1 Fictional Lawyers: Beacon St. (NBC, 7/59-9/59; ABC, 12/59-3/60) Cast: Dennis Morgan, Joanna Barnes, Brian Kelly, James Maloney Summary: P.I. Dennis Chase (Morgan) kept his office at 21 Beacon St., where he and his associates set traps for criminals who could not be apprehended by the usual governmental agencies. Once the trap was set, the police were called in. Lola (Barnes) used her beauty to charm information out of the unsuspecting, Brian (Kelly) was the recent law school grad who did their legwork, and Jim (Maloney) used his expertise at mechanics and dialects. The series was a possible inspiration for Mission Impossible ( ), sharing the same writers, concepts and gadgetry hook. 100 Centre Street (A&E, 1/01-2/02) Cast: Alan Arkin, LaTanya Richardson, Paula Devicq, Joseph Lyle Taylor, Manny Perez Summary: Sidney Lumet, modern master of the courtroom drama, created, executive produced and sometimes directed and wrote this series about the prosecutors, attorneys, and accused criminals whose lives unfold in the night court of the City of New York. Judge Joe Rifkind ("Let 'em go Joe") (Arkin) is a deeply compassionate man whose depth of feeling for the accused seems at odds with his background in law enforcement. Judge Attallah "Queenie" Sims' (Richardson) hard line attitude stands in marked contrast to her colleague, although each deeply respects and cares for the other. Coming before them are assistant D.A's Cynthia Bennington (Devicq), whose white shoe lawyer father thinks she will eventually come to her senses, Bobby Esposito (Taylor), whose legal education was paid for with mob money, and Legal Aid lawyer Ramon Rodriguez (Perez), who is not at all the self-sacrificing and high-minded liberal that one usually associates with this office. (http://www.aande.com/tv/shows/centrest/intro.html) 413 Hope St. (Fox, 9/97-1/98) Cast: Richard Roundtree, Shari Headley, Kelly Coffield, Jesse L. Martin, Karim Prince, Vincent Laresca, Dawn Stern Summary: 413 Hope Street is the address of a teen crisis center in New York City. Successful attorney Phillip Thomas (Roundtree) created the center in memory of his son who was murdered in front of the building. He acts as the unpaid administrator as well. It is staffed by psychologist Antonio Collins (Martin), social worker Juanita Barnes (Headley), and lawyer Sylvia Gold (Coffield). The unrelenting depression of stories of child abuse, std's, drug addiction, and domestic violence may have led to the series' early demise. It was created and co-produced by actor Damon Wayans Malibu Road (CBS, 8/92-9/92) Cast: Drew Barrymore, Jennifer Beals, Lisa Hartman, Tuesday Knight Summary: Retired $3000-a-trick call girl Jade O'Keefe (Hartman) decides to change her profession but in order to be able to continue paying the rent on her posh Malibu Beach home she takes in three roommates. The roomies are alcoholic criminal attorney Perry Quinn (Beals), who is recovering from the death of her fiance, teenage aspiring actress Lindsay (Barrymore), and her stagemother/new-age sister Joy (Knight). Created by Terry Louise Fisher, co-creator
2 of L.A. Law, and directed and co-produced by Joel Schumacher, the series was slammed by every critic who reviewed it, ending its life after six episodes. A.U.S.A. (NBC, 2/4/03-3/1/03) Cast: Scott Foley, Amanda Detmer, Peter Jacobson, Ana Ortiz, John Ross Bowie, Eddie McClintock, Summary: This comedy centered around the lives and careers of newly appointed assistant US attorneys. Adam Sullivan (Foley) is a gullible young attorney who attempts to find success and romance in New York City. Soon after he starts his new job, he is rejoined by a fellow graduate, Susan Rakoff (Detmer), a gorgeous, young legal aid lawyer that he has had a crush on since college but is now his opponent in the courtroom. The worst nightmare a young attorney could face is a supervisor who has no tolerance for inexperienced attorneys and Adam has just that in his boss Geoffery Laurence (Jacobson). To help Adam through his first year as an A.U.S.A. is his trusty, yet questionable, paralegal Wally (Bowie). Also in the bullpen with Adam and Wally is the street smart and former police officer Ana Rivera (Ortiz). His roommate is his best friend, Owen Harper (McClintock), who is there to show Adam that there is more to life than just torts and briefs. (from the official website at Acapulco (NBC, 2/61-4/61) Cast: Ralph Taeger, James Coburn, Telly Savalas Summary: Patrick Malone (Taeger) and Gregg Miles (Coburn) are Korean war buddies who "retired" to a life as beachcombers in Acapulco. When they weren't lounging around or chasing women, they worked as bodyguards for Mr. Carver (Savalas). Carver is retired from a long career as a crusading prosecutor and frequently threatened by enemies from his past. Adam's Rib (ABC, 9/73-12/73) Cast: Ken Howard, Blythe Danner, Dena Dietrich, Ron Rifkin, Edward Winter, Norman Bartold Summary: A TV adaptation of the Tracy/Hepburn classic, although in this case, the sparring couple are newlyweds. Adam Bonner (Howard) is a young assistant DA while his wife, Amanda, is a junior partner in a law firm. Their jobs often put them in conflict in the courtroom and, by extension, at home. Amanda (and the series) was also a crusader for women's rights; one of the episodes was based on the original movie, with Adam prosecuting a woman for her husband's murder, and Amanda defending her. The Addams Family (ABC, 9/64-9/66) Cast: John Astin, Carolyn Jones, Jackie Coogan, Lisa Loting, Ken Weatherwax, Ted Cassidy, Blossom Rock Summary: "They're creepy and they're kooky, Mysterious and spooky, They're all together ooky, The Addams Family." The Addams family patriarch is Gomez (Astin), an attorney (for the defense) who is responsible for putting more men behind bars than any other lawyer in the country. He retired from the bar after making his fortune in investments. He dabbles in the stock market, owns an elephant herd in Africa, a nut plantation in Brazil and an animal preserve in Nairobi (for its bat caves). Ivan the Terrible is his favorite person in history and his ancestors date back to Maumud Kali Pashu Addams who set fire to the
3 library at Alexandria. He married Morticia Frump (Jones) who daily wears the same skin tight floor length black dress she wore for her wedding. The family also includes daughter Wednesday (Loting), son Pugsley (Weatherwax), Morticia's Uncle Fester (Coogan), Gomez's mother (Rock), butler Lurch (Cassidy), and Gomez's childhood companion, a disembodied hand named Thing. Episode 21 of the first season is "Addams Family Goes to Court". Grandmama is arrested for fortune-telling and Gomez, as "Loophole" Addams, acts as her attorney until the judge throws him out and Morticia takes over. As it turns out, the judge's wife is one of Grandma's best customers and she convinces him to dismiss the case. Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. (Fox, 8/93-8/95) Cast: Bruce Campbell, Julius Carry, Christian Clemenson, Billy Drago, Kelly Rutherford, John Astin Summary: This funny, adventurous, sci-fi-tinged western series follows the dangerous exploits of Brisco County, Jr., (Campbelll) a Harvard Law grad of the class of 1892 and the son of sharp-shooting Nevada marshal Brisco County, Sr. When a gang of vicious outlaws, led by the evil John Bly (Drago), breaks free from a prison railroad transport car, they simultaneously kill Brisco, Sr. and raise the hackles of some San Francisco businessmen (the Westerfield Club), who fear that Bly and his fellow escapees are out to launch a loot-gathering assault on their banks and freight trains. In search of a hero to vanquish the thugs and return their investments to sure safety, the businessmen hire the late marshal's son, Brisco County, Jr., to hunt the criminals down and return them to the rockyards. But, along the way, Brisco, ever fascinated by technology and "the future," discovers the existence of a mysterious metallic orb that gives everyone who holds it superhuman strength and Bly's gang are the captors of this force. Thus, Brisco's desire to avenge his father's death also becomes a mission to recapture the orb and return it to more responsible