Dan August
Burt Reynolds Dan August.JPG
Reynolds as Dan August
StarringBurt Reynolds
Norman Fell
Ned Romero
Richard Anderson
Ena Hartman
Opening theme"Dan August Theme" by Dave Grusin
ComposersDave Grusin
Dave Vincent (pilot only)
Richard Markowitz
Tom Scott
Patrick Williams
Duane Tatro
Country of originUnited States
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes26
Executive producerQuinn Martin
Camera setupSingle-camera
Running time45 mins.
Production companyQM Productions
DistributorCBS Television Distribution (syndication)
Original networkABC
Original releaseSeptember 23, 1970 (1970-09-23) –
April 8, 1971 (1971-04-08)

Dan August is an American drama series that aired on ABC from September 23, 1970, to April 8, 1971. Burt Reynolds played the title character. Reruns of the series aired in prime time on CBS from May to October 1973 and from April to June 1975.


Police lieutenant Dan August investigates homicide cases in his (fictional) hometown of Santa Luisa, California. (The town is supposedly based on Santa Barbara, California but was filmed in Oxnard in Ventura County.)


Reynolds stars as police lieutenant Dan August. Other cast members include:

Barney Phillips had a recurring role as Mike Golden, the medical examiner.

Guest stars

Guest stars including Diana Muldaur in the pilot episode "Murder by Proxy"; Martin Sheen in "Dead Witness to a Killing"; Dabney Coleman in "The King Is Dead"; Larry Hagman in "The Law"; John Ritter in "Quadrangle of Death"; and Harrison Ford, Billy Dee Williams, Mickey Rooney, David Soul and Gary Busey in "The Manufactured Man". Ahna Capri played Linda Perry in "Death Chain" and "Prognosis: Homicide".

Other guest actors to appear on the show include Michael Ontkean, Joan Hackett, Vera Miles, Annette O'Toole, Gary Collins, Ricardo Montalbán, Ford Rainey, Carolyn Jones, Fritz Weaver, John Marley, Janice Rule, Alexandra Hay, Norman Alden, Joan Van Ark, Bradford Dillman, Geraldine Brooks, Donna Mills, Victor French, Richard Basehart, Sherry Lansing, Monte Markham, Jan-Michael Vincent, Stephen Collins, Laurence Luckinbill, Lee Meriwether, Sal Mineo, Anna Navarro, Fernando Lamas, Ellen Corby, Susan Oliver, John Beck, Michael Pataki, Diana Hyland and Simon Scott.


No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
1"Murder by Proxy"George Mc CowanRobert C. DennisSeptember 23, 1970 (1970-09-23)

With guest stars Diana Muldaur. Burr DeBenning. Roger Perry. and special guest star Anne Francis. Co-Starring Milton Selzer as Dr. Albert Ziegler, Ford Rainey as David Lyle, Mark Roberts as Spence.

With Burke Byrnes as Officer Halsey, John Hudson as Dr. Cooper, James Devine as Peterson, Judy Strangis as Susie, Robert Wolders as Redfern.
2"The Murder of a Small Town"Harvey HartRobert DozierSeptember 30, 1970 (1970-09-30)

With guest star Ricardo Montalban. and special guest star John Marley. Co-Starring Anna Navarro as Consuela, Cal Bellini as Jose, Corinne Comacho as Carlotta, Mark Roberts as Spence. With Val Avery, Bart La Rue, Joaquin Martinez, Ray Martel, Peter Hobbs, Stan Barrett, Dort Clark, Michele Salerno.

A sabotaged school bus is involved in an accident that kills Sgt. Joe Rivera's niece. Dan wonders if a migrant worker's strike is connected and races to find the killer before violence breaks out.
3"Love Is a Nickel Bag"George Mc CowanArthur WeingartenOctober 7, 1970 (1970-10-07)

With guest stars Brad David. Annette O'Toole. June Dayton. Co-Starring Don Dubbins as Arnold Cane, Morgan Paull as Gibbs, Morgan Sterne as Mr. Corman, Eldon Quick as Dr. Joelson. With Joyce Ames as Tara Mayson, Florence MacMichael as Mrs. Goodson, Paul Camen as Connors, Darrell Larson as Bernie Kahn, Bill Ewing as Joe Goodson.

