So far, our July Friday Hall of Famers, we’ve inducted a defense lawyer, a British detective from the beginning to the end of his career, and a hard-nosed American cop. For our last Law & Order inductee into the Television Crossover Hall of Fame for this month, we’re going to look at the prosecutorial side of a court case.
This week our inductee is Paul Ryan. Not not that Cheesehead who was the Speaker of the House. I’m talking about the assistant district attorney for Los Angeles County from the late sixties to the early seventies – at least as far as what we could see on the TV. (Life goes on in Toobworld after cancellation.)
'The D.A.' is an American half-hour legal drama that aired Fridays at 8:00-8:30 pm on NBC for the 1971-72 season. It ran from September 17, 1971 to January 7, 1972 and was replaced by the more successful 'Sanford and Son' the following week. The show was packaged by Jack Webb's Mark VII Limited for Universal Television and is not to be confused with a show Webb produced in 1959 with a similar name, 'The D.A.'s Man’, which starred John Compton in the lead role.
Robert Forward produced the show, which was spun off from two TV-movies produced by Webb's production company, Mark VII Ltd., "Murder One" from 1969 and "Conspiracy to Kill" from 1971, both of which fictionalized cases prosecuted by Vincent Bugliosi, world-famous as the prosecutor of Charles Manson. Bugliosi served as technical advisor on both of the pilot films. In his account of the Manson prosecution, "Helter Skelter", Bugliosi stated that Conrad modeled the Ryan character on Bugliosi.
D.A.: Murder One
(1969 TV Movie)
D.A.: Conspiracy to Kill
(1971 TV Movie)
- The Radical
Confessions of the D.A. Man
(1978 TV Movie)
This marks Conrad’s second character in the TVXOHOF as a character, James T. West being the other. There may be two more who are eligible, with one being saved until his death, which I hope is a long way off…..
Welcome to the Hall, Mr. Ryan!