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Save 50% off on 26 weeks of The New York Times Digital
 
 
 
 
1988: NBC Presents the Telefilm 'Inherit the Wind'
March 20, 2017  | By TV WW
 
On this day in 1988, NBC presented a telemovie based on the 1960 film, Inherit the Wind.

Inherit the Wind was originally conceived as a 1955 stage play in which playwrights Jerome Lawrence and Robert Edwin Lee dramatized the 1925 Scopes Monkey Trial to draw parallels between the famous legal battle that tried a Tennessee teacher for violating a law that forbade teaching the theory of evolution and the anti-communist McCarthy trials of the 1950s.

The 1960 film adaptation, directed by Stanley Kramer, starred Spencer Tracy as Henry Drummond, a character patterned after famed defense attorney Clarence Darrow, Fredric March as prosecutor Matthew Harrison Brady, a character based on attorney William Jennings Bryan, and Gene Kelly as E.K. Hornbeck, a character inspired by journalist H.L. Mencken.

NBC's remake starred Jason Robards as Drummond, Kirk Douglas as Brady and Darren McGavin as Hornbeck. Robards won a lead actor Emmy for the role.

Other TV adaptations include a 1965 version starring Melvyn Douglas and Ed Begley and a 1999 remake with Jack Lemmon, George C. Scott and Beau Bridges.
 
 
 
 
 
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Good news, TVWW readers: David’s new book from Doubleday, The Platinum Age of Television: From I Love Lucy to The Walking Dead, How TV Became Terrific is available on Amazon for $20. (Paperback will be available September 5th, here.)

Doubleday says: “Darwin had his theory of evolution, and David Bianculli has his. Bianculli's theory has to do with the concept of quality television: what it is and, crucially, how it got that way."

"The Platinum Age of Television is an effusive guidebook that plots the path from the 1950s’ Golden Age to today’s era of quality TV. For instance, animation evolved from Rocky and His Friends to South Park; variety shows moved from The Ed Sullivan Show to Saturday Night Live; and family sitcoms grew from I Love Lucy to Modern Family. A high point is the author’s interviews with Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks, Norman Lear, Bob Newhart, Matt Groening, Larry David, Amy Schumer and many others...Bianculli has written a highly readable history." —The Washington Post

 

This Day in TV History

 
 
 
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