Profiler (TV series)

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Profiler (TV series) (title card).jpg
Profiler title
GenreCrime drama
Created byCynthia Saunders
Theme music composerAngelo Badalamenti
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons4
No. of episodes83 (list of episodes)
Executive producers
  • Clifton Campbell
  • Stephen Kronish
  • Kim Moses
  • Ian Sander
  • John Forrest Niss
  • Lorie Zerweck
  • Charles Holland
  • Anthony Santa Croce
Running timeapprox. 42min, hour with commercials (per episode)
Production companies
  • NBC Studios
  • Three Putt Productions
    (seasons 3-4)
  • Sander/Moses Productions
DistributorCarsey-Werner Distribution
Original networkNBC
Picture format480i (SDTV)
Original releaseSeptember 21, 1996 (1996-09-21) –
July 1, 2000 (2000-07-01)

Profiler is an American crime drama television series created by Cynthia Saunders that aired on NBC from September 21, 1996 to July 1, 2000 as part of its Thrillogy block and also airs on CNBC Europe. The series follows the exploits of a criminal profiler working with the fictional FBI Violent Crimes Task Force (VCTF) based in Atlanta, Georgia.

Ally Walker starred as profiler Dr. Samantha Waters during the first three seasons (1996–99), and was later replaced by Jamie Luner as prosecutor-turned-profiler Dr. Rachel Burke during the show's final season.[1][2] Robert Davi, Roma Maffia, Peter Frechette, Erica Gimpel and Julian McMahon co-starred throughout the show's run. Caitlin Wachs played Dr. Waters' daughter for the first two seasons, a role taken over by Evan Rachel Wood in 1998.

Profiler shares a similar lead character and premise with the Fox Network series Millennium, created by Chris Carter. Both shows premiered at the beginning of the 1996–97 television season.


Dr. Samantha "Sam" Waters (Ally Walker) is a forensic psychologist working for the FBI's (fictitious) Violent Crimes Task Force - "VCTF" - based in Atlanta, Georgia. She is a criminal profiler with her own unique gift to "see" through the eyes of others. This gift gives Sam an added special insight into the workings of the criminal mind. While she performs all of her duties diligently and competently, her drive comes from experiencing both a professional and personal tragedy years earlier in which her husband was murdered by a serial killer known only as Jack of All Trades. (His true identity was not revealed until the middle of the third season.)

Due to the dangers of the still at-large violent criminal, "Jack of All Trades," Sam must live under police guard 24/7 in a former firefighter station with her seven-year-old daughter Chloe Waters (Caitlin Wachs and later Evan Rachel Wood), and her best friend Angel Brown (Erica Gimpel), an artist.

The VCTF is an elite team of pros who must solve the toughest cases. It is led by Sam's mentor, Bailey Malone (Robert Davi), Detective John Grant (Julian McMahon), computer hacker George Fraley (Peter Frechette), and forensic pathologist Grace Álvarez (Roma Maffia).

Other characters included Nathan Brubaker, played by Michael Whaley, a former defense attorney turned detective. He appeared throughout season one. Shiek Mahmoud-Bey played Marcus Payton in season two who was an FBI agent skeptical of Sam's methods. A Martinez appeared occasionally in the first and second seasons playing Nick "Coop" Cooper, an ATF bomb disposal expert, who was Sam Waters love interest. Agent Cooper was later murdered by Jack. (Martínez had previously worked with Walker on the NBC daytime serial Santa Barbara.) Heather McComb appeared frequently in the first and second seasons as Frances Malone, the wayward and rebellious teenage daughter of Bailey Malone. Traci Lords appeared throughout the second season as a violent ex-convict named Sharon Lesher, who became the serial killer "Jill of All Trades" after she was recruited by Jack.

In season three, the VCTF thought they finally closed in on "Jack" - Donald Lucas (played by Mark Rolston). With "Jack" seemingly in custody, Sam and her daughter Chloe (now played by Evan Rachel Wood) were able to move out of the fortress-like firehouse where they had lived for the past two years. They settled into an upscale house in the Atlanta suburbs. Shortly after, Sam had a brief romance with Paul Sterling (John Mese), the district attorney prosecuting Donald Lucas. She was also dealing with her estranged father, Walter Anderson (Lawrence Pressman), who had a mysterious connection to the imprisoned Donald Lucas. As it turned out, the arrest of Donald Lucas was a complex ploy and set-up by the real "Jack of All Trades" - Albert Newquay - played by Dennis Christopher. Newquay, or "Jack", a violent career criminal, was hiding in a small California town. (To tease viewers, Newquay, the real "Jack", had first briefly appeared in season one posing in disguise as Ed Boast, the buffoonish sheriff of a small California town, and later discussed only once in season two.)

