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The Bold Ones is the umbrella title for several television series. It was produced by Universal Television and broadcast on NBC from 1969 to 1973. It was a wheel format series, an NBC programming approach also used by that network in series such as The Name of the Game and the NBC Mystery Movie.
During the four years of the series there were four segments:
The New Doctors - was based at the 'David Craig Institute For New Medicine' named after E.G. Marshall's character Dr. David Craig, David Hartman played Dr. Paul Hunter with John Saxon (seasons one and two) as Dr. Theodore Stuart, replaced in season three by Robert Walden as Dr. Martin Cohen. These stories were medical dramas. The characters Dr. Craig & Hunter appeared in the crossover two part 'Ironside'/'The Bold Ones' story; 'Five Days in The Death of Sgt. Brown' guesting in 'part one' (an 'Ironside' episode) with the Ironside cast then guesting in 'part two' which was originally a 'Bold Ones' episode. Vic Morrow guested as the third featured Doctor as this story was made between John Saxon's departure and Robert Walden's introduction. The story has since been edited into a combined feature length 'Ironside' story with special opening credits added for E.G. Marshall and David Hartman.
'The Lawyers' - featured the legal partnership 'Nicholls, Darrell & Darrell'. Burl Ives (as senior partner Walter Nicolls) appeared in all episodes, while Joseph Campanella (as Brian Darrell) was featured in almost all the episodes, James Farentino (as younger brother Neil Darrell) was initially a semi regular character normally featured in every other episode, however the episode;'The Shattered Image' featured just Ives & Farentino.
'The Protectors' (first season only) - Broke new ground for television as it concentrated on law matters but with a topical racial/political angle added. Leslie Neilsen played a 'set in his ways' white Republican Police officer Lt. Sam Danforth, while Hari Rhodes played a black 'modern thinking' Democrat D.A. Bill Washburn. The pair frequently clashed over both viewpoints plus standing on legal cases, yet had a mutual respect and reluctant admiration for each other regarding their respective devotion to duty. The episodes featured an opening topical narration by a deadpan radio presenter apparently doing a radio call in show named 'Al Raymond'.
'The Senator' (second season only) - Hal Holbrook played a tireless crusading Washington Senator Hays Stowe who doggedly investigated current affairs issues on behalf of the American voter/taxpayer, giving a positive side to the political scene in the immediate 'pre-Watergate' period. Sharon Acker (as 'Erin Stowe'), Cindy Eilbacher (as 'Norma Stowe') and Michael Tolan (as 'Jordan Boyle') appeared as the regular supporting cast.
Unlike other 'rotating wheel' TV shows ('The Name of The Game', 'The Men From Shiloh','Search' etc.) 'The Bold Ones' segments were normally shown in 'blocks' of six to eight episodes of each featured cast before the rotation 'wheel' turned onto the next segment, although the complete set of all featured 'Bold Ones' cast were always credited on every episode.
Like 'The Name of The Game' the show's opening graphic originally rotated putting up the featured cast first followed by the other segments cast, it came with a narrated passage:
In the first season the narrator announced 'The Bold Ones', then the actors names were announced over various pictures of them then the following narration for each segment:
'The New Doctors': '...Doctors expanding new horizons of the new medicines...'
The Lawyers: '...Lawyers defending justice in the nation's courtrooms...'
'The Protectors': '...Public servants enforcing the laws of a challenging society...'
followed by; 'These are The Bold Ones...'
The revised second season opening credits (which included; 'The Senator') featured a very vivid colourised 'pulsating' sequence that, it has been claimed,actually put some people off watching the show.
The Senator, which lasted for only eight episodes, earned nine Emmy nominations in 1971, winning five, including best drama, best "continued performance" by an actor (Hal Holbrook), and three additional separate awards for outstanding achievement in writing, direction, and film editing, respectively.
The series has been in syndication, previously paired with episodes of George Kennedy's Sarge, which was also produced by Universal.
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