Don Corey and Jed Sills operate Checkmate, Inc., a very high priced detective agency in San Francisco. Helping them protect the lives of their clients is British criminologist (once an Oxford professor) Carl Hyatt.


Eric Ambler




2   1  
1962   1961   1960  
Won 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »




Complete series cast summary:
Anthony George ...  Don Corey 70 episodes, 1960-1962
Doug McClure ...  Jed Sills 70 episodes, 1960-1962
Sebastian Cabot ...  Dr. Carl Hyatt 70 episodes, 1960-1962


Don Corey and Jed Sills operate Checkmate, Inc., a very high priced detective agency in San Francisco. Helping them protect the lives of their clients is British criminologist (once an Oxford professor) Carl Hyatt.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Two daring private eyes head off violent crimes in this thrilling and unique new series by famed mystery author Eric Ambler (season 1)


Crime | Drama | Mystery


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Referenced in 77 Sunset Strip: The Checkmate Caper (1963) See more »

User Reviews

A truly unique entry into the Detective Genre of Television!
9 August 2020 | by sam-468-676831See all my reviews

In the late 50's/early 60's, the general American public all of a sudden were inundated with tons of Detective shows (mostly on ABC) and most of them either carried on the tradition in a Noir Style of a single Male Detective And maybe a hot young secretary who was always fighting against bad guys, or a group of young guys (and maybe one girl in the mix) who were always fighting crimes and solving murder mysteries or embezzlement/financial crimes, and each of these shows had really cool Jazz Underscores but they all seem to follow the same underlying theme/formula with slight variations in locations and settings

Now the distinction Checkmate had with 90% of the other shows on the air is that the Checkmate Detective Agency of Don Corey (Anthony George) and Jed Siles (Doug McClure) and Dr Carl Hyatt (Sebastian Cabot) specialized in solving crimes BEFORE they happened, so because of this, they always seemed one or two steps ahead the potential "criminal" they are fighting against, where as in all o the other detective shows, the crime is pretty much always already committed, so the detectives were call in to find out who committed it and track him of her down and arrest the person that committed the crime. Each character played a role in preventing these crimes before they happened, Anthony George was often the tough guy who the would be criminals would not want to mess with or would be caught in a big city alley in the middle of the night with. Doug McClure was often the soft nice and like able guy who was easy to trust who often got a long well with his clients, Sebastian Cabot was often the brains behind the whole bunch who could think of clever ways of always staying one step ahead of the potential criminal before such crimes were committed (he also supposedly had a PHD in Psychology, hence the Dr in his name, so he always knew how to psychologically outsmart the would be criminals before they got to the clients they were signed on to protect.)

So in hindsight, The detective agency of Checkmate (who according to the show was based in San Francisco, i think some of the exteriors were shot in that city as well), Was called in to protect their clients when they are feeling threatened or they felt like their life was in danger from someone else they were associated with, but the other amazing thing about this show is the impeccable list of guest stars there are on this show, and many people commented how from Season 1 to 2, they didn't like how the Checkmate team went from protecting clients from being murdered to protecting them for other reasons besides that for season 2, but I think the fact that they strayed away from just strictly "murders" made the show more special and unique and less "cliche".

And yes if your a fan of these old school Detective Series, definitely check this series out! The plots are exciting and unpredictable. And the guest stars are fantastic too! Everyone from then old school movie actors like Peter Lorre Peter Lawford, Joseph Cotten, and Mickey Rooney, to then fresh new faces like Robert Vaughn, Tony Randall, Lee Marvin, James Coburn and so much more! I'd definitely get this series, as the entire show is available on DVD thanks to Timeless Media plus a few select episodes on YouTube! (That is how I was able to see this series, I haven't bought the DVD yet but I plan to in the near future).

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Release Date:

17 September 1960 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Checkmate See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Jamco Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


(70 episodes)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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