hands. (from Brisco went through seven years of college at Harvard where he earned a law degree. When asked why he doesn't practice he replies, "Tried it, didn't care for it." With his trusty horse, Comet, he travels the west always looking for "the coming thing." He is assisted by former cavalryman and bounty hunter Lord Bowler (Carry), Westerfield Club's lawyer Socrates Poole (Clemenson), the eccentric inventor Professor Albert Wickwire (Astin), and his romantic interest Dixie Cousins (Rutherford). Against the Law (Fox, 9/90-4/91) Cast: Michael O'Keefe, Suzanne Douglass, Elizabeth Ruscio, M. C. Gainey Summary: Simon MacHeath (O'Keefe) has left his wife and his father-in-law's ritzy law firm to follow the dictates of his own conscience. The legal system itself takes the brunt of his anger; he spends more time in jail on contempt charges than the rest of the local bar combined. He uses courtroom theatrics to win cases; divorce, murder, first amendment, you name it, he can do it. Harvard Law School Prof. Gary Bellow, one of the founders of modern clinical legal education, was a consultant to the series produced by former lawyer Dan H. Blatt. (OKeefe's real sister, brother and father are lawyers.) Ally McBeal (Fox, 8/97-5/02) Cast: Calista Flockhart, Greg Germann, Peter MacNicol, Lisa Nicole Carson, Jane Krakowski, Vonda Shepard, Portia de Rossi, Lucy Liu, James LeGros,
4 Robert Downey Jr., Courtney Thorne-Smith, Gil Bellows Summary: Another David E. Kelley success, the series focuses on Harvard Law grad Ally (Flockhart), who joins a small Boston law firm after suffering sexual harassment in her first job. The firm is headed by former fellow student Richard Fish (Germann), famous for his disregard for the law as it is. Her new partners are her childhood sweetheart, Billy Thomas (Bellows), and his wife Georgia (Thorne-Smith), John Cage (MacNicol), known for both his brilliance and neurotic tics, and various latecomers to the firm. The series focused more on the attorneys' personal lives than their usually quirky cases: a restaurant sued for serving horsemeat, a dwarf who wants to engage in wrestling matches, a clapping murderer, a fired transvestite, a lawyer refused a promotion because of her high moral standards. It won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series in 1999, Golden Globes for Best TV Series - Comedy/Musical in 1999 and 1998, 1999 SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series, and the 1999 Peabody Award. Almost Home (ABC, 2/93-7/93) Cast: Connie Ray, Olivia Burnette, Lee Norris, Rachel Duncan, Perry King, Brittany Murphy, Jason Marsden Summary: Divorced and abandoned homemaker Millicent Torkelson has lost her house and upholstery business to foreclosure. She takes her three bright children (Burnette, Norris, Duncan) from Oklahoma to Seattle where she goes to work as a housekeeper for workaholic lawyer Brian Morgan (King). He also runs a mail-order business selling children's toys and clothing and has little time for his bratty, materialistic kids (Murphy, Marsden). He hopes the well-raised Torkelson children will have a good influence on his own. (Aka The Torkelson's: Almost Home) Almost Perfect, (CBS, 9/95-4/96) Cast: Nancy Travis, Kevin Kilner, Chip Zien, Matthew Letscher, David Clennon Summary: Does it matter if a woman makes more money than her boyfriend? Are prenuptial agreements a good idea or a cold bath of water? Whose beeper is going off now? Bright, ambitious and slightly manic Kim Cooper (Travis) is the new executive producer and only female writer of tv cop show "Blue Shield". She's in love with hardworking, sensible L.A. district attorney Mike Ryan (Kilner). Both find it hard to balance their personal and work lives. Widely praised by critics but blasted by the competition in the same time slot. Amazing Grace, (NBC, 4/1/95-4/95) Cast: Patty Duke, Dan Lauria, Joe Spano, Justin Garms, Marguerite Moreau Summary: Hannah Miller (Duke) has problems: a recent divorce, an addiction to pills, and a near death experience on the operating table after an overdose. Religion just might be the answer, so in the middle of her life, she enters the ministry and then heads off to Idaho for her new church. She is joined by her son and daughter (Garms and Moreau) and meets up with an old flame, attorney Harry Kramer (Lauria). The jokey, well-dressed, liberal Harry offers a contrast to the local police detective (Spano) whose work frequently runs counter to Hannah's plans. Amazing Mr. Malone (ABC, 9/51-3/52)
5 Cast: Lee Tracy Summary: John J. Malone (Tracy) is the suave and debonaire criminal defense lawyer/detective who first found life as a character in Craig Rice's popular novels and the ensuing radio series ( ). He has female admirers galore but manages to take on and solve a new case each week in a live mystery series. The series rotated each week with the prosecutorial side, Mr. District Attorney. Amen (NBC, 9/86-7/91) Cast: Sherman Hemsley, Clifton Davis, Anna Marie Horsford, Roz Ryan, Jester Hair, Casieta Hetebrinkston Summary: When the pastor of First Community Church in Philadelphia quits, a new man, Reverend Reuben Gregory (Davis) is brought in. His progressive ideas are at odds with those of Deacon Ernest Frye (Hemsley), whose father founded the church. Frye is a widower and sole practitioner; his shingle reads "Attorney-at-Law, Ernest Frye - Where Winning Is Everything." He is not an easy person to be around. His wife Laraine died several years after they were married and he lives with his now adult daughter Thelma (Horsford), who is unhappily single. Eventually she marries the reverend and her father becomes a judge. American Family (PBS, 1/02-07/04) Cast: Edward James Olmos, Constance Marie, Esai Morales, Raquel Welch, A.J. Lamas, Rachel Ticotin, Kurt Caceres, Austin Marques, Sonia Braga Summary: The first drama series ever to air on broadcast television featuring a Latino cast was created by actor/director Gregory Nava and is produced by his production company. It reveals the enduring strength of family in America today as it chronicles the past and present lives of the Gonzalez's, residents of East Los Angeles. Jess Gonzalez (Olmos), the conservative patriarch, has become a widower just as he and his wife Berta (Braga) were planning to move from the barrio. His daughter Nina Gonzalez (Marie), a feminist attorney, had moved back temporarily from D.C. to help with the transition but now must make the difficult choice between her dreams of a career in Washington, D.C., or staying home to help raise Pablito, her brother Esteban's son. Esteban (Morales) struggles to rebuild his life after serving time in prison. Flamboyant Aunt Dora (Welch) lives next door and adds some spice to everyone's life. Their sister Vangie (Ticotin) is a fashion designer who lives on the west side and thinks Nina is a martyr. Conrado (Caceres), the eldest, was the first in the family to go to college and is now a doctor. All the while, Cisco Gonzalez (Lamas), the youngest sibling, secretly videotapes the family's antics and posts the family drama in his online journal. Nina eventually takes a job at the nearby Legal Aid clinic where she takes on cases ranging from immigration to keeping open the local playground. The series was debuted by CBS, which failed to pick it up after the critically received pilot and it was optioned by PBS. Amos 'n Andy (CBS, 6/51-6/53) Cast: Tim Moore, Spencer Williams, Alvin Childress, Johnny Lee, Ernestine Wade Summary: The first television series featuring an all black cast, and the only one until Sanford and Son in 1971, portrayed the lives of Amos Jones (Childress), a no-nonsense cabdriver for the Fresh Air Cab Co., his gullible friend Andrew Brown (Williams), con-artist George "Kingfish" Stevens (Moore) and his nagging wife Sapphire (Wade), and shyster lawyer Algonquin J. Calhoun (Lee). "The first
