The Manhunter is an American crime drama that was part of CBS’ lineup for the 1974–1975 television season. The series was produced by Quinn Martin and starred Ken Howard as Dave Barret, a 1930s-era private investigator from Idaho.
The series’ premise would have Dave going from his parents’ farm in Idaho to other parts of the Western and North Central United States to solve crimes, after the death of his best friend during a bank robbery. Using a car which was well stocked with weapons, he would hunt down men who were wanted by the law. The series also starred Hilary Thompson as Dave’s sister Lizabeth Barret, Ford Rainey as his father, James, Claudia Bryar as his mother, Mary and Robert J. Hogan as Sheriff Paul Tate.
Among the series’ guest stars were Michael Constantine, Joan Van Ark, Denver Pyle, Tom Skerritt, Leslie Nielsen, Sam Elliott, Dabney Coleman, Paul Carr, a pre-Star Wars Mark Hamill, Linda Marsh, Parley Baer, a pre-The Simpsons Jo Ann Harris and Barbara Rhoades. Already known for his portrayal of Thomas Jefferson in 1776, Howard would later become famous playing the main character on The White Shadow.
The Manhunter pilot episode was shown on February 26, 1974. It was then picked up as a regular series by CBS, with its first regular episode being shown on September 11. Although being ranked 19th for the week that it premiered, the series was cancelled by CBS because of stiff competition from ABC’s Get Christie Love! and NBC’s Petrocelli with its last regular episode being shown on March 5, 1975. Reruns of the series were then shown until April.