|Created by||Gwen Bagni
|Written by||Blake Edwards
Richard M. Bluel
E. Jack Neuman (among others)
|Directed by||Alvin Ganzer
Anton M. Leader
|Opening theme||"One for My Baby"|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||41|
|Executive producer(s)||Don W. Sharpe|
|Producer(s)||Warren M. Lewis
|Running time||30 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Sharpe-Lewis Productions/
|Original run||July 2, 1957 – April 22, 1958|
Meet McGraw is an American dramatic television series starring Frank Lovejoy in the role of the hard-hitting detective McGraw, a man specifically given no first name in the program. Forty-one half-hour episodes aired on NBC during the 1957-1958 season, sponsored by Procter & Gamble. The series was produced by the Desilu Studios, most of whose productions were broadcast by CBS. The theme song for the series is "One For My Baby" by Harold Arlen and Johnny Mercer.
Meet McGraw preceded The Bob Cummings Show on Tuesday evenings on NBC. It aired at 9:00pm ET/PT opposite John Lupton’s Western series, Broken Arrow on ABC and Bud Collyer's To Tell the Truth quiz show on CBS.
After its cancellation, Meet McGraw was repeated as The Adventures of McGraw on ABC in 1958-1959, but not in prime time. A number of episodes of the series, including "Mohave" and "Lady in Limbo," are available on DVD.
The pilot episode was broadcast as a segment of Four Star Playhouse on February 25, 1954. Entitled "The Long Count", it features Audrey Totter, Richard Deacon, Paul Picerni, Ellen Corby, and Biff Elliot. The plot involves a boxing promoter who hires McGraw to watch his prize boxer (Picerni), who is infatuated with a pretty woman (Totter).
The first regular episode, called "Keys to the City," aired on July 2, 1957, more than two months prior to the beginning of the regular fall season. In it, McGraw is involved in a minor accident with a woman mayor named Loretta Travers (played by Jean Willes), who is in the midst of a reelection campaign.
In the second episode "Lady in Limbo," McGraw helps a young woman (played by Marcia Henderson) who is accused of murder. In the investigation, the detective finds that identical twins - part of a magician's disappearing act – are involved in the unusual case. In "The Tycoon Story," an aircraft executive (played by Barry Atwater) hires McGraw to find his runaway wife (portrayed by Angie Dickinson). The businessman also finds that an ambitious assistant is trying to seize control of his company. Dickinson appears in another Meet McGraw episode, "McGraw in Reno," as Liza Parish.
In the episode "Border City", McGraw is hired by a citizen's committee to clean up corruption in a community. The detective then surprisingly runs into problems from a district attorney and his hired gunman. Hugh Beaumont guest stars at the same time that he is also donning the role of Ward Cleaver on the Leave It to Beaver situation comedy. In "Ballerina", Hans Conreid, subsequently an occasional recurring guest star of The Danny Thomas Show, hires McGraw to protect his prima ballerina, who has a mortal enemy. In "The Elderly Doctor", McGraw searches for a physician who disappears after he is given some valuable microfilm.
In "Mojave", McGraw's car breaks down in the desert; stranded in a small town in the Mojave Desert, he is accused of murdering a waitress; character actor Claude Akins guest stars. In "The Joshua Tree", McGraw is again in the desert, where he finds the corpse of an artist who apparently died while at work. McGraw disputes the police, who list the death as one of natural causes. Paul Fix, later the reliable Sheriff Micah Torrance on ABC’s The Rifleman, guest stars.
In "Friend of the Court", 12-year-old Tommy Cassady (portrayed by Billy Chapin) runs away from boarding school toward Reno, Nevada, in an effort to prevent his parents, (Dennis McCarthy and Catherine McLeod) from obtaining a divorce. In the penultimate episode on April 8, 1958, two brothers in the diamond business steal a large gem and try to blame the theft on McGraw. Ross Elliott guest stars.