Barefoot in the Park (TV series)

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Barefoot in the Park
GenreSitcom
Developed byBill Idelson
Harvey Miller
Written byWilliam Bickley
Alan Mandel
Charles Shyer
Directed byBruce Bilson
Jerry Paris
Charles R. Rondeau
StarringScoey Mitchell
Tracy Reed
Thelma Carpenter
Nipsey Russell
Harry Holcombe
Vito Scotti
Theme music composerNeal Hefti
Composer(s)Charles Fox
J.J. Johnson
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes12
Production
Executive producer(s)William P. D'Angelo
Running time22–24 minutes
Production company(s)Paramount Network Television
DistributorCBS Television Distribution
Release
Original networkABC
Audio formatMonaural
Original releaseSeptember 24 (1970-09-24) –
December 17, 1970 (1970-12-17)
Chronology
Related showsBarefoot in the Park

Barefoot in the Park is an American sitcom that aired in 1970 on ABC. Based on the Neil Simon's Broadway play of the same name, the series cast members are predominantly black, making it the first American television sitcom since Amos 'n' Andy to have a predominantly black cast (Vito Scotti is the sole major white character). Barefoot in the Park had been a 1967 film starring Robert Redford and Jane Fonda.

Synopsis[edit]

Scoey Mitchell plays Paul Bratter, a newlywed attorney for the law firm Kendricks, Keene & Klein living in lower Manhattan with his wife Corie (played by Tracy Reed). The show was a slice-of-life comedy about surviving in New York City. Other regulars included Thelma Carpenter as Corie's mother, Mable Bates, Harry Holcombe as Mr. Kendricks, Vito Scotti as Mr. Velasquez, and Nipsey Russell as local pool hall owner, Honey Robinson.

Guest stars[edit]

Dead End Kids alumnus Huntz Hall and actor Jackie Coogan appeared on the 10th episode, aired December 3, 1970, titled Disorder in the Court (which gets its title from the 1936 Three Stooges short). Penny Marshall made one of her early television appearances on the fourth episode of the series, aired October 5, 1970, titled "In Sickness and in Health". Marshall's later co-star of the mid-1970s television success Laverne & Shirley, Cindy Williams, appeared on the sixth episode, which aired on October 29, 1970, titled "The Marriage Proposal".

Cancellation[edit]

When Barefoot in The Park premiered on Thursday, September 24, 1970, at 9 p.m., it was the lead-in program for another series based on a Neil Simon play, The Odd Couple, which debuted immediately afterward. Because both comedies followed ABC’s popular series Bewitched, which aired the same evening at 8:30 p.m., it was hoped that the long-running sitcom would provide a strong ratings segue for both series. However, Bewitched was in its seventh season and experiencing a ratings slump. As a result, viewership for both Barefoot in the Park and The Odd Couple was disappointing.

In the case of Barefoot in the Park, there was also behind-the-scenes strife. Star Scoey Mitchell was fired due to "differences of opinion" with the series' producers. By this time, only 12 episodes of the sitcom had been produced. Rather than replace Mitchell with another actor and disenchanted with the low ratings, ABC decided to cancel Barefoot in the Park in December, 1970. In January 1971, the network moved The Odd Couple to Friday nights where its ratings improved. Despite the fact that it never placed in the top 30 television shows, The Odd Couple had a five-year run on ABC and won Emmy Awards for its two stars Tony Randall and Jack Klugman. The installments of Barefoot in the Park were rerun as episodes of Love, American Style in syndication.

Production notes[edit]

The show was produced by William P. D'Angelo, and various episodes were written or directed by much of the same team that had developed The Odd Couple (Jerry Paris, Harvey Miller, Bruce Bilson and Garry Marshall). Director Charles Rondeau also had directed almost the entire first half of the first season of the American sitcom F-Troop, which also aired on ABC.

Episode list[edit]

Season 1[edit]

No. Title Directed by Written by Original air date
1"Pilot"Bruce BilsonBill Idelson & Harvey MillerSeptember 24, 1970 (1970-09-24)
A fledgling lawyer and his unpredictable bride set up housekeeping in a run-down Manhattan walk-up.
2"The Bed"Jerry ParisJerry Belson & Garry MarshallOctober 1, 1970 (1970-10-01)
Paul and Corie buy a bed from Honey's friend -- and it collapses as soon as they get it home.
3"You'll Never Walk Alone"Jerry ParisSusan HarrisOctober 8, 1970 (1970-10-08)
Paul gets himself into trouble when he attends a charity auction party where Corie will be modelling an expensive dress.
4"In Sickness and in Health"Jerry ParisWilliam BickleyOctober 15, 1970 (1970-10-15)
Paul helps a pregnant neighbor to the hospital, where he is mistaken for a patient.
5"You Gotta Have Soul"Charles R. RondeauCharles Shyer & Alan MandelOctober 22, 1970 (1970-10-22)
Paul hires an incompetent secretary who redecorates his office with Mod-Afro decor.
6"The Marriage Proposal"TBATBAOctober 29, 1970 (1970-10-29)
7"Down With the Landlord"Charles R. RondeauStanley Ralph RossNovember 5, 1970 (1970-11-05)
Paul learns that Sugar Ray Robinson is the owner of the apartment building.
8"Something Fishy"Bruce BilsonRichard DeRoyNovember 12, 1970 (1970-11-12)
When Corie's aunt comes to visit, Paul and Honey go fishing, only to get themselves arrested.
9"Corie's Rear Window"Charles R. RondeauJack WinterNovember 19, 1970 (1970-11-19)
Corie tries to prove to Paul that she saw a man killed in the apartment across the street.
10"Disorder in the Court"Charles R. RondeauDavid Ketchum & Bruce ShellyDecember 3, 1970 (1970-12-03)
Paul is reluctant to help Mabel when she is sued by a crooked cabbie.
11"No Fancy Fixture"TBATBADecember 10, 1970 (1970-12-10)
Corie bought an inflatable chair that won't inflate, so Paul goes after the shifty shopowner who sold it to her.
12"Nothing But the Truth"Charles R. RondeauCharles Shyer & Alan MandelDecember 17, 1970 (1970-12-17)
Corie decides that she and Paul must always be honest with each other -- even when the boss comes to dinner.

External links[edit]