Executive Suite (1976–1977)

TV Series   |    |  Drama


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The machinations of the powerful Cardway Corporation, headed by president Don Walling.

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7.1/10
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16 April 2010 | rcj5365
Executive Suite: The Television Series based on the hit 1954 film and from the Cameron Hawley novel didn't last long on the air
The short-lived television "Executive Suite" is based on Cameron Hawley's novel about the goings on within the running of a huge corporation. It was also taken from Hawley's book that was made into a 1954 movie of the same title that was directed by Robert Wise,produced by John Houseman,and starred William Holden,Barbara Stanwyck,June Allyson,Nina Foch,along with Dean Jagger and Walter Pidgeon. The film version was also an Oscar winner too that gave actress Nina Foch the Oscar that year for Best Supporting Actress.

Fast forward to 22 years later...."Executive Suite" becomes a weekly television series that was based on Cameron Hawley's novel and also from the 1954 film of the same title. The series,which was short-lived lasted no more than six months on the air,producing 18 episodes and it ran on CBS-TV from September 20, 1976 until February 11, 1977. In this version,Corporate intrigue,family problems,and all sorts of emotional involvements in and out of the workplace were part of this series which was basically part drama,with a effectiveness of a daytime soap opera,which aired in prime-time(the first prime-time soap opera for television since "Peyton Place"). "Executive Suite" focuses on the lives of the people and employees that worked for and affected by,the happenings that took place at the huge Cardway Corporation.

The series starred Mitchell Ryan as Dan Walling,who was the President of the company. Stephen Elliott was the Vice-President of the organization and sometimes head of operations and involvement,and chief rival to Walling. Sharon Acker was Dan's wife Helen Walling,while actors Leigh McCloskey(Brian Walling),and Wendy Phillips (Stacey Walling)portrayed the children in Dan's life,who was juggling duties as both a devoted father and family man while running a huge corporation and dealing with clients,both domestic and international.

Some of the episodes,which was very short-lived dealt with their families,business associates,and personal entanglements that went on beyond the corporation and sometimes within the workplace. Of the 18 episodes that this series produced,other actors that starred in this would be a who's who of guest stars ranging from Ricardo Montalban to William Windom,Richard Cox,Percy Rodriguez,Trisha Noble,Paul Lambert,and Brenda Sykes just to name a few. The producers of this series also served as executive producers: Don Brinkley,Norman Felton, along with Buck Houghton,Rita Lakin and Stanley Rubin.

The reason why this show didn't last long? Despite poor ratings and sometimes with the scheduling that this series was put through,the series from September of 1976 to January of 1977 was placed on its Monday night schedule,opposite ABC's Monday Night Football. Then CBS moved the series again,this time to Friday nights until February 11,1977 where it was placed opposite another ratings powerhouse winner, "The Rockford Files",which clobbered it. When CBS canceled this series in February of 1977,it didn't take them long to find a show that eventually replaced it..."Logan's Run",which was a hugely big-budgeted science fiction series(starring Gregory Harrison),that was also short-lived too,that lasted no more than five to six months on the air.

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