1 9 7 5 – 1 9 7 6 (USA)
13 x 30 minute episodes
NBC presented this series about a white Los Angeles policeman (Charles Durning) who is awarded custody of an orphaned black juvenile (Tierre Turner) as a replacement for the axed sitcom, Fay.
They first meet when Lucas (the kid), jaywalking out of a pool room, is almost run over by the cop (Officer Murphy) in his squad car and cries, “Why don’t ya honk, honky?”
They meet again when the kid steals a radio from a store. The cop chases him, tumbles over some trash cans and lies there gasping from an asthma attack. The kid stops, helps him, and is arrested.
It turns out that the kid, a foster home runaway, is basically decent, though not above demanding from the cop a court plea for leniency (so Lucas wouldn’t inform the court about the cop’s asthma and bring about his retirement).
The court is so impressed by Officer Murphy’s plea that it makes him the boy’s guardian.
Murphy and his Irish mother, Brigid (Patsy Kelly), made continued efforts to reform the young man, and these efforts supplied the fodder for each episode.
Mary Goodhew (Sharon Spelman) was Lucas’s school principal and his best buddies were Mouse (Eric Laneuville) and Shortstuff (Curtiz Willis). Lucas’s dog was named “Killer” – although he was anything but.
Durning and Turner worked well together and with better scripts, this series may have grown more fans.
Officer Frank Murphy
Principal Mary Goodhew