Amy Prentiss
GenrePolice drama
Created byFrancine Carroll
StarringJessica Walter
Johnny Seven
Helen Hunt
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes3
Original networkNBC
Original releaseDecember 1, 1974 (1974-12-01) –
February 2, 1975 (1975-02-02)

Amy Prentiss is an American police drama television series that originally aired on NBC.[1]


Amy Prentiss was a spinoff of Ironside[2] (the pilot was a two-hour episode of that show) and like that series was set in San Francisco. NBC executives initially rejected the program as a series, but high ratings for the pilot changed their minds.[3]

The show aired as part of the NBC Mystery Movie in 1974–1975,[4] replacing Hec Ramsey,[5] but was canceled after three 2-hour episodes.

Jessica Walter stars as Amy Prentiss, a relatively young investigator who becomes the first female Chief of Detectives for the San Francisco Police Department following the previous chief's death. She is a single mother whose husband died in a plane crash. Prentiss faced opposition from other police officers and from officers' wives.[2]

Helen Hunt, in an early recurring role, plays Prentiss' pre-teen daughter, Jill.[6] Other actors and the characters they portrayed are Steve Sandor as Tony Russell, Arthur Metrano as Rod Pena, Johnny Seven as detective Contreras, and Gwenn Mitchell as Joan Carter.[4]

Guest stars in the series' brief run included William Shatner, Cameron Mitchell, Ron Thompson, Don Murray, Joyce Van Patten and Jamie Farr.[citation needed]


In 1975, Walter won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series for her work in Amy Prentiss.[7]


The pilot for this series was the two-part Ironside episode "Amy Prentiss," a.k.a. "The Chief" (May 23, 1974).

No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
1"Baptism of Fire"Jeffrey HaydenMichael Butler,
Christopher Trumbo
December 1, 1974 (1974-12-01)
Amy assumes her duties as San Francisco's first female police chief. Her first assignment: an old friend is suspected of murder, and a mad bomber is striking the city.
2"The Desperate World of Jane Doe"Andrew V. McLaglenElinor Karpf,
Steven Karpf
December 22, 1974 (1974-12-22)
A party host passes out to find a strange, very dead woman in his apartment and himself as the prime suspect. Amy also takes on some phony checks and a cat burglar.
3"Profile in Evil"UnknownUnknownFebruary 2, 1975 (1975-02-02)
Amy's quarry is a renegade cop who killed a drug dealer and the fellow officer who witnessed his crime.


  1. ^ "Amy Prentiss". The New York Times.
  2. ^ a b O’Dell, Cary (2013). June Cleaver Was a Feminist!: Reconsidering the Female Characters of Early Television. McFarland. p. 140. ISBN 9780786471775. Retrieved 22 April 2019.
  3. ^ Wright, Christopher (December 1, 1974). "Amy Prentiss -- A Capable, Hard-Working (Lady) Cop". The Tampa Tribune. Florida, Tampa. p. 149. Retrieved 22 April 2019 – via
  4. ^ a b Brooks, Tim; Marsh, Earle F. (2009). The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows, 1946-Present. Random House Publishing Group. p. 60. ISBN 9780307483201. Retrieved 22 April 2019.
  5. ^ Smith, Cecil (December 19, 1974). "Amy Breaks Into TV's Big Three". Beckley Post-Herald. West Virginia, Beckley. p. 5. Retrieved 22 April 2019 – via
  6. ^ Armstrong, Stephen B. (2011). Andrew V. McLaglen: The Life and Hollywood Career. McFarland. p. 219. ISBN 9780786486700. Retrieved 22 April 2019.
  7. ^ "("Jessica Walter" search results)". Emmy Awards. Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Archived from the original on 22 April 2019. Retrieved 22 April 2019.