Show creator James E. Moser spent nine months in Sacramento researching the show. He repeatedly interviewed California assembly leader Jesse Unruh, who helped to inspire the Slattery character. See more »
Democracy is a very bad form of government. But I ask you never to forget. All the others are so much worse.
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By the mid-'60s I was a young "political junkie," so SLATTERY'S PEOPLE appealed to me. The grandeur of it all, you know.
Slattery was a legislative minority leader in an un-named state, and his "people" were the various sorts such a man would encounter, including -- a precocious note -- his girlfriend, a TV anchorwoman. There was nothing spectacular about this series, nor could any of its characters achieve a "following," all of which no doubt contributed to its quiet demise. To be fair, however, every episode involved a bona fide public issue important then and even now. One story was about wiretapping, another was cancellation of commuter train service.
In an interview a few years later, Crenna opined that SLATTERY'S may have been ahead of its time. Things would have to wait until the late 1960s and the blooming of "social conscience" and "getting involved." The fate of this programme probably influenced another proposal's stillbirth, I believe called THE POWER. Raymond Burr was to be a state governor, but he soon found gainful employment regardless.
In its humble way, SLATTERY'S PEOPLE foreshadowed the much celebrated WEST WING: Important people with the subliminal civics lesson. It is too bad the viewing audience was not ready for some low-key political drama.
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