The Buck James TV show was a 60 minute hospital drama series on ABC about a charismatic and clever surgeon who headed the trauma center of a major hospital. He had very strict ideas about things when dealing with co-workers, hospital administration, and even patients but he had less fortitude when dealing with the wife and kids that had become seperated from him emotionally.
CastDennis Weaver ............. Dr. Buck James
Alberta Watson ............ Dr. Rebecca Meyer
Kirk Sisco ................ Dr. Kyle Grant
John Cullum ............... Henry Carliner
Jon Pennell ............... Clint James
Shannon Wilcox ............ Jenny James
Elena Wohl ................ Dinah James
Jonathan Sachar ........... Brian
Dehl Berti ................ Vittorio
It's generally believed that Buck James was based on the life of "Dr. 'Red' Duke". Dr. Duke is one of the founders of the "American Trauma Society". The Gallup Organization, Inc. noted him as one of the foremost television personalities in his field. He was the host of the syndicated series, "Texas Health Reports". He also hosted the PBS show, "Bodywatch" and has often appeared on news programs including, "The Today Show", "NBC Nightly News", and "PM Magazine".
Dennis Weaver was earning $60 per week as a flower delivery person in 1955 while trying to get a break into show business. When he was offered the role of "Chester" on the series, "Gunsmoke" at a salary of $300 per week, he couldn't believe his luck! Actually, he nearly didn't get the role. After being rejected, he asked if he could re-read the audition lines in that funny accent that all Gunsmoke fans know so well and that got him the role! He got the idea that "Chester" should have a limp because he was afraid that his character wouldn't be noticed next to the monster of a man, "James Arness" who stood 6 foot 6 inches tall! The idea apparently worked as "Chester" became a beloved character to audiences. Oh, by the way, that $300 initial weekly salary grew to $9,000 nine years later! In 1981, Weaver was inducted into the "Hall of Great Western Performers" of the "National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum".
You're most likely far more familiar with John Cullum in his role as "Holling Vincoeur" on the series, "Northern Exposure". John was also an excellent tennis player. In 1951, he won the Southeastern Conference Doubles Championship along with his partner, Bill Davis! John wasn't only a star on TV either. He won two Tony Awards for his performances on Broadway as "Best Actor in a Musical". One was in 1975 for the show, "Shenandoah" and another in 1978 for "On the Twentieth Century"! In both 1966 and 2002, he got nominations in that same category. John was also nominated for an Emmy in 1993 for "Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series" for his role on "Northern Exposure".
Buck James certainly didn't have much competition from the other networks during its first half season. FOX was only broadcasting on Saturday and Sunday at that time and on Sunday they went off the air just as Buck James was coming on air at 10PM! CBS and NBC were both showing the 2nd half of their "Sunday Night Movies". Then in March of 1988 after two months off the air, ABC moved the show to Thursday at 10PM where it had to compete against "Knot's Landing" on CBS and "L.A. Law" on NBC! Going up against two such popular shows pretty much ended any chance of a second season for Buck James!
Episodes List With Original Air Dates
The First And Only Season
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