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The Defenders revolved around the law firm of Preston & Preston which was composed of a father and son, two lawyers involved in a weekly courtroom battle.
Lawrence, the father, was a knowledgeable, seasoned attorney with more than 20 years of experience behind him. Kenneth, his son, was a recent law school graduate. The learning process he went through as his father's partner was a big part of the series. During the first season, the firm's secretary, Helen Donaldson and Kenneth's girlfriend, Joan Miller had regular roles.
At a time when most TV shows avoided controversy, The Defenders occasionally touched on real-life issues such as mercy killing, abortion and the U.S. Government's restriction of its citizens' right to travel to unfriendly countries. A January, 1964 episode entitled "Blacklist" was TV's first hard look at its own practice of political blacklisting and won actor Jack Klugman and writer Ernest Kinoy Emmy awards.
The Defenders was based on an original story by Reginald Rose that was first telecast as a two-part episode of Studio One in February & March of 1957. That show was called "The Defender" and starred Ralph Bellamy and William Shatner as the father and son duo with Steve McQueen as a young defendant accused of murder.
Show Description Credit: geocities.com/TelevisionCity
|> Airing History & Information|
|Last Airing||Sep 09, 1965|
|Premiere||September 16, 1961|
|Format/Time||Black & White / 60 Minutes|
|Upcoming Airs||Not currently airing|
District Attorney / Bryan Phelps (6 episodes)
J.D. Cannon.... District Attorney / Manetto (8 episodes)
Lonny Chapman.... District Attorney / Mr. Morton (8 episodes)
Ossie Davis.... District Attorney Daniel Jackson / District Attorney (8 episodes)
Polly Rowles.... Helen Donaldson (1961-1962)
Joan Hackett.... Joan Miller (1961-1962)
John Boruff.... Judge / Judge Keene (6 episodes)
Robert Reed.... Kenneth Preston
E.G. Marshall.... Lawrence Preston
[More Cast & Guest Stars]
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