Saturday, January 30, 2016

Classic TV: Mr. Novak (1963)

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.

Here's the intro from season 1:

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.


Patrick Martin said...

I was a teenager when the show was on in the 60s. I do not believe the program was ever in re-runs, but I was fortunate enough to see the show and record 33 episodes back in 1988 when TNT came on the air. I am dubbing them to DVD. It brings back so many memories.

hobbyfan said...

Well, it didn't last long enough to warrant daily syndication, as I had not seen it, either.