Bracken's World - Season 1

NBC (ended 1970)


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Episode Guide

  • One, Two, Three, Cry
    A young actress being overlooked at the studio decides to try taking acting workshops in hopes it will help her better express emotions on camera.
  • Day For Night
    Day For Night
    Episode 25
    An actress searches for her foster parents and finds them, only to have their renewed presence in her life a detriment to her career.
  • Diffusion
    Episode 24
    An aging film actress goes head to head with a young aspiring director for control of a movie.
  • A Beginning, A Middle and an End
    Writer Sampson Wilkes has come to Century Studios to oversee production on his latest screenplay. He is immediately attracted to Laura Dean, and an affair begins. He clashes with Kevin, who finds the plot of Sampson's screenplay to be unbelieveable: the male lead in the drama suddenly changes his outlook on life, which Kevin thinks is dramatically invalid. Kevin's involvement in the project is so intense, his wife Marjorie turns to contract player Tom Hutson for attention. When Kevin realizes that Marjorie has had an affair with Tom, he is stunned, but willing to try to repair the marriage. The mystery of the change in Sampson's character's perspective is ultimately explained by Sampson's first wife: Sampson is dying. Laura vows to make the most of their time together. When Sampson finally dies, Kevin understands the basis for the character's change, i.e., that the character realizes the value of life when he realizes that his is about to end. Guest Starring: Joseph Campanella as Sampson Wilkes Virginia Wing as Mrs. Wilkes Written by: Stephen Kandel Directed by: Charles S. Dubinmoreless
  • Papa Never Spanked Me
    Comedian Joey Jason is cast in a serious role in Kevin's latest film. Joey's immediate problem is that he cannot seem to adapt to the role of an unlikeable character. To make himself more comfortable, he convinces Kevin to hire his father, Mort Jason, as a walkon and he tries to romance Laura Dean. Kevin becomes impatient, and finally implores Mort to "spank" Joey, since Joey is fond of saying that "papa never spanked me." Mort realizes that Joey is ruining the part with his good-guy routine, so he uses a comedy bit to make Joey face the reality of the situation. Joey is hurt and angry, but he comes to terms with the situation, and assures Kevin that he will give the role his best. Guest stars: Martin Sheen as Joey Jason Jack Albertson as Mort Jason Written by: Alan Spies Directed by: Charles S. Dubinmoreless
  • Fallen, Fallen is Babylon
    A farm boy comes to Hollywood with an obsession that he must save actress Rachel Holt from Satan. He stalks her, then kidnaps her, hiding her in an abandoned loft of a studio set. Kevin and David initially believe that Rachel's failure to appear is a publicity stunt, but when they realize her car never left the studio lot, they become concerned. The police are summoned and they search the lot until Rachel finally manages to escape. Guest Starring: Richard Thomas Margo Sappington as herself Dabbs Greer Cameo apppearances by Joyce Haber and James Coburn Written by Jerry Ziegman Directed by Allen Reisnermoreless
  • Whatever Happened to Happy Endings?
    Kevin casts an unknown actress, Teresa Czandowski, in a biker epic, "Odyssey". Hollywood columnist, Veronica Steele, is angered when Teresa rejects Veronica's offer to make her a star, so Veronica sets out to destroy both Teresa and Kevin. Outspoken and direct, Teresa's candor proves great material for Veronica's column, which suggests that Teresa is sleeping her way to the top. The columns anger Kevin, whose marriage to Marjorie is already in trouble. A drunken Marjorie confronts Kevin at a party in front of a house full of guests as to his interest in Teresa. Teresa is mortified, but is even more upset when the next column suggests that even talent coach Laura Dean is attracted to her. Teresa reacts with a suicide attempt, leaving Kevin and Laura determined to sue Veronica for the slanderous columnns.moreless
  • Superstar
    Episode 19
    Frank Carver is a football player trying to break into film. He is slated to star in Kevin's production of "The Sooners", a western along the lines of a John Wayne epic. The only problem is that the football player can't act,and he can't seem to learn. Kevin desperately wants to replace him with the actor of his choice, Todd Skinner. Carver's agent, however, sees the acting role as an opportunity to negotiate for more money when Carver's contract is renewed with the ball club. When it becomes obvious how bad the film is going to be, Kevin quits the picture. Carver is interested in Rachel Holt, who finally convinces him that he should stick to what he knows how to do, which isn't acting. When the football star sees himself on film, he realizes that Rachel and Kevin are right, and he bows out of the picture. Guest Starring: Lee Majors as Frank Carver Andy Devine as Bill Hunnicutt Sam Elliott as Todd Skinner Written by: Charles A. McDaniel Directed by: Herschel Daughtertymoreless
  • A Perfect Piece of Casting
