Mr. Smith (TV series)

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Mr. Smith
Promotional photo for Mr. Smith
Created byStan Daniels
Ed. Weinberger
Written byDari Daniels
George Kirgo
David Lloyd
Douglas Wyman
Directed byStan Daniels
Ralph Helfer
Gerald Hirschfeld
Ed. Weinberger
StarringLeonard Frey
Tim Dunigan
Terri Garber
Laura Jacoby
Stuart Margolin
Voices ofEd. Weinberger
ComposerPatrick Williams
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes13
Executive producersStan Daniels
Ed. Weinberger
ProducerRalph Helfer
Running time30 minutes
Production companiesWeinberger/Daniels Productions
Paramount Television
Original release
ReleaseSeptember 23 (1983-09-23) –
December 16, 1983 (1983-12-16)

Mr. Smith is an American sitcom that aired on NBC from September 23 through December 16, 1983. The title character was a talking orangutan. Mr. Smith was canceled after thirteen episodes had been aired.

The orangutan who played Mr. Smith had previously been featured in the 1978 film Every Which Way But Loose and its 1980 sequel Any Which Way You Can.[1]


Originally a part of a traveling act called the Atwood Orangutans, Cha Cha and Bobo are separated from their trainer Tommy Atwood (Tim Dunigan) after he is knocked unconscious in a car accident while the act is traveling from Arizona to California. Frightened by the commotion caused by the accident, Cha Cha and Bobo both run away. Cha Cha is eventually found and sent to a government research center in Washington, D.C.. Weeks later, Cha Cha escapes from the center and ends up in a research lab where he finds an experimental mixture to increase human intelligence being developed. After drinking the mixture, Cha Cha is able to talk (his voice was provided by series executive producer Ed. Weinberger)[2] and is later determined to have an I.Q of 256. He is then renamed Mr. Smith and, due to his high intelligence, becomes a political adviser. Mr. Smith's old trainer Tommy later becomes his assistant while Mr. Smith attempts to solve various political problems and his surrounding staff, which includes his secretary Raymond Holyoke (Leonard Frey), attempt to keep his identity hidden from the general public.

Mr. Smith's premiere episode brought in a weak 12.1/22 rating/share and ranked 47th out of 57 shows that week [3] and was panned by critics. Viewership decreased as the season progressed and the series was canceled (along with seven other NBC series) in December 1983.[4][5]


US television ratings[edit]

Season Episodes Start Date End Date Nielsen Rank Nielsen Rating[6] Tied With
1983-84 13 September 23, 1983 December 16, 1983 95 9.8 N/A

Episode list[edit]

Title Directed by Written by Original air date
"Welcome to Washington"UnknownUnknownSeptember 23, 1983 (1983-09-23)
3"Mr. Smith Finds His Brother"UnknownUnknownSeptember 30, 1983 (1983-09-30)
4"Mr. Smith Operates"Ed. WeinbergerDavid LloydOctober 14, 1983 (1983-10-14)
5"Mr. Smith Rescues Bobo"Gerald HirschfeldAl AidekmanOctober 21, 1983 (1983-10-21)
6"Mr. Smith Falls in Love"Gerald HirschfeldDavid LloydOctober 28, 1983 (1983-10-28)
7"Mr. Smith Gets Physical"UnknownUnknownNovember 4, 1983 (1983-11-04)
8"Goodbye, Mr. Smith"UnknownUnknownNovember 11, 1983 (1983-11-11)
9"Mr. Smith Loses a Friend"UnknownUnknownNovember 18, 1983 (1983-11-18)
10"Mr. Smith Plays Cyrano"UnknownUnknownNovember 25, 1983 (1983-11-25)
11"Mr. Smith Makes a Commercial"UnknownUnknownDecember 2, 1983 (1983-12-02)
12"Mr. Smith Goes Public"UnknownUnknownDecember 16, 1983 (1983-12-16)
13"Mr. Smith Goes to Court"TBDTBD1983 (1983) or Unaired?

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Result Category Recipient
1984 Emmy Award Nominated Outstanding Achievement in Music Composition for a Series (Dramatic Underscore) Patrick Williams
(For episode "Mr. Smith Falls in Love")
1984 Young Artist Awards Nominated Best Young Actress in a New Television Series Laura Jacoby
Nominated Best New Television Series
1985 Nominated Best Young Actress in a Television Comedy Series Laura Jacoby


  1. ^ The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows, 1946-Present. Ballantine Books. 2003. p. 789. ISBN 0-345-45542-8.
  2. ^ Brant, Marley (2006). Happier Days: Paramount Television's Classic Sitcoms, 1974-1984. Billboard Books. p. 260. ISBN 0-8230-8933-9.
  3. ^ "10 Of The Most Outlandish TV Concepts Ever - TVObscurities". Television Obscurities. 16 August 2009. Retrieved Aug 8, 2021.
  4. ^ "Television Obscurities - 10 Of The Most Outlandish TV Concepts Ever". 2004-01-01. Retrieved 2008-08-28.
  5. ^ Shah, Diane K. (1987-10-25). "Starting Over: TV's Grant Tinker". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-08-28.
  6. ^ "1983-84 Ratings History -- The Networks Are Awash in a Bubble Bath of Soaps". Archived from the original on December 5, 2017.

External links[edit]