He & She

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He & She
He and she tv show.jpg
Dick Benjamin, Paula Prentiss, and Jack Cassidy, 1967
Genre Situation comedy
Created by Leonard Stern
Starring Richard Benjamin
Paula Prentiss
Jack Cassidy
Hamilton Camp
Kenneth Mars
Theme music composer Jerry Fielding
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 26
Production
Executive producer(s) Leonard Stern
Producer(s) Arne Sultan
Arnie Rosen
Production company(s) Talent Associates, in association with CBS
Broadcast
Original channel CBS
Audio format Monaural
Original run September 6, 1967 (1967-09-06) – March 13, 1968 (1968-03-13)

He & She is an American sitcom that aired on the CBS television network as part of its 1967–1968 lineup, originally sponsored by General Foods and Lever Brothers.

He & She is widely considered by broadcast historians to have been ahead of its time.[1] Its sophisticated approach to comedy was viewed as opening doors to the groundbreaking MTM family of sitcoms of the 1970s, beginning with The Mary Tyler Moore Show in 1970. The character of Oscar was openly the pattern for the Ted Baxter character, for which creator Leonard Stern granted permission.[1]

CBS aired reruns of He & She in prime time from June 1970 to September 1970.

Synopsis[edit]

He & She stars real-life married couple Richard Benjamin and Paula Prentiss as Dick and Paula Hollister, a successful cartoonist and his wife, a social worker. Hollister's cartoon "Jetman" had in fact been so successful that it was now a network television series starring egomaniacal actor Oscar North (Jack Cassidy) as Jetman. North constantly argues with Hollister over the interpretation and direction of the Jetman character. Folksinger-actor Hamilton Camp played the role of handyman Andrew Hummel at the apartment building where the starring characters lived, and Kenneth Mars played firefighter Harry Zarakartos, who would often drop in on the Hollisters' apartment by a plank connected to the firehouse across the street.

Writers Chris Hayward and Allan Burns, who created the series The Munsters, were hired by executive producer Leonard Stern (co-writer and producer of Get Smart) as story editors for He & She, for which they won the 1968 Emmy Award for comedy writing.[2] The show received four other Emmy nominations that year, including nominations for Prentiss, Benjamin, and Cassidy. Burns would go on to be a writer and co-creator (among others) of The Mary Tyler Moore Show, of which He & She is considered a major forerunner. The show also earned three of the four Writers Guild nominations for Best Writing in a Comedy.

Despite the strong lead-in of Green Acres (a top-25 prime-time show that season), He & She was cancelled after one season, although selected episodes were later rerun as a summer replacement series by CBS in 1970. USA reran episodes and later in 1998 TV Land ran selected episodes of the series, but it has not been seen since then. Cast members, such as Richard Benjamin, felt that the Green Acres lead-in actually hurt the show because the two series were so different in their rural and urban approaches.

The series was also a pioneer in the portrayal of the working wife, which was not yet in vogue on television.

Episode list[edit]

No. in
series
Title Directed by Written by Original air date
1 "The Old Man and the She" Leonard Stern Leonard Stern & Arne Sultan September 6, 1967 (1967-09-06)
Paula enlists the help of Dick in aiding the cause of an elderly Greek gentleman who faces deportation.
2 "The Second Time Around" Leonard Stern Jim Parker & Arnold Margolin September 13, 1967 (1967-09-13)
On their sixth anniversary, Dick and Paula plan a big second wedding, but confusion ensues with the presence of two best men.
3 "How to Fail in Business" Leonard Stern Martin A. Ragaway September 20, 1967 (1967-09-20)
Dick and Paula decide to purchase their apartment building but are soon inundated with complaints from their neighbors.
4 "The Phantom of 84th Street" Jay Sandrich Arnold Margolin & Jim Parker September 27, 1967 (1967-09-27)
Oscar's $65,000 painting is stolen from Dick and Paula's apartment, while a friend inexplicably gives Paula a herd of goats.
5 "One of Our Firemen is Missing" Jay Sandrich Austin & Irma Kalish October 4, 1967 (1967-10-04)
Instead of working at the firehouse, Harry decides to help Dick and Paula, but is then dismissed from his job as a result.
6 "Before You Bury Me Can I Say Something?" Jay Sandrich Jim Parker & Arnold Margolin October 11, 1967 (1967-10-11)
After undergoing his routine physical, Dick mentions to Paula that he is having his will drawn up, leading to frenzied explanations that he is in good health.
7 "Dick's Van Dyke" Jay Sandrich Allan Burns & Chris Hayward October 18, 1967 (1967-10-18)
As part of a bet stemming from a 10-day vacation, Richard and his friends sport beards upon their return and see who can keep their facial hair the longest.
8 "The Background Man" Jay Sandrich Allan Burns & Chris Hayward October 25, 1967 (1967-10-25)
Dick hires an attractive, but klutzy woman to help him draw his comic strip, and Paula develops pangs of jealousy over the new business arrangement.
9 "Vote Yes or No" Jay Sandrich Chris Hayward & Allan Burns November 1, 1967 (1967-11-01)
Dick and Paula are at odds when he and his boss campaign against an increase in pay for firemen, causing Paula to picket his offices.
10 "He and She vs. Him" Jay Sandrich Chris Hayward & Allan Burns November 8, 1967 (1967-11-08)
Suffering from writer's block, Dick is subsequently sued for plagiarism by a comic book rival, who also happens to be a former boyfriend of Paula's.
11 "The Coming-Out Party" Jay Sandrich Chris Hayward & Allan Burns November 15, 1967 (1967-11-15)

