Shaft (TV series)

Shaft is a series of TV movies that aired along with Hawkins and other TV movies during 1973-74 television season on The New CBS Tuesday Night Movies. Broadcast every third week, the series is a continuation of the three films beginning with Shaft (1971), and starring Richard Roundtree as private detective John Shaft.[1]

Richard Roundtree Ed Barth Shaft (television version) 1973.JPG
Richard Roundtree and Ed Barth in "The Killing", 1973.
GenreDetective fiction
Based onShaft
by Ernest Tidyman
StarringRichard Roundtree
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes7
Production companyMGM Television
DistributorTurner Entertainment Co.
Warner Bros. Television Distribution
Original networkCBS
Original releaseOctober 9, 1973 (1973-10-09) –
February 19, 1974 (1974-02-19)
Followed byShaft  (2000 film)

Because it was aired on over-the-air television, CBS felt that the narrative needed to be toned down. Now instead of opposing the police, Shaft worked with them, creating conflicts with Hawkins, another police series with a starkly different viewership. The show was cancelled after one season. Contemporary analysts suggested that since the two shows—Shaft and Hawkins—appealed to vastly different audience bases, alternating them only served to confuse fans of both series, giving neither one the time to build up a large viewership.[2][3][4][5] Richard Roundtree himself has publicly expressed his disdain for the small-screen version of Shaft.[6][7]


Title Original air date
1"The Executioners"October 9, 1973 (1973-10-09)
2"The Killing"October 30, 1973 (1973-10-30)
3"Hit-Run"November 20, 1973 (1973-11-20)
4"The Kidnapping"December 11, 1973 (1973-12-11)
5"Cop Killer"January 1, 1974 (1974-01-01)
6"The Capricorn Murders"January 29, 1974 (1974-01-29)
7"The Murder Machine"February 19, 1974 (1974-02-19)


  1. ^ Obenson, Tambay A. (2 October 2011). "Warner Bros Releasing Short-Lived "Shaft" TV Series Collection To DVD".
  2. ^ Serafino, Jason (28 June 2012). "The 10 Worst TV Shows Inspired By Movies". Complex.
  3. ^ Murray, Noel (9 November 2011). "Shaft: The TV Movie Collection". The A.V. Club.
  4. ^ Hicks, Chris (7 October 2011). "'Shaft' TV movies come to DVD". Deseret News.
  5. ^ King, Susan (30 October 1994). "Retro : Return of the Short Timers : SERIES THAT DIDN'T LAST MORE THAN A SEASON GET A SECOND SHOWING ON TNT". Los Angeles Times.
  6. ^ Mooney, Joshua (August 15, 1997). "Scowling `Shaft' In His Past, Roundtree's Even Taking On Comedy". Archived from the original on September 22, 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  7. ^ "Richard Roundtree." Unsung Hollywood. Nar. Gary Anthony Williams. Exec. Prod. Frank Sinton, Arthur Smith, Kent Weed, and Mark Rowland. TV One, 25 Mar. 2015. Television.

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