Kate McShane (partially found legal drama series; 1975)

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Kate McShane.jpeg

Anne Meara as Kate McShane in a CBS colour photo of the series.

Status: Partially Found

Kate McShane is a legal drama television series that aired from September to November of 1975 on the CBS television network. Among the show's achievements were a nomination for the 1976 Primetime Emmy awards as well as another nomination for the Edgar Allen Poe award for the episode Murder Comes in Little Pills.[1][2] The show was the first to star a female lawyer as the lead character and saw the first television appearance of her son, Ben Stiller, at ten years of age.

The show follows Kate McShane, an Irish-American lawyer with a no-nonsense personality who would often develop a close relationship with her clients. During her cases, she would often consult with her father (an ex-cop) as well as her brother (a law professor and Jesuit priest) for legal advice.[3] In an interview with EmmyTVLegends, Anne Meara stated that the show was originally set to star a male actor as the main character, though the producers decided, in the end, to showcase a female lead character instead.[4]

A DVD release for the first/pilot episode of the series was made,[5] though there are no other full episodes available, digitally or not. Though it is known that the show only lasted for a single season, the amount of episodes released is unclear due to the fact that multiple television episode guides include different entries for later episodes often mixing up the number, leading to confusion about how many episodes there are in the series.[6] On top of this is the fact that the show only aired 9 of the 10-13 episodes produced. It is currently known that the University of California in Los Angeles Film Archives has 10 episodes of the series on film reels, including one episode that never saw public broadcast.[7] As of July 24th, 2018, the April 11th pilot episode of the series is available for viewing on archive.org in it's entirety.


Clip of the intro and episode beginning from a Kate McShane film reel.

The pilot of the series that aired in April of 1975.