|Created by||E. Jack Neuman|
|Starring|| James Franciscus |
|Opening theme||Lyn Murray|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||2|
|No. of episodes||60|
|Executive producer||E. Jack Neuman|
|Running time||48 mins.|
|Production company||MGM Television|
|Original release||September 24, 1963 –|
April 27, 1965
Mr. Novak is an American television dramatic series starring James Franciscus in the title role as a high school teacher. The series aired on NBC for two seasons, from 1963 to 1965. It won a Peabody Award in 1963.
The series follows John Novak, an idealistic first-year English teacher at Jefferson High School in Los Angeles, who often gets involved in the lives of his students and fellow teachers. James Franciscus, who plays Mr. Novak, previously appeared in Naked City (Episode: "Hey Teach") as an undercover homicide detective playing a high school teacher in a bad school. Principal Albert Vane was played by Dean Jagger; he was nominated for an Emmy Award in 1964 and 1965 for his performance. Jagger left the series in 1964 after forty-four episodes, and it was explained that his character was elected California Superintendent of Public Instruction; Burgess Meredith played the new principal, Martin Woodridge, for the remaining seventeen episodes. The series showcased many popular actors of the time, including Martin Landau, Walter Koenig, Beau Bridges, Tony Dow, Ed Asner, June Lockhart, Sherry Jackson, and many others. This trendsetting show was the first to depict both teachers and students in a dramatic and realistic manner and was very influential on the educational community. Many cutting-edge themes were showcased, including racial discrimination, cheating on exams, anti-Semitism, alcoholism, dropouts, drug abuse, and political extremism. In its two-year run, the program won over 47 awards from various educational institutions, including the National Education Association, and was the recipient of a prestigious Peabody Award for excellence.
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date|
|1||1||"First Year, First Day"||TBA||TBA||September 24, 1963|
|2||2||"To Lodge and Dislodge"||TBA||TBA||October 1, 1963|
|3||3||"I Don't Even Live Here"||TBA||TBA||October 8, 1963|
|4||4||"X is the Known Factor"||TBA||TBA||October 15, 1963|
|5||5||"A Single, Isolated Incident"||Abner Biberman||E. Jack Neuman||October 22, 1963|
|6||6||"The Risk"||TBA||TBA||October 29, 1963|
|7||7||"Hello, Miss Phipps"||TBA||TBA||November 5, 1963|
|8||8||"To Break a Camel's Back"||TBA||TBA||November 12, 1963|
|9||9||"A Feeling for Friday"||TBA||TBA||November 19, 1963|
|10||10||"Pay the Two Dollars"||TBA||TBA||November 26, 1963|
|11||11||"Love in the Wrong Seasons"||TBA||TBA||December 3, 1963|
|12||12||"The Boy Without a Country"||TBA||TBA||December 10, 1963|
|13||13||"A Thousand Voices"||TBA||TBA||December 17, 1963|
|14||14||"My Name is Not Legion"||TBA||TBA||December 24, 1963|
|15||15||"He Who Can Does"||TBA||TBA||December 31, 1963|
|16||16||"Song of Songs"||TBA||TBA||January 7, 1964|
|17||17||"The Exile"||TBA||TBA||January 14, 1964|
|18||18||"Sparrow on the Wire"||TBA||TBA||January 21, 1964|
|19||19||"The Private Life of Douglas Morgan, Jr."||Richard Donner||Margaret and Paul Schneider||January 28, 1964|
|20||20||"Death of a Teacher"||TBA||TBA||February 4, 1964|
|21||21||"I'm on the Outside"||TBA||TBA||February 11, 1964|
|22||22||"Chin Up, Mr. Novak"||TBA||TBA||February 18, 1964|
|23||23||"Fear is a Handful of Dust"||TBA||TBA||February 25, 1964|
|24||24||"How Does Your Garden Grow?"||TBA||TBA||March 3, 1964|
|25||25||"The Tower"||TBA||TBA||March 10, 1964|
|26||26||"One Way to Say Goodbye"||TBA||TBA||March 17, 1964|
|27||27||"Day in the Year"||TBA||TBA||March 24, 1964|
|28||28||"Moment Without Armor"||TBA||TBA||March 31, 1964|
|29||29||"Fare Thee Well"||TBA||TBA||April 7, 1964|
|30||30||"The Senior Prom"||TBA||TBA||April 14, 1964|
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date|
|31||1||"Moonlighting"||TBA||Story by : John Ryan|
Teleplay by : Meyer Dolinsky
|September 22, 1964|