In season four, after finally stopping "Jack", Sam retired from the VCTF, being replaced by a new forensic psychologist, Dr. Rachel Burke (Jamie Luner). Rachel was a former FBI instructor at Quantico who also had Sam Waters' skill of profiling. But unlike Sam, Rachel had a very brusque take-charge manner that alienated some of the team members. Rachel had her own life problems; being single and also dealing with Danny, her self-destructive younger brother who died from a drug overdose near the end of the season. Late in the season, the show established a new overarching (story arc) villain, a shadowy urban legend named Damian Kennasas. Gregory Itzin also had a recurring role as Joel Marks, an unstable FBI agent who stalked Rachel. As the series came to an end on an unresolved cliffhanger, it appeared that the elite VCTF team might be shut down by the U.S. Congress for the high funds it took to operate.


SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
122September 21, 1996 (1996-09-21)May 10, 1997 (1997-05-10)
220November 1, 1997 (1997-11-01)May 9, 1998 (1998-05-09)
321October 17, 1998 (1998-10-17)June 5, 1999 (1999-06-05)
420September 25, 1999 (1999-09-25)July 1, 2000 (2000-07-01)




  1. ^ Replaced Caitlin Wachs as Chloe after season 2.


  • Dennis Christopher as Jack of All Trades/Albert Newquay (Uncredited or credited as 'Jack' during seasons 1–2)

The Pretender universe[edit]

Profiler shared the same universe with The Pretender, with three crossover episodes, three with Michael T. Weiss guest-starring on Profiler, Ally Walker made a guest appearance on The Pretender in season 3, episode 19, and Jamie Luner making a guest appearance on The Pretender in season 4, episode 10.


Profiler was first syndicated to Court TV in 2000.[4] Profiler aired weeknights at 1AM and 4AM Eastern on NBC Universal's 24-hour crime and mystery-themed cable channel Sleuth in 2007.

Since 2018, reruns air at 1:00AM daily on the network channel Start TV.

Home media[edit]

A&E Home Video has released the entire series on DVD in Region 1 in the United States of America. The four-season release box set has been discontinued and is now out of print.

  • Episode #1.4 'I'll Be Watching You' from Season 1 was not included in the set due to music right issues over the title song.[5]
Title Format Ep # Discs/Tapes Region 1 (USA) Special Features USA Distributor
Profiler (Season 1) DVD 21 6 1 July 2003
29 July 2003
Profiles of Evil: Inside the Criminal Mind episode of A&E's American Justice series

Commentary by Ally Walker and Robert Davi on the pilot episode "Insight"

Photo gallery

Cast Biographies

A&E Home Video
Profiler (Season 2) DVD 20 6 28 October 2003
25 November 2003
Commentary with Investigative Criminal Profiler Pat Brown on episode "Victims of Victims"

Cast Biographies

A&E Home Video
Profiler (Season 3) DVD 22 6 30 March 2004
27 April 2004

Commentary with Roma Maffia on the episode "Heads You Lose"

Ally Walker's final season

Cast Biographies

A&E Home Video
Profiler (Season 4) DVD 20 5 28 September 2004
26 October 2004
Interview with series consultant Howard Teten, Former FBI Unit Chief and Criminal Profiler

Commentary with executive producer Clifton Campbell on the final episode "On Your Marks"

Cast Biographies

A&E Home Video

Australian DVD Release[edit]

Title Format Ep # Discs/Tapes Region 4 (Australia) Special Features Australia Distributor
Profiler (Season 1 & 2) DVD 42 12 22 May 2019 Bonus Episode – “I’ll Be Watching You” Via Vision Entertainment
Profiler (Season 3 & 4) DVD 41 12 10 July 2019 None Via Vision Entertainment
Profiler (The Complete Series) DVD 83 23 16 November 2019 None Via Vision Entertainment


Season U.S. ratings Network Rank
1 1996–97 7.4 million NBC #82
2 1997–98 9.9 million NBC #86
3 1998–99 8.9 million NBC #89
4 1999-00 8.1 million NBC #86


  1. ^ Josef Adalian (July 12, 1999). "NBC's 'Profiler' looks to Luner". Variety. Retrieved July 11, 2016.
  2. ^ Shauna Snow (July 13, 1999). "Morning Report". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 11, 2016. Luner's character, former prosecutor-turned-FBI-profiler Rachel Burke, will be introduced in a two-part season premiere...
  3. ^ Ray Richmond (December 4, 1996). "Martinez Joins 'Profiler'". Variety. Retrieved July 11, 2016.
  4. ^ John Dempsey (July 14, 2000). "Court TV gavels in 'Profiler,' 'Forensic'". Variety. Retrieved July 11, 2016.
  5. ^ Susan King (July 26, 2003). "Back for reruns, but why?". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 11, 2016. The set features all but one episode from the premiere season -- the fourth episode is missing because of the very expensive music rights for the Police classic "Every Breath You Take," which is prominently featured in the episode.

External links[edit]