Father Dowling Mysteries

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Father Dowling Mysteries
Father Dowling Mysteries-Logo.jpg
Premiere pilot
November 30, 1987
January 20, 1989
Finale May 2, 1991
Based on characters created by
Ralph McInerny
Developed by Dean Hargrove &
Joel Steiger
Network/Provider NBC (season 1),
ABC (seasons 2-3)
Style 60-minute mystery crime drama
Company Dean Hargrove Productions,
The Fred Silverman Company,
Viacom Productions Inc.
Seasons 3
Episodes 43 + pilot movie
Origin USA

Father Dowling Mysteries is a mystery crime drama that aired on NBC for one season and ABC for two seasons.

Father Francis "Frank" Dowling is a Catholic priest who continually stumbles over murders, abductions, and other high crimes in his hometown, Chicago, Illinois. He is assisted by Sister Stephanie "Steve" Oskowski, who does much of the legwork for Frank. Sister Steve is a streetwise nun who grew up in a rough housing project nearby, so she can hotwire a car and handle firearms with ease. She knows the language of the streets and converses in it fluently. The name Francis was revealed in the Episode "The Movie Mystery" when he is talking to the Detective in charge of the case and the Detective calls him Francis.

Father Philip Prestwick is the ladder-climbing assistant to the Archbishop, who just happens to drop in before meals, prepared by housekeeper Marie Murkin, who provides comic relief.

Father Dowling has a brother, Blaine, who is his twin brother and looks exactly like him (also played by Tom Bosley). Blaine appeared in only three episodes: "The Face in the Mirror Mystery," "The Woman Scorned Mystery," and "The Fugitive Priest Mystery." Blaine Dowling is a thief and con artist who isn't above framing his brother for his crimes.

A famous catchphrase of Father Dowling is when he is recorded asking Father Phil: "Father Phil, could you take 10 o'clock Mass? I've got a murder to solve."



Actor Character Duration
Main Cast 1 2 3
Tom Bosley Father Frank Dowling * * *
Tracy Nelson Sister Stephanie "Steve" Laskowsky * * *
James Stephens Father Philip Prestwick * * *
Mary Wickes Marie Murkin * * *
Regina Krueger Sgt. Clancy * * *


Season  Premiere Finale #
Fatal Confession November 30, 1987
Season One January 20, 1989 March 10, 1989 8
Season Two January 4, 1990 April 26, 1990 13
Season Three September 20, 1990 May 2, 1991 22


DVD Releases

Title Release Date #
Complete Series
The Complete Series June 6, 2017 10


Season Sets
The First Season February 7, 2012 2


The Second Season July 10, 2012 3


The Final Season March 12, 2013 5


External Links