Jeff Prior

Father & son work the case.

Set in the 1930s, The Investigators was a short-lived (13 episodes and out) 1958 television series about a hip young New York private eye, JEFF PRIOR, who counted on his dad, Lloyd, a former newspaperman, to help him out.

Jeff was something of a brawler, “a combination of McGraw and Mike Hammer,” and was quick to use disguises while tailing suspects. The show was broadcast in the summer of 1958, and the “stories” were written by Henry Kane. It never really caught on, however, perhaps because it was filmed live. Apparently it was savaged by critics, according to Ric Meyers’ who quoted this in his TV Detectives:

“The singular mystery is how it got on the air in the first place. Incredibly ill-conceived, it is performed with all the talent of Miss Budgkin’s Summer Drama School for Girls. It’s a live show with mass line fumbling.”

Meyers is quick to add that, at the end of the summer, “The Investigator did its time and was not asked back by NBC –or anyone else.”


  • “…definitely minor.”
    — Ric Meyers, TV Detectives


    (1958, NBC)
    13 episodes
    Filmed live and in colour
    Stories by Henry Kane
    Directed by William Graham
    Produced by William Altman
    Starring Lonny Chapman as JEFF PRIOR
    and Howard St. John as Lloyd Prior
    Guest starts: Colleen Dewhurst, Larry Hagman, George Maharis, Fred Gwynne, Jack Klugman, Elizabeth Montgomery
Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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