Barefoot in the Park (TV series)

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Barefoot in the Park
Genre Sitcom
Developed by Bill Idelson
Harvey Miller
Written by William Bickley
Alan Mandel
Charles Shyer
Directed by Bruce Bilson
Jerry Paris
Charles R. Rondeau
Starring Scoey Mitchell
Tracy Reed
Thelma Carpenter
Nipsey Russell
Harry Holcombe
Vito Scotti
Theme music composer Neal Hefti
Composer(s) Charles Fox
J.J. Johnson
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 12
Production
Executive producer(s) William P. D'Angelo
Running time 22–24 minutes
Production company(s) Paramount Network Television
Distributor CBS Television Distribution
Release
Original channel ABC
Audio format Monaural
Original release September 24, 1970 (1970-09-24) – December 17, 1970 (1970-12-17)
Chronology
Related shows Barefoot in the Park

Barefoot in the Park is an American sitcom that aired in 1970 on ABC. Based on the Neil Simon 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 also previously been a successful 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 situation 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, entitled Disorder in the Court (which gets its title from the 1936 Three Stooges short). Penny Marshall made one of her earliest television appearances on the 4th episode of the series, aired October 5, 1970, entitled "In Sickness and in Health". Marshall's later co-star of the mid-1970s television success Laverne and Shirley, Cindy Williams, appeared on the sixth episode, which aired on October 29, 1970 and was entitled "The Marriage Proposal".

Cancellation[edit]

When Barefoot in The Park premiered on Thursday, September 24, 1970, at 9:00 p.m., it was the lead-in program for another series based on a Neil Simon play, The Odd Couple, which debuted immediately afterward. Since both comedies would be following 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 lead-in for both series. However, Bewitched was in its seventh season and already 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 twelve episodes of the sitcom had been produced. Rather than replace Mitchell with another actor and already 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 would go on to have a five-year run on ABC and win Emmy Awards for its two stars Tony Randall and Jack Klugman. The series was 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 among others).

Episode list[edit]

Season 1[edit]

Series # Season # Title Notes Original air date
1 1 Pilot A fledgling lawyer and his unpredictable bride set up housekeeping in a run-down Manhattan walk-up. September 24, 1970
2 2 "The Bed" Paul and Corie buy a bed from Honey's friend -- and it collapses as soon as they get it home. October 1, 1970
3 3 "You'll Never Walk Alone" Paul gets himself into trouble when he attends a charity auction party where Corie will be modelling an expensive dress. October 8, 1970
4 4 "In Sickness and in Health" Paul helps a pregnant neighbor to the hospital, where he is mistaken for a patient. October 15, 1970
5 5 "You Gotta Have Soul" Paul hires an incompetent secretary who redecorates his office with Mod-Afro decor. October 22, 1970
6 6 "The Marriage Proposal" No synopsis available. October 29, 1970
7 7 "Down With the Landlord" Paul learns that Sugar Ray Robinson is the owner of the apartment building. November 5, 1970
8 8 "Something Fishy" When Corie's aunt comes to visit, Paul and Honey go fishing, only to get themselves arrested. November 12, 1970
9 9 "Corie's Rear Window" Corie tries to prove to Paul that she saw a man killed in the apartment across the street. November 19, 1970
10 10 "Disorder in the Court" Paul is reluctant to help Mabel when she is sued by a crooked cabbie. December 3, 1970
11 11 "No Fancy Fixture" Corie bought an inflatable chair that won't inflate, so Paul goes after the shifty shopowner who sold it to her. December 10, 1970
12 12 "Nothing but the Truth" Corie decides that she and Paul must always be honest with each other -- even when the boss comes to dinner. December 17, 1970

References[edit]

External links[edit]