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|Created by||David Levy|
|Theme music composer||David Shire|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||16|
|Executive producer||David Levy|
|Cinematography||Richard A. Kelley|
Jacques R. Marquette
|Running time||44 mins.|
|Production companies||Universal Television|
|Original release||September 21, 1971 –|
January 11, 1972
|Preceded by||Sarge: The Badge or the Cross|
Kennedy stars as Samuel Patrick Cavanaugh, a San Diego police detective sergeant who decides to retire and enter the priesthood after his wife is murdered. Sarge had initially studied for the priesthood prior to his police career, but his seminary studies were interrupted by military service during World War II.
The series, which ran in 1971-72, was preceded by a pilot titled Sarge: The Badge or the Cross (February 22, 1971 airdate), which set the premise for the subsequent series. One week before the show's fall premiere, on September 14, 1971, Cavanaugh traveled to San Francisco because of the death of a friend and fellow priest. His investigation caused him to cross paths with the characters from Ironside in a two-hour special that consolidated the two series' consecutive time slots. This has been subsequently seen as a TV-movie, The Priest Killer.
The series was set in San Diego and the pilot movie was filmed primarily on location. However, when the series went into production, episodes were filmed in Los Angeles. The parish church used was St. Peter's Italian Catholic Church on North Broadway in Chinatown.
George Kennedy's character was originally Sarge Swanson in the pilot movie. Starting with the Ironside crossover episode, and for the rest of the series, his last name was changed from Swanson to Cavanaugh. Supporting actor Ramon Bieri played Sarge's police contact. In the pilot, his name was Chief Dewey, but was changed to Lt. Barney Verick, chief of detectives, for the series. Sallie Shockley (Valerie) and Harold Sakata (Kenji Takichi) reprised their roles from the pilot movie for the series. Henry Wilcoxon as Bishop Andrade and Dana Elcar as Father Frank Dismore also appeared in the pilot, as well as the series.
|No.||Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date|
|0||"The Badge or the Cross"||Richard A. Colla||Don Mankiewicz||February 22, 1971|
|1||"A Terminal Case of Vengeance"||John Badham||Joel Oliansky||September 21, 1971|
|2||"Ring Out, Ring It"||Daniel Haller||Edward DeBlasio||September 28, 1971|
|3||"Psst! Wanna Buy a Dirty Picture?"||TBA||TBA||October 5, 1971|
|4||"Identity Crisis"||TBA||TBA||October 12, 1971|
|5||"A Push Over the Edge"||John Badham||Story by : Stanford Whitmore|
Teleplay by : David Levinson
|October 26, 1971|
|6||"John Michael O'Flaherty Presents the Eleven O'Clock War"||TBA||TBA||November 2, 1971|
|7||"Silent Target"||TBA||TBA||November 9, 1971|
|8||"Quicksilver"||TBA||TBA||November 16, 1971|
|9||"A Bad Case of Monogamy"||TBA||TBA||November 23, 1971|
|10||"The Combatants"||TBA||TBA||November 30, 1971|
|11||"A Company of Victims"||Jeannot Szwarc||Robert Collins||December 7, 1971|
|12||"A Party to the Crime"||TBA||TBA||December 28, 1971|
|13||"An Accident Waiting to Happen"||TBA||TBA||January 4, 1972|
|14||"Napoleon Never Wanted to Be a Cop"||TBA||TBA||January 11, 1972|
- Faulkner, Robert R. (1983). Music on Demand. Transaction Publishers p. 51. ISBN 978-1-4128-2923-6.
- Bernstein, Adam (March 1, 2016). "George Kennedy: Versatile character actor who won an Oscar for 'Cool Hand Luke' and was a mainstay of 1970s disaster films". The Independent. Retrieved April 9, 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
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