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The Detectives (also known as The Detectives Starring Robert Taylor and Robert Taylor's Detectives) is an American crime drama series which ran on ABC during its first two seasons (sponsored by Procter & Gamble), and on NBC during its third and final season. The series, starring motion picture star Robert Taylor, was produced by Four Star Television in association with Levy-Gardner-Laven Productions.[1]

The Detectives
Ursula Thiess Robert Taylor The Detectives 1960.JPG
Robert Taylor as Capt. Matt Holbrook and wife Ursula Thiess as Lisa Bonay in The Detectives
Also known as''Robert Taylor's Detectives''
GenreCrime drama
Written byLee Berg
Borden Chase
Patricia Chase
Calvin Clements Sr.
Norman T. Herman
Michael Morris
Louis Pelletier
Gene Roddenberry
Alvin Sapinsley
Palmer Thompson
Directed byLewis Allen
Richard Carlson
Thomas Carr
Alvin Ganzer
Murray Golden
Arthur Hiller
Arnold Laven
Don McDougall
Don Medford
Ted Post
Paul Wendkos
StarringRobert Taylor
Tige Andrews
Russell Thorson
Lee Farr
Mark Goddard
Adam West
Composer(s)Herschel Burke Gilbert
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons3
No. of episodes97
Arthur H. Nadel
CinematographyJoseph F. Biroc
Wilfred M. Cline
Editor(s)Lyle Boyer
Marsh Hendry
Running time25 minutes
50 minutes
Original networkABC (1959–1961)
NBC (1961–1962)
Picture formatBlack-and-white
Audio formatMonaural
Original releaseOctober 16, 1959 (1959-10-16) –
May 18, 1962 (1962-05-18)



Taylor stars as Detective Captain Matt Holbrook, the tough, no-nonsense head of an elite police investigative unit in a major U.S. city. Ostensibly, each man in Holbrook's hand-picked squad of detectives came from a different division. Lt. Johnny Russo (Tige Andrews) was from burglary, Lt. Jim Conway (Lee Farr) came from Homicide and Lt. Otto Lindstrom (Russell Thorson) was from the Bunco Squad.


In the series' second season, Farr left the series and was replaced by Mark Goddard as Detective Sgt. Chris Ballard. Future Batman star Adam West joined the cast during the third season as Sgt. Steve Nelson. The series moved to NBC for its third season and was increased from thirty to sixty minutes. The series was also retitled to Robert Taylor's Detectives. A total of 97 episodes were produced before the series was canceled in 1962.[2] The series was produced for Four Star by Levy-Gardner-Laven Productions, which produced other successful Four Star series, such as The Rifleman, and The Big Valley.

Future Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry was a contributing writer to the series .


Comic bookEdit

Dell Comics issued a comic book rendition of Robert Taylor's "The Detectives" during the series run .[3][4][5]


A few years after The Detectives ended, Barbara Stanwyck, Robert Taylor's ex-wife, had her very own successful series also produced by Four Star/Levy-Gardner-Laven Productions, The Big Valley, which also aired on ABC.

Several cast members on The Detectives went on to major TV roles after the series ended:

  • Robert Taylor, series star of The Detectives, who played Det. Matt Holbrook, went on to star in the successful syndicated TV series Death Valley Days, where he remained until his death in 1969. He had enjoyed a long and successful film career as a leading man in over 70 films- prior to starring on The Detectives.
  • Adam West, who was added to the cast in The Detectives' final season as Det. Steve Nelson, went on to play the lead role in the ABC series Batman.
  • Tige Andrews, who played Det. Johnny Russo, went on to play as Police Detective Captain Adam Greer in ABC's The Mod Squad. He also appeared in the original Star Trek as Klingon officer Kras in the episode "Friday's Child".
  • Mark Goddard, who played Det. Chris Ballard, went on to star in the CBS sci-fi series Lost In Space. Prior to the Detectives, Goddard co-starred in the popular (but cancelled after one season), CBS-TV series,Johnny Ringo, also produced by Four Star.
  • Russell Thorson, who played Det. Otto Lindstrom, had a long list of film and T.V. credits before and after The Detectives, including the T.V. movie "Cocoon"[6][7][8] - the original pilot episode of the CBS series, Hawaii Five-O starring Jack Lord.


In syndication, the series was rebroadcast for a time under the name, Captain of Detectives. Rebroadcasts were shown in the early 2000s on cable's TV Land network.

Home mediaEdit

The Detectives has been released in Germany (in dubbed German language only) under the name "Kein Fall für FBI" [1]


  1. ^ Brown, Les (1992). Les Brown's Encyclopedia of Television (3 ed.). Gale Research. p. 152. ISBN 0-8103-8871-5.
  2. ^ Wayne, Jane Ellen (2006). The Leading Men of MGM. Carroll & Graf Publishers. pp. 187–188. ISBN 0-7867-1768-8.
  3. ^ "four-color-series-ii-issue-1168".
  4. ^ "four-color-series-ii-issue-1219".
  5. ^ "four-color-series-ii-issue-1240".
  6. ^ "Pilot". 20 September 1968 – via
  7. ^ "Cocoon: Part 1". 4 June 1969 – via
  8. ^ "Cocoon: Part 2". 11 June 1969 – via

External linksEdit