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1960s / The Fugitive Finale - 1967
The Fugitive was a highly successful adventure/drama series that aired from on ABC from 1963 to 1967 and starred David Janssen. Here was the premise: A doctor, Richard Kimble, is falsely convicted of his wife's murder and sentenced to death, but then he escapes custody in a train wreck while being transported to prison. With this unexpected turn of events, Kimble roams the country as a wanted man, searching for his wife's true killer. The series concluded with two-part finale that aired on August 22 and 29, 1967. At the time, the second part was the the most watched episode of an American TV drama in history. (It was later surpassed by Dallas' "Who Shot J.R.?" episode in 1980.) In the eagerly awaited climax, Kimble eventually tracks down his wife's murderer (the infamous "one-armed man") but is then caught by the police detective, Lieutenant Gerrard, who has been chasing Kimble throughout the entire series. Kimble convinces the police to let him prove his innocence, which he does via the killer's last-minute confession during a shootout at an abandoned amusement park. Some 25.7 million American households watched Dr. Kimble go free.