    Century Studios is producing a based-on fact movie about three unsolved murders in which waitresses were strangled. The three young actresses at the talent school, Rachel, Paulette and Diane are cast as the waitresses. Kevin is looking for the perfect piece of casting as the strangler. David Evans sees the police composite drawing of the strangler and suggests an actor who resembles the drawing, Ray Wiley. After being cast as the strangler, Ray has a difficult time settling in to the part, but eventually becomes so immersed in the character that he almost strangles Diane Waring while rehearsing a scene from the movie. His castmate, Tom Hutson, becomes concerned that Ray is living out the part, so he dispatches Kevin to Diane's house to check on her. The real strangler is there menacing Diane. The police burst in just in time to save Diane. Kevin decides that Ray is still the best actor for the part and allows him to continue. Written by Bess Boyle Directed by Paul Henreid Guest Stars: Monte Markham as Ray Wiley Broderick Crawford as Inspector Harlowmoreless
  • Meanwhile Back at the Studio
    Kevin is producing and directing "Indian Country", slated to be the definitive story of the Indians of the Southwest. Filming begins in Arizona, and, without studio permission, Kevin elects to use real Indians,as opposed to actors. To finish the film, he transports the band of Indians back to California to finish the film. Led by Arthur Thunderbird, the Indians revolt when the realize that the script differs from their historical understanding of the events. They kidnap Paulette Douglas and hold her hostage in hopes that the studio will change the script. An Indian ancestor is located, who finally convinces them that the Indians were the losers of the battle in question. Interspersed throught the episode is J.F. Nash, a film exhibitor who has come to California to visit the studio. He is smitten by Rachel Holt, and wants her cast as a blonde Indian, or at the very least, a dance hall girl. Guest Starring: Michael Baselon as Arthur Thunderbird Written by: Joseph Bonaduce Directed by: Gary Nelsonmoreless
  • Money Men
    Money Men
    Episode 16
    Bracken's assistant, Sylvia Caldwell has decided to leave Century Studios to marry New York banker, Jeffery Harris. Her decision comes at at bad time: A group of investors is trying to buy Century studio stock to unseat Bracken as studio head; Kevin's production, "The Battle of the 105th Meridian" is over budget and behind schedule. Her replacement, Harriet Moran seems pleasant at first, but it becomes evident that Harriet is aligned with those who would unseat Bracken. For a time, Sylvia suspects Jeffery of being party to the attempt to overthrow Bracken, but she ultimately realizes that Harriet is the culprit. Harriet is banished from the lot, David Evans is promoted to the position of Bracken's assistant, and Ann Frasier becomes David's secretary, as Sylvia leaves Century for a life in New York with Jeffery. Guest Starring: Carl Betz as Jeffery Harris Jan Sterling as Harriett Moran Liam Sullivan Written by: Sonya Roberts Directed by: Charles S. Dubinmoreless
  • Focus on a Gun
    Focus on a Gun
    Episode 15
    Actress Diane Waring is searching for the right part and the right man. She meets and falls for gangster, Nick Fontaine, who is trying to get a foothold in the film industry. Kevin, who has more than a passing interest in Diane, is angered when her new-found boyfriend uses his power to take actresses and scripts from Kevin's grasp. Diane decides, against the advice of the studio and family, to marry Nick and leave the studio. Nick promises he will leave his criminal ties behind so that they will have a life together. They pay a visit to Kevin, hoping he will work with them in producing a script that Kevin had been bidding for; Kevin declines, telling Nick that the crime family will never let go of their hold on him. Kevin's words prove true, for Nick is gunned down a few minutes later in Kevin's driveway. Guest Starring: Joe Don Baker as Nick Fontaine Dennis Patrick as Mr. Waring George Murdock Written by: Robert Lewin Directed by: Gerald Mayermoreless
  • The Chase Sequence
    The Chase Sequence
    Episode 14
    Kevin is directing a film that involves a chase sequence down a mountain road. Davey Evans and another stuntman execute the stunt, but the other stuntman is suffering from a hangover. He loses control of the vehicle, plunges off the cliff and is killed. Everyone then must deal with the aftermath of the death: Davey does so by trying to care for the dead man's widow; Kevin attempts to keep the production together and finish the film, so it can be dedicated to the stuntman's memory. Guest Starring: Marlyn Mason; Clint Ritchie Written by: Charles A. McDaniel Directed by: James Neilsonmoreless
  • Stop Date
    Stop Date
    Episode 13
    Kevin Grant is directing the film "Midstream", but he is plauged with budget problems and an uncooperative star, Gil Ryder. The episode centers on the last day of production (the stop date) where Kevin must finish Gil's scenes or face penalty payments. Everything that can go wrong does, from technical problems with the film to what may have been a suicide attempt by Kevin's wife. Sylvia does all she can to help Kevin, but she has a hectic day as well including an intruder with a gun, looking for a part. As 5:00 p.m. approaches, Kevin is forced to use all of his creative energy to find a way to complete the scenes, yet make a credible film. Guest Starring: Richard Anderson; Dane Clark as Gil Ryder; David Macklin as the intruder Cameo by: Cliff Robertson Written by Norman Hudis Directed by Robert Daymoreless
