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Why did TV shows like Perry Mason reuse actors to play extra characters?

by Ratan Srivastava
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Perry Mason

Perry Mason is indeed an American legal drama television series that aired on CBS from September 21, 1957, to May 22, 1966. Raymond Burr plays the title character, a Los Angeles criminal defence lawyer who had first featured in Erle Stanley Gardner’s detective novels. Many of the episodes were modelled on Gardner’s tales.

Perry Mason was the very first weekly one-hour television series produced in Hollywood, and it has become one of the most popular and profitable legal dramas. It was nominated for just a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Dramatic Series during the first season, so it quickly has become one of television’s top five series.

For her depiction of Mason’s confidential secretary Della Street, Burr earned two Emmy Awards for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series, while Barbara Hale got an Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Best supporting actress. During the first two TV Guide Award readers’ surveys, Perry Mason, as well as Burr, were named Favorite Series and Favorite Male Performer, respectively. The series won the inaugural Silver Gavel Award for television drama from the American Bar Association in 1960.

Ever since discontinuation, Perry Mason has broadcast in syndication inside the United States and overseas, and then the whole series has indeed been released on Region 1 DVD. According to a 2014 research, Netflix customers choose Raymond Burr as their favourite actor, with Barbara Hale coming in at number seven.

The New Perry Mason, a 1973 relaunch of the series with such a new cast, got mixed reviews and lasted for 15 episodes. Burr returning to the role of Mason in a popular series of Perry Mason television movies that aired on NBC in 1985. There were 30 movies created in all, with Burr starring in 26 of them until his death in 1993.

Perry Mason’s production team worked hard to really be technically precise and appropriate to a legal and judicial audience. Prior to joining show business, producer Ben Brady practised law in New York; storey editor Gene Wang attended law school in Florida; and executive producer Gail Patrick Jackson studied law for two years before being an actor.

Also Read: Brendan Fraser: All you must know about this Hollywood actor

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