55th Anniversary of Slattery’s People

Slattery’s People, a critically-acclaimed but little-watched political drama, premiered 55 years ago today in 1964 on CBS. Richard Crenna starred as the minority leader of an unnamed state’s legislature. The cast also included Paul Geary, Maxine Stuart, Edward Asner, and Tol Avery.

The network ran into trouble convincing advertisers to support the show. Critics, however, loved it. Positive comparisons were made to Perry Mason and The Defenders. Unfortunately, viewers didn’t tune in and cancellations seemed inevitable but CBS gave the show a surprise renewal for the 1965-1966 season.

Slattery’s People underwent changes in an attempt to lighten the show for its second season. The supporting cast was replaced, Slattery was given a first name, and he also got a girlfriend. It didn’t work. After only four episodes had aired, CBS cancelled the show. A total of 36 episodes aired between September 1964 and November 1965.

Learn more about Slattery’s People by reading my in-depth article about the show.

Were you one of the few viewers who watched and loved Slattery’s People? Were you shocked when CBS renewed it for a second season? Given the chance, would you buy the show on DVD?

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