Home Television Comedy Adam’s Rib

Adam’s Rib

1 9 7 3 (USA)
12 x 30 minute episodes
1 x 60 minute episode

An attempt to generate a weekly sitcom based on the 1949 Oscar-nominated hit comedy movie of the same name, in which Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn played husband and wife attorneys against each other, their opposite positions in a court case unleashing a witty battle of the sexes.

The show concerned young Assistant DA Adam Bonner (Ken Howard) and his wife, Amanda (Blythe Danner), a defence attorney with the law firm of Kipple, Kipple and Smith.

Adam and Amanda worked separately but were occasionally assigned to the same case. Adam was a stickler for the rules and went by the book. Amanda was more liberal and liked to do whatever it took (within the limits of the law) to prove her clients were innocent.


The couple (who called each other ‘Pinky’ and ‘Pinkie’ respectively) tangled over such thorny questions as to whether women should wear skirts or slacks, and whether the football player or his estranged wife should get custody of their Yorkshire terrier.

Adam’s Rib made overtures to the Women’s Lib movement by building many stories around Amanda’s crusades for women’s rights (50% of the show’s writers were women), but the programme never really found an audience.

Dena Dietrich (“Mother Nature” of commercials fame) played Amanda’s secretary, and Edward Winter her law partner, while Norman Bartold and Ron Rifkin were on Adam’s side.

The TV series lacked both the sophistication of the George Cukor-directed movie and the big names to carry off the script, and lasted only 13 episodes, debuting on Friday 14 September 1973 on ABC.

Adam ‘Pinky’ Bonner
Ken Howard
Amanda ‘Pinkie’ Bonner

Blythe Danner
Grace Peterson

Dena Dietrich 
Asst DA Roy Mendelsohn

Ron Rifkin
Kip Kipple

Edward Winter
DA Francis Donahue

Norman Bartold
Roy Mendelsohn
Ron Rifkin