The Paper Chase

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The Paper Chase
Premiere September 7, 1978
Finale August 9, 1986
Based on the novel by
John Jay Osborn, Jr.
Developed by James Bridges
Network/Provider CBS (season 1)
Showtime (seasons 2-4)
Style 60-minute drama
Company 20th Century Fox Television
Seasons 4
Episodes 59
Origin USA

The Paper Chase is a drama that aired on CBS for one season and Showtime for three seasons.

James T. Hart is a law student from rural Minnesota who enters the intensely competitive environment of Harvard Law School. He has chosen Harvard specifically to study with Professor Charles Kingsfield, the world's leading authority on contract law. Kingsfield inspires both awe and fear in his students in his unremitting determination to prepare them for the practice of law.

To cope with the heavy workload, Hart joins a study group organized by Franklin Ford III. Ford is under intense pressure to succeed. His family has produced an unbroken string of outstanding lawyers going back generations, culminating in his demanding father, the senior partner in a very prestigious Wall Street law firm. The study group includes smooth woman-chaser Thomas Craig Anderson, slob Willis Bell, idealistic activist Elizabeth Logan, and struggling Jonathan Brooks, who is married to Asheley. Of these students, Brooks left Harvard Law School after he was caught cheating.



Actor Character Duration
Main Cast 1 2 3 4
John Houseman Professor Charles W. Kingsfield * * * *
James Stephens James T. Hart * * * *
Tom Fitzsimmons Franklin Ford III * * * *
Robert Ginty Thomas Anderson *
James Keane Willis Bell * * * *
Jonathan Segal Jonathan Brooks *
Francine Tacker Elizabeth Logan *
Deka Beaudine Asheley Brooks *
Jane Kaczmarek Connie Lehman *
Michael Tucci Gerald Golden * *
Clare Kirkconnell Rita Harriman * *
Andra Millian Laura * *
Penny Johnson Vivian *
Lainie Kazan Rose Samuels *
Peter Nelson Tom Ford *


Season  Premiere Finale #
Season One September 7, 1978 May 15, 1979 22
Season Two February 22, 1983 May 15, 1984 19
Season Three April 19, 1985 May 14, 1985 12
Season Four March 28, 1986 August 9, 1986 6


DVD Releases

Title Release Date #
Season Sets
Season One April 7, 2009 6


Season Two December 15, 2009 6


External Links