James at 15

NBC (ended 1978)


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James at 15

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Following a television movie of the same name, James at 15 was a short-lived NBC drama that explored a teenage boy's coming of age. The series begins in Boston, where James (Lance Kerwin) and his family have moved from rural Oregon. James at 15 was distinctive at the time (1977-78) for its sequences showing James' daydreams, a subtle mixing of some comedy and drama, and because of its frank examination of serious teen issues, especially for the 1970s. Episodes explore such topics as cancer, sexually-transmitted disease, alcoholism, and most notably - James' loss of his virginity with a Swedish foreign exchange student. Recurring characters include James' parents, his sisters Sandy and Kathy, and his school friends Sly and Marlene. The series was re-titled James at 16 (the opening credits changed to show a line drawn through the "15" and the appearance of a "16") in February of 1978.