6 appearance of a Black attorney on television, fictionalized or otherwise, was Algonquin J. Calhoun in Lawyer Calhoun was a character in the cast of the infamous Amos 'n' Andy television show. Calhoun, America's first black fictionalized lawyer to appear regularly on major, network television (CBS), was an inept, shyster lawyer who practiced law despite having been disbarred for malpractice and breach of ethics. Lawyer Calhoun was one of the most offensive characters on a program which has been vilified for presenting insulting and demeaning portrayals of African Americans... The show was so offensive that the NAACP passed a resolution condemning it and brought suit (unsuccessfully) to enjoin its broadcast. Among the charges set forth in the complaint was that 'Negro lawyers are shown as slippery cowards, ignorant of their profession, and without ethics.' Although the NAACP's call for boycotting sponsors of the show effectively pressured CBS to take the show off the network's schedule in 1953, the show was syndicated and continued to be seen in reruns until [Ric Sheffield, Constructing a Social History of African American Lawyers Through Popular Culture: Film, Television, and Lawyer Calhoun," 17 Journal of the Legal Profession 45, (1992)] (from Bob Jarvis, Situation Comedies, in Prime Time Law, The series was based on the radio show that began in 1928 and became the longest-running radio program in broadcast history ( ). The stories often centered on Kingfish's schemes to get-rich-quick at the expense of his friends in the Mystic Knights of the Sea Lodge. Unfortunately the tv series began at the wrong time. With the rise of the civil rights movement and new found prestige of entertainers like Harry Belafonte, Lena Horne, and Dorothy Dandridge, protests against the television version with its characters based on negative black stereotypes earlier seen in vaudeville and the movies were takenly seriously. On the opposite side, sponsors and tv executives did not want to be perceived as allying themselves with negro rights. Disagreement about the show crossed racial lines and CBS dropped it in 1953 although it continued in syndication until Angel (UPN, 10/99-6/04) Cast: David Boreanaz, Christian Kane, Stephanie Romanov, Sam Anderson, Thomas Burr, Daniel Dae Kim Summary: A centuries-old vampire cursed with a conscience, Angel (Boreanaz) has taken up residence in Los Angeles, the City of Angels. Between pervasive evil and countless temptations lurking beneath the city's glittery facade, L.A. has proven to be the ideal address for a fallen vampire looking to save a few lost souls and, in turn, perhaps redeem his own. His nemesis is the law firm, Wolfram & Hart. They represent vampires and demons, embezzle money from children's shelters, and are constantly looking for ways to get Angel out of the way. After a few moments deciding whether to betray the firm, Lindsey McDonald (Kane) decides to stick with them and quickly moves up the ladder to junior partner. He loses his hand to Angel in a fight during a spell. After finding a replacement hand and losing the love of his life he leaves Los Angeles. Lilah Morgan (Romanov) is an associate who uses seduction rather than magic; she runs the firm after Lindsey's departure. Partner Lee Mercer (Burr) was murdered by the firm after he betrayed them in the second season. They all report to Holland Manners (Anderson), the senior partner s right hand man and Division Head of Special Projects. The firm is supposedly massacred in episode 74 but reappears in the season finale, only to be killed again in an explosion in the fifth
7 season. The Antagonists (CBS, 3/91-5/91) Cast: Brent Jennings, Matt Roth, David Andrews, Lauren Holly, Lisa Jane Persky Summary: A politically ambitious D.A. (Jennings) and office newcomer (Holly) lock horns with local hotshot defense lawyer (Andrews) and his straight arrow clerk (Roth) in a series that does not spend much time in the courtroom. Any Day Now, (Lifetime, 8/98-3/02) Cast: Lorraine Toussaint, Annie Potts Summary: "Any Day Now" is a heartfelt original dramatic series that examines the relationship between two women who became childhood friends in Alabama during the height of the Civil Rights Movement. In the first season of "Any Day Now," we watched Mary Elizabeth Sims (Potts) and Rene Jackson (Toussaint) rekindle their childhood friendship. They stuck together in the '60s, despite social pressure against their interracial friendship (M.E. is white and Rene is black). Their relationship later in life hasn't exactly been smooth sailing, either, as each woman struggles with the challenges of her chosen path. Both women find themselves longing for part of the other's lifestyle. The second season found M.E., a middle-class housewife and mother, and Rene, a single, high-powered lawyer, each working to change what's missing in her own current life situation. In each episode, Rene and M.E.'s present-day lives are interwoven with flashbacks from their childhood during the 1960s birth of the Civil Rights Movement, dealing frankly and honestly with black and white issues. (from the official site at Arrest and Trial (ABC, 9/63-9/64) Cast: Chuck Connors, Ben Gazzara, John Larch, John Kerr, Roger Perry, Noah Keen Summary: The 90-minute precursor to Law and Order featured the same format: investigation and and arrest for a crime, followed by the trial. Detective Sergeants Nick Anderson (Gazarra) and Dan Kirby (Perry) did most of the investigative legwork, overseen by Lt. Bone (Keen). On the other side, Deputy District Attorney Jerry Miller (Larch) ran the show, although assistant D.A. Barry Pine (Kerr) actually handled most of the cases while Public Defender John Egan (Connors) opposed the state. Actor John Kerr graduated from Harvard, went on to Broadway and films to successfully appear in major roles in Tea and Sympathy and South Pacific in the 1950s, but failed to fulfill his early promise. Soon after Arrest and Trial ended, he entered UCLA Law School, graduated, was admitted to the California bar in 1970, and is now retired. Arrested Development (Fox, 7/03-02/06) Cast: Jason Bateman, Jeffrey Tambor, Michael Cera, Jessica Walter, Will Arnett, Tony Hale, Portia de Rossi, David Cross, Henry Winkler, Scott Baio Summary: The series revolves around Michael Bluth (Bateman), the normal one in a family of crazies, a widower who is forced to stay in Orange County and run the family real estate business after his father (Tambor) is sent to prison for shifty accounting practices. Michael is picking up the pieces and trying to teach his offbeat family how to live without an endless expense account and to do right by his 14-year-old son, George Michael (Cera), an earnest kid who works
8 diligently at the family s frozen banana stand. The Bluths are led by manipulative matriarch Lucille (Walter), a socialite who is as icy as her martinis and can't figure out how to maintain her penthouse lifestyle while the family assets are frozen. Then there s the oldest son, Gob (Arnett), a womanizer and struggling magician who attempts to manage the business. The youngest brother is Buster (Hale), a neurotic professional grad student and glorified mama s boy. Finally there is cause-obsessed sister Lindsay (de Rossi), who is married to the hapless Tobias (Cross), a doctor-turned-actor who might get more work if he wasn t a self-proclaimed never-nude. The multi-talented family lawyer, Barry Zuckerkorn (Winkler), gets them out of both criminal and civil jams. (from the Fox website at Arsenio (ABC, 3/97-4/97) Cast: Arsenio Hall, Viveca Fox, Alami Ballard, Shawnee Smith, Kevin Dunn Summary: Michael Atwood (Hall) is an anchor for an all-sports cable channel in Atlanta but at the moment his life is centered on learning to live with his new wife, high-powered sports attorney Vivian (Fox) and her younger brother Matthew (Ballard), a Harvard-degreed slacker who has moved in with them "temporarily." The Associates (ABC, 9/79-10/79, 3/80-4/80) Cast: Wilfred Hyde-White, Martin Short, Joe Regalbuto, Alley Mills, Shelley Smith, Tim Thomerson Summary: Three new law grads join a prestigious Wall Street firm led by the formidable but somewhat eccentric founding partner Emerson Marshall (Hyde- White). Junior partner Eliot Streeter (Regalbuto) believes his life's mission is to take over the firm but fails to see that he has a long way to go. Leslie Dunn (Mills) has grown up in a poor family and wants to represent the oppressed, hardly