Friday, May 25, 2012



'Lanigan's Rabbi'

Harry Kemelman

Bruce Solomon


Earth Prime-Time

From Wikipedia:
'Lanigan's Rabbi' is a short-lived American crime drama series that aired on NBC during the first half of 1977.

Based upon a series of novels by Harry Kemelman, the series starred Art Carney as Police Chief Paul Lanigan, who fights crime in a small California town with the help of his best friend, Rabbi David Small (Bruce Solomon). Small's ability in this area was attributed to his "rabbinic mind", and his Talmudic training. However, an added element for the David Small novels and the 'Lanigan's Rabbi' series was that Small was usually trying to balance his crime-solving assistance to Chief Lanigan with synagogue politics, usually involving some congregants who would be happy to see the rabbi lose his position. Co-starring in the series was Janis Paige and Janet Margolin as Mrs. Lanigan and Mrs. Small, respectively. Another regular on the series was Carney's daughter, Barbara Carney.

After a successful pilot film based on "Friday the Rabbi Slept Late", the first novel in the Rabbi David Small series, aired in 1976, 'Lanigan's Rabbi' was produced as a series of 90-minute telefilms beginning in January 1977. For the series, Bruce Solomon replaced Stuart Margolin, who had played Rabbi Small in the pilot. The series was broadcast on a rotating schedule under the umbrella title 'NBC Sunday Mystery Movie'. Other series involved in the scheme were 'Columbo', 'McCloud', and 'McMillan' (formerly 'McMillan & Wife').

'Lanigan's Rabbi' was the last series added to the 'Mystery Movie' format (it replaced 'Quincy, M.E.' at mid-season when that series was spun off into a weekly program); in the spring, NBC cancelled all four series and discontinued the 'Mystery Movie' format. As a result, only four 'Lanigan's Rabbi' episodes were broadcast.

The Rabbi Small series began in 1964 with the publication of "Friday the Rabbi Slept Late", which became a huge bestseller, a difficult achievement for a religious mystery, and won Kemelman a 1965 Edgar Award for Best First Novel. The Rabbi Small books are not only mysteries, but also considerations of Conservative Judaism.
  • Friday the Rabbi Slept Late – 1964
  • Saturday the Rabbi Went Hungry – 1966
  • Sunday, the Rabbi Stayed Home – 1969
  • Monday The Rabbi Took Off – 1972
  • Tuesday the Rabbi Saw Red – 1973
  • Wednesday the Rabbi Got Wet – 1976
  • Thursday the Rabbi Walked Out – 1978
  • Conversations with Rabbi Small – 1981
  • Someday the Rabbi Will Leave – 1985
  • One Fine Day the Rabbi Bought a Cross – 1987
  • The Day the Rabbi Resigned – 1992
  • That Day the Rabbi Left Town – 1996

Although Bruce Solomon is the recastaway as Rabbi Small, he still gets to be in the main Toobworld since he was the star of the series. Stuart Margolin as Rabbi Small ends up in that TV dimension in which another Art Carney character can be found - the original broadcast of "The Incredible World Of Horace Ford" on 'Westinghouse Studio One'.


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