1 9 8 1 (USA)
1 x 30 minute pilot
4 x 30 minute episodes
This short-lived CBS comedy featured David Ross (Harold Gould), the senior attorney at the Legal Assistance Bureau – a free legal-aid clinic on Park Place in New York City.
He was assisted by several over-eager young attorneys, including grouchy office manager Ernie (Cal Gibson); Jo (Mary Elaine Monti), who had wide eyes for the boss; Howie (Don Calfa) a smarmy opportunist who wore his ambitions on his dirty sleeve; Jeff (David Clennon), the designated straight man; Mac (Lionel Mark Smith) – a Thomas Aquinas-quoting non-believer in a wheelchair – and buttoned-down clean-cut slightly-bent straight arrow, Brad (James Widdoes).
Ross’ mousey, slow-witted born-again secretary was Frances Heine (Alice Drummond), who served as the office’s Moral Majority.
Stories related their comical efforts to defend their clients, although there were not many out-loud laughs in the show. The comedy was built on character rather than pratfalls or predictable sitcom circumstances, and the smiles came from the quick quip, the curled lip, or the occasional slip of the tongue.
The show bore a resemblance to Barney Miller, which was no coincidence. The creator and producer of Park Place, Reinhold Weege, spent four years as a writer and producer on Barney Miller before starting his own production company and, with it, this show.
But the series was no simple imitation. Episodes came equipped with quality material and cast and worked the mix most satisfactorily.
Howard “Howie” Beech
Joel “Jo” Keene
Mary Elaine Monti
Aaron “Mac” MacRae
Lionel Mark Smith