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Making TV history

September 14, 2009 |  4:24 pm


George Eckstein wrote 10 episodes of the 1960s TV series "The Fugitive" during his long career as a writer and producer, but none was bigger than the show's two-part finale in 1967.

How big?

The final episode drew 72% of the available audience, a record that stood until J.R. Ewing was shot on "Dallas".  And it was no match for the other networks that night--CBS showed a public-affairs documentary and NBC showed the last hour of a Dean Martin-Jerry Lewis movie, according to an article in The Times on Aug. 31, 1967.

Series star David Janssen hit ABC's late-night talk show after the finale, lifting host Joey Bishop to his first ratings win over Johnny Carson.

Here's a look at how the last episode ended. Eckstein, who co-wrote the finale, was listed in the credits as a co-producer.

-- Keith Thursby

Photo: David Janssen as Dr. Richard Kimble, center, holds William Raisch, the one-armed man, during a 1967 scene from "The Fugitive." Barry Morse, right, played Lt. Gerard.