A teenage boy fatally overdoses at a wild party. In order to find the drug supplier, Dan 'sweats out' the heroin-addicted host of the party in an attempt to gain information.
4"The King Is Dead"Gene NelsonJack TurleyOctober 14, 1970 (1970-10-14)

With guest stars Dabney Coleman. Fred Beir. Jane Elliot. and special guest star Janice Rule. Co-Starring Richard Van Vleet as Robert Gage, Mark Roberts as Spence. With Walter Coy as Alex Venable, Rose Hobart as Servant, Bill Erwin as Coroner, Warren Parker as Doctor, Douglas Mitchell as Patrolman.

The philanthropist Alex Venable, who put Dan through college, is found shot to death and he doesn't buy the 'scared burglar' theory. Dan soon discovers that Venable wasn't the man he thought he was and finding the guilty party among the growing group of the old man's enemies will take all his detecting skills.
5"In the Eyes of God"Harvey HartBarry TriversOctober 21, 1970 (1970-10-21)

With guest stars Bradford Dillman. James Best. Donna Mills. Co-Starring Thomas Gomez as Hector Costa, Russell Thorson as Bishop MacAlister, Mark Roberts as Spence. With Joshua Bryant, Queenie Smith, Claudia Bryar, Robert Cleaves, Pat O'Hara, Iris Korn, Don Phelps, Irene Gilbert, Matthew Knox, Bob Pickett, Martin Priest, Steve Benson, Bernadette Brookes.

When a priest is attacked at a church, Dan and the department investigate former priest Matthew Costa, who knows the suspect's name but won't reveal it because of his vow of silence. When murders occur that match a serial killer's M.O., Dan believes he may match the suspect that Costa continues to protect.
6"The Color of Fury"Harvey HartWilliam WoodOctober 28, 1970 (1970-10-28)
7"Invitation to Murder"Robert DouglasMel GoldbergNovember 4, 1970 (1970-11-04)
8"The Union Forever"George McCowanChester KrumholzNovember 11, 1970 (1970-11-11)

With guest stars Vic Morrow, Andrew Prine.

A corrupt union official is murdered and Dan's main suspect is his opponent in an upcoming election. Despite the man's claims of innocence, the evidence continues to mount that he hired hit men to kill the only person standing in his way.
9"Epitaph for a Swinger"Lewis AllenNicholas E. BaehrNovember 18, 1970 (1970-11-18)
10"When the Shouting Dies"Robert TottenRobert Dozier (t),
Robert L. Goodwin (s)
November 25, 1970 (1970-11-25)
11"The Soldier"Lewis AllenStephen KandelDecember 2, 1970 (1970-12-02)

With guest stars Michael Ontkean, Lynne Marta, Larry Ward, Jack Ging.

