A Father-Son lawyer duo take a variety of cases that often deal with the important issues of the day.

Creator:

Reviews

Episodes

Seasons


Years



4   3   2   1  
1965   1964   1963   1962   1961  
Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 14 wins & 19 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Naked City (1958–1963)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

The cases of the NYPD's 65th Precinct.

Stars: Harry Bellaver, Horace McMahon, Paul Burke
Ben Casey (1961–1966)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Gritty realistic hospital drama featuring manly Dr. Casey against the medical establishment, at first under the watchful eye of Dr. Zorba and later under the thumb of Chief of Surgery Dr. Freeland.

Stars: Vince Edwards, Sam Jaffe, Jeanne Bates
Play of the Week (1959–1961)
Comedy | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

This syndicated anthology series staged a different play every week covering all genres - dramas, comedies, musicals, fantasies, mysteries, et al - utilizing some of the best talent appearing on Broadway

Stars: Myron McCormick, Cathleen Nesbitt, Frank Conroy
Armstrong Circle Theatre (1950–1963)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Documentary dramas - plays that were based on true stories, were the forte of Armstrong Circle Theater. Many movie actors and actresses got their start here.

Stars: Douglas Edwards, Sandy Becker, Bob Sherry
Wanted: Dead or Alive (1958–1961)
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A Civil War veteran with a sawed-off rifle as a holstered weapon makes a living as a bounty hunter in the Wild West of the 1870s.

Stars: Steve McQueen, Wright King, Olan Soule
The DuPont Show of the Week (TV Series 1961)
Comedy | Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  
Stars: Walter Matthau, Frank McGee, Art Carney
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

The Smothers Brothers host a comedy variety that would become notorious for its topical satirical humor.

Stars: Tom Smothers, Dick Smothers, Pat Paulsen
The Defenders: Payback (TV Movie 1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

E.G. Marshall returns as the head of the law firm that he portrayed in the 1961 to 1965 tv series. This time his partners are his son (Bridges) and his granddaughter (Plimpton). This is ... See full summary »

Director: Andy Wolk
Stars: Beau Bridges, E.G. Marshall, Martha Plimpton
Death of a Salesman (TV Movie 1966)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

An abridged award-winning TV adaptation of a famous play about an aging traveling salesman who's on the verge of a nervous breakdown. His job is gone and his family hates him for never being there. He tries mending things with them.

Director: Alex Segal
Stars: Stanley Adams, Edward Andrews, Lee J. Cobb
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

Series of new films on Showtime based on the old tv series finds the lawyers having to defend a journalist charged in a wrongful death. However, because of a bureaucratic screw-up, he is ... See full summary »

Director: Andy Wolk
Stars: Beau Bridges, E.G. Marshall, Martha Plimpton
The Scarecrow (TV Movie 1972)
Drama | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Just before the Salem Witch Trials, an embittered old woman, who has learned witchcraft, teams up with the Devil, and brings a scarecrow to life as part of her diabolical revenge on the judge who was once her lover.

Director: Boris Sagal
Stars: Nina Foch, Norman Lloyd, Blythe Danner
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The story takes place in a large hospital and revolves around two nurses, Liz Thorpe (Shirl Conway), the older head nurse, and Gail Lucas, the naive student nurse. The two nurses were ... See full summary »

Stars: Shirl Conway, Zina Bethune, Michael Tolan
Edit

Cast

Complete series cast summary:
...
 Lawrence Preston (132 episodes, 1961-1965)
...
 Kenneth Preston (132 episodes, 1961-1965)
Edit

Storyline

Recent law school graduate (Robert Reed) joins his father (E.G. Marshall) as the pair tackle challenging legal cases, often involving issues which were highly touchy for the times (abortion, euthanasia, "un-American" activities, movie censorship). In most the freshly minted lawyer has much to learn from his father's extensive legal experience. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

law | new york city | courtroom | See All (3) »

Taglines:

Tense drama in and out of court in the noted series with E.G. Marshall and Robert Reed.

Genres:

Drama

Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

16 September 1961 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Los defensores  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(132 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The characters first appeared in an episode of Studio One in Hollywood (1948), when they were played by Ralph Bellamy and William Shatner. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Dick Van Dyke Show: Laura's Little Lie (1963) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A incredibly groundbreaking show
25 October 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

before this show came out, Television was meant to be pure escapism meaning that like movies,people who watched TV often times watched it to escape from all the turbulent and sometimes horrendous things that happened in that 60's. So because of that, Most network & daytime TV shows often avoided current social issues of the day, making them seem very unrealistic. And then the Defenders came along.

Now, back in the 60's if you decided to make a show that focused on contemporary controversial social issues, you would risk getting your show cancelled because most big corporations would be uncomfortable sponsoring a show that did that, and that's exactly what the Defenders did. They were the first show that was brave enough to focus on such controversial social issues of the 60's such as civil rights,abortion neo-natzis and they almost got cancelled because of it. there was one episode where the father-son lawyer team of Lawrence and Kenneth Preston (E.G. Marshall and Robert Reed) had to a defend an abortionist, and almost every regular sponsor of the show, decided not to sponsor the episode and all of the sudden, the series was hanging by a thread, until one sponsor came in at the eleventh hour to sponsor the episode, and they saved the show from cancellation singled handed.

the bottom line is that this show was incredibly groundbreaking because if was one of the first TV shows to deal with contemporary controversial social issues, something no other show before or on on at the same time did, making it one of the most realistic shows of it's time. it also paved the way for socially conscious shows that came after it. Now what I really don't understand is that the show's not on DVD and it hasn't been seen in reruns in 20 years. But regardless, the show needs to be on DVD or in syndication, and it definitely can't be forgotten by the next generation of TV watchers.


3 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Name that star Maddy-17
The Defenders on DVD or Video chchurch
help identifying an episode jstielstra
David E Kelly put this on DVD lneilan
Boston Legal j-leitman
Boston Legal arthur-78
Discuss The Defenders (1961) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page