The Pretender

The Pretender was an NBC network action TV series, created by Steven Long Mitchell & Craig W. Van Sickle, starring Michael T. Weiss in the lead role and airing as part of NBC's "Thrillogy" program blockk.

The show first premiered on September 19, 1996 and ended on May 13, 2000 after 4 seasons & 86 episodes.

Following NBC's cancellation of the series, two television movies picking up where the series left off were aired on the TNT network: "The Pretender 2001" and "The Pretender: Island of the Haunted."


Jarod (Michael T. Weiss) is a child prodigy who is abducted at a young age and raised in a think tank called the Centre, based in the fictional town of Blue Cove, Delaware.

Told that his parents have died, he is assigned to the care of a man named Sydney (Patrick Bauchau), a psychiatrist working for the Centre. During Jarod's youth, Sydney mentors Jarod and regularly coaches him through complex simulations designed to exploit his intellect for real life application.

As an adult, Jarod discovers that the Centre is using data gathered from his responses for nefarious purposes, such as illegal black ops and engineering the deaths of others.

Feeling responsible, Jarod escapes the Centre. Soon afterward, he discovers that the people whom he believed to be his parents actually weren't. He has an anomaly in his blood that a father or mother would share and neither of his supposed parents do.


  • Michael T. Weiss as Jarod
  • Andrea Parker as Miss Parker/Catherine Elaine Jamison Parker
  • Patrick Bauchau as Sydney/Jacob
  • Jon Gries as Broots
  • Ryan Merriman as Young Jarod/Gemini
  • Alex Wexo as Young Sydney
  • Richard Marcus as Mr. William Raines
  • James Denton as Mr. Lyle
  • Harve Presnell as Mr. Parker
  • Paul Dillon as Angelo
  • Pamela Gidley as Brigitte Parker
  • Jason Brooks as Thomas Gates
  • Jeffrey Donovan as Kyle
  • Ashley Peldon as Young Miss Parker



FAITA Award (also known as First Americans in the Arts Awards)

  • Outstanding Guest Performance by an Actor in a TV Drama Series – Tyler Christopher (2001)

Young Artist Awards

  • Best Performance in a TV Drama Series — Guest Starring Young Actor – Seth Adkins (1999)
  • Best Performance in a TV Drama Series — Supporting Young Actor – Ryan Merriman (1998–1999)


Emmy Awards

  • Outstanding Main Title Theme Music by Mark Leggett and Velton Ray Bunch (2000)

Golden Satellite Award

  • Best TV Series—Drama (1998–1999)
  • Best Performance by an Actor in a Drama Series – Michael T. Weiss (1998–1999)
  • Best Performance by an Actress in a Drama Series – Andrea Parker (1999)

Saturn Award

  • Best Genre TV Actor – Michael T. Weiss (1998)

Young Artist Award

  • Best Performance in a TV Drama Series for Guest Starring Young Actor – Zachary Browne (1998)
  • Best Performance in a TV Drama Series for Guest Starring Young Actress – Caitlin Wachs (2000)
  • Best Performance in a TV Drama Series for Guest Starring Young Actress – Ashley Peldon (1999)
  • Best Performance in a TV Drama Series for Young Actor – Ryan Merriman (1997)
  • Best Performance in a TV Drama Series for Young Actress – Ashley Peldon (1997)

YoungStar Award

  • Best Performance by a Young Actor in a Drama TV Series – Ryan Merriman (1997, 1999–2000)


The Pretender Promo Bumper (1996)

The Pretender Promo Bumper (1996)