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Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
Genre Sitcom
Starring Fess Parker
Sandra Warner
Red Foley
Country of origin USA
Language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 25
Production
Running time 30 mins.
Broadcast
Original channel ABC
Picture format Black and white
Original run September 29, 1962 – March 23, 1963

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington is a 1962-1963 ABC sitcom starring Fess Parker as Eugene Smith, an honest but unsophisticated U.S. senator from an unidentified small-populated state. The half-hour program is based on the 1939 Frank Capra film, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, starring James Stewart in the title role. According to the story line, Eugene Smith is elected to a Senate vacancy after the death of an incumbent. The series also features Sandra Warner as Parker's wife, Pat Smith; country music singer Red Foley as the senator's Uncle Cooter, Rita Lynn as Smith's secretary, Miss Kelly, and Stan Irwin as Smith's chauffeur, Arnie.[1]

Selected episodes and guest starsEdit

Production notesEdit

The series, a Screen Gems Production (Screen Gems was owned by Columbia Pictures, which produced the film), aired at 8:30 p.m. Eastern Time on Saturday. It followed ABC's short-lived The Roy Rogers and Dale Evans Show, a Western comedy and variety show, and preceded the durable The Lawrence Welk Show. Its competition on CBS was the legal drama The Defenders starring E.G. Marshall and Robert Reed. During the same time period, NBC aired The Joey Bishop Show with Joey Bishop and Abby Dalton.[5]

A year after the cancellation of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, native Texan Parker was cast with Patricia Blair, Darby Hinton, Ed Ames, and Veronica Cartwright, in his most successful role, as the frontiersman Daniel Boone in the NBC Western series Daniel Boone, which aired from 1964-1970. Previously, Parker had portrayed Davy Crockett in the first miniseries in television history, the ABC/Walt Disney Production, Davy Crockett, which aired from 1954-1955 as part of the regular Disney series, then known as Disneyland. Parker also appeared thereafter as Jim Coates, the father, in the 1957 Disney family film Old Yeller.

ReferencesEdit

  1. Alex McNeil, Total Television, New York: Penguin Books, 1996, 4th ed., p. 561
  2. "Harpo Marx". Filmreference.com. http://www.filmreference.com/film/67/Harpo-Marx.html. Retrieved March 17, 2009. 
  3. "Jerome Cowan". Internet Movie Database. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0184578/. Retrieved March 16, 2009. 
  4. "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1962)". Internet Movie Database. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1362882/. Retrieved March 16, 2009. 
  5. Total Television, appendix


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