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Barefoot in the Park

Barefoot in the Park is an ABC network sitcom based on Neil Simon's Broadway play of the same name.

The series aired from September 24, 1970 to December 17, 1970, lasting for one season and 12 episodes.

The cast members of the show were predominantly black, making it the first American television sitcom since "Amos 'n' Andy" to have a predominantly black cast.

Plot

The show centered on a newlywed attorney and his wife living in lower Manhattan, New York struggling to survive their first year of marriage.

Cast

  • Scoey Mitchell as Paul Bratter
  • Tracy Reed as Corie Bratter
  • Thelma Carpenter as Mable Bates
  • Harry Holcombe as Mr. Kendricks
  • Vito Scotti as Mr. Velasquez
  • Nipsey Russell as Honey Robinson

Cancellation

When "Barefoot in The Park" premiered on Thursday, September 24, 1970, at 9:00 p.m., it was the lead-in program for another series based on a Neil Simon play, "The Odd Couple", which debuted immediately afterward.

Since both comedies would be following ABC’s popular series, "Bewitched" (which aired the same evening at 8:30 P.M.), it was hoped that the long-running sitcom would provide a strong ratings segue for both series.

However, "Bewitched" was in its seventh season and already experiencing a ratings slump, and as a result, viewership for both "Barefoot in The Park" and "The Odd Couple" was disappointing.

In the case of "Barefoot in The Park", there was also behind-the-scenes strife.

Star Scoey Mitchell was fired due to "differences of opinion" with the series' producers. By this time, only twelve episodes of the sitcom had been produced. Rather than replace Mitchell with another actor and already disenchanted with the low ratings, ABC decided to cancel the show in December of 1970.

In January of 1971, the network moved "The Odd Couple" to Friday nights where its ratings improved; despite the fact that it never placed in the top 30 television shows, the show would go on to have a five-year run on ABC and win Emmy Awards for its two stars, Tony Randall and Jack Klugman.

The installments of "Barefoot in The Park" were rerun as episodes of "Love, American Style" in syndication.

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