1 9 7 4 – 1 9 7 6 (USA)
46 x 60 minute episodes
This NBC crime drama series – which debuted on Wednesday 11 September 1974 – revolved around the cases of young lawyer Tony Petrocelli, who had graduated from Harvard but decided to set up his legal practice in the middle of wide-open cattle country, near the fictional Arizona cow town of San Remo.
Petrocelli hired a local cowboy (and ex-cop) called Pete Ritter as his investigator and set about taking on cases whether or not his clients could afford his services.
This, in turn, made it rather hard for him and his wife, Maggie, to make ends meet – hence the reason they lived in a camper while he tried to build their own house brick by brick.
Local police Lieutenant Ponce – a good friend of Tony’s despite the fact that they found themselves in adversarial positions in the courtroom – was often involved in investigating the cases Tony was working on.
Petrocelli was fiercely proud of his Italian-American heritage and invariably corrected people who mispronounced his name – “Your honour, that’s -chelli, Petrochelli”.
An interesting technique used in this series was showing the actual crime in flashbacks from the perspectives of the various people involved. The flashbacks, naturally, differed depending on whose recollections were being shown.
Barry Newman created the role of Petrocelli in a 1970 movie called The Lawyer, which, in turn, was loosely based on the Sam Sheppard murder case.
Lt John Ponce