The Harvey Korman Show

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The Harvey Korman Show
Created by Hal Dresner
Written by Mike Kagan
Harry Cauley
Carol Gary
Hal Dresner
Jim Parker
Burt Prelutsky
Garry Shandling
Directed by Harvey Korman
Howard Morris
Bill Persky
Alan Myerson (pilot)
Starring Harvey Korman
Christine Lahti
Barry Van Dyke
Milton Selzer
Theme music composer Peter Matz
Opening theme "Living Life Today" by Harvey Korman
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 5 (+ pilot)
Executive producer(s) Hal Dresner
Harvey Korman
Producer(s) Don Van Atta
Production location(s) NBC Studios
Burbank, California
Running time 30 minutes
Production company(s) Chrisma Productions
Original network ABC
Audio format Monaural
Original release January 31 (1978-01-31) – August 3, 1978 (1978-08-03)

The Harvey Korman Show is an American sitcom starring Harvey Korman, Christine Lahti, Barry Van Dyke and Milton Selzer that aired for five episodes on ABC from January 31 to August 3, 1978.


The series follows the misadventures of Harvey A. Kavanaugh (Harvey Korman), an egotistical, self-centered out-of-work actor who operates an acting class from his home that he shares with his level-headed daughter Maggie (Christine Lahti), who works at the Friendly Community Bank. The supporting cast includes Barry Van Dyke as Stuart Stafford, Maggie's boyfriend and co-worker (whom Harvey dislikes), and Milton Selzer as Jake Winkleman, Harvey's hard-working agent.[1]



The Harvey Korman Show was created as a star vehicle for Harvey Korman when he was offered a contract by ABC to headline his own television series. Following his long and successful run as a supporting player on CBS's The Carol Burnett Show from 1967 to 1977, Korman by this time had grown restless of the variety show routine and was very eager in pursuing lead character roles.

The pilot episode was originally broadcast on May 19, 1977, and varied slightly from the 1978 series: Korman portrays Francis A. Kavanaugh, a flamboyant, old school actor and dramatic coach of The Francis A. Kavanaugh Academy of Dramatic Arts, an acting class he operates from his home that he shares with his 19-year-old daughter Maggie (played by Susan Lawrence in the pilot). In the actual series, Korman's character name was changed to Harvey A. Kavanaugh and the role of Maggie was recast with Christine Lahti in one of her early acting roles.

The Harvey Korman Show was broadcast Tuesday nights on ABC at 9:30 p.m. throughout its brief run. It was videotaped before a live audience at NBC Studios in Burbank, California. The theme song "Living Life Today", written by Ken Welch & Mitzi Welch, was performed by Korman in a Broadway-esque manner. Garry Shandling was one of the scriptwriters and story editor for the series.


Pilot (1977)[edit]

TitleOriginal air date
"The Harvey Korman Show"May 19, 1977 (1977-05-19)
Francis A. Kavanaugh asks his agent to find him an acting role so he can raise $1,000 to buy a used car for his daughter Maggie.

Season 1 (1978)[edit]

No.TitleOriginal air date
1"The One Where Harvey Gets a Job as an Escort"January 31, 1978 (1978-01-31)
Harvey A. Kavanaugh, an egocentric actor, answers an advertisement for a leading man, but ends up landing a job with an escort service.
2"The One Where Stuart Moves In"April 4, 1978 (1978-04-04)
Harvey returns home early from an out-of-town acting job and is surprised to discover that Stuart and Maggie are living together in his house.
3"The One Where Harvey Won't Change"April 11, 1978 (1978-04-11)
When Harvey refuses to learn how to drive a car, Maggie, Stuart and his acting students conspire to teach him, but then he ends up in court.
4"The One Where There's a Hold-Up"April 18, 1978 (1978-04-18)
Harvey becomes a hero when he helps foil a bank robbery attempt – by co-signing a bank loan for the bumbling hold-up man.
5"The One Where Harvey Goes on a Kids Show"August 3, 1978 (1978-08-03)
Harvey's bragging about his success as an actor leads him into a cameo appearance on a TV show for kids – as a carrot.


The Harvey Korman Show drew low ratings and was cancelled after only five episodes aired. Korman himself expressed disappointment with the series and blamed its failure on the writing which he said "wasn't up to snuff" and also added that he wasn't happy with the casting either.[2]


External links[edit]