1 9 6 3 – 1 9 6 6 (USA)
94 x 50 minute episodes
1 9 9 4 – 1 9 9 5 (USA)
This glossy black and white police drama series from ABC starred Gene Barry (ex-Bat Masterson) as Captain Amos Burke, the obscenely wealthy boss of the LAPD murder squad.
Burke was regularly dragged away from society functions and expensive wining and dining to investigate murder after murder in episodes which all began with the words “Who Killed . . . ?”, with the name of that week’s unfortunate victim filling the gap.
He lived in a palatial estate and was driven around in the back of a Rolls Royce by his chauffeur, Henry. His crime fighting partners were Detective Tim Tilson (a smart, young college graduate), Detective Les Hart (a seasoned veteran of the force), and Sergeant Ames, a pretty policewoman.
As unlikely as it seems, the debonair bachelor was evidently the right man for this particular job as most of the murder victims appeared to come from the elite end of society.
Towards the end of the series in 1965, Burke quit the police force and entered the world of espionage. With Burke now a globe-trotting undercover secret agent under the instructions of his contact at the Agency, simply called ‘The Man’, the series was renamed Amos Burke – Secret Agent.
In 1994 (almost three decades after the original series left the air) a revived series of Burke’s Law appeared on television with Gene Barry reprising his role as the suave, debonair cop, now chief of homicide for the LAPD.
He was now joined in his crime-fighting activities by a son he had sired sometime in the years between the original series and the new series. The son, Peter (Peter Barton), had inherited his father’s good looks, charm, and penchant for being a detective.
The new series had corny dialogue, and every episode was inundated with celebrity guests long past their prime, such as Connie Stevens, Eva Gabor, Milton Berle and Roddy McDowall.
In spite of this star power, the new series proved to be less interesting than the original, and it was cancelled after 18 months on the air.
Capt. Amos Burke
Detective Tim Tilson
Detective Lester Hart
Carl Benton Reid