Dean Hargrove

Biography: Dean Hargrove is an American TV writer and producer who specializes in mystery series. He has created and/or produced several popular shows, including Matlock, Father Dowling Mysteries, Jake and the Fatman, and Diagnosis Murder. He was also the creative force behind the series of revival Perry Mason TV movies that began in 1985.

He began his career as a scriptwriter, contributing episodes to The Man From U.N.C.L.E. and My Three Sons. In 1971, he wrote the teleplay for "Ransom for a Dead Man," the second "pilot" movie of Peter Falk's Columbo. He was a producer on Columbo (writing episodes featuring Jackie Cooper and Jose Ferrer) and its companion series McCloud for much of the 1970s before he began producing and developing his own shows. In 1985, he was picked by Fred Silverman to write the script for "Perry Mason Returns." Starring Raymond Burr and Barbara Hale in their original roles of Perry Mason and Della Street, the film was the #1 show of the week when it premiered.
Dean Hargrove is an American TV writer and producer who specializes in mystery series. He has created and/or produced several popular shows, including Matlock, Father Dowling Mysteries, Jake and the Fatman, and Diagnosis Murder. He was also the creative force behind the series of revival Perry Mason TV movies that began in 1985.

He began his career as a scriptwriter, contributing episodes to The Man From U.N.C.L.E. and My Three Sons. In 1971, he wrote the teleplay for "Ransom for a Dead Man," the second "pilot" movie of Peter Falk's Columbo. He was a producer on Columbo (writing episodes featuring Jackie Cooper and Jose Ferrer) and its companion series McCloud for much of the 1970s before he began producing and developing his own shows.

In 1985, he was picked by Fred Silverman to write the script for "Perry Mason Returns." Starring Raymond Burr and Barbara Hale in their original roles of Perry Mason and Della Street, the film was the #1 show of the week when it premiered. The success of this TV movie led to a regular series of revival films that aired up to Raymond Burr's death (and beyond, with Paul Sorvino and Hal Holbrook starring in "Perry Mason Mysteries.") Hargrove contributed the stories to eight of the movies in the series.

In 1986, Hargrove developed, along with Fred Silverman and Brandon Tartikoff, a vehicle for actor Andy Griffith. Inspired by a character Griffith played in a TV movie, Hargrove developed the character of a folksy, savvy defense attorney. The result was Matlock, which ran for nine seasons to a large audience.

Hargrove also developed Father Dowling Mysteries. The show starred Tom Bosley (fresh off a four-season run on Murder, She Wrote) as a Chicago Catholic priest who was also an amateur sleuth.

In 1987, he premiered Jake and the Fatman with William Conrad. Though not widely remembered today, the series did spawn the spin-off character of Dr. Mark Sloan, played by Dick Van Dyke. Hargrove produced three TV movies starring the character and the subsequent eight-season series Diagnosis Murder. Leaving the air in 2001, it capped off almost two decades of having continuous series on the air for Hargrove.

Recently, he has been back in the TV mystery field with contributions to the Hallmark Channel's Mystery Movie series. He produces and writes episodes of Jane Doe with Lea Thompson (and Jake and the Fatman co-star Joe Penny), McBride with John Larroquette (as a defense attorney/investigator in the vein of Matlock and Perry Mason), and Murder 101 with Dick Van Dyke. He is also an executive producer of the BBC series Hex.
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Dean Hargrove's Scores

  • TV
Average career score: 44
Highest Metascore: 51 Demons (UK): Season 1
Lowest Metascore: 36 Matlock: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of 2
  2. Negative: 1 out of 2
2 tv reviews
Title: Year: Credit: User score:
51 Demons (UK): Season 1 Jan 3, 2009 Executive Producer tbd
tbd Jane Doe: Season 1 Jan 21, 2005 Writer tbd
tbd McBride: Season 1 Jan 14, 2005 Writer tbd
tbd Diagnosis Murder: Season 8 Oct 12, 2000 Executive Producer tbd
tbd Diagnosis Murder: Season 5 Sep 18, 1997 Executive Producer tbd
tbd Diagnosis Murder: Season 4 Sep 19, 1996 Writer / Executive Producer tbd
tbd Diagnosis Murder: Season 3 Dec 8, 1995 Executive Producer tbd
tbd Matlock: Season 9 Oct 13, 1994 Creator tbd
tbd Diagnosis Murder: Season 2 Sep 16, 1994 Executive Producer tbd
tbd Matlock: Season 8 Sep 23, 1993 Creator tbd
tbd Matlock: Season 7 Nov 5, 1992 Creator tbd
tbd Matlock: Season 6 Oct 18, 1991 Creator tbd
tbd Father Dowling Mysteries: Season 3 Sep 20, 1990 Writer tbd
tbd Matlock: Season 5 Sep 18, 1990 Creator / Executive Producer tbd
tbd Father Dowling Mysteries: Season 2 Jan 4, 1990 Writer / Executive Producer tbd
tbd Matlock: Season 4 Sep 19, 1989 Creator / Executive Producer tbd
tbd Perry Mason: Season 11 Feb 12, 1989 Writer tbd
tbd Matlock: Season 3 Nov 29, 1988 Creator / Executive Producer tbd
tbd Father Dowling Mysteries: Season 1 Nov 30, 1987 Executive Producer tbd
tbd Matlock: Season 2 Sep 22, 1987 Creator / Executive Producer tbd
36 Matlock: Season 1 Mar 3, 1986 Writer / Creator / Executive Producer tbd
tbd Perry Mason: Season 10 Dec 1, 1985 Writer tbd
tbd Columbo: Season 4 Sep 15, 1974 Executive Producer tbd
tbd Columbo: Season 3 Sep 23, 1973 Writer tbd
tbd Columbo: Season 2 Sep 17, 1972 Producer tbd
tbd Columbo: Season 1 Feb 20, 1968 Producer 8.6
tbd The Rat Patrol: Season 2 Sep 11, 1967 Writer tbd
tbd The Rat Patrol: Season 1 Sep 12, 1966 Writer tbd
tbd My Three Sons: Season 5 Sep 17, 1964 Writer tbd
tbd Diagnosis Murder: Season 1 Oct 29, 1993 Writer / Executive Producer tbd