  • Move In For A Close-Up
    Marjorie Grant tries to save her failing marriage to Kevin by obtaining a job as an assistant script supervisor at Century Studios. Kevin is annoyed, feeling that Marjorie's place is at home with their young son, Mark. The other staff are concerned that Marjorie will serve as a spy for the other non-working wives. She takes the job seriously, but fouls up nonetheless. She comments aloud on the scenes, forgets to replace important props and resents Kevin's relationships with the other actresses. When Bracken learns of her employment, he dispatches Sylvia to fire her. Tempted to drink on her way home, Marjorie decides to buy a bottle of wine and keep her husband's attention with a black negligee and a candlelit dinner. The romancing seems to do the trick, for Kevin actually leaves the studio early to take his wife on a three day weekend up the California coast. Guest Starring Peter Donat as Frank Written by Oliver Hailey Directed by Allen Reisnermoreless
  • It's the Power Structure, Baby
    Actress Rachel Holt falls for a young film maker--but this is 1969; she's white/he's black. The studio is not pleased with the relationship and tries to discourage it. Kevin discourages it because he thinks his film-maker protege is too serious a young man, while Rachel is interested only in herself. The episode deals with the subtle and not so subtle responses to race issues in the late 1960s, and ends with the couple parting, not because of studio or social pressure, but because they are not right for each other. The episode also has a subplot involving Kevin and Marjorie's failing marriage, and its effect on their young son, Mark. Guest Starring: Booker Bradshaw Cameo Appearance: Debbie Reynolds Written by: Cliff Gould Directed by: Lee Phillipsmoreless
  • A Package Deal
    A Package Deal
    Episode 10
    Kevin is directing "The Winners" featuring Stuart Saxon in a part written especially for him. Saxon uses the film as an opportunity to give his daughter a part. Inexperienced as an actress, Hillary Saxon is more interested in pursuing Kevin than in performing in the film. The members of the New Talent school are dismayed that an inexperienced actress was given a major part, so they set about to upstage her at a press gala. Hillary is embarrased, but undaunted: she intends to appear in the film. Having exhausted his patience, Kevin confronts Hillary and Stuart in an effort to get Hillary to pay her dues in the movie industry. Hillary and Stuart ultimately agree, and Bracken agrees to release her from the contract if she agrees to return once she has perfected her acting skills Guest Stars: Tim O'Connor as Stuart Saxon; Shelly Fabares as Hillary Saxon Written by: Stephen Kandel Directed by: John Ermanmoreless
  • All The Beautiful Young Girls
    A noted actor returns from the New York stage to star in Kevin Grant's latest production. He is an old lover of New Talent School head, Laura Dean, and they renew their romance. The actor has a penchant for beautiful young girls, and he soon becomes involved with starlet, Rachel Holt. When Laura learns of the affair, she must decide if she can share him with other women. Guest starring: Arthur Hill; Luke Halpin Written by: Leonard Kantor Directed by: Paul Henreidmoreless
  • The Stunt
    The Stunt
    Episode 8
    An actor, who's fans think he does his own stunts, must face up to his son who is about to find out the truth.
  • The Sweet Smell Of Failure
    A revered film director who has recently experienced emotional problems is given an easy job, in hopes of helping restart his career.
  • Closed Set
    Closed Set
    Episode 6
    A noted director comes to Century Studios to direct a film about a concentration camp. During production, he runs the set like a military camp, angering crew and cast alike. The production is austere, and the actors and actresses are without makeup and style. During the production, live ammuntion is used in a gun that is fired during a scene. The director is killed and the rest of the episode revolves around the characters who wished the director dead. Guest Starrin: John Van Dreelen; Phillip Pine; Yvonne Wilder Written by: Bess Boyle Directed by Herschel Daughertymoreless
  • Options
    Episode 5
    A young actress has her option dropped in a cost cutting move by the studio and she considers what her own options are to try and keep her job.
  • Don't You Cry For Susannah
    A young hippie woman wants the lead part in a new film, a part that is eerily just like the actress herself. When she doesn't get it, Diane grows concerned for her new assistant because the script's character commits suicide in the end.
  • King David
    King David
    Episode 3
    An aging actress, on a neighboring set for a shoot, invades an event to honor the studio's creator, whom she blames for the failure of her waning career.
  • Panic
    Episode 2
    Two actresses compete for the same part in an upcoming film while an actress injures a boy while riding a horse and tries to cover it up.
  • Fade In
    Fade In
    Episode 1
    Sylvia's devotion to the studio is displayed, while Laura proves her devotion to her students; Kevin's unhappy marriage becomes evident along with his attraction to Diane Waring; and Grace Douglas' opposition to her daughter Paulette's relationship with stuntman, Davey Evans gets intense.