The Bold Ones

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The Bold Ones is the umbrella title for several television series. It was produced by Universal Television and broadcast on NBC from 1969 to 1973. It was a wheel format series, an NBC programming approach also used by that network in series such as The Name of the Game and the NBC Mystery Movie.[1]


During the four years of the series there were four segments:

The New Doctors - was based at the 'David Craig Institute for New Medicine' named after E.G. Marshall's character Dr. David Craig, David Hartman played Dr. Paul Hunter with John Saxon (seasons one and two) as Dr. Theodore Stuart, replaced in season four by Robert Walden as Dr. Martin Cohen. These stories were medical dramas. The characters Dr. Craig & Hunter appeared in the crossover two part Ironside/The Bold Ones story; 'Five Days in The Death of Sgt. Brown' guesting in 'part one' (an Ironside episode) with the Ironside cast then guesting in 'part two' which was originally a 'Bold Ones' episode. Vic Morrow guested as the third featured Doctor as this story was made between John Saxon's departure and Robert Walden's introduction. The story has since been edited into a combined feature length Ironside story with special opening credits added for E.G. Marshall and David Hartman.

The Lawyers - featured the legal partnership 'Nicholls, Darrell & Darrell'. Burl Ives (as senior partner Walter Nicolls) appeared in all episodes, while Joseph Campanella (as Brian Darrell) was featured in almost all the episodes, James Farentino (as younger brother Neil Darrell) was initially a semi regular character normally featured in every other episode, however the episode 'The Shattered Image' featured just Ives & Farentino.

The Protectors (first season only) - Broke new ground for television as it concentrated on law matters but with a topical racial/political angle added. Leslie Neilsen played a 'set in his ways' white conservative Police officer Lt. Sam Danforth, while Hari Rhodes played a black 'modern thinking' liberal D.A. Bill Washburn. The pair frequently clashed over both viewpoints plus standing on legal cases, yet had a mutual respect and reluctant admiration for each other regarding their respective devotion to duty. The episodes featured an opening topical narration by a deadpan radio presenter apparently doing a radio call in show named 'Al Raymond'.

The Senator (second season only) - Hal Holbrook played a tireless crusading Washington Senator Hays Stowe who doggedly investigated current affairs issues on behalf of the American voter/taxpayer, giving a positive side to the political scene in the immediate 'pre-Watergate' period. Sharon Acker (as 'Erin Stowe'), Cindy Eilbacher (as 'Norma Stowe') and Michael Tolan (as 'Jordan Boyle') appeared as the regular supporting cast.

Like other 'rotating wheel' TV shows (The Name of The Game, The Men From Shiloh, Search, etc.) The Bold Ones segments were normally rotated from week to week, with the complete set of all featured Bold Ones series cast always credited on every episode until the Bold One's final, abbreviated 1972-1973 season, when only one series, The New Doctors, survived for fifteen episodes until it was canceled in January of 1973, with one final, new "Doctors" episode being telecast in May of 1973.

Like The Name of The Game, the show's opening graphic originally rotated, putting up the featured cast first, followed by the other segment's casts, with accompanying narration. In the first season, the narrator announced "The Bold Ones", then the actors names were announced over various pictures of them then the following narration for each segment:

The New Doctors: "...Doctors expanding new horizons of the new medicines..."

The Lawyers: "...Lawyers defending justice in the nation's courtrooms..."

The Protectors: "...Public servants enforcing the laws of a challenging society..."

followed by "These are The Bold Ones..."


The Lawyers was nominated for three Emmy Awards in 1972, winning one for its music and another for its direction.[2]

The Senator, which lasted for only eight episodes,[3] earned nine Emmy nominations in 1971, winning five, including best drama, best "continued performance" by an actor (Hal Holbrook), and three additional separate awards for outstanding achievement in writing, direction, and film editing, respectively.[2]


The series has been in syndication, previously paired with episodes of George Kennedy's Sarge, which was also produced by Universal.


  1. ^ The NBC Mystery Movie from the Museum of Broadcast Communications
  2. ^ a b Advanced Primetime Awards Search from the Emmy Awards web site
  3. ^ Bold Ones, a listing from the TV Guide web site

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