Barnaby Jones (1973–1980)

TV Series  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery
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The exploits of milk-swilling, geriatric private eye Barnaby Jones.


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8   7   6   5   4   3   2   1  
1980   1979   1978   1977   1976   1975   … See all »
Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Complete series cast summary:
 Barnaby Jones (178 episodes, 1973-1980)
 Betty Jones (178 episodes, 1973-1980)
 Jedediah Romano "J.R." Jones (93 episodes, 1976-1980)
John Carter ...
 Lt. John Biddle / ... (89 episodes, 1973-1980)


Barnaby Jones was a former private eye who temporarily came out of retirement to track down the killer of his son Hal, who had taken over the family business. After bringing Hal's murderer to justice (with the assistance of fellow CBS gumshoe Frank Cannon), Jones decided retirement just wasn't his bag after all, and rehung his shingle with the assistance of daughter-in-law Betty, who ran the office and Barnaby's personal crime laboratory, and (later) young distant cousin Jedidiah, who did the cases' legwork. Written by Marty McKee <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery





Release Date:

28 January 1973 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(178 episodes)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

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Did You Know?


William Conrad appeared on many early episodes of the show as Frank Cannon. Barnaby and Betty had originally appeared on Cannon (1971) after Barnaby's son Hal, who was a good friend of Frank's, was murdered. Cannon helped Barnaby eventually track down his son's killers. See more »


Referenced in The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Episode #20.181 (2012) See more »

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User Reviews

Sleuthing Isn't Just For The Young
14 April 2012 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Although the physical constraints of age limited the action somewhat in Barnaby Jones, this senior citizen had none of his mental faculties impaired when on a case.

In a pilot that was an episode of the Cannon TV series, Frank Cannon is hired to investigate the death of Hal Jones a colleague. Hal had taken over the detective agency from father Barnaby who decided to retire as senior citizens are wont to do. But his fires are banked with the homicide of his son and Buddy Ebsen and daughter-in-law Lee Meriwether take over the agency with her as Ebsen's secretary. Thus a successful television series was born.

Ebsen was a cagey old bird who a lot of bad guys thought was past his prime. They'd always trip themselves up because they thought he was not really paying attention to what they said. The Medicare set loved Barnaby Jones.

But TV is always after that youth market and after a few seasons Mark Shera was added to the cast as J.R. Jones, a nephew gone into the business with the uncle. Now the rough stuff could be dealt with in house if needed.

Buddy Ebsen as a performer reinvented himself more than Madonna. Over his 95 year life we saw him as musical dancing performer, Georgie Russell companion to Davy Crockett, Jed Clampett of the Beverly Hillbillies, Barnaby Jones, and finally Roy Houston uncle of Matt Houston. And there are a lot more single roles than that, films like Attack and Breakfast At Tiffany's which was a different Ebsen all together from the rest. Was this man ever versatile.

An inspiration to senior citizens everywhere.

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