High Hopes (Canadian TV series)
The series was produced by Y&R Associates, Ltd, in conjunction with DCA Productions, Incorporated, and was filmed in Toronto. It was broadcast in Canada weekday afternoons on CBC Television, and syndicated to US television stations. Canadian producer was Karen Hazzard. The show was initially directed by Bruce Minnix, and later by several Canadian directors, including Nigel Napier-Andrews. It was written by Bryan Barney, Mort Forer, Marian Waldman and Winifred Wolfe.
Gray headlined the show, playing the role of Dr. Neal Chapman, a psychiatrist/family counselor who lived and worked in Port Hamilton, a fictitious community located in Canada, and was also associated with Delaney College, Port Hamilton's institution of higher learning. Much of the action was set at either the college, or in his large home which also served as his office.
Neal was divorced from his former wife Helen (Candace O'Connor) and they (supposedly) had a grown daughter, Jessica, nicknamed Jessie (Marianne McIssac), a student at Delaney College, who lived with him. Also living in the Chapman house was his mother, Meg (Doris Petrie); Louise Bates (Jayne Eastwood) a Port Hamilton real estate agent who had sold Neal his house, and his close friend, Port Hamilton attorney Walter Telford (Colin Fox, Granville Van Dusen), who lived with his wife, Evelyn Telford (Deborah Turnbull). Walter, Evelyn, Louise and another person, Dr. Jean Bataille, were all tenants in Neal's home.
Neal also worked with Dr. Dan Girard (Jan Muszynski), a physician who worked at Port Hamilton's hospital.
Despite his numerous counseling appointments and work at the hospital, Neal also found time for romance. He was involved romantically with Louise and also with local television talk show host, Trudy Bowen (Barbara Kyle).
One of the families Neal counseled most frequently was the Stewart family, one of Port Hamilton's more affluent families, which was composed of successful businessman husband Michael Stewart, Sr. (Michael Tait); his society wife, Norma, (Vivian Reis) and their son, Michael, Jr. (Gordon Thomson). Another family he counseled was the more middle-class Sperrys, Amy (Gina Dick), a student at Delaney College, and her mother, Doris (Mignon Elkins).
Much of the focus of the series was Neal counseling his many clients, who were members of the Port Hamilton community, and/or Delaney College's students and faculty, whilst his own troubles mounted.
Neal had to deal with the trauma of realizing that Jessie wasn't his and Helen's daughter at all. She was revealed to be the daughter of Helen's sister, Paula Myles (Nuala Fitzgerald) and another man. Upon hearing this shocking news, Jessie took her newly discovered mother's name of Myles, and then sexually went after her now Aunt Helen's former husband. Jessie's real father was never revealed.
The show had a brief run in 1978, and was eventually cancelled. Musical arrangement was produced by Aeolus Productions, known for the themes and musical cues on American soap operas like All My Children, Ryan's Hope and One Life to Live.
Notable actors on the show, besides Gray and Eastwood who were already well established when this show aired, included Gordon Thomson, undoubtedly the show's most successful alumnus (he played Michael Stewart, Jr), who went on to much greater fame as Adam Carrington, the villainous son of Blake and Alexis Carrington on the 1980s prime-time soap Dynasty; Dorothy Malone who had been best known for her role of Constance MacKenzie in the 1960s soap opera, Peyton Place who played Carol Herzog; actor Nehemiah Persoff who played Carol's husband, Dr. Aaron Herzog; Granville Van Dusen and Colin Fox both of whom played attorney, Walter Telford; and Geraint Wyn Davies, best known for his role on the series Forever Knight, in one of his earliest roles, playing a Delaney College student named Glen.
- Bruce Gray — Dr. Neal Chapman
- Doris Petrie — Meg Chapman
- Marianne McIssac — Jessica "Jessie" Myles (Chapman)
- Jayne Eastwood — Louise Bates
- Granville Van Dusen — Walter Telford #2
- Colin Fox — Walter Telford #1
- Deborah Turnbull — Evelyn Telford
- Jan Muszynski — Dr. Dan Girard
- Candace O'Connor — Helen Chapman
- Nuala Fitzgerald — Paula Myles
- Michael Tait — Michael Stewart, Sr.
- Vivian Reis — Norma Stewart
- Gordon Thomson — Michael Stewart, Jr.
- Barbara Kyle — Trudy Bowen
- Gina Dick — Amy Sperry
- Mignon Elkins — Doris Sperry
- Dorothy Malone — Carol Herzog
- Nehemiah Persoff — Dr. Aaron Herzog
- Geraint Wyn Davies — Glen