On November 30th 1987, NBC aired Father Dowling Mysteries: Fatal Confession – a feature-length television movie, about a crime-solving priest. The film was based on the Father Dowling Mystery books by Ralph McInerny, and starred Tom Bosley in the title role.

Father Dowling Mysteries: Fatal Confession was a hit with audiences and was soon reworked into a television show. The series – simply titled Father Dowling Mysteries – began airing on the same network from January 1989, and saw the eponymous priest getting caught up in a collection of compelling stories.

After just one season of Father Dowling Mysteries, NBC dropped the show, but seeing its potential, ABC swooped in to pick it back up. The series transferred to its new home from January 1990 and remained here until the end of its run in 1991.

But how many seasons did the Father Dowling Mysteries run for and how many episodes of the show were produced?

Image: ©Paramount

Father Dowling Mysteries ran for three seasons – one season on NBC and two seasons on ABC. In total, the show comprised a two-hour television movie ‘pilot’, as well as 43 regular episodes.

Although the show was fairly short-lived, during its time on air the Father Dowling Mysteries developed a loyal following both in the US and overseas. To this day the series still crops up on stations the world over, becoming a firm favourite with viewers old and new.



List of Father Dowling Mysteries episodes

Image: ©Paramount

If you are just getting into the Father Dowling Mysteries then you may wish to take a look at a list of episodes – just like the one below. The list includes the title of every episode of the show, presented in chronological order and beginning with the original TV movie ‘pilot’.

TV movie

  • Father Dowling Mysteries: Fatal Confession (1987)

Season One

  • 1) The Missing Body Mystery – Part 1
  • 2) The Missing Body Mystery – Part 2
  • 3) The What Do You Call a Call Girl Mystery
  • 4) The Man Who Came to Dinner Mystery
  • 5) The Mafia Priest Mystery – Part 1
  • 6) The Mafia Priest Mystery – Part 2
  • 7) The Face in the Mirror Mystery
  • 8) The Pretty Baby Mystery

Season Two

  • 9) The Visiting Priest Mystery
  • 10) The Exotic Dancer Mystery
  • 11) The Sanctuary Mystery
  • 12) The Stone Killer Mystery
  • 13) The Woman Scorned Mystery
  • 14) The Ghost of a Chance Mystery
  • 15) The Blind Man’s Bluff Mystery
  • 16) The Falling Angel Mystery
  • 17) The Perfect Couple Mystery
  • 18) The Confidence Mystery
  • 19) The Solid Gold Headache Mystery
  • 20) The Legacy Mystery
  • 21) The Passionate Painter Mystery

Season Three

  • 22) The Royal Mystery
  • 23) The Medical Mystery
  • 24) The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea Mystery
  • 25) The Showgirl Mystery
  • 26) The Movie Mystery
  • 27) The Undercover Nun Mystery
  • 28) The Murder Weekend Mystery
  • 29) The Reasonable Doubt Mystery
  • 30) The Vanishing Victim Mystery
  • 31) The Christmas Mystery
  • 32) The Fugitive Priest Mystery
  • 33) The Substitute Sister Mystery
  • 34) The Missing Witness Mystery
  • 35) The Prodigal Son Mystery
  • 36) The Moving Target Mystery
  • 37) The Priest Killer Mystery
  • 38) The Mummy’s Curse Mystery
  • 39) The Monkey Business Mystery
  • 40) The Hardboiled Mystery
  • 41) The Malibu Mystery
  • 42) The Consulting Detective Mystery
  • 43) The Joyful Noise Mystery


If you’re playing catch up on the Father Dowling Mysteries, but want to devour the series in your own time, rather than via a TV schedule, you may like to know that every episode is currently available on DVD.

Father Dowling Mysteries: The Complete Series contains all of the episodes in one neat, Region One box set for your viewing convenience.

The Father Dowling Mysteries: The Complete Series DVD boxset is available from all good entertainment stockists, including Amazon US.



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