Meredith Baxter With a Man

Sorry to post two Filler Clips ™ in a row, but just after doing my last post, I found something that ties in with Meredith Baxter’s big announcement: the first few minutes of the show she did with her then-boyfriend and soon-to-be-husband, David Birney. (He was on the first season of St. Elsewhere, but only the first, and hasn’t had a lot of big roles since then.) The show was the attempt of Screen Gems, the leading producer of fluffy one-camera sitcoms like Bewitched, The Partridge Family and The Flying Nun, to adjust to the gritty, issue-oriented early ’70s by doing an “issue” comedy: created by Screen Gems’ star writer, Canadian Bernard Slade, it was about a Jewish guy and a Catholic girl. (More specifically it was just the old play Abie’s Irish Rose with the boy and girl’s religions reversed.) The attempt to take the Screen Gems style — one-camera filming, wide-eyed acting, kid-friendly colour schemes — and apply it to the All in the Family era made it a poor show but an interesting historical curiosity.

Also note that the beginning of the pilot is almost exactly the same as the opening of Bewitched, except replacing a courtship/intermarriage between a witch and a human with a courtship/intermarriage between a guy and a goy.


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