Welcome to a new Wildcard Wednesday! In this week’s entry, we’re celebrating the 45th anniversary of A Touch Of Grace, a single-season multi-camera sitcom that debuted January 20, 1973 on ABC and lasted a grand total of 13 episodes. Adapted from the ITV series For The Love Of Ada, A Touch Of Grace was helmed by Saul Turteltaub and Bernie Orenstein (That Girl, The New Dick Van Dyke Show, Sanford And Son) and starred Shirley Booth with J. Pat O’Malley. It was an intimate comedy about an elderly liberal woman who moves in with her conservative daughter (Marian Mercer) and son-in-law (Warren Berlinger), while dating — to their chagrin — a gravedigger. Scheduled on Saturdays at 8:30, opposite CBS’ Bridget Loves Bernie (a one-year-wonder that followed All In The Family and was that season’s fifth most-watched show), A Touch Of Grace was a Nielsens flop, ending the year around #70 (of 75).
I myself have only seen one episode — the pilot — at UCLA back in 2015. Revisit my thoughts on the debut installment, which “packs big laughs and some quiet moments of real humanity,” here. This week, I’m happy to share the “Fifth Draft” of that script, dated October 04, 1972. (Look out for some interesting original casting notes about the kids, too.) Enjoy!
Come back next Wednesday for another Wildcard post! And tune in Tuesday for more Frasier!