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 Burke's Law: Season 1 - Volume 1 (First 16 Episodes)

Burke's Law

Show Type: Police/Detective Drama

First Telecast: September 20, 1963

Last Telecast: August 3, 1995

Broadcast History:

September 1963 - September 1964, Friday 8:30-9:30 on ABC

September 1964 - September 1965, Wednesday 9:30-10:30 on ABC

September 1965 - January 1966, Wednesday 10:00-11:00 on ABC

January 1994 - September 1994, Friday 9:00-10:00 on CBS

May 1995 - August 1995, Wednesday 8:00-9:00 on CBS


Captain Amos Burke..... Gene Barry

Detective Tim Tilson (1963-1965)..... Gary Conway

Detective Sergeant Les Hart (1963-1965)..... Regis Toomey

Henry (1963-1965)..... Leon Lontoc

Sergeant Ames (1964-1965)..... Eileen O'Neill

"The Man" (1965-1966)..... Carl Benton Reid

Peter Burke (1994-1995)..... Peter Barton

Henry (1994-1995)..... Danny Kamekona

Lily Morgan (1994-1995)..... Bever-Leigh Banfield

Vinnie Piatte (1994-1995)..... Dom DeLuise


Gene Barry played a Los Angeles chief of detectives who also was a millionaire, a role not unlike his cowboy-dandy in the earlier Bat Masterson series. The character of Amos Burke was first seen two seasons earlier in a Dick Powell Theatre presentation ("Who Killed Julia Greer?"), where it was played by Dick Powell. As portrayed by Barry, Amos Burke was high-living, elegant, and witty yet cagey and tough when required. He lived in a palatial mansion and habitually arrived at the scene of a crime in a Rolls-Royce driven by his chauffeur, Henry. Burke also had a magnet attraction for beautiful women, and interrupted his romances only for interesting homicide cases, usually involving the elite.

His sidekicks were Det. Tim Tilson, a smart, young college type; Det. Les Hart, a seasoned veteran of the force; and in 1964-1965, a pretty policewoman, Sgt. Ames. Amos Burke was highly promoted during its first season and featured dozens of Hollywood stars as guests, ranging from Annette Funicello to Sir Cedric Hardwicke; 63 stars appeared in the first eight episodes according to one press release.

An important change in format and title was made in September 1965. Glamour and sophistication remained the series' trademarks, but Amos Burke severed his connection with the police and became a debonair, globe-trotting secret agent for a United States intelligence agency. His only contact at the agency, and the only other regular during the last season,  was known simply as "The Man." The title of the series was simultaneously changed to Amos Burke - Secret Agent.

Almost three decades after the original series had left the air, Burke's Law returned to television. Gene Barry was back as the remarkably well-preserved and still debonair cop, now chief of homicide for the L.A.P.D. During the intervening years, the womanizing Burke had been married and fathered a son, Peter. Peter had inherited his father's good looks, charm, wit and love of the law. He was now a homicide detective solving cases with his dad. Despite differences in both style and attitude - Peter was more impulsive and less patient than Amos - together they made an effective team. Other regulars were Amos's loyal manservant, Henry, who chauffeured him around in his Rolls Royce; Lily, the forensics expert and Amo's friend Vinnie, a gourmet chef who popped up in almost every episode.

The Burke's Law revival looked a bit like a land-locked Love Boat. The dialogue was incredibly corny, and every episode was populated with stars long past their prime. Among them were George Segal, Polly Bergen, Carol Channing, Connie Stevens, Buddy Epson, Anne Francis, Tanya Roberts, Edd Byrnes, Milton Berle, Jack Carter, Eva Gabor, Ed McMahon, John Astin, Audrey Meadows, Roddy McDowall, Bonnie Franklin, Florence Henderson, Efrem Zimbalist, Jr., and Don Knotts.