59. The Fugitive

Creator: Roy Huggins
Years: 1963-1967

A show I watched quite a bit of because my mom had a huge crush on David Janssen. Everyone born before 1985 knows the premise I’m sure. The ongoing serial about Richard Kimble’s desperate attempt to prove the one-armed man killed his wife is classic. It seems to make more sense for a movie than it does for a long-running TV show, and I’m guessing it became difficult to plausibly find reasons for Lieutenent Gerard to keep obsessing over Kimble and ways for Kimble to keep almost getting caught. The ratings died in the last two seasons, though I don’t remember enough of the show to say why. It did win an Emmy for best drama in its final year and TV Guide is pretty crazy about the show.

Maybe mom can provide some insight in the comments below.


4 thoughts on “59. The Fugitive”

  1. Also, wasn’t it one of the first shows to have a proper “series finale” that sort of wrapped things up?

    Never saw this. Always kind of wanted to.

  2. I was very happy to see that The Fugitive rated this high on your list. Of course as you said, I had a big crush on Richard Kimball at age 13, so that may have clouded my objectivity. However, some 25 or so years later, I ran across VHS tapes at Target of episodes of the series, and I bought every one that was available. I enjoyed the show as much at that time (minus the crush) as I did during its original run. I think the major appeal was that David Janssen was so perfect for the role of Richard Kimball, so in turn the audience desperately wanted to see him proven innocent and see the one-armed man brought to justice. I do not know why the show’s ratings fell in its later years . . . I guess I’d have to watch all the shows again in the order they aired to see if it lost its freshness over time. I’m not a huge fan of The Fugitive movie. Even though I feel Harrison Ford is a better and much more versatile actor than David Janssen (I never cared much for Janssen in other roles), I think Janssen was much more suitable for the role of Richard Kimball than Harrison Ford.

  3. When this came out as a film, I didn’t even know that it had previously been a series. My dad didn’t typically watch older TV from his youth, other than his complete obsession with The Andy Griffith Show.

    I do remember thinking that this had to be tough to string out to a long series.

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