Paula's friend Dorothy begins dating Dick's dentist, Dr. Krillman, but the two end their relationship the night before Dick's tonsillectomy.

Note: In 1968, this episode won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing Comedy Series.[3]
12 "Deep in the Heart of Taxes" Jay Sandrich Joe Bondaduce November 22, 1967 (1967-11-22)
Dick and Paula are audited by the IRS with Dick unaware that Paula has kept him in the dark about her undeclared horse racing winnings.
13 "Don't Call Us" Jay Sandrich Chris Hayward & Allan Burns November 29, 1967 (1967-11-29)
After Dick and Paula get an unlisted phone number, Paula forgets it, which makes them unreachable in an emergency and prevents their attendance at a party for a princess.
14 "North Goes West" Jay Sandrich Chris Hayward & Allan Burns December 13, 1967 (1967-12-13)
After Oscar decides to move to California for the Jetman TV show, Dick and Paula make plans to move until Oscar throws a going-away party for himself.
15 "Easy Way Out" Jay Sandrich Arnold Margolin December 20, 1967 (1967-12-20)
Paula's poker party is unexpectedly raided by the police, resulting in Oscar running away to protect his reputation.
16 "Poster Boy" Jay Sandrich Jim Parker & Arnold Margolin December 27, 1967 (1967-12-27)
When a wanted poster of a neighborhood burglar closely resembles the apartment handyman Andrew, he becomes the chief suspect in Oscar's eyes.
17 "45 Midgets From Broadway" Jay Sandrich Arnold Margolin & Jim Parker January 3, 1968 (1968-01-03)
When Jetman is made into a Broadway musical, Oscar is cast in the lead, but is a disaster, resulting in Dick, Paula and the show's backers brainstorming to fix the show.
18 "A Rock by Any Other Name" Jay Sandrich Teleplay: Milt Rosen & Arne Sultan
Story: Treva Silverman & Peter Meyerson
January 10, 1968 (1968-01-10)
After Harry loses a rock that Paula gave Dick the day he proposed on Cape Cod, Dick has a copy made, but then the original is found in the same place.
19 "Goodman, Spare That Tree" Jay Sandrich Allan Burns & Chris Hayward January 24, 1968 (1968-01-24)
Paula's cousin from Texas arrives with an olive tree that she insists will make a fortune, but authorities have other plans.
20 "The White Collar Worker" Jay Sandrich Jim Parker & Arnold Margolin January 31, 1968 (1968-01-31)
After a penniless, uninsured minister hits Dick and Paula's new car, he offers to do handiwork for the couple, which leads to disaster.
21 "Along Came Kim" Jay Sandrich Arne Sultan & Milt Rosen February 7, 1968 (1968-02-07)
Dick and Paula's Korean foster son comes for a visit, but he confuses Harry for his foster father, leading to havoc.
22 "What Do You Get for the Man Who Has Nothing?" Jay Sandrich Chris Hayward & Allan Burns February 14, 1968 (1968-02-14)
Oscar entertains Harry for three days so that Dick and Paula can redecorate Oscar's apartment for a surprise birthday party.
23 "Dog's Best Friend" Jay Sandrich Milt Rosen February 21, 1968 (1968-02-21)
Dick and Paula agree to watch a couple's dog after the latter's marriage breaks up, but the dog proceeds to drive Dick crazy.
24 "It's Not Whether You Win or Lose, It's How You Watch the Game" Jay Sandrich Peggy Elliott & Ed Scharlach February 28, 1968 (1968-02-28)
After a misunderstanding, Dick and Paula forfeit 30 tickets that were reserved for the Northwestern-Michigan State game, causing them to scramble for replacements.
25 "Knock, Knock, Who's There? Fernando, Fernando Who?" Jay Sandrich Allan Burns & Chris Hayward March 6, 1968 (1968-03-06)
While Dick is out of town, Harry jumps to conclusions when he sees Fernando Lamas massaging Paula's leg.
26 "What's in the Kitty?" Jay Sandrich Teleplay: Milt Rosen, Arne Sultan & Leonard Stern
Story: Paul Mason
March 13, 1968
Dick and Paula host his boss for a dinner party, but the trio endures a sick cat, a poison scare and a mouse.

References[edit]

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