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The Pretender (1996–2000)

TV Series  |   |  Drama, Sci-Fi, Mystery
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 12,222 users  
Reviews: 63 user | 10 critic

A specially gifted man, with the ability to instantly master any skill, escapes from a secret agency and travels the country taking on a different jobs and helping strangers.

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4   3   2   1  
2000   1999   1998   1997   1996  
Nominated for 2 Primetime Emmys. Another 4 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »



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Series cast summary:
 Jarod (86 episodes, 1996-2000)
 Miss Parker / ... (86 episodes, 1996-2000)
 Sydney / ... (86 episodes, 1996-2000)
 Broots (82 episodes, 1996-2000)
 Young Jarod / ... (52 episodes, 1996-2000)
 Young Sydney / ... (46 episodes, 1996-2000)
 Mr. Raines (45 episodes, 1996-2000)
 Mr. Lyle (36 episodes, 1997-2000)


Jarod is a pretender, a very intelligent person with the ability to slide into somebody else's personality. For that purpose, he has been taken from his family as a child in order to work for a secret agency called The Centre. But recently, he escaped. Jarod's new mission in life is to help people in need with his gift, and to find out what really happened to his allegedly dead parents. Only, Miss Parker and her team are out to get him... Written by Steve Richer <sricher@sympatico.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Hero of a thousand faces. Man of a thousand lives. See more »


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Release Date:

19 September 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Kameleon  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (86 episodes)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Jon Gries guest starred as Broots for over 60 episodes before becoming a regular in season four. See more »


In Season 2, episode 4, Jarod sends miss Parker a cardboard box containing a Viewmaster picture disc, and a live lobster with a note attached to it. Moments later, Mr. Lyle enters the room, and Broots, who is now holding the lobster, tries to hind it behind his back. However, when the camera pans around Broots from the back, the lobster we see is fully cooked, and hence red. See more »


Miss Parker: Since when do you hate to fly?
Broots: I don't hate to fly. I hate to barf.
See more »


Spoofed in Wrongfully Accused (1998) See more »

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User Reviews

Extremely Enjoyable
21 January 2003 | by (Sterling Heights, Michigan) – See all my reviews

I did not catch this series when it first aired. My brother constantly spoke its praises, but I believed it would be the usual boring weekly drama.

I was wrong.

On my brother's recommendation, I taped every episode of the show when it ran in syndication on various channels. I have been slowly watching them during the Year 2002 (and now 2003), and after the first 40 or so episodes, I am here to tell you that this show is nothing short of amazing. The characters are interesting, the premise is, if not unique, at least enjoyable, and the subplots make you yearn for more. Just when you think it can't get any better, it does. It's difficult to believe that this show debuted in 1996. Not only has it stood the test of time, but it is better than most of the fare that has been aired in 2000 and beyond.

I am looking forward to the next 40 episodes and the TV Movies, which I hope will be equally engaging. I recommend that, if you haven't watched this program, start from the beginning and give it 6 episodes or so. You'll be hooked.

34 of 36 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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why does she hate him so much dazepurple
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Episode help please!! dale1776
'Legends' efi_de
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