The Pretender

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The Pretender
The Pretender-Logo.jpg
Premiere September 19, 1996
Finale May 13, 2000
Creator Steven Long Mitchell,
Craig W. Van Sickle
Network NBC
TNT (TV movies)
Style 60-minute drama
Company Mitchell/Van Sickle Productions
NBC Studios
MTM Enterprises (seasons 1-2)
20th Century Fox Television (seasons 3-4)
Seasons 4
Episodes 86
Origin USA

The Pretender is a series that aired for four years on NBC before moving over to TNT for reruns and two follow-up television movies.

The show focuses on a man named Jarod. In the 1960s, when he was a child, he was abducted by a Delaware-based think tank known as The Center. Jarod is a genius and The Center used this to help them reason out and develop solutions to problems, although many of these were used to hurt people. In the late 1990s, Jarod finally breaks out of The Center and goes on the run, trying to find his family of which he only has a few memories. The Center wants him back under their control without coming to the general public's attention. As Jarod goes on his quest, with agents of The Centre in pursuit, Jarod uses his genius abilities and skills to "pretend", to become, any occupation he needs on any given day. One day he can be a doctor, the next a male prostitute, the next a forest ranger, and then on to television stunt man.

The show heavily focuses on Jarod's childlike innocence as he learns about life outside the Center, often in humorous situations, although with its fair share of drama.

Mitchell/Van Sickle Productions and NBC Studios produced the series in association with MTM Enterprises in the first two seasons, then with 20th Century Fox Television (after that company absorbed MTM) in the final two seasons. 20th Television is the show's distributor.



Actor Character Duration
Billed Cast 1 2 3 4
Michael T. Weiss Jarod * * * *
Andrea Parker Miss Parker * * * *
Patrick Bauchau Sydney Green * * * *
Jon Gries Broots o o o *
Orange/Red/o indicates a recurring or guest role during that season.
Dark Green indicates top billing during that season.
Supporting/Recurring Cast 1 2 3 4
Sam Ayers Sam the Sweeper * * * *
James Denton Mister Lyle * * * *
Pamela Gidley Brigitte Parker * * * *
Richard Marcus William Raines * * * *
Ryan Merriman Young Jarod / Gemini * * * *
Harve Presnell Mister Parker * * *
Ashley Peldon Young Miss Parker * * *


Season  Premiere Finale #
Season One September 19, 1996 May 17, 1997 22
Season Two November 1, 1997 May 16, 1998 22
Season Three October 17, 1998 May 22, 1999 22
Season Four September 25, 1999 May 13, 2000 20
TNT - TV Movies
The Pretender 2001 January 22, 2001
The Island of the Haunted December 10, 2001


DVD Releases

Title Release Date #
Season Sets
The Complete First Season March 22, 2005 4


The Complete Second Season September 20, 2005 4


The Complete Third Season February 14, 2006 4


The Complete Fourth Season July 18, 2006 4


Movie Edition March 13, 2007 1


Episode Collections
Season One: Episodes 1-2 March 22, 2005 1

External Links