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The trials of a group of law students under the tutelage of a strict professor.

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4   3   2   1  
1986   1985   1984   1983   1979   1978  
Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 4 wins & 18 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Series cast summary:
...
...
 James T. Hart 58 episodes, 1978-1986
Tom Fitzsimmons ...
 Franklin Ford III 58 episodes, 1978-1986
...
Betty Harford ...
 Mrs. Nottingham / ... 44 episodes, 1978-1986
...
 Gerald Golden 36 episodes, 1983-1986
Andra Millian ...
 Laura Kiernan 29 episodes, 1984-1986
...
 Rita Harriman 29 episodes, 1984-1986
...
 Vivian Conway 29 episodes, 1984-1986
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Storyline

A TV Series about a bunch of Law students, their everyday lives and their effort to make it through Law School. Hart, Ford, Bell and the rest of them have to face Kingsfield, the most feared of professors but they are determined to study hard and eventually get their diploma... Written by Xenophon Tsakanikas <ftpadmin@antigoni.med.auth.gr>

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Drama

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Release Date:

9 September 1978 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Paper Chase: The Fourth Year  »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(57 episodes)

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Aspect Ratio:

4:3
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Chicago PBS station WTTW bought the rights to air season one episodes over a year after the series ended on CBS. The program aired on numerous PBS stations between 1980 and 1982. The revival was such a success, the Showtime cable network aired new episodes from 1983 to 1986. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Cinema Snob: The Expendables (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

First Years
(Theme Song - 1st season only)
Music by Charles Fox
Lyrics by Norman Gimbel
Sung by Seals & Crofts
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User Reviews

the best show on television
22 December 2005 | by See all my reviews

Recipe for success. Put a bunch of graduate students from all levels of experience and schooling together in one place under one tough teacher, mix well, and cook thoroughly for 4 years. This concept worked better as a TV series than it did as a movie. Though the movie focused more on Hart and Susan, Kingsfields daughter, I found myself wondering more about the other students. Thanks to this well written and acted program, I found out more about o'Connor, and Ford, Bell, and the rest.

This television show first aired opposite the "Happy Days, Laverne and Shirley" hour, a death knell for any television show of that era. It moved to Friday nights in the grave yard and there it sat until Showtime picked it up and ran with it. Easily my favorite television show of all time. The writing was consistently excellent as was the ensemble acting. My only complaint was that in some ways it was predictable. We all knew that Hart was going to be at the top of his class. The guest players (Connie Lehman, among others) moved in and out with credibility. The message to this show is that no one makes it through school alone. I am in Seminary now and have made use of the "study group" as used in this show.

The comic relief (from Stots, and Zeiss, and Willis Bell) offset the drama quite nicely. This show just goes to show what a bunch of relative unknowns can do with quality material. (remember cheers, and taxi?.and particularly M*A*S*H?..yes those are comedies, but the rule holds.... ). I hope this show comes out on DVD sometime soon. I recorded most of the first season and some of the outstanding subsequent episodes on Showtime.


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