the usual Bass and Marshall client. Her boyfriend Tucker (Short) is from the Midwest and feels somewhat overwhelmed by the Wall Street atmosphere. Sara James (Smith) is a Boston Brahmin, but feels undervalued because of her good looks. Countering all this class is the macho mailroom clerk, Johnny Danko (Thomerson). Bachelor Father (CBS, 9/57-6/58; NBC, 6/58-6/61; ABC, 10/61-9/62) Cast: John Forsythe, Noreen Corcoran, Sammee Tong, Bernadette Withers, Aaron Kincaid Summary: The life of playboy and sole practitioner Bentley Gregg (Forsythe) is suddenly changed when his sister and brother-in-law die in a car accident and he is left to raise 13-year old niece Kelly (Corcoran). He is assisted by his houseboy Peter (Tong). Kelly works as his secretary while she is still in high school, helps him solve cases, and her boyfriend Warren (Kincaid) joins the firm as a junior partner in the last season. Barefoot in the Park, (ABC, 9/70-1/71) Cast: Scoey Mitchell, Tracy Reid, Thelma Carpenter, Nipsy Russell, Harry Holcombe Summary: Loosely based on the play by Neil Simon, the series featured a young black newlywed couple who live in a one-room walk-up apartment in Manhattan. Paul Bratter (Mitchell) is an associate with the firm Kendricks, Keene and Klein. Their lives are complicated by the constant advice or admonishments coming from Corie's (Reid) mother (Carpenter) who lives downstairs, her would-
9 be suitor (Russell) who owns a pool hall, and Paul's boss Mr. Kendrick (Holcombe). Barnaby Jones (CBS, 1/73-9/80) Cast: Buddy Ebsen, Lee Meriwether, Mark Shera Summary: Mild-mannered P.I. Barnaby Jones (Ebsen) came out of retirement to investigate the murder of his son and continued the business when he realized that work was better than mourning. He was assisted by his widowed daughterin-law Betty (Meriwether) and a later addition to the firm, cousin-once-removed Jedidiah, aka J.R. (Shera) J. R. had come to Barnaby trying to find who had killed his father and when he decided to stick with the business who was also attending law school in his spare time. The series was an early precursor to the hugely popular C.S.I franchise; Barnaby solved many of his cases using his inhouse crime lab. It appears that the character came to life in an episode of Cannon, also a Quinn Martin Production, as Frank Cannon was the original investigator in Barnaby's son's case. Baywatch (NBC, 9/89-8/90, Syndicated 9/91-9/01) Cast: David Hasselhoff, Parker Stevenson, Shawn Weatherly, Billy Warlock, Monte Markham, Erika Eleniak Summary: Its first season (before syndication and explosion into most-watched tv program in the world) introduced a close-knit group of lifeguards at a Los Angeles beach. They include team leader Mitch Buchannon (Hasselhof), whose devotion to his job has cost him his marriage; head of lifeguards Captain Don Thorp (Markham); veteran lifeguards Jill (Weatherly)and Craig (Stevenson), a part-time lawyer who can't get the surf out of his blood, and newcomers Eddie (Warlock) amd Shauni (Eleniak) - who replaced Jill mid-season after she was killed in a shark attack. An NBC publicity flyer stated "Wreckless jet skier suspected in mysterious drowning in premiere of new drama series." The series was syndicated after the first year, Craig not included. He returned in 1997, newly divorced, a disillusioned D.C. lawyer who chucks over his career for the waves. Drama, it wasn't; Malibu and soap opera, it was. Beauty and the Beast, (CBS, 9/87-8/90) Cast: Linda Hamilton, Ron Perlman, Roy Dotrice, Jay Avacone, Ren Woods, David Grenlee, Armin Shimmerman Summary: Far below the city of New York lies another world, a labyrinth of dark tunnels and twisting corridors, a world inhabited by those who could not find a place in the world Above. Wealthy attorney Catherine Chandler (Hamilton) is drawn into this mysterious world Below when she is brutally attacked in a case of mistaken identity and left for dead in Central Park. She is rescued and nursed back to health by Vincent (Perlman), a man/beast who lives sequestered Below. Catherine and Vincent are drawn into each other's lives by an empathic bond that soon turns to love. Always guarded and aided by Vincent, Catherine begins a new career tackling tough criminal cases for the District Attorney's office, and the two lovers embark on a secret life together. (from the official site at Ben Jerrod (NBC, 4/63-6/63) Cast: Michael Ryan, Addison Richards, Regina Gleason, Gerald Gordon, Lyle Talbot
10 Summary: The day-time serial told the stories of two small-town lawyers Ben Jerrod (Ryan) and his older partner, former judge John Abbott (Richards). The series attempted to copy The Edge of Night, which also often featured multiepisode trials as plot points. In this case, Janet Donelli (Gleason) is the defendant for murder. It may have been the first soap to broadcast regularly in color but this was not enough to hook an audience; it had one of the shortest lives of all soaps. The Bennetts (NBC, 7/53-1/54) Cast: Don Gibson, Paula Houston, Sam Gray Summary: Another day-time soap about a small-town law practice, this one was about Wayne Bennett (Gibson, later Gray) and his wife Nancy (Houston) in the imaginary town of Kingsport. Beulah (ABC, 10/50-9/53) Cast: Ethel Waters, Hattie McDaniel, Louise Beaver, William Post Jr., Ginger Jones, Clifford Sales, Butterfly McQueen, Percy Harris, David Bruce, Jane Frazee, Stuffy Singer, Dooley Wilson Summary: Originating as a hugely popular radio program running from , this was the first television dramatic series to star a black actor (Amos 'n Andy began in 1951), as the character of Beulah (Waters, then McDaniel, then Beaver), maid to the hapless family (Jones, Sales, Frazee, Singer) of New York lawyer Harry Henderson (Post, then Bruce). Each week Beulah had to come to the rescue of the Hendersons' domestic crises (Harry burns the steaks, son Donnie wants to run away) and solve the problems created by her ditzy friend Oriole (McQueen) and shiftless boyfriend Bill (Harris, then Wilson). The series had a dramatic make-over in 1952 when all the major cast members were changed. The character Beulah originally appeared in another popular radio show, Fibber McGee and Molly, in 1943 and then was spun off as a separate radio series. After the show left the air in September 1953, no program would star a black woman again until fifteen years later in 1968 when Julia appeared. The Big Easy (USA, 8/96-9/97) Cast: Susan Walters, Tony Crane, Barry Corbin, Troy Bryant, Karla Tamburelli Summary: Interior Department prosecutor Ann Osborne (Walters) has been sent to New Orleans to investigate a pollution case. She falls in love with the city and takes a new job as assistant district attorney, where she is assisted by WASPish Lightnin' Hawkins (Bryant). Remy McSwain (Crane) is the sweet-talking cop with a flexible morality whose cases often intersect with those of the new D.A. C. D. LeBlanc (Corbin) is Remy's uncle, an eccentric but ethical chief of detectives whose passion is Civil War reenactments. Based on the 1987 feature film. The Big Valley (ABC, 9/65-5/69) Cast: Barbara Stanwyck, Richard Long, Peter Breck, Lee Majors, Linda Evans Summary: The Barkley dynasty, headed by matriarch Victoria (Stanwyck) owns a 30,000 acre ranch in the San Joaquin Valley. Eldest son Jarrod (Long), former prosecutor now in private practice, does much of the family's legal work. This can include not only the expected transactional work, but defending family and friends on charges of murder, counterfeiting, and assault. Big Wave Dave's (CBS, 8/93-9/93)
