The Pretender

Watch The Pretender

  • TV-14
  • 1996
  • 4 Seasons
  • 7.5  (17,057)

The Pretender was a popular television drama series that aired on NBC from 1996 to 2000. The show starred Michael T. Weiss as Jarod, a genius who has the ability to become anyone he wants to be. He uses his intelligence to solve crimes and uncover the secrets of the people he comes into contact with. His abilities come from being part of a top-secret government project when he was a child, where he was trained to mimic different professions and personalities in order to deceive others.

Throughout the series, Jarod is on the run from the Centre, the organization that created him, and is searching for his missing family. Andrea Parker plays Miss Parker, a cold and calculating woman who is one of the top agents at the Centre, and is tasked with capturing Jarod and bringing him back. She has a personal connection to Jarod, as they grew up together at the Centre. Patrick Bauchau plays Sydney, Jarod's former mentor, who has a troubled history with the Centre and believes that Jarod was never meant to be used as a weapon. Jon Gries plays Broots, a computer expert who works for the Centre, and is often caught between his loyalty to the organization and his desire to help Jarod.

The show's format followed a familiar pattern: each episode would see Jarod adopt a new identity, helping someone in a new city while trying to stay off the Centre's radar. He would often use his incredible intellect and background knowledge to solve a crime or assist someone in need, while also learning more about his own past and trying to uncover more information about the Centre. Meanwhile, Miss Parker and her team would be hot on his trail, pursuing him across the country and trying to bring him in.

The series was known for its high-octane action scenes, complex storytelling, and strong character development. The show was praised for its willingness to tackle complex issues such as mental illness, child abuse, and government corruption, and for maintaining a consistent tone throughout its run. The interpersonal relationships between the main characters were also a big draw for viewers, with the tension between Jarod and Miss Parker being a highlight of the series.

In addition to its strong writing and acting, The Pretender was also notable for its use of technology, such as the internet and early handheld devices like PDAs, in its storytelling. The show also used flashback sequences to reveal more about Jarod's past, often showing disturbing glimpses into the experiments he endured at the hands of the Centre.

The show developed a passionate fanbase during its run and continues to be popular with viewers today. Fans have even created their own online communities to discuss and analyze the show's themes, characters, and storylines. The show has also garnered critical acclaim, earning nominations for multiple Emmy Awards over its four seasons.

In conclusion, The Pretender was a popular television drama that captivated viewers with its complex storytelling, strong characters, and use of technology. With its intriguing premise and well-developed world, the show remains a favorite among fans of the genre and is regarded as a classic of late-90s television.

The Pretender is a series that is currently running and has 4 seasons (85 episodes). The series first aired on September 19, 1996.

The Pretender
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The Inner Sense (2)
20. The Inner Sense (2)
May 13, 2000
Jarod's father tells him where he can find his sister, and Jarod discovers he may have another sibling he didn't know about.
Corn Man
18. Corn Man
May 6, 2000
Clues from a videotape help Jarod track down a kidnapped daughter and mother.
17. Meltdown
April 29, 2000
Jarod joins a collection of small time criminals to expose the murderer of a young girl.
School Daze
16. School Daze
April 22, 2000
Jarod seeks to thwart a murderer out to eliminate a boy who is part of the witness protection program.
15. Junk
March 25, 2000
Posing as a drug addict, Jarod infiltrates a disreputable drug rehabilitation center to rescue a young mother fighting for custody of her young son.
The Agent Of Year Zero
14. The Agent Of Year Zero
March 11, 2000
Jarod helps expose the true identify of a Cambodian colonel who Lyle plans to use as a pipeline for smuggling heroin into the United States.
Ghosts From The Past
13. Ghosts From The Past
February 26, 2000
Jarod becomes a private investigator to save a Las Vegas showgirl in trouble with the mob.
12. Lifeline
February 19, 2000
Jarod protects a female agent working undercover in a gun/money laundering operation.
Cold Dick
11. Cold Dick
February 12, 2000
A wannabe detective entangles Jarod in a web of intrigue involving a missing showgirl and a murdered nightclub owner.
Spin Doctor
10. Spin Doctor
February 5, 2000
Jarod investigates the suspicious suicide of a secret service agent who saved Jarod's life years before.
'Til Death Do Us Part
9. 'Til Death Do Us Part
January 15, 2000
Miss Parker attempts to identify Thomas' murderer on the anniversary of his death.
Rules of Engagement
8. Rules of Engagement
January 8, 2000
Jarod, acting as a FBI special agent, quells a hospital hostage situation.
Wild Child
7. Wild Child
December 11, 1999
Jarod rescues a "wild child" from a research scientist who uses the young girl for an experiment.
6. Extreme
December 4, 1999
Jarod investigates the cause of a suspicious, bungled bungee jump that put a man into a coma.
Road Trip
5. Road Trip
November 13, 1999
Jarod becomes both a policeman and an aerospace engineer while befriending a woman on the run.
Risque Business
4. Risque Business
November 6, 1999
Jarod poses as a sex therapist to investigate a brutal attack on a young female psychologist.
Angel's Flight
3. Angel's Flight
October 30, 1999
Jarod searches for a missing teenage girl linked to a young magician.
2. Survival
October 2, 1999
Jarod sets a trap for Miss Parker and Lyle, leaving them in a shipping container. Jarod impersonates an officer of the Criminal Investigative Division in order to investigate the hanging suicide of an officer at the Army Special Forces Survival Training Grounds in Texas.
The World's Changing
1. The World's Changing
September 25, 1999
Jarod once again finds himself a prisoner at the Centre, although with help from Sydney he's soon free and helping a couple being targeted for extermination by Lyle and his Sweepers. Also, Sydney and Broots try to locate Miss Parker and Miss Parker tries to find her father and who she can trust.
Where to Watch The Pretender
The Pretender is available for streaming on the NBC website, both individual episodes and full seasons. You can also watch The Pretender on demand at Amazon Prime, Amazon, Vudu, Microsoft Movies & TV and Apple TV.
  • Premiere Date
    September 19, 1996
  • IMDB Rating
    7.5  (17,057)