Dan's attempt to clear an AWOL soldier of an MP's murder is hampered by the suspect's uncooperative friends and the victim's wife, whose motivations are murky.
12"Quadrangle for Death"Nicholas WebsterNorman Katkov (s/t),
Stephen Kandel (t),
Roland Wolpert (s)
December 16, 1970 (1970-12-16)
13"Passing Fair"Arnold LavenWarren DuffDecember 30, 1970 (1970-12-30)
14"The Titan"George McCowanRichard Carr (s/t),
Robert C. Dennis (t)
January 7, 1971 (1971-01-07)
15"Death Chain"Ralph SenenskyRobert C. DennisJanuary 21, 1971 (1971-01-21)
16"Dead Witness to a Killing"Ralph SenenskyArthur WeingartenJanuary 28, 1971 (1971-01-28)
17"The Law"Ralph SenenskyMel GoldbergFebruary 4, 1971 (1971-02-04)
18"The Worst Crime"Gerald MayerRichard LandauFebruary 11, 1971 (1971-02-11)
19"Circle of Lies"Richard BenedictHarry KronmanFebruary 18, 1971 (1971-02-18)
20"Trackdown"Jerry JamesonRick HuskyFebruary 25, 1971 (1971-02-25)
21"Bullet for a Hero"Ralph SenenskyNicholas E. BaehrMarch 4, 1971 (1971-03-04)
22"The Manufactured Man"Richard BenedictArthur Dales (s),
Robert C. Dennis (t)
March 11, 1971 (1971-03-11)
A young woman returns to town after having been away for a year, and she's murdered just a few minutes after getting off the bus. Suspects include a popular candidate for governor, members of his campaign staff, and his son.
23"The Meal Ticket"Seymour RobbieRobert CollinsMarch 18, 1971 (1971-03-18)
24"Days of Rage"Ralph SenenskyStephen Kandel (s),
Richard Landau (s/t)
March 25, 1971 (1971-03-25)
25"Prognosis: Homicide"Virgil W. VogelRobert C. DennisApril 1, 1971 (1971-04-01)
26"The Assassin"Gene NelsonMel GoldbergApril 8, 1971 (1971-04-08)


Reynolds later recalled "I swore I'd never play a cop on TV because you can't make jokes or have a broad. You wind up loving your car a lot. I was halfway out the door when Quinn said the magic words – $15,000 a week."[1]

The series was based on Quinn Martin's 1970 TV movie House on Greenapple Road, starring Janet Leigh, which was based on Harold R. Daniels's 1966 mystery novel of the same name. It was directed by Robert Day from a script by George Eckstein. Christopher George played Dan August, with Keenan Wynn as Sergeant Wilentz and Barry Sullivan as Chief Untermeyer. Ned Romero was the only actor in the film who reprised his role in the series.[2]

Reception and legacy

While not initially popular enough to be renewed for a second season, Dan August became a fan favorite in reruns, particularly after Reynolds' popularity surged in the mid-1970s with his escalating movie career. CBS wisely re-aired the series both on The CBS Late Movie and in prime time during summer "rerun seasons" of both 1973 and 1975 to larger audiences.[3]

Television films

In 1980, a television movie titled Dan August: Once Is Never Enough aired on ABC in January 4. The film consisted of footage from episode 15, "Death Chain" and episode 25, "Prognosis: Homicide," cut together to television film length. At the time, ABC and Quinn Martin productions were looking to capitalize on the popularity of star Burt Reynolds, who was in the public eye due to Smokey and the Bandit (1977) and his relationship with actress Sally Field.

Four further television films were produced, all of which comprised edits of existing episodes into film-length narratives. The Diana Muldaur and Dabney Coleman episodes ("Murder by Proxy" and "The King Is Dead") were edited into the second film Dan August: The Jealousy Factor, which aired later the same year on February 4, and was followed by three more complications of selected episodes Dan August: The Trouble with Women ("Epitaph for a Swinger" and "The Titan"), which aired on June 1, then Dan August: The Lady Killers ("When the Shouting Dies" and "The Worst Crime") and Dan August: Murder, My Friend ("Trackdown" and "Bullet for a Hero"), both which aired on November between 10 and 30 at the end of the 1980 television season respectively.[4]

DVD release

On December 7, 2018, Visual Entertainment released the complete series on DVD in Region 1.[5]


  1. ^ Burt Prelutsky: Two Centerfolds. Los Angeles Times December 24, 1972, p. K14.
  2. ^ Marill, Alvin H. Movies Made for Television: The Telefeature and the Mini-Series 1964-1986. Page 190.
  3. ^ Brooks, Tim and Marsh, Earle. The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network TV Shows 1946-Present (4th edition). New York, Ballantine Books, 1988. Pages, pp. 181-182.
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on May 30, 2014. Retrieved January 22, 2013.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ "Dan August - The Complete Collection". Retrieved October 12, 2018.