The original Perry Mason show saw incredible success, inspiring a bunch of reboots and adaptations. In 1973, a revival show lazily called “The New Perry Mason” made its debut. Unsurprisingly, the series had no takers. Critics panned it. The actors and producers themselves didn’t seem invested.
Why bother making a show at all? The lackluster successor show ran for an embarrassing half (yes, half!) a season. It goes to show that it’s better to leave classics alone! Not everything needs a sequel.
Cool, Cool, Cars
The show's greatness lies in its universal appeal. Characters and storylines dazzled audiences, as did the fleet of super-cool cars in the series. The series is heaven for vintage-car enthusiasts! It's hard to miss the sweet rides. Mason drives not just one but several classy, mid-century vehicles.
Did they reflect all the money he was making from case winnings? The show was never explicit about it, but it’s possible. The simple truth is that these vehicles were part of several sponsorships the show had with GM and Ford. It's always about advertising!
Awards, Awards, Awards
Very few shows gain appreciation from all, getting mass admiration as well as thoughtful industry appreciation, but "Perry Mason" did! The show consistently ranked among the top 5 most popular in America.
The series received a nomination for a Primetime Emmy Award in its first season, while awards rained down on the actors as well. Raymond Burr won an Emmy for Best Actor – not once, but twice. Barbara Hale also took home an Emmy for her performance as the invincible Girl Friday, Della Street.
Raymond Burr Didn’t Audition for the Role of Perry Mason
Can you imagine anyone other than Raymond Burr as Perry? The truth is that Burr never intended to audition for the role of Mason. He had his heart set on playing Hamilton Burger, the district attorney who was resolute in his resistance to Mason.
While this is speculatory, some believe Perry Mason’s character may have appeared too mainstream for Burr who came from the world of niche film noir. Erle Stanley Gardner thought differently, and the rest is history.
The Weight of Success
Mason made lawyering look effortless, always tipping the scales in his client’s favor. While a pro in the courtroom, actor Raymond Burr contended with different, more troubling scales in real life. The Hollywood heavyweight needed to shed some extra pounds. We know actors routinely shed or gain pounds for a role, but Burr needed to lose a significant amount.
At 6 ft 2 inches, the broad-shouldered Burr towered over everyone. Although he worked very hard to lose weight, the man was still big, but hey, big people have big hearts!