|32||2||"With a Hammer in His Hand, Lord, Lord!"||Allen Reisner||John D.F. Black||September 29, 1964|
|33||3||"Visions of Sugar Plums"||Paul Wendkos||Joseph Calvelli||October 6, 1964|
|34||4||"Little Girl Lost"||Paul Wendkos||Betty Ulius||October 20, 1964|
|35||5||"One Monday Afternoon"||Paul Wendkos||Mel Goldberg & Herman Groves||October 27, 1964|
|36||6||"Let's Dig a Little Grammar"||TBA||Mel Goldberg||November 10, 1964|
|37||7||"The People Doll: You Wind It Up and It Makes Mistakes"||TBA||TBA||November 17, 1964|
|38||8||"Boy Under Glass"||TBA||TBA||November 24, 1964|
|39||9||"Born of Kings and Angels"||TBA||TBA||December 1, 1964|
|40||10||"A as in Anxiety"||TBA||TBA||December 8, 1964|
|41||11||"Johnny Ride the Pony"||TBA||TBA||December 15, 1964|
|42||12||"Beyond a Reasonable Doubt"||TBA||TBA||December 22, 1964|
|43||13||"Love Among the Grown-Ups"||TBA||TBA||December 29, 1964|
|44||14||"From the Brow of Zeus"||TBA||TBA||January 5, 1965|
|45||15||"An Elephant is Like a Tree"||TBA||TBA||January 12, 1965|
|46||16||"Enter a Strange Animal"||TBA||TBA||January 19, 1965|
|47||17||"Beat the Plowshares, Edge the Sword"||Alvin Ganzer||Gilbert Ralston||January 26, 1965|
|48||18||"Faculty Follies: Part 1"||TBA||TBA||February 2, 1965|
|49||19||"Faculty Follies: Part 2"||TBA||TBA||February 9, 1965|
|50||20||"The Silent Dissauders"||TBA||Betty Ulius||February 16, 1965|
|51||21||"Mountains to Climb"||Paul Wendkos||Story by : Roland Wolpert|
Teleplay by : Roland Wolpert & John D.F. Black
|February 23, 1965|
|52||22||"May Day, May Day"||Ida Lupino||Story by : John D.F. Black & Donald Michael Platt|
Teleplay by : John D.F. Black
|March 2, 1965|
|53||23||"Where is There to Go, Billie, But Up?"||Abner Biberman||Story by : Herman Groves & Mel Goldberg|
Teleplay by : Mel Goldberg
|March 9, 1965|
|54||24||"The Tender Twigs"||Joseph Sargent||Story by : Robert Presnell Jr.|
Teleplay by : Robert Presnell Jr. & Mel Goldberg
|March 16, 1965|
|55||25||"Honor and All That"||TBA||TBA||March 23, 1965|
|56||26||"The Student Who Never Was"||TBA||TBA||March 30, 1965|
|57||27||"There's a Penguin in My Garden"||TBA||TBA||April 6, 1965|
|58||28||"The Firebrand"||TBA||TBA||April 13, 1965|
|59||29||"And Then I Wrote..."||TBA||TBA||April 20, 1965|
|60||30||"Once a Clown"||TBA||TBA||April 27, 1965|
The school seen in Mr. Novak duplicated Los Angeles' John Marshall High School "complete to walks, shrubs, and parking."After using the school itself for the pilot, the duplicate was built at the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studios, the "largest permanent set to be constructed [there] in a number of years." The complete set filled an acre at the studio. Other construction on the MGM sound stages included duplicates of corridors and classrooms. Exteriors for the fictional Jefferson High School were filmed at both John Marshall High School and Hamilton High School near Culver City.
This section may contain an excessive amount of intricate detail that may interest only a particular audience.October 2013) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)(
The show, produced by MGM Television, was broadcast on Tuesday evenings from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. (Eastern time). In its first season, Mr. Novak's principal competition was the ABC series Combat! , and the second half of the hour-long The Red Skelton Show on CBS. In the second season, the competition was still Combat! on ABC, and the documentary series World War One on CBS. Skelton was moved a half-hour later in December 1964.
The series was created by producer/writer E. Jack Neuman and director Boris Sagal and featured top directors such as Richard Donner.
Warner Archives released Season 1 of the series on DVD on November 6, 2018. Prints were made from the original 35mm camera negatives.
A soundtrack music album was released on MGM Records (E/SE-4222) in 1964, under the direction if Nick Venet.
“Mr. Novak An Acclaimed Television Series” by Chuck Harter was published by bearmanormedia.com in October 2017 and is a comprehensive examination of the show.
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