Paris is an American television series that appeared on the CBS television network from September 29, 1979 to January 15, 1980. A crime drama, the show is notable as the first-ever appearance of renowned actor James Earl Jones in a lead role on television and was created by Steven Bochco, who later achieved fame for Hill Street Blues and NYPD Blue, also served as executive producer.
The program told the story of Los Angeles Police Captain Woody Paris, who supervised a team of young detectives. The rookie investigators were led by Sergeant Stacy Erickson and included officers Charlie Bogart, Ernesto Villas, and Willie Miller. Hank Garrett portrayed Deputy Chief Jerome Bench, Paris' superior, and, in an unusual turn for police dramas of that era, Paris' home and off-duty life was given considerable attention in the plots, with Lee Chamberlin playing his wife, Barbara. Paris was also shown moonlighting as a professor of criminology at a local university.
Although Paris was critically acclaimed for its portrayal of the tension between the professional Paris character and his often impetuous underlings, CBS scheduled the show in one of the worst possible timeslots on a weekly schedule: Saturdays at 10 p.m./9 Central. All three networks debuted new shows for the 1979-80 season in that slot; only ABC's Hart to Hart survived its first 13 weeks. Toward the end of its run, CBS moved it to Tuesdays at 10/9, but to no avail. Edward DeBlasio produced the show for MTM Enterprises, which would unveil, during the next season, executive producer Bochco's landmark Hill Street Blues, on NBC.
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