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First Season Cast
(top row: Joan Van Ark, James Whitmore, Cleavon Little; bottom row: Nancy Fox, Reva Rose)
|Also known as||The New Temperatures Rising Show|
|Created by||William Asher
Sheldon Keller ("In Cooperation With Chrislaw Productions, Inc.")
|Starring||James Whitmore (1972–1973)
Sudie Bond (1973–1974)
Paul Lynde (1973–1974)
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||2|
|No. of episodes||46|
|Executive producer(s)||Harry Ackerman|
E. Duke Vincent
|Running time||22–24 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Ashmont Productions
|Distributor||Columbia TriStar Domestic Television (2001)
Sony Pictures Television
|Original run||September 12, 1972– August 29, 1974|
Temperatures Rising (also known as The New Temperatures Rising Show) is an American television sitcom that ran from September 12, 1972 to August 29, 1974 on the ABC network. The network had a good deal of faith in the low-rated series, which went through three cast changes, two different formats, and two time slots during its run.
Initially, the show was set at Washington, D.C.'s Capitol General Hospital, presided over by chief of surgery Vincent Campanelli (James Whitmore). In its second season, the overhauled series became The New Temperatures Rising Show and Capitol General was transformed into a private medical facility owned by Martha Mercy (Sudie Bond) and run by her penny-pinching son Paul (Paul Lynde). Cleavon Little was the sole survivor of the original cast.
- James Whitmore as Dr. Vincent Campanelli (First cast)
- Cleavon Little as Dr. Jerry Noland (All three casts)
- Joan Van Ark as Nurse Annie Carlisle (First cast)
- Reva Rose as Nurse Mildred MacInerny (First cast)
- Nancy Fox as Nurse Ellen Turner (First and third casts)
- Paul Lynde as Dr. Paul Mercy (Second and third cast)
- Sudie Bond as Martha Mercy (Second cast)
- John Dehner as Dr. Charles Claver (Second cast)
- Jeff Morrow as Dr. Lloyd Axton (Second cast)
- Alice Ghostley as Edwina Moffitt (Third cast)
- Barbara Rucker as Nurse Kelly (Third cast)
Reception and retooling
Media reports at the time stated that ABC research indicated that viewers liked Temperatures Rising but disliked James Whitmore, whereas viewers liked Paul Lynde but not The Paul Lynde Show. Therefore, the positive items were combined, with Lynde replacing Whitmore.
Due to plummeting ratings, the network cancelled the show mid-season, but resuscitated it - with still more changes in cast (most notably, Alice Ghostley replaced Bond in the role of Paul's sister Edwina) and premise - in the summer of 1974, when it ran for two months before being cancelled permanently. When the show was initially cancelled in January 1974, its time slot was taken by a mid-season replacement, the long-running Happy Days.
William Asher, who worked for years on then-wife Elizabeth Montgomery's Bewitched, produced TR for Screen Gems. He brought Lynde onto the cast following the failure of a separate sitcom during 1972-73, a show intended as a vehicle for Lynde (he played a recurring character on Bewitched) and regular on the game show Hollywood Squares.
- Otfinoski, Steven (2003). African Americans in the Performing Arts. Infobase. p. 142.
- Pilato, Herbie J (2012). Twitch Upon a Star: The Bewitched Life and Career of Elizabeth Montgomery. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 242–243.