Most Wanted: Sutherland and Holbrook confirm ‘Fugitive’ status…

Another day another fledgling viewing platform sets out its wares. QUIBI (launching in April 2020) is whetting our appetities with a new run for 'The Fugitive'...

The Fugitive, starring David Janssen and Barry Morse was a staple of 1960s television, an early and very successful example of mixing a procedural tv show with an ongoing arc. Janssen played Dr. Richard Kimble who is believed to have murdered his wife. Kimble insists he’s innocent and grappled with a one-armed man, the real killer, in his apartment. With the circumstantial evidence mounting against him, Kimble goes on the run, with Morse’s  Detective  Gerard refusing to give up the chase. Each week Kimble would find himself in new places, trying to piece together the truth and evade capture – and often having to use his medical skills without revealing his real identity.  The series ran for four seasons between 1963-67. Though audiences are often left hanging by cancellations, The Fugitive did provide closure with a two-part last story, broadcast in August 1967) with Kimble finally tracking down the real murderer and Gerard realising the truth and striking up an alliance.

The concept was famously revisited for the big-screen in 1993 with Harrison Ford essaying Richard Kimble and Tommy Lee Jones as Gerard (and actually produced a sequel with Wesley Snipes on the run in US Marshals). In 2000, CBS rebooted the series with Tim Daly as Kimble and Mykelti Williamson as Gerard which ran for one season before being cancelled (resulting in an unresolved cliffhanger).

Now, a new contemporary version will once again be launched… with some familiar names attached, but playing new characters.

Proving this is an age of broadcast network alternatives, Quibi (the new short-form mobile video platform, founded in 2018 by Jeffrey Katzenberg and scheduled to launch on April 6, 2020) is already gearing up with a raft of new dramas including The Fugitive reboot. In a set-up that blends the original show and the premise of the more recent ABC thriller-series  Quantico (also with a framed-suspect / terrorist conspiracy angle), Holbrook will play Mike Russo, whose family are riding  the LA subway when a terrorist bomb rips apart the train apart. His actions to possibly save them are misinterpreted and through a mixture of circumstantial evidence and ‘check-facts-later’ social media, Russo appears to be immediately implicated in the tragedy. Though he’s protesting his innocence, nobody seems interested. Russo is forced to go on the run with Detective Clay Bryce (Sutherland) determined to find him. Thus, there’s a weekly game of cat-and-mouse and a developing backstory.

Production is set to begin on the series in October for a 2020 launch.