The Fugitive is an American network television dramatic series (ABC, 1963-1967) starring David Janssen as Dr. Richard Kimble, an innocent man falsely convicted for his wife's murder and sentenced to death, who escapes custody in a train wreck and begins a cross-country search for the one-armed man he believes to be the real killer (Fred Johnson, played by Bill Raisch), while pursued by a relentless police detective (Lt. Philip Gerard, played by Barry Morse).
The series was conceived by Roy Huggins and produced by Quinn Martin. It is generally believed that the series was inspired by the Sam Sheppard case of the 1950s, in which the wife of Cleveland Doctor Sam Sheppard was brutally murdered in their home; Sheppard maintained she had been killed by an intruder, was found guilty, appealed his case to the Supreme Court, and was finally acquitted. (Higgins, however, denied that the Sheppard case had any role in his creation of the show.) It aired for four seasons, with 30 episodes per season, for a total of 120 episodes. The first three seasons were filmed in black and white, while the final season was in color.
The final episode in which Dr. Kimble finally confronted the one-armed man is among the highest-rated series television programs of all time.
In a 1993 ranking, TV Guide named it the best dramatic series of the 1960s.
A total of 42 episodes have been released on home video (VHS) by NuVentures Video. Of these, 12 episodes were also released on laserdisc.
The original series was later the basis for a feature film (1993) - starring Harrison Ford as Kimble, Andreas Katsulas as the one-armed man, and Tommy Lee Jones as Gerard - and a short-lived TV series (CBS, 2000-2001) of the same name.
The basic format for the series has been imitated in other television series. One of the most successful is The Incredible Hulk where the lead character is on the run as a fugitive who is presumed dead and is seeking a way to control his stress related transformations into the Hulk.