11 Cast: David Morse, Adam Arkin, Patrick Breen, Jane Kaczmarek Summary: It's mid-life crisis time when Chicago stockbroker David Bell (Morse) loses his wife and his money to another guy. His best friend Marshall (Arkin) has just been fired from the law firm his father established. His next best friend Richie (Breen) is perennially depressed thanks to his "career" as a high school typing teacher. In the middle of a snowy winter and over one too many beers, the three of them decide to fulfill their lifelong dream and move to Hawaii to start a surf shop. The fact that they know next to nothing about the sport does not deter them. Fortunately they find a shop sandwiched between two other successful stores and they figure they can live off the overflow. Marshall's wife Jane (Kazmarek) has more skills than the three guys combined and she takes over the actual management while they pretend to advise their customers. It was surprisingly the highest rated summer entry of the decade but CBS executives axed it in the fall. Black Saddle, (NBC, 1/59-5/60) Cast: Peter Breck, Russell Johnson, Anna Lisa Summary: Gunfighter-turned-lawyer Clay Culhane (Breck) serves a client a week in a series that combined the hugely popular old west genre with a wellmeaning lawyer. The series began as an episode of "Zane Grey Theater." When Culhane's two brothers die in a shootout, he decides to take a more peaceful path and turns to a life in law. He carries his books in his saddle bags and tries to solve the legal problems of people he meets as he travels the New Mexico Territory. Many segments of the series pit Culhane's earlier career against his current one when clients want to hire him for his fast gun rather than lawyering skills, although he tries to convince them that going outside the law is never permissible. Unfortunately, Marshal Gib Scott (Johnson) doesn't believe that he could leave his criminal ways behind and is always waiting for a misstep. In the late 50s and early 60s, network programming was limited to just a few genres: variety, detective, game shows, dramatic anthologies, and westerns. In the days when Bat Masterson, Wyatt Earp, the Rifleman, Sugarfoot, Paladin, and the Cartwrights rode into view, westerns consisted of almost 25% of the total. Of the top-rated shows, 7 out of the first 10 and 14 out of the top 30 were westerns. Gunsmoke had a 39.6 rating and Perry Mason was at 27.5 (i.e., at 10 p.m. on Friday nights, 39.6% of the total audience was watching Gunsmoke). Competing among 22 other prime time westerns and not even in the top 30, Black Saddle opened ABC's Friday 10:30 slot but was replaced in the fall of 1960 by The Law and Mr. Jones. Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice (ABC, 9/73-11/73) Cast: Robert Urich, Ann Archer, David Spielberg, Anita Gillette, Brad Savage, Jodie Foster Summary: The generation gap is explored by young 20s couple Bob (Urich) and Carol (Archer) Sanders and 30-somethings Ted (Spielberg) and Alice (Gillette) Henderson. They may be neighbors in swinging Los Angeles, but filmmaker Bob and conservative lawyer Ted share very different values about hottubs, premarital sex, and couples living together. Foster played the Sanders' preteen daughter. Boomtown (NBC, 9/02-1/04) Cast: Neal McDonough, Nina Garbiras, Mykelti Williamson, Donnie Wahlberg,
12 Jason Gedrick, Gary Basaraba, Lana Parilla Summary: Emmy-winning writer Graham Yost creates a life-and-death beat filled with characters as diverse and thrilling as the City of Angels. In addition to a philandering District Attorney (McDonough) and his lover, an ambitious local reporter (Garbiras), are L.A.'s unsung heroes: Detectives Fearless (Williamson) and Joel (Wahlberg), cops Turcotte (Gedrick, ) and Hechler (Basaraba) and medic Theresa (Parilla). The action unravels backwards and forwards, "Pulp Fiction" style, with each new time frame offering a fresh perspective on both sides of the law and unique insight into what makes these people and this city tick. (from the official website at Boston Legal (ABC, 10/04-12/08) Cast: James Spader, William Shatner, Rhona Mitra, Lake Bell, Mark Valley Summary: Alan Shore (Spader) and Denny Crane (Shatner) lead the brigade of high-priced civil litigators in the upscale Boston law firm, Crane, Poole, & Schmidt in a series focusing on the professional and personal lives of brilliant, but often emotionally-challenged, attorneys. Joining Shore and Crane is Brad Chase, a consumate guy's guy, who recently headed up the Washington, DC office and has been recruited to Boston to keep an eye on loose cannon senior partner Denny Crane. Fast-paced, darkly comedic, the series will confront social issues, moral conscience, safe sex, pursuit of happiness and money, with varying degrees of priority. (from the official site at When he knew that The Practice would come to an end, David Kelley created a bridge by introducing the character of Denny Crane as Shore's attorney in his lawsuit against his former firm, ending the series with the case's final judgment.. Boston Public (Fox, 10/00-1/04) Cast: Chi McBride, Anthony Heald, Nicky Katt, Loretta Devine, Sharon Leal, Jeri Ryan, Jon Abrahams, Michael Rapaport, Fyvush Finkel Summary: David Kelley can't write a series that lacks a lawyer, so in the second season of his high school drama Boston Public, the character of Ronnie Cooke (Ryan) is introduced by having another teacher bring in an old friend to talk to his class about a career as a lawyer. She is so enthused about the contrast between her work and the possibility of real impact on students' lives that she quits her law firm job and starts working part-time as an English teacher. It is only because of a sudden loss of credentialed personnel that Principal Steven Harper (McBride) can consider this. She evolves into one of the better teachers and is eventually confronted with the propect of moving on to administrative work. Brand New Life (NBC, 9/89-10/89) Cast: Don Murray, Barbara Eden Summary: When a wealthy widowed lawyer and father of three (Murray) meets a divorced mom (Eden), who both manages the Order in the Court restaurant and aspires to be a court reporter, sparks fly and he proposes and she accepts before ever mentioning their plans to their respective children. By the end of the first episode they have married, by the fourth she is starting law school, by the sixth she is studying for the bar exam, and by the seventh the series was
13 cancelled. The Bronx Zoo (NBC, 3/87-5/88) Cast: Edward Asner, Kathleen Beller, Gail Boggs, Kathryn Harrold, Jerry Levine, Nicholas Pryor, Mykelti Williamson, David Wilson Summary: Predating Boston Public by a few years, the series set in a harsh inner city high school was both more violent and more focused on the students' stories than the later David Kelley creation. But the kindly but tough-as-nails principal (Asner) also had a pompous and narrow-minded vice-principal (Pryor), a streetsmart history teacher (Wilson), a beautiful and financially independent English teacher (Harrold), a free-spirited drama teacher (Beller), and a former lawyerturned-math teacher (Levine). The token minority was, naturally, the coach (Williamson), who has a master's in biochemistry. The program did deal with some controversial issues, e.g., dispensing contraceptives, teacher-testing, race and homosexuality, but all-in-all was simply a modern take on Blackboard Jungle. Brother's Keeper (ABC, 9/98-6/99) Cast: William Ragsdale, Justin Cooper, Sean O'Bryan, Bess Meyer Summary: Serious and straight-laced college history professor Porter Waide (Ragsdale) is trying to raise his son Oscar (Cooper) to be a good kid. But then his professional football player brother Bobby (O'Bryan) moves in. He's just been traded to a San Francisco team and his million dollar contract requires him to live with a "responsible" party who will keep him out of bars, away from women of ill-repute, and generally out of trouble. He has a second "keeper" too - his lawyer/agent Dena Draeger (Meyer) who spends most of her day with him, on orders from the team. Oscar now has multiple role models and it doesn't take a lot of brains to realize that the two "kids" will bond. C.I. - Congressional Investigator (Syndicated, First Run Syndication, 1959) Cast: Edward Stroll, William Masters, Stephen Roberts, Marian Collier Summary: This legal-political-crime series ran for 39 half-hour episodes and and depicted the activities of a team of U.S. government investigators as they try to uncover evidence for congressional hearings. The defendants were often heard to invoke "the Fifth" in their testimony. In the same year Desilu introduced a similar series, featuring two investigators for a Grand Jury. Both series came about thanks to a public stirred up by governmental investigations into national and local crime. The indexes to the Congressional Record for 1958 and 1959 clearly indicate a federal concern about crime. Headings show that Congress and the Department of Justice were examining organized crime just intensively as they had been since the televised Kefauver hearings in the early 50s: "Costs of crime $20 billion a year," "Priority on racketeers," "New York City - Breakdown of law and order." But they also show a concern for race- and religious-based crimes: "Violence in northern cities," "Race riots," "Anti-lynching bill," "Bombing of religious and educational institutions." Hearings had not been televised since the Army-McCarthy hearing in 1954 but Congressional activities were heavily covered by print media. It was not until the Vietnam War (1973) that congressional hearings were once again televised. It's an old saw that there is nothing new in heaven or earth - in 1980 Frank Silbey copyrighted "The Congressional Investigator : a proposed outline for a television
