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The Senator

By meehaul

The Senator was part of the revolving "Bold Ones" series on Sunday evenings in the late 60's and early Super70s. The Senator was one of 3 (the other two were The Lawyers and New Doctors) in the 70-71 TV season and, being on every 3rd week with repeats, there were only 8 episodes ever made.

It is one of the finest written shows ever, way ahead of its time in terms of crispness and eloquence and long before the Hill Street Blues and St. Elsewhere and West Wing. It was electric. To this day, watching a few of those episodes, it is hard to comprehend who sat down and wrote that show in terms of inspiration.

I went to see Hal Holbrook in the mid Super70s at the Kennedy Center doing his Mark Twain for the specific purpose of going backstage, shaking his hand, and asking about The Senator. I asked him: "why was it cancelled?" And he said: "To this day (i.e. around 5 years after the cancellation) I do not know - our ratings were OK." Rumor at the time was there was political pressure to cancel the show since Holbrook played a liberal/progressive from an unnamed Western state in an era when there was a lot of Kennedy emotion and urging of Teddy to run in 1972.

Very idealistic, a la the unreal Martin Sheen in West Wing. If you ever have a chance to see The Senator, do so

 

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Check out our The Senator forum! Do you have a favorite episode of the show? What do you remember about the series? Do you have any questions about it or its stars? Now you can post comments and questions directly to our TV forums! Click here to see what other The Senator viewers have said or to post your own comments about the show!

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My favorite episode of this show was the award winning The Continual Roar of Musketry. Robert Pratt played a student activist at a college where the National Guard was called in to keep the peace. Unfortunately, the Guard opened fire killing two students. Senator Stowe( Hal Holbrook) was sent to convene an investigation. Jesse Vent and Randolph Mantooth played guardsmen in that sad episode. Each side told very different stories of what went on. The senator's aide. was played by Michael Tolan. I was just out of college myself then and remember feeling angry at the student protesters and at the Guard for using excessive force in real life. I wish there were some shows of this quality and thoughtfulness on TV now.

--Anonymous

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TV TIDBITS

Aired: September 15, 1970 - August 22, 1971

Cast: Hal Holbrook, Sharon Acker, Michael Tolan, Cindy Eilbacher

Network: NBC

Genre: Political Drama

Theme song

Image courtesy of NBC


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Use of this site is subject to our Terms of Service.
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