The Associates (1979)

ABC (ended 1980)


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The Associates (1979)

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From the makers of Taxi came this ensemble comedy about lawyers, which could have been called Firm. "It revolved around three young law school graduates who had just joined the prestigious firm of Bass and Marshall as associates, beginning their five-to-seven-year trial period. Daughter of a poor New York family, Leslie recently graduated from Columbia, and felt for the oppressed. Bass and Marshall did not usually represent the oppressed. Tucker...was a Midwesterner slightly out of step with his Ivy League Colleagues, a little naive but very charming. Sara was a Boston blueblood, bright as well as sexy. They were all at the mercy of a hierarchy including such oddballs as formidable but slightly dotty Senior Partner Emerson Marshall...and dedicated junior partner Eliot Streeter, who had only one goal -- to take over the firm...Counterpointing all this class was Johnny Danko, the 21-year-old mailboy, whose only goal was to make time with beautiful chicks." (Tim Brooks and Earle Marsh, The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows 1946-Present) The second John Jay Osborn, Jr. novel to loosely make the transition to television in as many years (after The Paper Chase), The Associates was the best-reviewed new sitcom to hit the air in the fall of 1979. It was also one of the shortest-lived when ABC, suffering a huge fall from grace thanks to the defection of head programmer Fred Silverman to NBC and the inability to find a replacement who knew how to put a schedule together (hello, Tony Thomopoulos), ditched it after five low-rated telecasts. The problem? It wasn't holding the audience of its misfiring (and hideously retooled) lead-in, Mork & Mindy. Why it was expected to, who knows -- they had a quasi-Mork & Mindy spin-off called Out of the Blue that would have better served that purpose. While you can take a guess what other critically-acclaimed sitcom in the post-Three's Company slot would have made a great match with The Associates, keep in mind this was also the year the network brilliantly decided to move Laverne & Shirley far away from Happy Days and dump the six-episode-old Three's Company spin-off, The Ropers, on Saturday. By 1980, ABC -- now the #2 network after a three-year run at the top -- had overhauled almost every night on their lineup, and decided to give the guys at Bass & Marshall another chance -- this time after Barney Miller. That second chance amounted to four more low-rated telecasts before they threw the book at the show. "You're young, you got money You should be feeling fine But something is not quite working And it's messing up your mind I know, ain't it butch With your fancy suits and shoes There's a name for your condition It's called the Wall Street Blues Yes, those young lawyer blues" Theme song "Wall Street Blues" written by Albert Brooks performed by B.B. King The Associates is a John Charles Walters Production, in association with Paramount Television Broadcast History ----------------- Sep 1979-Oct 1979, Sun 8:30-9:00 Mar 1980-Apr 1980, Thu 9:30-10:00 First telecast: September 23, 1979 Last telecast: April 17, 1980 Show type: Multi-Camera Sitcom Number of episodes: 13 Media: 35mm filmmoreless