14 series or a feature film." Cain's Hundred (NBC, 9/61-9/62) Cast: Peter Mark Richman Summary: In this hour-long film series, Mark Richman stars as Nicholas Cain, a former underworld lawyer who teams up with federal authorities to bring the nation's top criminals to justice. He has an even list of 100 names, one for each week of the series. Well-known actors took the changing antagonist roles - Jim Backus, Robert Vaughn, James Coburn, Charles Bronson, Jack Klugman, James Coburn, Pat Hingle - the villains were always male. Central Park West (CBS, 9/95-12/96) Cast: Mariel, Hemingway, John Barrowman, Madchen Amick, Lauren Hutton, Ron Leibman, Melissa Errico Summary: Prime time soap set in New York City with an ensemble cast of players set in the office and homes of Communique magazine publishers and staffers. Womanizing Allen Rush (Leibman) owns the magazine, his stepdaughter Carrie Fairchild (Amick) writes the column on the local nightlife, her mother (Hutton) schemes with the best of the Borgia's, her brother the assistant D.A. (Barrowman) is the only white sheep in the family, and Stephanie Welles (Hemingway) has just moved from Seattle to be editor-in-chief of this swamp of backbiting, cheating and thieving creatures. Century City (CBS, 3/7/04-3/25/04) Cast: Nestor Carbonell, Viola Davis, Hector Elizondo, Ioan Gruffudd, Kristin Lehman, Eric Schaeffer Summary: In the year 2030, where the lawyers find that though laws change, people remain the same. Heading the firm of Crane, Constable, McNeil and Montero are Marty Constable (Elizondo), who shares his insights and wisdom from the "old days," and Hannah Crane, (Davis) a strong, assertive woman who is determined to make the practice a success. Joining them is hotshot partner Darwin McNeil (Schaeffer), who is trying to make his mark in the legal world; earnest, self-critical Lukas Gold (Gruffudd), a lawyer focused on fighting cases that matter; new partner Tom Montero (Carbonell), a handsome, charismatic former congressman who hasn't left his politics behind, and the beautiful, genetically re-engineered first-year attorney Lee May Bristol (Lehman). In a time when judges can go before lawyers as holograms, the firm finds themselves in uncharted legal territory and their cases provide an eye-opening look into issues confronting society in the not-so-distant future. (from the official website at Champs (ABC, 1/96-2/96, 7/96-8/96) Cast: Timothy Busfield, Ashley Crow, Libby Winters, Danny Pritchett, Kevin Nealon, Ed Marinaro, Ron McLarty Summary: Tom McManus (Busfield) is the nucleus of two families: his traditional family, which includes his law-student wife (Crow) and two children (Winters, Pritchett), and a second, extended family, consisting of Tom's former high school basketball teammates (Nealon, Marinaro) and ex-coach (McLarty), with whom he spends most of his time. The men are fast approaching mid-life crisis and Tim dispenses life advice in sports metaphors.
15 Charlie Grace (ABC, 9/95-10/95) Cast:: Mark Harmon, Robert Costanzo, Leelee Sobieski, Cindy Katz, Harley Jane Kozak Summary: Charlie Grace (Harmon) is a divorced former Los Angeles cop who now runs a detective agency out of a pool hall in Venice Beach. He left the force after breaking up a gang of crooked cops, the aftermath of which resulted in the break-up of his marriage. His relationship with his 12-year old daughter (Sobieski) is precarious, as is his business. He is assisted by his old friend Artie Crawford (Costanzo) and much of his work is thrown his way by ex-girlfriend and hotshot criminal attorney Lesley Loeb (Katz). Chicago Hope (CBS, 9/94-5/00) Cast: Adam Arkin, Mandy Patinkin, Hector Elizondo, Christine Lahti, E. G. Marshall, Peter MacNicol, Alan Rosenberg Summary: Chicago Hope Hospital is run by Dr. Phillip Waters (Elizondo) and staffed by a group of egotistical and neurotic specialists. Hospital counsel Alan "The Eel" Birch (MacNicol) spends a good deal of his time in court, defending the doctors' actions, fighting HMO's, arguing right-to-die cases, and adopting a sick baby. His nickname is attributed to his ability to wriggle out of legal situations. His character was killed in a mugging in the 30th episode, second season. In the 6th and final season, attorney Stuart Brickman (Rosenberg) Chicago Story (NBC, 3/82-8/82) Cast: Maud Adams, Vincent Baggetta, Craig T. Nelson, Molly Cheek, Dennis Franz, Richard Lawson Summary: The characters in this series often followed the same path: pursued by the police or hurt by criminals, healed in the Cook County trauma unit, then as defendant or victim in trials. Beat Officer Joe Gilliland (Franz) and Det. O. Z. Tate (Lawson) tracked down the perpetrators, Dr. Judith Bergstrom (Adams) led the trauma unit, and state's attorney Kenneth Dutton (Nelson) prosecuted against the defense of Lou Pelligrono (Baggeta) and Megan Powers (Cheek). Christine Cromwell (ABC, 11/89-3/90) Cast: Jaclyn Smith, Ralph Bellamy, Celeste Holm, Rebecca Cross Summary: Attorney and financial advisor Christine Cromwell (Smith) solves crimes. Personally wealthy and beautiful, with both law and business degrees, she began her career as a public defender and then moved on to work in a high scale investment firm. In the meantime she's made plenty of contacts on both sides of the law, a factor often coming to her aid when her work discloses crimes and misdeeds. Aiding her are her often-married mother (Holm), the investment firm's owner (Bellamy) and her assistant (Cross). The series was part of the ABC Mystery Movie and shown once a month. Citizen Baines (CBS, 9/01-10/01) Cast: James Cromwell, Embeth Davidtz, Jane Adams, Jacinda Barrett, Arye Gross, Matt McCoy Summary: After years spent as a U.S. Senator, Eliot Baines (Cromwell) loses the election and returns to life in Washington as a regular citizen. His focus is now on the daughters he has spent so little time with: Ellen (Davidtz), the lawyer who could be next in line for his old seat; Reeva (Adams), who wants to be more
