Mr. Dugan

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Mr. Dugan
Genre Sitcom
Created by Norman Lear
Written by Rod Parker
Charles Hauck
Directed by Jeff Bleckner
Starring Cleavon Little
Barbara Rhoades
Nedra Volz
Dennis Burkley
Sarina Grant
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of episodes 3 (Never aired)
Executive producer(s) Norman Lear
Producer(s) Charles Hauck
Running time 24 minutes
Production company(s) TAT Communications
Preceded by Maude
Related shows Hanging In

Mr. Dugan is an American sitcom about a black Congressman that was scheduled to air in March 1979 on CBS, but was pulled at the last minute and never shown.[1]


In early 1978, producer Norman Lear felt his long-running comedy Maude was getting stale, so he decided to enliven things by moving the show to Washington, D.C. and making the title character a Congresswoman. After two episodes in this new setting, star Beatrice Arthur decided not to continue, and the show abruptly left the air. Lear, however, still believed in the concept, and filmed a new pilot titled Onward and Upward, with essentially the same script and cast—except with John Amos (as a black former pro football star running for the United States Congress) replacing Arthur. Creative differences between Amos (who had co-starred in Lear's Good Times) and the producers led to Amos bowing out; the show was renamed Mr. Dooley and finally Mr. Dugan. Cleavon Little (best known as the sheriff in the classic movie comedy Blazing Saddles) was hired as the title character, a fledgling black Congressman. The supporting cast remained the same.

Mr. Dugan had been scheduled for a March 11, 1979 premiere, and was heavily promoted by its network, CBS. A special screening for black members of Congress led to much criticism from those in attendance.[2] Lear subsequently pulled the plug on Mr. Dugan, saying "we have not yet totally fulfilled our intention for the series."

The series was eventually reworked into the short-lived series, Hanging In, which aired on CBS in the summer of 1979.

See also[edit]