Mr. Novak lasted just 2 seasons (1963-5), and deserved a better fate than it did. Then again, it aired opposite Combat! on ABC and Red Skelton on CBS in its first season alone.
James Franciscus had the lead as teacher John Novak, with Dean Jagger as the school principal for the first year and a half. Jagger left halfway through season 2, replaced by Burgess Meredith, whom you'll see in the following video. Jagger's character had been promoted to superintendent of schools as a way of explaining away Jagger's departure. As memory serves, TNT was the last cable network to carry the show several years ago, but I never got the chance to see it, since Novak, as memory serves, aired during the pre-dawn hours at that time.
Now, scope out the season 2 episode, "The Tender Twigs", which focuses on a "model session" of the United Nations General Assembly. Among the delegates? How about Johnny Crawford (ex-The Rifleman), who gets the rare opportunity to act alongside his brother, Robert Crawford, Jr., and Tony Dow (ex-Leave it To Beaver). Robert Culp, who would go on to I Spy, also on NBC, the following fall, also guest stars.
Yes, we were still in the grip of paranoia over communism back then. Looking back as I was growing up, I think schools missed out on a golden opportunity to use this series, and later on, Room 222, as a teaching tool.
We'll pass on the rating for now.