16 than a housewife, and Dori (Barrett), who can't hold a job or a guy. City of Angels (NBC, 3/76-8/76) Cast: Wayne Rogers, Elaine Joyce, Clifton James, Philip Sterling Summary: Set in 1930's Los Angeles, the series attempted but failed to attain the feel of Chinatown. Jake Axminster (Rogers) is a private investigator who will do just about anything to get the information he needs, including working both sides of police Lt. Quint (James). Projecting his own character onto everyone around him, he trusts no one, not even his lawyer Michael Brimm (Sterling). His office is run by a lovely but air-headed Marsha (Joyce) who also acts as an answering service for call girls. Civil Wars (ABC, 11/91-3/93) Cast: Mariel Hemingway, Peter Onorati, Alan Rosenberg, Debi Mazar, David Marciano Summary: As Sydney Guilford (Hemingway) puts it in the first episode: "I'm overworked. My partner's in a mental institution. My ex-husband owes me money. I don't have time for a social life. And I spend my days rummaging through the garbage of other people's ruined marriages." She meets Charlie Howell (Onorati), a lawyer on the opposing side in a divorce case, and he suggests a temporary partnership. Still recovering from a nervous breakdown, Eli Levinson (Rosenberg), a cross-over character from L. A. Law, eventually returns to full time work with them. Together they handle a rock star who wants alimony, an Elvis Presley reincarnation, a fatal attraction, and custody of a dog. The show's creator was William Finkelstein, a former New York divorce lawyer, who also wrote for Murder One and L. A. Law. The Client (9/95-4/96) Cast: Jo Beth Williams, Ossie Davis, John Heard, David Barry Gray, Polly Holliday Summary: Children need Love, Reggie Love (Williams), that is, a no-nonsense attorney who risks her career and sometimes her life for that all-important person The Client. As an Atlanta-based attorney now practicing family law, Reggie's legal specialty is helping those who have become pawns in the social system the children. Presiding over Reggie's courtroom is the wise, compassionate statesman Judge Harry Roosevelt (Davis), while Reggie's most ardent opponent is District Attorney Roy Foltrigg (Heard), who loves a good fight as much as she does. But with her streetwise assistant, Clint (Gray), and her mother and roommate, Momma Love (Holliday), on her side, how can she lose? (from TNT's web site: Close to Home (CBS, 9/ /07) Cast: Jennifer Finnegan, John Carroll Lynch, Kimberley Elise, Christian Kane Summary: An aggressive prosecutor (Finnigan) with a perfect conviction rate understands that suburbia's quiet and peaceful streets sometimes hide the darkest horrors and the most troubling offenses. It's up to this working and somewhat hormonal new mother to investigate those offenses and bring the malefactors to justice. Fortunately, she can balance her demanding boss (Elise) with her perfect husband (Kane). Clueless (ABC, 9/96-2/97; UPN, 9/97-5/99)
17 Cast: Rachel Blanchard, Stacey Dash, Elisa Donovan, Sean Holland, Doug Sheehan Summary: The life and trials of the very cool are chronicled as teenager Cher Horowitz (Blanchard) advises her friends in a wealthy Beverly Hills neighborhood. She lives with her lawyer father Mel (Sheehan) who does his best, as far as she is concerned, to complicate her life. Based on the movie of the same title, which was based on Jane Austen's novel Emma. The Colbys (ABC, 11/85-3/87) Cast: Charlton Heston, Stephanie Beecham, Katherine Ross, Barbara Stanwyck, John James, Emma Sams, Tracy Scoggins, Maxwell Caulfield, Claire Yarlett, Vince Bagetta Summary: This spin-off from Dynasty offered the usual Machiavellian familial scheming. Patriarch Jason Colby (Heston) headed a multinational conglomerate, lived in Beverly Hills and was married to the scheming Sable (Beacham) whose sister Francesca (Ross) was the rival for her husband's affections. Her daughter, entertainment lawyer Monica (Scoggins), was involved with a married man and son Miles (Caulfield) was accused of murder by the D.A. (Bagetta), while she and Jason were embroiled in a messy divorce at the first season's end. At the beginning of the second season, Jason's plan to marry Francesca unraveled when her long-lost husband (Jason's brother) showed up, Monica was having an affair with a married Senator, and Jason's daughter-in-law was taken aloft by an alien spaceship. The Commish (ABC, 9/91-5/95) Cast: Michael Chiklis, Theresa Saldana, Kaj-Erik Eriksen Summary: Tony "Commish" Scali (Chiklis) is chief of the suburban N.Y. Eastbridge Police Department and hard on criminals but a softie at heart. He is married to Rachel (Saldana), has a son David (Eriksen), and a law degree from Fordham University. He's been a beat cop for ten years and dreams of becoming NYC's police commissioner. The character was based loosely on Tony Schembri, police chief of Rye, New York. Common Law (ABC, 9/96-10/96) Cast: Greg Giraldo, Megyn Price, Gregory Sierra, Diana Marie Riva Summary: John Alvarez (Giraldo) is an offbeat Harvard grad who has worked his way from poverty to being the only Hispanic associate at a swank Manhattan law firm. His live-in girlfriend (Price) is gorgeous, wealthy and, unfortunately, an associate at the same firm. Not only does the firm disapprove of intra-firm dating, his father (Sierra) disapproves of both her ethnicity and the fact that they are "living in sin." The lead actor is an actual Harvard law grad and the show was based partly on his own stint at a large New York law firm. Conviction (NBC, 3/06-05/06) Cast: Jordan Bridges, Eric Balfour, Milena Govich, Stephanie March, Anson Mount, Julianne Nicholson, J. August Richards Summary: They're young, in over their heads, and wouldn't have it any other way. Five young assistant district attorneys, eager for trial experience, work in a busy office led by Bureau Chief Alexandra Cabot (March) and Deputy District Attorney James Steele (Mount). They are Nick Potter (Bridges), who left a white shoe firm, Jessica Rossi (Govich) who could have been either a lawyer or a
18 career criminal as some of her family members are, Christina Finn (Nicholson) who is still optimistic in spite of her two years on the job, tough guy Brian Peluso (Balfour), and the never-defeated Billy Desmond, with 15 convictions under his belt in three years. But the show goes beyond the action and ethics of the office and details the characters' personal lives, romantic entanglements, family backgrounds, eccentricities and even their addictions. Cosby (CBS, 9/96-4/00) Cast: Bill Cosby, Phylicia Rashad, Doug E. Doug, T'Keyah 'Crystal' Keymáh, Madeline Kahn Summary: Hilton (Cosby) and Ruth (Rashad) Lucas' lives are dramatically altered when he is laid off from the airline industry. It was nearly time for him to retire but no plans had been made and not only is their income down, but Hilton's time on his own is way up. Ruth works at a flower shop with her best friend (Kahn). Their daughter Erica (Keymah) graduated from law school, was a successful lawyer, then decided to go to cooking school, practicing law only intermittently as the family needed her advice. She returns home thanks to her reduced income, as does her longtime roommate Griffin (Doug) who rents the Lucas' attic since he bought the house next door but plans to rent it to a preschool. Erica changes careers once again, getting her teaching certificate and finally settling down with a flight attendant. The Cosby Show (NBC, 9/84-9/92) Cast: Bill Cosby, Phylicia Rashad, Lisa Bonet, Sabrina LeBeauf, Malcolm-Jamal Warner, Tempest Bledsoe, Keshia Knight Pulliam, Geoffrey Owens Summary: Cliff (Cosby)and Claire (Rashad) Huxtable are a happily married, upper middle class black family living in Brooklyn. Cliff is an ob/gyn who sees patients at his home and pratices at two hospitals. His wife is a lawyer with the firm Greentree, Bradley and Dextet. Their oldest daughter Sondra (LeBeauf) attended Princeton and was in law school when she met and married med student Elvin Tibideaux (Owens). After the birth of twins and a series of business mishaps, Elvin finally finishes his degree, Sondra returns to law school, and all four return to live with her parents while they search for a new home. The remaining children make their way through school, love affairs, and careers. The Court (ABC, 3/26/02-4/9/02) Cast: Sally Field, Craig Bierko, Diahann Carroll, Miguel Sandoval, Pat Hingle, Chris Sarandon Summary: Former Ohio Gov. Kate Nolan (Field), married to a world-famous adventurer, is the newest appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court. She hasn't practiced law in 11 years but now she's the pragmatic swing vote on a court equally divided between liberal and conservative judges. In contrast to the action on the bench, Harlan Brandt (Bierko) is a former lawyer and ex-student of Nolan's, but now an investigative journalist who specializes in legal reporting and works for a local news program. His focus now is to put a face on the clients behind the Court's cases and explain the theory or controversy behind the justices' actions. His character was basically the only difference between this series - moderate Roman Catholic newly appointed to an ideologically split Supreme Court - and First Monday, another midseason replacement which ran briefly at the same time.
