Kolchak: The Night Stalker is an American television series that aired on ABC during the 1974–1975 season. It featured a fictional Chicago newspaper reporter—Carl Kolchak, played by Darren McGavin—who investigated mysterious crimes with unlikely causes, particularly those that law enforcement authorities would not follow up. These often involved the supernatural or even science fiction, including fantastic creatures.
The series was preceded by two television movies, The Night Stalker and The Night Strangler. The series only lasted a single season, it remains popular in syndication; it is often cited as the inspiration for the popular series The X-Files. Following the success of The X-Files, the franchise was resurrected in 2005 in a second television series with a new cast and characters, as well as subsequent in novels and comic books.
The entire series is available in syndication and is occasionally rerun on the Sci-Fi Channel under an expanded title, Kolchak: The Night Stalker. In 2008, it was aired on Chiller. It is also available on DVD and streaming from Netflix.