Mr. Novak

Mr. Novak

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Mr. Novak

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Mr. Novak is a one-hour dramatic series starring James Franciscus (1934-1991) in the title role, which aired on NBC for two seasons, 1963-1965.


The series followed John Novak, an idealistic first-year English teacher at Jefferson High School in Los Angeles who often got involved in the lives of his students and fellow teachers. Franciscus himself held a bachelor of arts degree in English from Yale University. Principal Albert Vane was played by Dean Jagger (1903-1991), who was nominated for an Emmy Award in 1964 and 1965 for his performance. When Jagger left the series in 1964, Burgess Meredith played new principal Martin Woodridge.

The show, produced by MGM Television, was broadcast on Tuesday evenings from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. (Eastern time). In its first season, Mr. Novak's principal competition was the ABC war series Combat! starring Rick Jason and Vic Morrow, and the second half of the hour-long The Red Skelton Show on CBS. In the second season, the competition was still Combat! on ABC, and the documentary series World War One on CBS. Skelton was moved a half-hour later in December of 1964.

During the first season of Mr. Novak, ABC ran a 26-week series about life on a college campus. Channing starred Jason Evers as English Professor Joseph Howe and Henry Jones as Fred Baker, the dean of fictitious Channing College.

Guest stars

  • Peter Helm appeared three times, including the lead guest-star role in "The Private Life of Douglas Morgan, Jr."......
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