19 Court Martial (ABC, 4/66-9/66) Cast: Bradford Dillman, Peter Graves, Kenneth Warren, Diane Clare, Angela Browne Summary: During World War II this crack team from the Judge Advocate General's office investigates crime all over Europe and then proceeds to the court-martial itself. It won the 1966 BAFTA award for best dramatic series. Courthouse (CBS, 9/95-11/95) Cast: Patricia Wettig, Annabeth Gish, Robin Givens, Bob Gunton, Brad Johnson, Michael Lerner, Jennifer Lewis Summary: The legal and sex lives of the judges of Clark County are the focus of this melodramatic series, described as at least the worst show of the season, if not one of the worst of all time. "See what happens when the judges take off their robes" says promotional material from the network. The pilot opened with the murder of a judge during a murderer's sentencing and went directly to a quickie between the prosecution investigator (Givens) and her assistant D.A. boyfriend. The judges are ridiculous: Judge Myron Winkelman (Lerner), whose main concern is the parking space of the dead judge; Judge Rosetta Reide (Lewis) of the family court, is a closeted lesbian living with a younger woman; and Montana hunk Wyatt Earp Jackson (Johnson) is the new judge who comes to his first day at court with his dog named Thurgood. This madhouse of fun is run, more or less, by Presiding Judge Justine Parkes (Wettig), who attempts to be the heavy but winds up falling in lust with Jackson. Courting Alex (CBS, 1/23/06-03/06) Cast: Jenna Elfman, Emmy Award and Golden Globe Award winner Dabney Coleman, Hugh Bonneville, Josh Randall, Jillian Bach and Josh Stamberg Summary: Alex (Elfman) works alongside her father, Bill (Coleman), at his law firm, and while he is very proud of her, it pains him that his daughter is not married yet. If Bill had his way, Alex would settle down with her colleague, Stephen (Stamberg), a star lawyer at their firm who is obviously smitten with Alex. Julian (Bonneville), Alex's charming British neighbor, who makes his living as an artist, and Molly (Bach), her loyal and brutally honest assistant, are the two people she chooses to lean on for advice. But no amount of advice could prepare her for the unexpected feelings she's having for Scott (Randall), an impulsive, renaissance man she recently met while trying to negotiate a deal involving his tavern. If Alex can put down her cell phone for long enough, her successes in love just might catch up to an already successful career. (from the official website at Crazy Like a Fox (CBS, 12/84-9/86) Cast: Jack Warden, John Rubenstein, Penny Peyser, Robby Kiger Summary: Private investigator Harry Fox, Sr. (Warden) solves crimes in San Francisco with the not-so-willing assistance of his straight-arrow lawyer son Harrison Fox, Jr. (Rubenstein). There was a made-for-tv movie featuring the sleuthing duo in "Harrison, I need your help.-- Dad, you keep forgetting, I'm a lawyer, you're the detective. -- Oh, come on son, All I need is a ride. What could possibly happen?" Criminal Minds (CBS, 9/05-present) Cast: Mandy Patinkin, Thomas Gibson, Lola Glaudini, Shemar Moore, Matthew
20 Gray Gubler, AJ Cook, Kirsten Vangsness Summary: Criminal Minds revolves around an elite team of FBI profilers who analyze the country's most twisted criminal minds, anticipating their next moves before they strike again. Special Agent Jason Gideon (Patinkin) is the FBI's top behavioral analyst and he joins the Behavioral Analysis Unit led by Special Agent Aaron Hotchner (Gibson), a lawyer who is able to gain people's trust and unlock their secrets. Also on the team are Elle Greenaway (Glaudini), an agent with a background in sexual offenses; Special Agent Derek Morgan (Moore), an expert on obsessional crimes; Special Agent Dr. Spencer Reid (Gubler), a classically misunderstood genius whose social IQ is as low as his intellectual IQ is high; and Jennifer "JJ" Jareau, (Cook), a confident young agent who acts as the unit liaison for the team. Their top-notch computer geek Garcia (Vangsness) pulls together vital background information for them. Each member brings his or her own area of expertise to the table as they pinpoint predators' motivations and identify their emotional triggers in the attempt to stop them. (from the official site at Crisis Center (NBC, 3/97-4/97) Cast: Tina Lifford, Dana Ashbrook, Clifton Gonzales, Kellie Martin, Nia Peeples, Matt Roth Summary: The series was set in the San Francisco Assistance Center, a counseling clinic which assists a wide range of the mentally ill and the emotionally unstable. The staff consisted of a psychology student intern (Martin), psychiatrist Rick Buckley (Roth), social worker Lily Gannon (Peeples), lawyer Tess Robinson (Lifford), youth counselor Nando Taylor (Gonzalez), and beat cop Gary McDermott (Ashbrook). The pilot included a hostage situation, a suicide and a woman giving birth in their office. Apparently the writers couldn't keep up the pace. Crossroads (ABC, 9/92-10/92) Cast: Robert Urich, Dalton James Summary: Johnny Hawkins (Urich) is a recovering alcoholic and Manhattan prosecutor who is in line to be the next D.A. But those plans are put on hold when he is contacted by an old friend, the Seattle D.A. who has just arrested his son. Dylan (James) has been living with Hawkins' parents while he gets his life in order but now responsibility for the teenager must go back to the father. He decides that the boy needs to see life and the world and the two of them take off on his old Harley. The D. A. (NBC, 9/71-1/72) Cast: Robert Conrad, Harry Morgan, Ned Romero, Julie Cobb Summary: Falling chronologically between Arrest and Trial and Law and Order, the half hour show was also comprised of two segments: a criminal investigation followed by a trial. In this series, the investigation was led by assistant D.A. Paul Ryan (Conrad) and his investigator Bob Ramirez (Romero). He also prosecuted, usually against public defender Katherine Benson (Cobb). The whole process was overseen by District Attorney H. M. "Staff" Stafford (Morgan). The trial segment was done in a semi-documentary style with Conrad doing a voice-over explaining the legal terms and procedures to the television audience. The series was produced by Jack Webb, reuniting him with his old Dragnet friend Morgan.