Amy Prentiss
GenrePolice drama
Created byFrancine Carroll
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes3
Original release
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.