Meet McGraw

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Meet McGraw
Frank Lovejoy Meet McGraw 1957.jpg
Frank Lovejoy as McGraw, 1957.
Created byGwen Bagni
John Bagni
Written byBlake Edwards
Richard M. Bluel
Seeleg Lester
E. Jack Neuman (among others)
Directed byAlvin Ganzer
Anton M. Leader
StarringFrank Lovejoy
Opening theme"One for My Baby"
Composer(s)Harold Arlen
Johnny Mercer
Country of originUnited States
No. of episodes42
Executive producer(s)Don W. Sharpe
Producer(s)Warren M. Lewis
William Castle
Running time25 minutes
Production company(s)Sharpe-Lewis Productions
M.M., Inc.
DistributorABC Films
Original networkNBC
Original releaseJuly 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.[1] Lovejoy described McGraw as follows: "He's not a superman. He's just a guy who tries to do the best he can, and is interested in saving his own neck quite frequently."[2]

Forty-two half-hour episodes aired on NBC during the 1957-1958 season, sponsored by Procter & Gamble. The series was produced at 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.[1]

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.[3]

After its cancellation, Meet McGraw was repeated as The Adventures of McGraw on ABC in 1958-1959,[1] but not in prime time.[1]

Early episodes[edit]

The first pilot episode, which was broadcast as a segment of CBS's Four Star Playhouse on February 25, 1954, involves a woman who hires McGraw to protect her from her threatening husband. It features Audrey Totter, Paul Picerni, Ellen Corby, and Peter Whitney. The second pilot episode entitled "The Long Count", which was shown as a segment of CBS's Stage 7 series on March 27, 1955, features Ted de Corsia, Richard Deacon, and Biff Elliot. The plot involves a boxing promoter who hires McGraw to watch his prize boxer.[4]

The first episode produced, called "Keys to the City," did not air until September 24, 1957, more than two months after the start of the show on July 2, 1957. 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.[1]

In the second episode produced, "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).[1] 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.[1]

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.[1]

Other episodes[edit]

Frank Lovejoy in 1958

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.[1] 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.[1] Paul Fix, later the reliable Sheriff Micah Torrance on ABC’s The Rifleman, guest stars.[1]

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.[1] 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.[1]

Other Meet McGraw guests included Carl Esmond, Chris Alcaide, Jay Novello, Sebastian Cabot, Mary Castle, Sally Brophy, Ann McCrea, and Kathleen Nolan. The final episode is entitled "Rare Perfume".[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "Meet McGraw". Classic TV Archives. Retrieved September 9, 2009.
  2. ^ Roe, Dorothy (August 6, 1957). "Actor Admits Women Don't Swoon When He Appears". The Austin Daily Herald. p. 5. Retrieved March 24, 2015 – via open access publication – free to read
  3. ^ Alex McNeil, Total Television, 1997, appendix
  4. ^ "Meet McGraw". IMDB. Retrieved September 9, 2009.