Shaft (TV film series)

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Richard Roundtree Ed Barth Shaft (television version) 1973.JPG
Richard Roundtree and Ed Barth in "The Killing", 1973.
Genre Detective fiction
Based onShaft
by Ernest Tidyman
Starring Richard Roundtree
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes7
Production company MGM Television
Distributor Turner Entertainment Co.
Warner Bros. Television Distribution
Original network CBS
Original releaseOctober 9, 1973 (1973-10-09) 
February 19, 1974 (1974-02-19)
Followed by Shaft   (2000 film)

Shaft is a series of television films that aired along with Hawkins and other TV films 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), starring Richard Roundtree as private detective John Shaft and Ed Barth as Al Rossi; Barth replaces Angelo Gnazzo, who portrayed the character in Shaft's Big Score! (1972). [1]


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 starring cinema legend James Stewart, 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] A further contributor to its ratings failure was competition from other crime drama series starring African-American private investigators, NBC's Tenafly and ABC's Get Christie Love! . [6] Richard Roundtree himself has publicly expressed his disdain for the small-screen version of Shaft. [7] [8]


TitleOriginal air date
1"The Enforcers"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)

Cast and characters

A private detective working with the New York Police Department (NYPD). Roundtree reprises his role from the theatrical Shaft film series.
An NYPD police lieutenant working with Shaft. Barth replaces Angelo Gnazzo, who portrayed the character in Shaft's Big Score! (1972).
List indicator(s)
The Enforcers The Killing Hit-Run The Kidnapping Cop Killer The Capricorn Murders The Murder Machine
John Shaft Richard Roundtree
Lt. Al Rossi Ed Barth
The DetectiveRudy DoucetteRudy DoucetteRudy Doucette
The HoodArnold RobertsArnold Roberts
Laura ParksJudie SteinJudie Stein
The Pit BossNick Borgani
The SportsmanRobert StrongRobert Strong
Marshall Cunningham Robert Culp
Det. Sgt. Lew Turner Richard Jaeckel
Gerald Felk Kaz Garas
Juan Otero Rafael Campos
Charles Dawson Noah Keen
Judge McCormick Dean Jagger
Bobby Michael Gregory
Gordon DanaCharles Boyd
Walter AndersonMaurice Hill
Stan BurgessHarv Selsby
Dr. Helen ConnorsJeanne Sorel
Sister ElizabethDiana Webster
Jane Cunningham Barbara Babcock
Cathy Cunningham Melissa Sue Anderson
Court MemberDusty Cadis
Numbers Peter Elbling
Court Member Bill Hickman
Don Lewis Richard Lawson
Diana Richie Ja'net DuBois
Kyle Bruckner Leonard Frey
Sergeant Duff Michael Ansara
Sonny Bruckner Michael Pataki
Stanley Hollister Henry Beckman
Archie McGill Ron Soble
Victor Perrine Jared Martin
Captain Rigano Val Avery
Charley Vito Scotti
Jack Benjamin Louis Guss
Mrs. Richie Royce Wallace
Logan Albert Popwell
Selma ThomasJacque Lynn Colton
Judge Graves Michael Fox
Judge WeinbergJack Bernardi
IggieLou Kane
BailiffBenjie Bancroft
Courtroom SpectatorAl Beaudine
Court Clerk Billy Beck
Court ReporterDick Cherney
JurorGeorge Holmes
PasserbyKathryn Janssen
WorkmanDanny Sands
GamblerEddie Smith
DetectiveNico Stevens
Tom Oliver Howard Duff
Marcus Lowell Percy Rodrigues
Ann Lowell Judy Pace
David Oliver Tony Geary
Paul Hanson Don Matheson
Clifford Grayson Tony Curtis
Charles HarrisNicky Blair
MonaPat Delaney
Secretary Paula Shaw
Pit Boss Ted Jordan
Jacquard Jason Wingreen
Mrs. PattionShirley Anthony
HoodsFred Carson
Bill Catching
CroupiersSig Frohlich
Joseph La Cava
DealerBob Harks
Club Patrons Eddie Garrett
Robert Hitchcock
Joe Pine
Bartender Shep Houghton
Eddie SimmonsCharlie Picerni
Pit BossHank Robinson
CrouperGeorge Washburn
Elliot Williamson Paul Burke
Nancy Williamson Karen Carlson
Matthew PotterNicholas A. Beauvy
Beck Greg Mullavey
Hayden Timothy Scott
Leo Vic Brandt
Sheriff Bradley Frank Marth
Deputy WalterPhilip Kenneally
Deputy DaleyErik Holland
Deputy MiltonFrank Whiteman
Mr. TolliverStephen Coit
Debbie Jayne Kennedy
Potter Richard Stahl
Cab DriverJoseph Petrullo
Bank CustomerRobert Casper
Wally Doyle George Maharis
Officer Charles TylerJames A. Watson Jr.
Tom Donegan Richard Schaal
Brock Arch Johnson
Marcia Tyler Kim Hamilton
EveTalya Ferro
Capt. Brian Brewster Darren McGavin
Dr. MeyerGene Elman
Helen Rossi Mitzi Hoag
Tony Max Gail
MarksJoseph George
CargillPeter Canon
BartenderVic Christy
J. L. Teague Don Knight
Gil Kirkwood David Hedison
Joanna Kirkwood Cathy Lee Crosby
Harry Praeger Robert Phillips
Fire Investigator Bert Freed
Frank Lucas Arthur O'Connell
Bank Clerk June Dayton
Bank Officer Dean Harens
Myrna Candice Rialson
CarolThelma Pelish
NickyJo Ella Deffenbaugh
Police OfficerDavid Armstrong
Franklin CarterGeorge Bryson
Boermer Edward Colmans
Gunther Gil Perkins
DetectiveRay Pourchot
InternWalter Smith
Richard Quayle Clu Gulager
Louise Quayle Fionnula Flanagan
Henry Kassner Mills Watson
Gerald WallaceJoe Warfield
Frank Higget Sheldon Allman
PlainclothesmenJohn Garwood
Glenn Robards
Bookie Danny Wells
Moon Bill Walker
GirlJanice Durkin
Higget's Bodyguard Sid Haig
Corman Than Wyenn

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