Perry Mason is an American legal drama produced by Paisano Productions that ran from September 1957 to May 1966 on CBS. The title character, portrayed by Raymond Burr, is a fictional Los Angeles defense attorney who originally appeared in detective fiction by Erle Stanley Gardner. Many episodes are based on actual stories written Gardner, others are based on characters created by him. At one time, the show was "television's most successful and longest-running lawyer series." Another series starring Monte Markham as Mason ran from 1973 to 1974, and thirty made-for-TV movies aired from 1985 to 1995, with Burr returning as Mason in twenty-six of them.
Each episode's format is essentially the same: the first half of the show usually depicts the prospective murder victim as being deserving of homicide, often with Perry's client publicly threatening to kill the victim; the body is found (often by Perry and his investigator, Paul Drake, who through circumstance happen to stumble upon the body) surrounded by clues pointing to Perry's client. Perry's client is charged with murder, but (in the second-half courtroom setting) Perry establishes his client's innocence by dramatically demonstrating the guilt of another character. "It is never enough for Mason to establish a reasonable doubt of his client's guilt; he must clear the client absolutely by pinning the guilt on someone else, almost always by extracting a... Read More