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This series only ran for two seasons, but not because it wasn't funny. It was perhaps one of the funniest series of the 70s -Certainly it holds up better than 99% of its contemporaries. The show had good ratings, but the network and the show's star found the creative team difficult to work with, and so it wasn't renewed.
The show centered on Judge Walter Franklin (Tony Randall), his family and staff. The cast included seasoned stage performers like Allyn Ann McLerie, Barney Martin, and Rachel Roberts. The scripts were impressively well-written, eschewing topical humor and pop- culture references in favor of witty dialog and subtle digs:
(Walter is mooning over his daughter's picture -she has gone off to college) WALTER: I remember her first day of school. Went off carrying a little lunch pail with Roy Rogers and Dale Evans on it. (singing) Happy trails, to you. Until we meet again... MISS REUBNER: You know they've stuffed Trigger? WALTER: Why do I try to talk sentiment and feeling to you? MISS REUBNER: Is this a riddle? WALTER: Happy trails, Miss Reubner. And when we meet again, may you have something in common with Trigger.
(An escaped convict has threatened revenge on Walter, and the insufferable Mario Lanza is sent to protect him.) MARIO: I'm on leave from the DA's office. Assignment: protect Judge Franklin. Even if it means throwing myself on your body to shield you from an assassin's bullet. Although frankly I hope it doesn't come to that. WALTER: That's where you and I differ, Mario.
The series was never released on video in any format, which is a crime.
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