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Efrem Zimbalist Jr.,
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During the U.S. 1968-69 television season, Judd for the Defense, which aired on ABC Friday nights at 10:00pm Eastern/Pacific, was scheduled against Star Trek (1966) on NBC. The theme songs for both shows were composed by Alexander Courage. In addition, both shows were canceled after that season. See more »
Based on the real-life legal superstar defense attorneys F. Lee Bailey and Percy Foreman,the lawyer/courtroom drama series "Judd For The Defense" stands out as one of the most interesting shows of its day and it was quite above the norm for a drama that was part "Perry Mason",and part of just about every other lawyer show that emerged from the 1960's. "Judd For The Defense" was grand entertainment at its finest and it was one of those shows that took a different aspect with the issues that confronted and then some. Produced by Paul Monash(who was also behind television's first-ever prime time soap opera "Peyton Place")was also executive producer of this series as well as story consultant for several of the episodes. The series produced 50 episodes all in color and ran for two seasons on ABC-TV from September 8,1967 until the final episode of the series on September 19,1969. The series was based in Houston,TX where Clinton Judd(Carl Betz)was a high-priced,high-powered lawyer criminal attorney who traveled all over the United States with his assistant Ben Caldwell(Stephen Young)defending wealthy tycoons as well as draft evasion,the issues of civil rights,labor activism with a bigger flair for the dramatic-which was definitely shown in several episodes. This was a series that came out during the escalation of the Vietnam War and the civil unrest that was engulfing the nation at a time of crisis.
Judd and his assistant handled cases with some immediate import while even in the late-60's were not only controversial but conservative by today's standards. However,this was actor Carl Betz' second most successful show after his stint of eight seasons as family medical expert and father figure Dr. Alex Stone on "The Donna Reed Show". He started on this series a year after "The Donna Reed Show" ceased production. During his run on "Judd For The Defense",Carl Betz' acting skills were impressive and brilliant not the mention astounding and it shows in the number of Emmys and Golden Globes that it received including winning the Emmy for Outstanding Continue Performance by an actor for a Leading Role in a Dramatic Series in 1969. And it also won Carl Betz the Golden Globe in 1969 for Best Actor in a Dramatic Series. What made this short-lived series so great? For one some of best acting you'll ever see especially coming from Carl Betz who will go to any length to protect his client in a court of law. Some of the guest stars that appear on this series was some of the best in the business which included Brock Peters,Arthur Hill,Edward Asner, James Daly,Kim Darby,Kevin McCarthy,Dennis Cole,Howard Duff,John Dehner, Cicely Tyson,Katherine Houghton(the daughter of actress Katherine Hepburn)Bradford Dillman,James Earl Jones,and Ossie Davis. Some of the writers who wrote for "Perry Mason",and "The Defenders" delivered quality scripts for this show which included the talents of James M.Miller,Jerry DeBono,Joel Kane,Paul Monash,Harold Gast,and Ellis Kadison.
Some of the episodes that were brilliant during its impressive two year run were astounding:"Fall Of A Skylark","Tempest In A Texas Town", "The Deep End","A Civil Case of Murder","Shadow of a Killer",along with "The Name of the Game is Aquittal","In A Puff of Smoke","The Holy Ground","My Client The Fool","Commitment",and "The Flower Child".
The show would be the blueprint for other successful law shows to follow and "Judd For The Defense" was one of the great shows during the turbulant late 1960's.
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