marty McKee <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Action | Crime | Mystery | Drama


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Release Date:

14 September 1971 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(120 episodes)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

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Did You Know?


Season one's 25 episodes began with a short scene, before the opening credits, for a preview of what would be televised, that hour. Last four seasons and 96 episodes began normally with the opening credits, no preview of what would be seen. See more »


[repeated line]
Frank Cannon: My name's Frank Cannon, I'm a private investigator.
See more »

Crazy Credits

In all five seasons, the credits are shown in capital and lower case letters. See more »


Referenced in The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Episode #21.90 (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

Rotund Detective with Taste for Food, Crime-Busting...
1 April 2004 | by (Las Vegas, Nevada) – See all my reviews

"Cannon", one of the many gimmick-driven series produced by Quinn Martin Productions in the 60s and 70s, was an inspiration for every 'weight-challenged' fan who ever fantasized of chasing down bad guys, solving crimes, and even, occasionally, winning the girl. The series' star, short, rotund William Conrad (as Frank Cannon), suffers the humiliation of being discharged by the police for being overweight, yet has the last laugh, as he frequently solves cases law enforcement agencies have given up on.

William Conrad (1920-1994) had built a long career around his low, powerful voice, and was best-known for his radio work as the original 'Matt Dillon' in the long-running series, "Gunsmoke" (the role James Arness would inherit, when the series moved to television). A successful character actor in many films of the forties and fifties (including a flashy role as Kasar, one of John Wayne's brothers, in the infamous THE CONQUEROR), the bulk of Conrad's TV work, prior to "Cannon", was as an off-screen narrator ("Rocky and Bullwinkle", "The Fugitive", "The Invaders"). "Cannon" was created specifically for Conrad, not only acknowledging his physical stature, but his skills as a chef, his occasionally prickly temperament, and his child-like joy of solving puzzles. Living well in a beautiful balconied apartment, he still spent most of his time behind the wheel of his sedan, en route to another case requiring his special skills.

With a bouncy, upbeat theme song (featuring a tuba, yet another 'reference' to his girth), "Cannon" was a lighter series than "Mannix" or "Barnaby Jones", but still provided occasional opportunities for Conrad to use his fists, and to even do a climactic foot chase, or two (the least believable moments of the series!).

While the actor would enjoy another successful detective series, as the more abrasive, slovenly 'J.L.' McCabe, in "Jake and the Fatman", "Cannon" remains Conrad's best-loved role, and a popular series in syndication, to this day.

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