Monday, September 19, 2016

What Might've Been: James at 15 (1977)

There was so much hype surrounding the coming-of-age teen drama, James at 15, back in 1977. I wouldn't know, since I never saw the show, and I missed the TV-movie pilot that had aired in March of '77.

James Turner (Lance Kerwin) and his family have relocated from Seattle to Boston after James' father (Linden Chiles), a college professor, has accepted a post at a Boston university. The series marked the return of producer Martin Manulis to 20th Century Fox, which produced the series. Manulis was also responsible for a couple of hit series at Fox in the 50's---Adventures in Paradise & The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis. James at 15 was sort of a hybrid of the two. No, it wasn't a comedy, but it combined the coming-of-age angle of Dobie with the drama of Paradise. Unfortunately, viewers voted with their remotes, and James was cancelled after one season, during which time the title character had turned 16, leading to a necessary title change. Ironically, Kerwin himself was a year older than the character he was playing.

Let's take a look at a sample episode. The title song is performed by Lee Montgomery. Not sure if it was ever released as a single.



James at 15/16 also saw actress Kim Richards (ex-Nanny & The Professor) return to Fox after having made the "Witch Mountain" movies for Disney. Today, though, she's better known for one of the Real Housewives series at Bravo, and being a relative of the Hilton sisters, Paris & Nicky.

No rating.

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