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James at 15

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8.3/10 TV

Genre  Drama
First episode date  5 September 1977
Created by  Dan Wakefield
Number of seasons  1
8.3/10 IMDb

Also known as  ''James at 16''
Theme music composer  John Ford Coley
Final episode date  29 June 1978
Network  NBC
James at 15 epguidescomJamesat15castjpg
Written by  Wally Dalton Bill Nuss Dan Wakefield Shelley Zellman
Directed by  Marc Daniels Joseph Hardy Peter Levin Ernest A. Losso Ernest Pintoff James Sheldon George Tyne
Starring  Lance Kerwin Linden Chiles Lynn Carlin Kim Richards Deirdre Berthrong
Cast  Lance Kerwin, Kim Richards, Linden Chiles, Lynn Carlin, David Raynr
Similar  Dawson's Creek, Boston Public, My So‑Called Life, South of Nowhere, Bracken's World

James at 15 1977 opening


James at 15 (later James at 16) is an American drama series that aired on NBC during the 1977-1978 season. The series was preceded by the 1977 made-for-TV movie James at 15, which aired on Monday September 5, 1977 and was intended as a pilot for the series. Both were written by Dan Wakefield, a journalist and fiction writer whose novel Going All the Way, a tale of coming of age in the 1950s, had led to his being contacted by David Sontag of Twentieth Century Fox. David Sontag had had a lunch meeting in New York City with Paul Klein, the head of programming at NBC. At lunch Klein said he needed a series for Sunday night. On the spot Sontag created the idea for a coming of age series seen through the eyes of a teenage boy including his dreams, fantasies, and hopes. Klein loved the idea and asked Sontag who would write it. Sontag (Sr, VP of Creative Affairs at Twentieth Century Fox) suggested Dan Wakefield. Despite the above unsourced account of the creation of the series, the on-screen credit reads "Created by Dan Wakefield."

Contents

James at 15 1000 images about James at 15 on Pinterest Runners Tv series and

Synopsis

James at 15 1000 images about James at 15 on Pinterest Runners Tv series and

Protagonist James Hunter (Lance Kerwin) was the son of a college professor (Linden Chiles) who moved his family across the country to take a teaching job, transplanting James from Oregon to Boston, Massachusetts. James, who had Walter Mitty-like dreams and dabbled in photography, had a hard time fitting into his new surroundings. During the series run, James turned 16; the title was updated accordingly.

James at 15 1000 images about James at 15 on Pinterest Runners Tv series and

Wakefield, who was born and raised in Indianapolis but eventually moved to Boston, said he chose Boston both because he wanted to write about a city he knew well and also because he was tired of television's tendency to give programs Los Angeles or New York City settings. To update his own memories of growing up, the writer spoke with adolescents from Boston.

Cast

James at 15 James at 15 Doriano Carta
  • Lance Kerwin as James Hunter
  • Linden Chiles as Paul Hunter, James' father
  • Lynn Carlin as Joan Hunter, James' mother
  • Kim Richards as Sandy Hunter, James' sister
  • Deirdre Berthrong as Kathy Hunter, James' sister
  • David Raynr as Ludwig "Sly" Hazeltine, James' friend (billed as David Hubbard)
  • Susan Myers as Marlene Mahoney, James' friend
  • Kevin Van Wieringen as a Deaf student in James' class
  • TV movie

    James at 15 James at 15quot star pleads guilty StarTribunecom

    The movie premiered to high ratings, topping the ratings for the week of September 5–11, 1977, with a 42% share of the viewing audience, quickly prompting NBC to approve a series. Associated Press writer Jerry Buck said of the pilot movie that it "captures the essence of growing up in America," adding, "It makes up for all the drivel we've had to put up with, such as Sons and Daughters and Hollywood High."

    Critical reception and controversy

    James at 15 James At 15 Photo Gallery

    The show was highly praised for its realism and sensitivity, with a New York Times reviewer applauding the program's avoidance of stereotyping characters: "Sly, a jiving black student ... has solidly middle-class parents deeply involved in classical music" and a lower-middle-class classmate discovers that her father makes more money as a plumber than James' professor father. Tom Shales of The Washington Post said:

    Not perfect, not revolutionary, not always deliriously urgent, James at 15 is still the most respectable new entertainment series of the season. Consistently, it communicates something about the state of being young, rather than just communicating that it wishes to lure young viewers. And if it romanticizes adolescence through the weekly trials and triumphs of its teen-age hero, at least it does so in more ambitious, inquisitive and authentic ways than the average TV teeny-bop.

    Critics also approved of its handling of James' first sexual experience, with a Swedish exchange student (Kirsten Baker) in the episode which aired February 9, 1978— at which point the show assumed the name James at 16. However, head writer Wakefield quit in a dispute with NBC over the use of the euphemism responsible for 'birth control' in the episode, as well as the network's insistence that James should feel remorse over his decision. Behind the scenes, the show's original executive producers, Martin Manulis and Joe Hardy, were replaced by Ron Rubin in December, 1977. Despite the critical acclaim, the show lasted only one season. Kerwin was actually 16 when the series began, and had turned 17 when it was cancelled, one year older than his character.

    Novelization

    Two novels were written by author April Smith, James at 15 and Friends.

    Legacy

    Kevin Williamson, the creator of Dawson's Creek, cited this show as a major influence on him and named it as an inspiration for his show: "'Dawson's Creek' came out of my desire to do 'James at 15' for the '90s. It was very provocative and way ahead of its time."

    References

    James at 15 Wikipedia


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