Harrison Ford

50 years before peak TV, 'The Fugitive' set a precedent for big series finales

50 years before peak TV, 'The Fugitive' set a precedent for big series finales

Fifty years ago, “The Fugitive” stopped running. The end of the pursuit also gave TV its first lesson in figuring out how to say goodbye.

The ABC series starring David Janssen as Richard Kimble, the physician wrongly convicted of killing his wife, was one of the best-loved series of the 1960s and the basis of the hit 1993 theatrical feature featuring Harrison Ford, as well as a short-lived CBS remake in 2000 starring Tim Daly and Mykelti Williamson.

Before the finale of “The Fugitive,” watched by a then-record audience of 78 million viewers on Aug. 29, 1967, there had never been a big planned send-off to a popular network TV show that provided a massive communal experience for...

EDITION: California | U.S. & World
71°