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The Felony Squad

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The Felony Squad

Felony Squad
Howard Duff working in front of the camera and behind it, 1967.
Genre Crime drama
Created by Richard Murphy
Starring Howard Duff
Dennis Cole
Theme music composer Pete Rugolo
Country of origin USA
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 3
No. of episodes 73
Production
Producer(s) Richard Newton
Philip Saltzman
Running time 30 mins.
Production companies 20th Century Fox Television
Distributor 20th Century Fox Television
Fox Television Studios (current)
Broadcast
Original channel ABC
Original run September 12, 1966 – January 31, 1969

Felony Squad is a half-hour television crime drama originally broadcast on the ABC network from September 12, 1966 to January 31, 1969, a span encompassing seventy-three episodes.

Overview

The program starred Howard Duff (as Sergeant Sam Stone) and Dennis Cole (as Detective Jim Briggs) as investigators in a major crimes unit. The setting was an unidentified West Coast city. Duff's character was the veteran who was teaching his younger partner the nuances of life in this new facet of police work. Another main character was desk sergeant Dan Briggs (portrayed by Ben Alexander), the father of Cole's character.

Originally entitled, Men Against Evil, the show was set to be a soap opera-type program about a police captain. However, when the concept proved to be unworkable, the project was changed to a standard police drama with three main characters. In addition, following a sponsor's objection about being associated with the word "evil," the show's title was changed.

For the first two years of the show's run it was broadcast on Monday nights, with 30 episodes comprising a season's run. In the fall of 1968 it was switched to Friday evening time slot, a move that proved disastrous. The program was cancelled at midseason after just thirteen aired episodes. The final episode of the series was part of a crossover with the ABC legal drama Judd, for the Defense, starring Carl Betz. The stunt also proved to be no more effective for Judd, which was cancelled at the end of its season after a two-year run.

Howard Duff made a cameo appearance in an episode of "Batman" as Sam Stone. He opens a window and talks to Batman and Robin (who are crawling up the side of the building with a batrope) about how he fights crime with a gun. As the dynamic duo leave, Stone says "Don't slip!" and then turns to his partner (who is not shown) and says "Brave men, Jim."

Alexander's role in the series was not only onscreen but also offscreen as a technical adviser. His earlier work with Jack Webb in Dragnet was the basis for this added position, but ironically resulted in his inability to reprise his role of Officer Frank Smith when Webb revived Dragnet in late 1966. He died of a heart attack less than six months after Felony Squad left the air.

Guest stars

  • Joe Don Baker as Shep in "My Mommy Got Lost" (1967)
  • Francis De Sales as Harmon in "The Broken Badge" (1966)
  • Don Keefer as Harry Jocelyn in "A Most Proper Killing" (1967)
  • Ricky Kelman as Donny Clement in "The Fatal Hours" (1968)
  • John M. Pickard as Cahill in "A Blueprint for Dying" (1968)
  • Eric Shea as Mike Bradley in "A Date with Terror" (1966)
  • Lana Wood as Sherry Martin in "The Last Man in the World" (1967)

External links

  • Internet Movie Database
  • TV.com
  • YouTube compilation of Batman window cameos
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